Wine Roads of Provence
For those who love wine as much as, or more than, cycling, then this cycle tour is for you! The unique Provence landscape offers keen cyclists the chance to challenge themselves among the most beautiful of scenery underneath the shadow of a local mountain that maintains legendary status among true cycle buffs, while the region is equally notorious for its many, many vineyards and subsequent wine production. So with wine and scenery in abundance here the tour is a must-do ‘tick’ for the serious wine lover and semi-serious cyclist!
Need to Know
Your adventure begins in the town also known as Venice of Provence, due to its location among a maze of canals and inlets of the River Sorgue. Famous for its many antique shops, while away a few hours there and enjoy a late lunch or a snack in a café. It’s also worth noting the local market here on either a Wednesday or Sunday should you time your arrival on either day.
Day 2 - Isle sur la Sorgue to Venasque: 20km / 13 miles
From Isle, you’ll commence cycling along tiny country roads towards Pernes-les-Fontaines, set in the heart of rural Provence, a charming town with 17th century mansions and many other historical monuments. This first section is ideal to warm the legs as, although this is a short first cycling day, there is a bit of a climb to the hilltop village of Venasque, described as one of the most beautiful villages in France, so a rewarding end to your climbing efforts.
Day 3 - Venasque to Bédoin: 30km / 19 miles
The stunning scenery that accompanies you today is Vaucluse Mountains which includes the dramatic Mont Ventoux (1900m), a Tour de France favourite and sometime referred to as ‘The Beast of Provence! However, do not fear, you don’t have to cycle this huge mountain (unless you really want to?)! Instead, enjoy a leisurely ride on much lower ground close to the crystal clear waters of the River Sorgue again. At the foot of the Ventoux lies the village of Bédoin,a popular town for obvious reasons, while retaining an authentic Provencal feel.
Day 4 - Bédoin to Séguret -Cycling: 34km / 22 miles
From Bédoin, a short climb leads to the town of Crillon le Brave, well worth an early coffee stop with its narrow cobbled streets and the town square offering the most spectacular views all across the Mont Ventoux area. Passing through the town of Beaumes de Venise, you’ll cycle through some of the best vineyards in the Rhône Valley before your cycle ends in the town of Séguret, perched above the Rhône valley. Perhaps treat yourself to a well-earned crepe in the village café.
Day 5 - Séguret to Vaison la Romaine: 16km / 10 miles
Pedalling through the vines your route passes the medieval villages of Roaix and Villedieu before reaching Vaison la Romaine. A perched medieval village, complete with a towering belfry, castle ruins and the largest Roman archaeological site in France. Its main square hosts a handful of quaint restaurants and cafés to enjoy watching the world go by upon finishing the cycle.
Day 6 - Vaison la Romaine. After breakfast, the tour ends. Transfers available at cost supplement.
Hybrid bikes are provided and included in the cost of this tour, as they are ideal for the nature of the route and the terrain involved, as well as offering a reasonable level of comfort over the daily distances shown.
As for all of our tours, electric ‘E-Bikes’ are available with an additional supplement.
Bikes are provided fully equipped with helmets, pump and puncture repair kit, pannier bags, bike lock and bike computer, all included.
This is a SELF-GUIDED cycle tour, while comprehensive maps and route notes are provided. It is available from around mid-March to mid-October, while the months of July and August are of course the busier times and the weather can be very warm to cycle, however this does not mean it would not be enjoyable! We ask for 48 hours to confirm our tours, yet this may be slightly longer in the aforementioned peak July and August period.
The hotels provided here are of a good standard, some 2* and 3* that are traditional French hotels offering a warm welcome being particularly 'cycle friendly'. They are specifically selected as being ideal places to relax after a hard day's cycling while offering a taste of the local culture. In Séguret and in keeping with the theme of the tour, a wine tasting session is included in your stay.
However, we can provide variations of hotels upon request with possible upgrades available, which could adjust the cost.
This airport is 32km from the starting point of Isle sur la Sorgue, France with a variety of public transfer options or a 40 minute taxi ride. On return Vaison la Romaine is 56km from Avignon airport. Private transfers to and from Avignon airport are available on request.
Most of our tours are available from early April until the end of October to enable you to make the most of the weather and scenery with some available year round. There is no ‘best’ time to go, this is really down to personal preference and your requirements however, peak summer months like July and August can be warm in southern Europe and busier so we would recommend these to sun worshippers. We would suggest that around May, June and September are the preferable months for comfortable and optimum cycling experience.
What clothing and kit should I bring?
Each individual tour provides slight variations in kit provided so we would always recommend checking your individual booking. In all cases bicycles are provided along with full puncture repair kit. In the majority of cases helmets will be provided and you will be given this information as part of the booking process. Where these are not provided there is the option to add this on or bring your own. Clothing is not provided but we would recommend suitable, comfortable clothing to cover all eventualities! Lycra and padded short are not mandatory but we would recommend these for your comfort. Breathable fabrics and light layers with a shower proof jacket will enhance your experience and we would also recommend comfortable footwear.
How do I carry this clothing and kit from A to B?
You don’t! Whilst we would recommend taking a small backpack or loading your panniers with daily essentials such as a light cycle jacket, water, snacks and your phone and camera the great news is your main luggage will be transported by ourselves between your accommodations allowing you to enjoy you day baggage free. We usually ask you to leave this the morning of the day you depart the particular hotel and should arrive by late afternoon at your next destination but we always aim to have this there before you.
How fit do I need to be to do the tours?
Every tour description gives an indication of the level of suitability along with details on the distances and terrains covered. However, the majority of our tours on Pedal & Break are open and suitable for all with a reasonable level of fitness and all age groups. As we say Lycra is optional and we actively encourage and truly welcome those on a first time cycling holiday. You also do not all need to be the same level to enjoy our holidays as a group. A basic level of cycling is a must in order to be confident on the roads and routes and we would recommend a good base level of fitness. Our routes are designed to enjoy the scenery at a leisurely pace with sightseeing and refreshment stops factored in, after all this is your holiday! The days should not be viewed as a leg of the Tour de France and don’t require you to cycle flat out from dawn till dusk. The e-bike is also an excellent option for those needing a ‘boost’. As a husband and wife partnership on our first holiday this worked perfectly for us and enabled us to enjoy our holiday together stress free.
What is an e-bike?
An e-bike is an electric bike and does not require a license and nor should it be confused with a moped or scooter! An e-bike will be available on most of our tours and is the perfect option for the slightly more apprehensive cyclist, simply as these bikes provide the ideal boost when the legs feel a little tired or when facing a hilly section. You are still required to pedal as the bike is a modified standard bicycle and the e-bike merely gives you a helping hand. The electric element can be turned on and off as you like but from personal experience having this at a low level throughout with an extra boost added for setting off at junctions and up hills enabled my wife to enjoy her first cycling tour alongside me throughout and gave her the confidence she needed.