Hilltop Villages of Provence Cycling

From $1685 per person

***** Based on 5 customer reviews
CC BY momo / flickr
  • A lavender-scented patchwork of sun drenched vineyards, olive groves and apple orchards
  • Mediaeval perched villages: Gordes and Bonnieux, with spectacular views across the Luberon
  • Quiet country lanes and cycle paths; beautiful Provencal countryside and sleepy hamlets
  • Great lunch options; chateaux and wine estates all too happy to provide tastings
  • A variety of hotels, each with a swimming pool

What's included?

  • 6 nights, hotel-to-hotel
  • Departs Every two days from 13 May '17 to 14 Oct '17
  • All continental breakfasts and 4 evening meals included
  • Managed locally by Headwater employed representative
  • Sustainability rating: 86%
  • Headwater wine service
  • Route notes and maps provided
  • High quality bikes provided
  • Optional electric bikes
  • Luggage transfers between hotels

Excellent for...

Hilltop Villages of Provence Cycling

On this six night holiday you'll discover the beauty of Provence - a region where refinement and tradition blend beautifully, and whose natural light and landscapes have served as inspiration to the likes of Van Gogh, Cezanne, Picasso and Dumas, not to mention Peter Mayle! You'll look out over a patchwork blanket of fields, olive groves, vineyards and, in the south east, apple orchards which cover the floor between the mountains on either side. While the vineyards here may not be as well-known as those of the Rhone, Burgundy and Bordeaux, some superb wines are produced here - so be sure to stop off for a tasting or two.

Your itinerary has been designed to give you a taste of the picturesque perched villages which pepper Provence's breathtaking, lavender-scented Luberon area. The hilly landscape of the region means the cycling can be challenging at times (gentler cycling options are available on the hardest day) but for each tough climb you'll be rewarded with a spectacular view. Starting in the mediaeval town of Pernes-les-Fontaines, famous for its numerous ancient stone fountains and lavoirs, you'll enjoy far-reaching views over the Luberon as you make your way to the ochre-red village of Roussillon passing vineyards, chateaux and castles on the way. You then head out along the Ochre Trail and along country lanes to pass through some of the most beautiful villages in Provence - each one offering stirring images along with a history which, in some places, stretches back over a thousand years - before your final stretch takes in sweeping apple orchards, typical French villages, quaint cafes and the fascinating network of caves at Grotte de Thouzon.

We've hand-picked a lovely selection of hotels for your holiday. The Hotel l'Hermitage in Pernes-les-Fontaines is set in 2 hectares of grounds with a saltwater swimming pool and its own orangery; the Hotel les Sables d'Ocre in Roussillon sits amidst landscaped lawns with a relaxing pool area; while La Bastide du Bois Breant in Maubec provides a typically Provencal feel, sitting in its own woodland and boasting a lovely pool.

Day-by-day itinerary

Day 1 Arrive in Pernes-les-Fontaines

Arrive at your 3 star hotel, just north of the town of Pernes-les-Fontaines. There's plenty of time to relax and explore the hotel grounds before dinner.

Day 2 Pernes-les-Fontaines to Roussillon 45km/28.5mi or 50km/31.5mi

Pass by Pernes-les-Fontaines before setting off alongside the Canal de Carpentras and on through the beautiful scenery of the Vaucluse down to the popular town of L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue. The old town here is entirely surrounded by the clear waters of the River Sorgue. There are lots of lunch options in the town, or you could stop a little further on in the pretty village of Fontaine-de- Vaucluse. In the afternoon you climb to enjoy your first spectacular views of the Luberon before descending past vineyards, olive groves and windmills, and on to the ochre-painted village of Roussillon; this is the starting point of the Ochre Trail and your home for the next two nights.

Day 3 At Roussillon 24km/15mi

Explore Roussillon, one of the Plus Beaux Villages de France, to discover its ochre-red rocks and stone buildings before you head out to nearby Joucas. After some gentle freewheeling, make the climb up to the famous mediaeval perched village of Gordes, which offers one of the best possible views of the Luberon. Explore the village and its castle and maybe take a trip up to the picture-perfect Abbaye Notre-Dame de Senanque (taxi required - payable locally), before heading back to Roussillon through the lavender-scented countryside.

