Landscapes of the Luberon Cycling

From $2038 per person

****# Based on 5 customer reviews
CC BY Ming - Yen Hsu / flickr
  • Vineyards, olive groves and apple orchards, punctuated by canals and clear, flowing rivers
  • Perched villages; Mediaeval towns and castles
  • Mountain backdrops and the region's famous lavender scent
  • Country lanes and greenways in tranquil, unspoilt countryside
  • Wine tasting opportunities galore
  • An excellent variety of hotels including a C19 manor house and a charming Provencal farmhouse

What's included?

  • NEW for 2016
  • 8 nights, hotel-to-hotel
  • Departs Every two days from 16 Sep '16 to 14 Oct '17
  • All continental breakfasts and 6 evening meals included
  • Managed locally by Headwater employed representative
  • Sustainability rating: 91%
  • Headwater wine service
  • Route notes and maps provided
  • High quality bikes provided
  • Optional electric bikes
  • Luggage transfers between hotels

Excellent for...

E-bikes are now available for 2016! Please contact us for availability and prices.

Landscapes of the Luberon Cycling

This eight night holiday offers you a truly Provencal experience, taking in the lush countryside and mountain landscapes of beautiful Provence - the inspiration for many an artist and author, including Van Gogh, Cezanne and Picasso. Your cycle route explores the region's mediaeval towns and charming perched villages such as Gordes and Bonnieux, along with sprawling vineyards, curious caves and castle ruins, all against a vibrant backdrop of colour - think rich ochre, delicate lavender and even white cherry blossom in spring. With a number of small wine producers dotted along your route, you can stop and taste some of the region's local wine in between cycles.

Your week starts in the mediaeval town of Pernes-les-Fontaines, before taking you past pretty L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, at the foot of the Vaucluse plateau. Surrounded by the River Sorgue, this is a charming town to potter around, its narrow streets filled with quaint cafes, little antique shops, old bridges and water wheels, not to mention a bustling market every Sunday. You then move on to the town of Fontaine-de- Vaucluse, overlooked by crumbling castle ruins and home to the source of the River Sorgue. After following the Ochre Trail to explore the narrow streets and pastel-painted houses of mediaeval Saint-Saturnin-les-Apt, overlooked by sprawling castle remains and two C17 windmills, you have freewheeling down to the mediaeval town of Apt at the centre of the Luberon National Park. A greenway then leads you along the middle of the valley with views up to the famous perched villages of Bonnieux and Lacoste, and on to sleepy Maubec. Your week ends with a possible visit to Thouzon's impressive caves, carved by an underground river, before you head home from Pernes-les-Fontaines.

You stay in a wonderful mix of hotels this week. Hotel l'Hermitage offers a relaxing stay in a C19 manor house with lovely grounds and a swimming pool; Mas de la Senancole in Les Imberts is your next stop, offering Provencal-style rooms, a heated outdoor pool and a spa with sauna, hot tub and massage room; your home in Apt is the cosy Hotel Sainte Anne, a small family-run hotel just across the river from the old town; and your final stop is Bastide du Bois Breant in Maubec, with its lovely pool and woodland setting.

Day-by-day itinerary

Day 1 Arrive in Pernes-les-Fontaines

Arrive at your 3-star hotel in Pernes-les-Fontaines. Relax with a dip in the pool or explore the grounds before dinner.

Day 2 Pernes-les-Fontaines to Les Imberts 30km/19mi or 35km/22mi

Cycle alongside the Canal de Carpentras, before heading, via quiet country lanes and verdant vineyards, towards the ‘island city’ of L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, surrounded by the clear waters of the River Sorgue. This popular town offers many riverside cafés and is a great place to stop for lunch before heading on to the charming, mediaeval village of Fontaine-de-Vaucluse. Visit the largest spring in France, or potter around the handful of quaint shops and cafés, before ascending to your first, stunning view across the Luberon Valley. You then descend, amidst vineyards and olive groves, to the village of Les Imberts, just below the famous perched village of Gordes.

