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Hilltop Villages of Provence Cycling

Hilltop Villages of Provence Cycling

      from 6 reviews

Hilltop Villages of Provence Cycling

  • 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
  • Holiday typeSelf-guided cycling
  • Duration6 nights, hotel-to-hotel
  • Activity level
  • Excellent for
  • From $1795 per person, tour only
  • Holiday details
  • Departs Every two days from 13 May '18 to 14 Oct '18
  • All continental breakfasts and 4 evening meals included
  • Managed locally by Headwater employed representative
  • Headwater wine service
  • Route notes and maps provided
  • High quality bikes provided
  • Optional electric bikes
  • Luggage transfers between hotels

We're here to help

If you've any questions about this holiday call our sales team on 1-800-567-6286 , or email info@breakaway-adventures.com

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. (Staying at Hotel l'Hermitage, Breakfast with dinner in a local restaurant)

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. (Staying at Hotel Les Sables D'Ocres, Breakfast only)

Day 3 At Roussillon (Optional) 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. (Staying at Hotel Les Sables D'Ocres, Breakfast only)

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 Chateau 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 Menerbes, 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 Provencal style, set amongst its own woodland with a lovely swimming pool to relax beside before dinner. (Staying at La Bastide du Bois Breant,Half Board)

Day 5 At Maubec (Optional) 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-Remy-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. (Staying at La Bastide du Bois Breant, Half Board in local restaurant).

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. (Staying at Hotel l'Hermitage, Breakfast with dinner in local restaurant)

Day 7 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.

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

Swimming Pool Icon

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.

Find out more on the hotel website and read customer reviews on Tripadvisor.

Room upgrades are not available at this hotel.

Dates Double Room Single Room
01/05/2018 - 30/06/2018 £60 £100
01/07/2018 - 31/08/2018 £66 £114
01/09/2018 - 30/09/2018 £60 £100
01/10/2018 - 31/10/2018 £54 £91

All prices shown above are valid from 18/10/2017. Prices are per person per night on a bed and breakfast basis. Bike hire is not included in the above prices.

Les Sables d'Ocre, Roussillon

Swimming Pool Icon Hair dryer icon NEARBY:

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.

Find out more on the hotel website and read customer reviews on Tripadvisor.

Room upgrades are not available at this hotel.

Please contact us for extra night prices.

La Bastide du Bois Breant, Maubec

Swimming Pool Icon Hair dryer icon NEARBY:

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 Breant has been restored to provide a typically Provencal 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.

Find out more on the hotel website and read customer reviews on Tripadvisor.

Dates Quietude Room Plenitude Room
13/05/2018 - 31/10/2018 £10 £12

All prices shown above are valid from 18/11/2017. Quietude room is larger and features a super king size bed or 2 single beds. The bathroom has a double wash basin, a bath and a shower. Plenitude is bigger again and has large windows opening onto the garden and a super king-sized bed. The bathroom features a shower and a stand alone bath tub. Prices are per person per night based on two sharing.

Please contact us for extra night prices.

Extending your stay

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

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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.

Find out more on the hotel website and read customer reviews on Tripadvisor.

Room upgrades are not available at this hotel.

Please contact us for extra night prices.

Hotel Bristol, Avignon

Hair dryer icon NEARBY:

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

Find out more on the hotel website and read customer reviews on Tripadvisor.

Room upgrades are not available at this hotel.

Please contact us for extra night prices.

Hotel Le Grimaldi, Nice

Hair dryer icon

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.

Find out more on the hotel website and read customer reviews on Tripadvisor.

Room upgrades are not available at this hotel.

Please contact us for extra night prices.


Transfers included from Avignon TGV train station at 13:19, and back to Avignon TGV train station at 11:45.

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


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.

Mr Long

Great all round experience

Mr McGeoch

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.

Mrs Norfolk

Lovely holiday in beautiful part of world

Mr Baker

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

Mr Willard

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

Mrs Ainscough

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 wa... read mores 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.

Dates and prices

You can be confident that our pricing includes all the standard requirements of your holiday and many additional extras. Always ensure that you are comparing like for like when booking your holiday. Find out about The Headwater Price Promise to ensure you're getting the very best value for money.

For further details, or to check availability, speak to our sales team on 1-800-567-6286 or complete our holiday enquiry form (we'll contact you at a time that's most convenient for you).

To enquire about this holiday, or for further information, call our sales team on 1-800-567-6286 or complete our holiday enquiry form.

  • May
  • Jun
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May 2018 Tour only Availability
13th May US$1885 Check availability
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10th Jul US$1955 Check availability
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Aug 2018 Tour only Availability
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Sep 2018 Tour only Availability
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26th Sep US$1795 Check availability
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Oct 2018 Tour only Availability
2nd Oct US$1795 Check availability
4th Oct US$1795 Check availability
6th Oct US$1795 Check availability
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14th Oct US$1795 Check availability

The prices quoted for each individual departure supercede those published in our current brochures. Air prices are subject to change and we advise early booking to obtain the best prices. Please see our Planning your holiday and What's included in the price? pages for additional information.

Holiday details

Please contact us for child prices.

Holiday type
Self-guided cycling Managed locally by Headwater appointed rep.

Every two days from 13th May 2018 to 14th Oct 2018, for 6 nights.

All continental breakfasts and 4 evening meals included

Electric bikes
It is possible to hire electric bikes for this holiday at a supplement of £50 per person. As these are available on a first come first served basis, we recommend early booking to avoid disappointment. Please call us for further details.

Tailor-made travel

Tour only
Transfers included from Avignon TGV train station at 13:19, and back to Avignon TGV train station at 11:45.

How to book

For further details, or to check availability, speak to our sales team on 1-800-567-6286 or complete our holiday enquiry form (we'll contact you at a time that's most convenient for you).

To enquire about this holiday, or for further information, call our sales team on 1-800-567-6286 or complete our holiday enquiry form.

We are ATOL registered We are an ABTA member
Independent customer reviews and ratings

Due to the tailor-made nature of our holidays, we need a little more information in order for us to check availability for Hilltop Villages of Provence Cycling. 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 an accurate price. Of course there's no obligation, but if you do wish to proceed with a booking they will be on-hand to assist you throughout the process.

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