Day 4 Roussillon to Maubec 45km/28.5mi

After breakfast, set out along the Ochre Trail to the village of Gargas where you have the opportunity to visit the Ochre Mines of Bruoux. A greenway cycle path takes you on to the mediaeval town of Apt to explore the old town, or simply enjoy a coffee, before heading south along country lanes where a mixture of climbs and freewheeling takes you through some of the most beautiful villages in Provence. First there’s Bonnieux, from where nearby Château la Connorgue (made famous by Ridley Scott’s A Good Year) can be visited for tastings – if you choose to climb higher up, simply incredible views unfold. Then it’s on to Lacoste to explore the ruined castle, once a mighty fortification and now a spectacular viewpoint. From here you’ll freewheel down before another short climb to Ménerbes, made famous by the books of Peter Mayle, and a great place to stop for lunch. The last leg takes you to Maubec where your hotel awaits - a C18 farmhouse, restored in the Provençal style, set amongst its own woodland with a lovely swimming pool to relax beside before dinner.

Day 5 At Maubec 26km/16.5mi

Today you have a choice; either take a circular ride past apple orchards and meadows to the pretty villages of Lagnes, Taillades (with its beautiful watermill) and Robion, or alternatively, leave the bikes behind and take a 25 minute taxi ride (payable locally) to Saint-Rémy-de-Provence. Here you can visit the old town, along with the impressive Roman site of Glanum and the monastery of Saint Paul de Mausole where van Gogh lived during the period of such eternal masterpieces as The Starry Night.

Day 6 Maubec to Pernes-les-Fontaines 38km/24mi

This morning you ride through apple country where you'll see orchards aplenty. Following the lanes brings you to the mediaeval town of Le Thor, after which you pass the ruins of the fortified monastery at Thouzon, along with the Grotte de Thouzon; a network of caves carved out by an underground river. Then it's back to Pernes-les-Fontaines where you have time to explore the mediaeval old town and the numerous ancient stone fountains and lavoirs.`

Day 7 Leave Pernes-les-Fontaines

Where you stay

During your holiday you stay at the following hotels. If you'd like to extend your time at any of these or, if you'd like to enhance your stay with an upgraded room, just let us know at the time of booking. You can call our sales team on 1-800-567-6286 to discuss accommodation options.

If you'd like to keep your bikes with you for any extra nights we can arrange this for you for just £25 per adult per day. Please contact us on 1-800-567-6286 for further details.

Hotel l'Hermitage, Pernes-les-Fontaines   (3 Star)

Hotel l'Hermitage, Pernes les Fontaines

This 19th century residence, transformed into a hotel, feels like an old family home. It is set amidst 2 hectares of grounds bedecked with fountains, many species of trees, and an orangery. The Hotel l'Hermitage is about 4km outside Pernes-les-Fontaines.

The hotel also has a swimming pool in the heart of the property.



Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.

Local facilities:

  • Mastercard accepted
  • Swimming pool
  • Wifi hotspot
  • Internet access
  • Television
  • Air conditioning

Hotel Les Sables d'Ocre, Roussillon   (3 Star)

Hotel Les Sables d'Ocre, Roussillon

Just a 10 minute walk outside Roussillon, this modern hotel is surrounded by landscaped lawns and has a relaxing pool area. The good sized bedrooms are decorated in rich Provencal colours.

Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.

Local facilities:

  • Mastercard accepted
  • Swimming pool
  • Hairdryer
  • Wifi hotspot
  • Television
  • Air conditioning

Nearby facilities:

  • Shops
  • Market
  • ATM / Cash machine

La Bastide du Bois Breant, Maubec   (3 Star)

Bastide de Bois Breant

A former farm house, once owned by a duchess and set amid its own woodland in the peaceful south west of the Luberon, the Bastide du Bois Brèant has been restored to provide a typically Provençal feel, offering traditional rooms with modern features overlooking a courtyard. With a garden and a lovely swimming pool, the hotel provides an oasis of tranquility in close proximity to some of the most popular villages in Provence. Standard room type here is the Inspiration room, with upgrades available to Quietude and Plenitude rooms on request.

Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.