Day 3 At Les Imberts 9km/6mi

Walk or cycle to the famous, mediaeval perched village of Gordes today, to experience one of the best views there is over the Luberon – a patchwork of open plains, sprawling vineyards and olive groves. Explore the village and its castle and perhaps take a taxi (payable locally) up to the beautiful l’Abbaye Notre-Dame de Sénanque. Guided tours are available in the afternoon, or pay an early morning visit for the chance to explore at your leisure.

Day 4 Les Imberts to Apt 33km/20.5mi or 37km/23mi

After breakfast, set out through the tranquil countryside and make the short climb up to Roussillon and the start of the Ochre Trail. Enjoy the views, and perhaps a morning coffee, before pedalling on to Gargas to visit the vast Ochre Mines of Bruoux, and enjoy a spot of lunch. You'll then follow quiet lanes past vineyards - perhaps stopping to taste and purchase some of the local wines - up to the perched village of Saint-Saturnin-les-Apt, before freewheeling down to the mediaeval town of Apt, famous for its crystallised fruits and traditional pottery.

Day 5 At Apt

Today explore Apt's old town, wandering along the narrow alleyways to the ancient Cathedral of Ste Anne, which has its origins in Roman times (the lower crypt dates back to AD 1). In addition to the town's museums and the Maison du Parc du Luberon, there are also plenty of shops, cafes and colourful Saturday and Tuesday markets selling a range of locally grown produce and traditional Provencal arts & crafts.

Day 6 Apt to Maubec 36km/22.5mi

This morning your route follows greenway (once an old railway track) alongside the River Calavon before crossing the Pont Julien, a stone bridge built in Roman times and an excellent picnic spot. Leave the greenway then to follow quiet lanes along to the wonderful village of Bonnieux, passing Chateau la Connorgue en-route (made famous by Ridley Scott's film A Good Year starring Russell Crowe), where you can stop for a tasting. from the village you then head on through the centre of the Luberon with views up to the perched villages of Lacoste and Bonnieux, as you wind your way to Maubec and your C18 hotel.

Day 7 At Maubec 28km/17.5mi

Take a circular ride past apple orchards and meadows to the pretty villages of Lagnes, Taillades (with its beautiful watermill) and Robion. Alternatively cycle out to the picture-perfect Ménerbes (made famous by the books of Peter Mayle) which Picasso, Nicolas de Staël and many other artists, musicians, comedians and writers made their home. If you prefer a day away from your bikes then take a 25 minute taxi ride (payable locally) to Saint-Rémy-de-Provence to visit the old town, 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 8 Maubec to Pernes-les-Fontaines 35km/22mi

This morning you’ll cycle past apple orchards to the small, mediaeval town of Le Thor on the banks of the River Sorgue before continuing to the hilltop town of Thouzon. Visit Castle Thouzon (an ancient fortified monastery) and explore Les Grottes de Thouzon, a 320m-long cave carved out by an underground river over 60 million years ago. After lunch, continue on to Pernes-les-Fontaines where you’ll have time to explore the mediaeval old town and the numerous ancient stone fountains.

Day 9 Leave Pernes-les-Fontaines


For a longer tour, why not consider combining this with our Côtes du Ventoux Cycling

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 saltwater 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

Mas de la Senancole   (3 Star)

Mas de la Senancole

Located in Les Imberts, just a few kilometres from the famous perched village of Gordes, with its mediaeval castle, and the Village des Bories open-air museum, is the Mas de la Senancole. Along with a garden and a heated outdoor pool, the property also offers guests a spa featuring a sauna, hot tub and massage room. Each room is decorated in the Provençal style and features air conditioning, tv and a minibar, some also have an outdoor seating area. Next door is the hotel’s restaurant L’Estellan which serves regional dishes with a contemporary twist.

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

Local facilities:

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

Hotel Sainte Anne, Apt   (3 Star)

Hotel Ste Anne in Apt

Ideally situated in a former C19 townhouse, quietly tucked away next to the old town in the authentic Place Faubourg du Ballet, is the Hotel Sainte Anne. This cosy hotel features just 7 comfortable, personalised rooms and the top floor overlooks the rooftops of the old city just across the river. Breakfast features home made breads and jams as well as fresh fruits and yoghurts. The hotel does not offer evening meals but as there are so many local restaurants to choose from, we have left your evening meal free.

