France : Alsace

Landscapes of the Luberon Cycling

Trip code: C08PL 4.4 (21 reviews)

Self-guided cycling

8 nights,
hotel-to-hotel

Level: 2
Moderate

10.0Kg CO2e

Headwater
Navigation App

Optional
e-bike hire

SUMMARY

  • Vineyards, olive groves and apple orchards, punctuated by canals and clear, flowing rivers
  • Perched villages; medieval 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 19th century manor house and a charming Provencal farmhouse

WHAT'S INCLUDED?

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

TRIP DESCRIPTION

This eight night cycling 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 medieval towns and charming perched villages such as Gordes and Oppede le Vieux, 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 medieval 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 medieval Saint-Saturnin-les-Apt, overlooked by sprawling castle remains and two 17th century windmills, you freewheel down to the medieval 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 Oppede le Vieux and Lacoste, and on through to sleepy Maubec.

You stay in a wonderful mix of hotels this week. Hotel l'Hermitage offers a relaxing stay in a 19th century 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.

Terrain

The cycling is mostly on plains or gentle foothills and we have used the quietest possible lanes to link the towns and villages. There are only occasional (unavoidable) short stretches on major roads. One or two parts of the countryside are fairly hilly, so take your time on the steeper climbs and admire the wonderful long-distance views.

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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.

You stay at Hotel l'Hermitage.

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 2: Pernes-les-Fontaines to Les Imberts (30km/18.6mi or 35km/21.7mi)

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 cafes and is a great place to stop for lunch before heading on to the charming, medieval village of Fontaine-de-Vaucluse. Visit the largest spring in France, or potter around the handful of quaint shops and cafes, 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.

elevation

You stay at Mas de la Senancole.

hotel details



Mas de la Senancole, Les Imberts/Gordes

HOTEL WEBSITE      TRIP ADVISOR

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


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 Provencal 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.

Room upgrades: Room with Terrace or Roussillon Room.
Terrace rooms feature direct access to the outside and have a small seating area with sun-loungers.

Day 3: At Les Imberts (Optional) (9km/5.6mi)

Walk or cycle to the famous, medieval 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 Senanque. Guided tours are available in the afternoon, or pay an early morning visit for the chance to explore at your leisure.

elevation

You stay at Mas de la Senancole.

hotel details



Mas de la Senancole, Les Imberts/Gordes

HOTEL WEBSITE      TRIP ADVISOR

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


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 Provencal 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.

Room upgrades: Room with Terrace or Roussillon Room.
Terrace rooms feature direct access to the outside and have a small seating area with sun-loungers.

Day 4: Les Imberts to Apt (33km/20.5mi or 37km/23.0mi)

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 medieval town of Apt, famous for its crystallised fruits and traditional pottery.

elevation

You stay at Hotel Sainte Anne.

hotel details



Hotel Sainte Anne, Apt

HOTEL WEBSITE      TRIP ADVISOR

Mastercard
Hairdryer
WiFi
TV
Aircon


Ideally situated in a former 19th century 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.

Room upgrades: Comfort Luxury Room or Junior Suite.
Confort Luxury rooms are larger with small balcony.

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.

You stay at Hotel Sainte Anne.

hotel details



Hotel Sainte Anne, Apt

HOTEL WEBSITE      TRIP ADVISOR

Mastercard
Hairdryer
WiFi
TV
Aircon


Ideally situated in a former 19th century 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.

Room upgrades: Comfort Luxury Room or Junior Suite.
Confort Luxury rooms are larger with small balcony.

Day 6: Apt to Fontaine de Vaucluse (44km/27.3mi)

This morning your route follows a 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 to the wonderful villages of Menerbes and Oppede le Vieux. From the village you then head on through the centre of the Luberon with views up to the perched villages of Lacoste, as you wind your way to Fontaine de Vaucluse and your hotel.

elevation

You stay at Hotel du Poete.

hotel details



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 7: At Fontaine de Vaucluse (optional) (30km/18.6mi)

Take a circular ride past the orchards and meadows to the pretty villages of Lagnes. Alternatively you can spend your day in L'Isle sur la Sorgue which is just few km ride from your hotel. 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. Or you could take a taxi to Saint-Remy-de-Provence, with its delightful old town, Roman site and monastery.

elevation

You stay at Hotel du Poete.

hotel details



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 8: 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 l'Hermitage.

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 9: 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



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.



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.



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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These tour only prices are based on two people sharing. Single supplement from £470.

These flight inclusive prices are based on two people sharing. Single supplement from £470.

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 open again 9am Monday) 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

The holiday met our expectations. All good apart from we would have liked to have met local Headwater contact and have a phone number for the duration of the holiday. It was suggested a WhatsApp group be set up with Loic (who seemed to work for another company?) and another member of Headwater, We only got Loic and he was busy with other matters.
Also times of arrival of "someone" for briefing and meal transfer on the first, last and departure. I was left feeling it might not happen. It all did so I need not have worried and everyone was very kind.
I was stressed at the beginning and end as we had to take Taxi, Plane, bus, train and taxi. There was plenty of time to make the connections and they did all work.