Local facilities:

  • Mastercard accepted
  • Swimming pool
  • Hairdryer
  • Wifi hotspot
  • Internet access
  • Television
  • Minibar
  • Safe
  • Tea/coffee facilities

Nearby facilities:

  • Shops
  • Market
  • Banking / cheques cashed
  • ATM / Cash machine



Extra nights and stop over hotels

If you'd like to extend your trip with extra nights at the start or end, or if you'd like to arrange a stop off point en-route, then we recommend the following hotels.

Hotel Carre Vieux Port, Marseille   (3 Star)

Hotel Carre Vieux Port, Marseille

Situated by the well-known old port - which gives the hotel its name - the Hotel Carre Vieux Port is in the perfect location to make the most of this vibrant city. The hotel has cosy, modern rooms with contemporary bathrooms and fixtures.

There are plenty of restaurants near the hotel for you choose from for dinner.

Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.

Local facilities:

  • Shops
  • Market
  • Banking / cheques cashed
  • ATM / Cash machine
  • Mastercard accepted
  • American Express accepted
  • Hairdryer
  • Wifi hotspot
  • Internet access
  • Television
  • Air conditioning
  • Tea/coffee facilities

Hotel Le Grimaldi, Nice   (4 Star)

Hotel Le Grimaldi, Nice

Le Grimaldi has 46 individually decorated rooms all equipped with air-conditioning, satellite tv, minibar, safe and hairdryer.

Ideally situated in the heart of Nice the hotel is just 3 minutes walk to the pedestrian area of the city with its vast choice of bars and restaurants, 10 minutes walk from the Promenade des Anglais and 15 minutes walk from the Old Town.

Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.

Local facilities:

  • Shops
  • Market
  • Banking / cheques cashed
  • ATM / Cash machine
  • Mastercard accepted
  • American Express accepted
  • Hairdryer
  • Wifi hotspot
  • Television
  • Minibar
  • Air conditioning
  • Safe

Hotel Bristol, Avignon   (3 Star)

Hotel Bristol in Avignon

Situated just inside the city walls and a stone’s throw from the station, the Hôtel Bristol sits in the historic centre of Avignon. It is located along the main street which leads to the city’s main attractions; the Place de l'Horloge, the Palais des Papes and the famous Pont d'Avignon - all within a 15 minute walk. It is also ideally located to do some shopping! Inside, the lounge with its thick carpet and leather armchairs provides a cosy atmosphere. The rooms are modern and offer a variety of bed and bathroom options. There is no restaurant here but with such a huge selection right on the doorstep, you only have to step outside to explore the numerous possibilities.

Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.

Local facilities:

  • Mastercard accepted
  • American Express accepted
  • Diners Club card accepted
  • Hairdryer
  • Wifi hotspot
  • Internet access
  • Television
  • Minibar
  • Air conditioning
  • Safe
  • Tea/coffee facilities

Nearby facilities:

  • Shops
  • Market
  • Banking / cheques cashed
  • ATM / Cash machine

Travel options

Transfers included from Avignon TGV train station at 13:17, and back to Avignon TGV train station at 11:20.

Please call our sales team on 1-800-567-6286 or email info@breakaway-adventures.com to arrange connecting flights.

Customer reviews

Everyone who goes on a Headwater holiday will be emailed a link to our post-holiday questionnaire where they can give us an honest assessment of all aspects of their holiday - everything from how quickly we answer the phone to how clean the hotels were - plus, of course, an overall rating and comments about their holiday.

Any feedback collected is posted straight to our website - totally unedited. So, for the real tales, twists and turns of our holidays, look no further than the reviews from our previous travellers.

Reviewed by Mr Long on 25/10/2016

*****
Great all round experience

Reviewed by Mr McGeoch on 04/10/2016

*****
This holiday has given us the opportunity to see some of the most beautiful villages in Provence under our own steam and away from the crowds you'd find on a typical coach trip The exercise of cycling during the day is a great appetite-sharpener for enjoying some excellent food and local wines in the evening.

Reviewed by Mr Baker on 21/09/2016

*****
The two holidays we have had with Headwater were extremely enjoyable. Our first was a walking holiday and the second was a cycling holiday.

