France : Provence

Hilltop Villages of Provence Cycling - Short Break

Trip code: C04PL 5 (6 reviews)

Self-guided cycling

4 nights,
hotel-to-hotel

Level: 2+
Moderate plus

10.0Kg CO2e

Headwater
Navigation App

Optional
e-bike hire

SUMMARY

  • A lavender-scented patchwork of sun drenched vineyards, olive groves and apple orchards
  • Medieval 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
  • Based on our popular 6 night, Hilltop Villages of Provence Cycling

WHAT'S INCLUDED?

  • 4 nights accommodation
  • All continental breakfasts and 2 evening meals
  • Bike fitting and briefing at the start of your holiday
  • Headwater navigation app
  • Bike hire included
  • Luggage transfers between hotels

TRIP DESCRIPTION

On this four 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 and quaint cafes.

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.

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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.

You stay at Hotel l.

hotel details

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Hotel l’Hermitage, Pernes-les-Fontaines

HOTEL WEBSITE      TRIP ADVISOR

Mastercard
Pool
WiFi
TV
Aircon


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.



Extra nights: Please contact us for details.

Day 2: Pernes-les-Fontaines to Roussillon (46km/28.6mi or 50km/31.1mi)

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, the starting point of the Ochre Trail.

elevation

You stay at Les Sables d.

hotel details



Les Sables d’Ocre, Roussillon

HOTEL WEBSITE      TRIP ADVISOR

Mastercard
Pool
Hairdryer
WiFi
TV
Aircon


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.

Day 3: Roussillon to Fontaine de Vaucluse (45km/28.0mi)

After breakfast, Then head 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. 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 Menerbes, made famous by the books of Peter Mayle, and a great place to stop for lunch. Then continue to Oppede le Vieux, another perched village before to reach Fontaine de Vaucluse.

elevation

You stay at Hotel du Poete.

hotel details

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Hotel du Poete, Fontaine-de-Vaucluse

HOTEL WEBSITE      TRIP ADVISOR

Mastercard
AmEx
Pool
Hairdryer
WiFi
TV
Minibar
Aircon
Safe
Tea/coffee


Owned by a celebrated wine producer and occupying a converted water mill by the River Sorgue, is the wonderful Hotel du Poete. Offering modern rooms and a peaceful atmosphere while at the same time being centrally located in the popular village of Fontaine-de-Vaucluse, the hotel also has an outdoor swimming surrounded by millstreams which have been turned into a tranquil water garden.

Room upgrades: Melodie Room, Symphonie Room, Prelude (Suite Junior) or Adagio (Suite Junior).
The Melodie rooms are slightly larger. Some have twin beds and some also face the garden. The Symphonie room 'Au Fil de l'Eau' is larger again and features a lovely terrace overlooking the water garden. The Junior suites overlook the garden and the swimming pool and are larger again, each having a small lounge area. The Adagio room also features a balcony with seating.

Day 4: Fontaine de Vaucluse to Pernes-les-Fontaines (33km/20.5mi)

This morning you ride to L'Isle sur la Sorgue, then through apple country where you'll see orchards aplenty. Following the lanes brings you to the mediaeval town of Le Thor. 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.

elevation

You stay at Hotel du Poete.

hotel details



Hotel l’Hermitage, Pernes-les-Fontaines

HOTEL WEBSITE      TRIP ADVISOR

Mastercard
Pool
WiFi
TV
Aircon


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.



Extra nights: Please contact us for details.

Day 5: Leave Pernes-les-Fontaines

Please note that cycling helmets are compulsory in France for children under 12. As we are unable to provide these, we strongly recommend that you bring your own.

Please see our Planning you holiday page for full details.

Extending your holiday

If you'd like to extend your trip with extra hotel nights we recommend: Hotel Carre Vieux Port, Marseille; Hotel Le Grimaldi, Nice; Hotel Bristol, Avignon.

hotel details

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Hotel Carre Vieux Port, Marseille

HOTEL WEBSITE      TRIP ADVISOR

Shops
Market
Bank
Cash machine
Mastercard
AmEx
Hairdryer
WiFi
TV
Aircon
Tea/coffee


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.

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Hotel Le Grimaldi, Nice

HOTEL WEBSITE      TRIP ADVISOR

Shops
Market
Bank
Cash machine
Mastercard
AmEx
Hairdryer
WiFi
TV
Minibar
Aircon
Safe


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 three 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.