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

Local facilities:

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

Nearby facilities:

  • Shops
  • Market
  • Banking / cheques cashed
  • 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 Holt on 09/09/2016

*****
A really lovely week touring a rural area of Provence. The scenery within the Luberon valley, protected by the two wooded and rocky ridges was delightful, shame we missed the lavender in bloom (late August) but the fruit trees and vineyards were pretty scenic. The grading is fair, one or two climbs to the hillside villages worth it for the views and a welcome cool drink! Accommodation on the whole, whilst modest, was acceptable, the highlights being the pool at Les Mas de Senecole and the 'Country Home' lounge at L'Hermitage. Not terribly taken with St Saturnin les Apt as a stop, either as a village and particularly unimpressed with the Hotel St Hubert. Routes well planned on country lanes and bike tracks but still offering interesting stop off points - we loved the Caves at Thouzon, not least for its cool temperatures on a hot day! Great reliable support from reps Laura and Tim.

Reviewed by Mrs Granville on 30/08/2016

*****
Great hotels and food - a great trip in a beautiful region..

Reviewed by Ms Moffat on 29/07/2016

*****
Cycling was excellent, food good, people friendly and reps also very good ad helpful. A bit disappointed with the accommodation at Hotel St Hubert. Rooms were old and quite shabby.

Reviewed by Mrs Chester on 29/06/2016

*****
Cycling through wonderful rural landscapes; visiting beautiful hilltop villages

Reviewed by Mr Peacock on 21/06/2016

***#.
The 'multi-choice' approach to answering disguises the variable nature of the accommodation and cuisine. The route notes (for cycling) were written in almost narrative style and A4 landscape which may be appropriate and helpful to walkers but were cumbersome and awkward to follow for cyclists. Some defences were clearly lifted from walking notes e.g. references to maps not available to cyclists.

Departure dates & prices

May 2017 departuresTour only 
May 13$2121
May 15$2121
May 17$2121
May 19$2121
May 21$2121
May 23$2121
May 25$2121
May 27$2121
May 29$2121
May 31$2121
June 2017 departuresTour only 
Jun 2$2072
Jun 4$2072
Jun 6$2072
Jun 8$2072
Jun 10$2072
Jun 12$2072
Jun 14$2121
Jun 16$2121
Jun 18$2121
Jun 20$2121
Jun 22$2121
Jun 24$2121
Jun 26$2121
Jun 28$2121
Jun 30$2121
July 2017 departuresTour only 
Jul 2$2121
Jul 4$2121
Jul 6$2121
Jul 8$2121
Jul 10$2181
Jul 12$2181
Jul 14$2181
Jul 16$2181
Jul 18$2181
Jul 20$2181
Jul 22$2181
Jul 24$2181
Jul 26$2181
Jul 28$2181
Jul 30$2181
August 2017 departuresTour only 
Aug 1$2181
Aug 3$2181
Aug 5$2181
Aug 7$2181
Aug 9$2181
Aug 11$2181
Aug 13$2181
Aug 15$2181
Aug 17$2181
Aug 19$2181
Aug 21$2181
Aug 23$2181
Aug 25$2181
Aug 27$2181
Aug 29$2181
Aug 31$2181
September 2017 departuresTour only 
Sep 2$2072
Sep 4$2072
Sep 6$2072
Sep 8$2072
Sep 10$2072
Sep 12$2014
Sep 14$2014
Sep 16$2014
Sep 18$2014
Sep 20$2014
Sep 22$2014
Sep 24$2014
Sep 26$2014
Sep 28$2014
Sep 30$2014
October 2017 departuresTour only 
Oct 2$2014
Oct 4$2014
Oct 6$2014
Oct 8$2014
Oct 10$2014
Oct 12$2014
Oct 14$2014

Holiday details

Holiday type

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

Departures

Every two days from 16 Sep '16 to 14 Oct '17, for 9 days (8 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 6 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.

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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.

 

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