Reviewed by Mr Willard on 29/06/2016

*****
We had a fantastic holiday, The scenery, food and accomodation were great. Although we are both pretty fit my wife isn't such a keen cyclist but she really enjoyed this. The reps were really helpful when my wife wanted to swap to an E-bike towards the end when it got really hot, and now she wants to go again which I never thought would happen! I would really recommend this holiday and the E- bikes for those less enthusiastic about cycling

Reviewed by Mrs Ainscough on 21/06/2016

*****
Great cycling location with generally very quiet roads, beautiful countryside and pretty villages perched on hilltops - definitely a great way to explore the region - you can smell the lavender fields and really enjoy the countryside. Both Keith and Claire were excellent reps - really friendly, helpful and flexible in every way. The food at Dame L'Oie in Perne la Fontaine was superb as was the food at Hotel de Sable. Quality of the bikes was very good. The itinerary for the rest day at Maubec was a little underwhelming as we felt the villages weren't that picturesque with few options for coffee/stop-offs and only managed to get lunch at the last stop in Robion. We would have preferred to go back to Lacoste and Menerbes which we had whizzed through the day before.

Departure dates & prices

May 2017 departuresTour only 
May 13$1905
May 15$1905
May 17$1905
May 19$1905
May 21$1905
May 23$1905
May 25$1905
May 27$1905
May 29$1905
May 31$1905
June 2017 departuresTour only 
Jun 2$1860
Jun 4$1860
Jun 6$1860
Jun 8$1860
Jun 10$1860
Jun 12$1860
Jun 14$1905
Jun 16$1905
Jun 18$1905
Jun 20$1905
Jun 22$1905
Jun 24$1905
Jun 26$1905
Jun 28$1905
Jun 30$1905
July 2017 departuresTour only 
Jul 2$1905
Jul 4$1905
Jul 6$1905
Jul 8$1905
Jul 10$1965
Jul 12$1965
Jul 14$1965
Jul 16$1965
Jul 18$1965
Jul 20$1965
Jul 22$1965
Jul 24$1965
Jul 26$1965
Jul 28$1965
Jul 30$1965
August 2017 departuresTour only 
Aug 1$1965
Aug 3$1965
Aug 5$1965
Aug 7$1965
Aug 9$1965
Aug 11$1965
Aug 13$1965
Aug 15$1965
Aug 17$1965
Aug 19$1965
Aug 21$1965
Aug 23$1965
Aug 25$1965
Aug 27$1965
Aug 29$1965
Aug 31$1965
September 2017 departuresTour only 
Sep 2$1860
Sep 4$1860
Sep 6$1860
Sep 8$1860
Sep 10$1860
Sep 12$1795
Sep 14$1795
Sep 16$1795
Sep 18$1795
Sep 20$1795
Sep 22$1795
Sep 24$1795
Sep 26$1795
Sep 28$1795
Sep 30$1795
October 2017 departuresTour only 
Oct 2$1795
Oct 4$1795
Oct 6$1795
Oct 8$1795
Oct 10$1795
Oct 12$1795
Oct 14$1795

Holiday details

Holiday type

Self-guided cycling, hotel-to-hotel. Managed locally by Headwater employed rep.

Departures

Every two days from 13 May '17 to 14 Oct '17, for 7 days (6 nights). This holiday departs every 2 days, however non-standard arrivals and altered itineraries may be possible - please call for prices.

Meals

All continental breakfasts and 4 evening meals included.

Other details

Please see our Planning your holiday and What's included in the price? pages for additional information. Please call us for single room supplements, room upgrade options and child prices.

Starting your tour

Transfers included from Avignon TGV train station at 13:17, and back to Avignon TGV train station at 11:20.

Enquire about this holiday

Simply complete the form below and a member of our sales team will contact you (when it's most convenient for you) to provide availability information, travel options and additional information.

We'd like to keep you informed of our latest news and special offers. Please tick here if you'd rather not receive our free e-newsletter.
We can call you when it's most convenient for you, or contact you by email if you'd prefer. Morning calls will be between 9:00-13:00, afternoon calls between 13:00-17:00, and evening calls after 17:00.
Let us know any queries you might have about departure dates, similar holidays or tailor-made options.

 

Back to tabs menu

Back to top

  • ATOL Protected (No. 9957)
  • IATA Registered
  • ABTA Member (No. W1593)
  • Relaxed activity holidays since 1985

We love to chat about our holidays

call us: 1-800-567-6286 or email: info@breakaway-adventures.com

SitemapPrivacy & cookiesBack to top