Philip Hodgson, 21 Sep 2023

 

Very enjoyable with an interesting & varied itinerary. Felt support was reliable & there if needed.

Lesley Haresnape, 19 Sep 2023

 

Booking food options or giving food option in Apt would have been helpful.



Tyler Borgwardt, 24 Aug 2023

 

A fabulous cycling holiday with beautiful countryside, especially the May flowers. The fields of poppies were spectacular and the routes planned by Headwater allowed full appreciation of the Provençal spring. One thing to be aware of is that Le Couvent in Apt does not allow check in before 5.00pm: something that would be good to know before turning up at 3.00, hot and sweaty and looking forward to a cooling shower. The meals arranged were great and all of the hotels were very comfortable with excellent breakfasts. Would definitely do a Headwater holiday again.

Dr Randell, 2 May 2023

 

This is a great trip through the backroads of Provence.

Mr Hall, 21 Sep 2022

 

We did the Landscapes of Thee Luberon self guided tour in July. The dinners were great and the itinerary was excellent. Special thanks to the staff at Les Imberts who helped us recover a backpack we accidentally left on the side of the road!

Mr Mison, 12 Jul 2022

 

Lovely area but Apt was a disappointment. Accommodation was clean and comfortable but nowhere to sit during the day and rooms very small also would have chosen to have had another day at first hotel and not stay in Apt for 2 days

Mrs Matthews, 7 Jul 2022

 

This was a well organised tour taking in some pretty hilltop villages. We have done several Headwater holidays, but think that this was our first '2 bike '. It was quite demanding and many locals had electric bikes, but the hills are manageable. Les Imberts is a very small place, but the suggested trip to Gordes is well worth it, but we took an easier, but longer route there to avoid the main road. We found Apt to be rather uninspiring for a 2 night stay, We looked on Trip Advisor and found a couple of good local restaurants, but there was little to do during the day. Instead we cycled to the small town of Cereste along a cycle route- but it was a demanding ride. Our last hotel on the route was very picturesque and the welcome was the best we had, but we would have liked some choice at dinner especially as they hadn't noted the dietary preferences we have noted with Headwater ( luckily I had a good lunch that day). La Pernes de la Fontaines is a very pleasant town.

We started our holiday with a night in Avignon and would recommend this. Our guide Joey contacted us the night before and made excellent recommendations for our morning in Avignon. The week we stayed was a busy one for Joey ( he could have done with some help), but his cheerfulness and enthusiasm were most welcome.

We would recommend this holiday.

Mrs Johnson, 20 Sep 2019

 

Good all round, except a cycling itinerary for the rest day at Apt would have been very welcome. The hotel at Apr lacked a Headwater blue book. The manager / owner did not seem to know about them.

Mr Chandler, 16 Sep 2019

 

Barry and I thoroughly enjoyed our experience in Provence cycling with Headwater. The only difficult thing was to get a good cup of coffee!

Ms Farlow, 12 Oct 2018

 

Our cycling holiday in the Luberon was typical Headwater style. Friendly rustic hotels, minor road routes, places to visit, great scenery and great local food and wine. Other cyclists on the same route were great company when we bumped into them.

Mr Pover, 4 Sep 2018

 

beautiful area for cycling and easy to manage distances

Ms Emms, 26 Jun 2018

 

We had a lovely holiday. The weather was perfect, the area very beautiful and interesting and the hotels were good, but we found the bikes very heavy and poorly geared for the fairly hilly nature of some of the routes.

Mrs Wood, 4 Oct 2017

 

Excellent route with just the right amount of easy flat cycling and some more strenuous hilly sections. Beautiful part of France with plenty to see and do whilst cycling. Lots of good lunch options too. Another well put together holiday which we thoroughly enjoyed.





Mrs Sanderson, 9 Sep 2016

 

We have been on a few other trips with headwater and this was our least favorite. There are a number of problems with the instructions. The area is not as scenic at the time of year we rode as others. The distances are quite short with little to do once the ride is over. There are things that need to be thought out and tips and pointers given such as availability of taxis to St. Remy and restaurant/store availability. Still a number of bugs that need to be worked out.

Mrs Tully, 3 Sep 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.

Mr Holt, 29 Aug 2016

 

A very enjoyable holiday , beautiful countryside cycling though the vineyards on small country roads , Provence was stunning , great views good food and wine one of the best Headwater holidays we have done

Mr Blain, 27 Aug 2016

 

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

Mrs Granville, 5 Aug 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.

Ms Moffat, 18 Jul 2016

 

Cycling through wonderful rural landscapes; visiting beautiful hilltop villages

Mrs Chester, 12 Jun 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.

Mr Peacock, 2 Jun 2016

 


Self-guided cycling

8 nights,
hotel-to-hotel

Level: 2
Moderate

10.0Kg CO2e

Headwater
Navigation App

Optional
e-bike hire

8 nights from £1889

CHOOSE A DEPARTURE

Call: 01606 720199

 

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