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Hotel Bristol, Avignon

HOTEL WEBSITE      TRIP ADVISOR

Mastercard
AmEx
Hairdryer
WiFi
TV
Minibar
Aircon
Safe
Tea/coffee


Situated just inside the city walls and a stone's throw from the station, the Hotel 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.

CHOOSE A DEPARTURE DATE

Show prices including flights and onward rail?  

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£1259
£1589
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

These tour only prices are based on two people sharing. Single supplement from £236.

These flight inclusive prices are based on two people sharing. Single supplement from £236.

OPTIONAL UPGRADES
  • Flights from Heathrow to Marseille with British Airways, then onward rail to the region.
  • Other flights, including regional departures
  • Alternative flights, including regional departures
  • Business/club/first class fares
  • First class rail
  • Electric bikes
  • Room upgrades and extra nights at selected hotels
TRAVEL DETAILS

Our aim is to provide holidays that are unbeatable for choice and flexibility. We've listed our most popular travel options below, however you aren't limited to these - we can tailor-make virtually any holiday to suit.

Air-rail prices include our standard flights, onward rail and station transfers
Out: British Airways Heathrow to Marseille then rail Marseille to Avignon TGV and transfer to hotel 30 minutes Return: Transfer to station 30 minutes then rail Avignon TGV to Marseille then British Airways Marseille to Heathrow

Business/club/first class seats are available on request.

First class rail is available at £12 per person return.

Alternative Air Travel
Alternative flights, onward rail to your holiday area, and connecting private transfers can be arranged from most UK airports. If you would like to use one of the many 'low cost' airlines, we can book these on your behalf. We can also book UK shuttles to connect with your onward flight, please call for details and prices.

Eurostar
We can also book connecting daily Eurostar services for customers preferring not to fly, from London and Ashford in Kent. Please call for details and prices.

Self drive
We can arrange various channel crossings for you. Please call for details and prices.

Alternative transfers
If you require alternative transfers (because you will be arriving at a different time to our standard flights), then we can usually arrange these for you (there may be an additional charge).

To find out more about the travel options available call our sales team on 01606 720199, use our live webchat (we're open until 10pm today) or email sales@headwater.com

Should you require overnight airport accommodation, airport parking or even a uniformed chauffeur to take your car from your departure terminal and park it for you, we can arrange this for you through Holiday Extras. You can book airport parking, airport hotels and executive lounges through their website or contact us for further details. Early booking is recommended to obtain the best availability and prices.

REVIEWS

This seemed like a cut-above in terms of service. It really felt like the personnel genuinely cared and wanted to help make the holiday top class. Our requests re food, an extra night in the hotel and queries about the bikes were all handled quickly and well. The hilltop villages were beautiful. I thought the towns in the valley were sometimes busier than I expected but I think that is just normal pressure of population growth. I thought overall it was a little pricey but then again we were very well looked after so maybe fair.

Keith Russell, 21 May 2024

 

Cycling through the picturesque villages of Provence was a wonderful holiday - can?ǨѢt recommend enough.

Stephen Dickinson, 5 Aug 2023

 

Our Headwater experience was fantastic. Everything was booked for us bar a short coach trip which Headwater explained clearly what to do and two evening meals which our agent booked for us when asked for his recommendations. We underestimated how long the cycling would take given the beauty of the places we were cycling through and us wanting to stop and explore! The distances were very manageable however and gave us time to relax at the pool before supper!

Rachael Henshilwood, 20 Jul 2023

 

Fabulous holiday made perfect by hiring the electric bikes as it was hilly and the electric bikes made the whole biking experience really enjoyable. The scenery and hotels were super and we were really well looked after.

Mrs Farthing, 28 May 2022

 

Excellent short break in a beautiful region of France. Just the right balance if cycling and relaxation with my teenage daughter.

Mrs Sawday, 16 Oct 2017

 

We had a great experience with Headwater, cycling the hill-tops of Provence in 35-40C heat. The Reps were great;, the bikes eminently suitable for the route; the hotels generally good; the food superb; and we both enjoyed the few days that we had.

Mr Reade, 1 Aug 2017

 


Self-guided cycling

4 nights,
hotel-to-hotel

Level: 2+
Moderate plus

10.0Kg CO2e

Headwater
Navigation App

Optional
e-bike hire

4 nights from £1259

CHOOSE A DEPARTURE

Call: 01606 720199

 

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