Arrival in Vaison-la-Romaine. Visit the famous Roman ruins, then explore the medieval quarter perched high on the opposite bank.
Cycle to Poët-Laval in the heart of the Baronnies mountains, which are part of the pre-Alps. Rated as one of the most beautiful villages in France, Poët-Laval also features an interesting museum of Protestant history in France. Your hotel has a long history entwined with the Knights Templar.
Enjoy a second day in Poët-Laval. A delightful day ride takes you to the pottery centre of Dieulefit, then on to Bourdeaux and the ruined castle of Soyans. This route is often on the Dauphin race route (55 km - 600 m of elevation change).
Buis-les-Baronnies beckons. This spectacular ride crosses through the valleys of six different rivers, with high hills and two passes in between. Gorges and isolated chapels, plus vineyards, orchards and lavender fields characterize the scenery (57 km - 895 m).
Spend a second night in Buis-les-Baronnies. In this sun bowl hollowed out of the mountains grow the best Nyons olives. A grand day ride takes you past Brante in the shadow of Mont Ventoux, then on to the spa town of Montbrun-les-Bains. The gorges in the Toulourenc valley are as stunning as the castle (60 km - 750 m).
On your way to Sault, there are several routes to choose from. Head east to Mollans-sur-Ouvèze with its lovely high-arched bridge, marked on each side by a tower and a tiny chapel. Sault is the lavender capital of the region, and also home to Provence’s Most famous maker of nougat - a tasty confection of honey and almonds. Just right after a long bike ride! (54 km - 895 m)
Delight in the spectacular Gorges de la Nesque, with its wildly eroded cliffs and curves, as you ride to Bédoin, a relaxing town among vineyards and cherry orchards. Or pedal to Bédoin over Mont Ventoux, 1909 m at its summit where a cold wind always blows and there are breathtaking views as far as the Alps. (45-60 km - 555 m or 1909 m)
Cross over the base of the Plateau de Vaucluse and begin the long steady climb to Murs. One rollercoaster routing takes you past the Abbaye de Senanque and the artists’ village of Gordes. Alternately, descend over the Col de Murs to the most remote and authentic of the Luberon villages (41 km - 600 m on the direct route).
Explore the back corners of the Plateau de Vaucluse, which is anything but flat. Surprising châteaux and truly charming villages are among the pedalling pleasures (54 km - 855 m).
Pedal to Gordes, a stunning perched town with artists’ studios, cosy cafés, and arcaded medieval lanes. Then enjoy a final look at the orchards and vineyards of the Luberon before arriving at the waterways of L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, famous for its antique dealers and markets (44 km).
Linger for some souvenir shopping before departing.
"The tour was not difficult for those who cycle hills regularly, but a nice combination of scenery and challenge. It's easy with a self-supported tour for individuals to add kms to the daily route if they want to, as we did on the last day."
- A. Leedy