France : Provence

Vineyards of Vaucluse Cycling

Trip code: C08PV 4.8 (17 reviews)

Self-guided cycling

8 nights,
hotel-to-hotel

Level: 1+
Leisurely plus

10.0Kg CO2e

Headwater
Navigation App

Optional
e-bike hire

SUMMARY

  • Easy interest-packed cycling on Provencal plains and foothills
  • Famous Cotes du Rhone vineyards: Gigondas, Beaumes-de-Venise, Vacqueyras
  • Extensive Roman remains at Vaison-la- Romaine and UNESCO Orange
  • Colourful Provencal markets; numerous wine festivals; some of the prettiest villages in France
  • Friendly, family-run hotels, most with private pools; good local cuisine

WHAT'S INCLUDED?

  • 8 nights accommodation
  • All continental breakfasts and 6 evening meals
  • Bike fitting and briefing at the start of your holiday
  • Headwater navigation app
  • Bike hire included
  • Luggage transfers between hotels

TRIP DESCRIPTION

In the heart of Provence, the Vaucluse is steeped in history. Originally Celtic, it was conquered by the Romans and is now rich in well-preserved Roman remains, especially at Orange and Vaison-la-Romaine where the large site is comparable to Pompeii. The skyline is dominated by the majestic silhouette of the Dentelles de Montmirail and dramatic Mont Ventoux.

On this eight night cycling holiday you get the best of both worlds: breathtaking scenery all around combined with easy pedalling on plains and gentle foothills dotted with lavender, orchards and the famous Cotes du Rhone vineyards. The towns and villages you pass through are particularly picturesque with their old quarters, weekly markets and chateaux.

We've arranged especially good evening meals with opportunities to sample both gourmet and local delicacies. Our hotels, which are all family-run, pride themselves on their Provencal cuisine and cellars full of fine local wines - one of which is located between the three world-famous vineyards of Beaumes de-Venise, Gigondas and Vacqueyras.

The Vaison La Romaine dance festival takes place in Vaison from 19-27 July 2020. Join in the fun or come at a quieter time!

Terrain

Your route takes you along quiet country lanes across plains and gentle foothills, with breath-taking views of Mt Ventoux acting as your backdrop for the week.

READ MORE

DAY-BY-DAY ITINERARY

 

Day 1: Arrive in Pernes-les-Fontaines

Your 3 star hotel is just north of the village of Pernes-les-Fontaines. Plenty of time to relax and explore the hotel 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 Bedoin (33km/20.5mi)

Leave Pernes-les- Fontaines this morning and head to the popular village of Saint-Didier, where you can opt to make the climb up the hill to the medieval settlement of Venasque (one of the prettiest villages in France) with its three Saracen towers. You'll then follow lanes and tracks up past Malemort-du-Comtat and then dropping down into the medieval village of Mazan with its church wall that is made up of more than 60 Roman sarcophagi. Continue on through the vines with a back drop of Mont Ventoux as you climb steadily towards Bedoin.

elevation

You stay at Hotel des Pins.

hotel details



Hotel des Pins, Bedoin

HOTEL WEBSITE      TRIP ADVISOR

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


Set among the pines at the very foot of Mt Ventoux, and just outside the lively village of Bedoin (popular among cyclists as the gateway to the mountain), is Hotel des Pins. This property perfectly blends the traditional and the modern with the outside boasting wooden shutters and a terracotta tile roof while inside each of the stylish rooms and suites are individually decorated in a contemporary style. Some have 4-poster or canopy beds, while upgraded rooms add balconies or terraces. There's also an elegant restaurant along with a bar, a lounge, and a patio. Other features include pine-shaded gardens, an outdoor swimming pool and a space for massages.

Room upgrades: Confort / Prestige Room , Suite (Junior/Deluxe/Seven) or Suite (Cerise) .
Prestige rooms have a balcony or terrace, twin beds or a double bed, and a bath. The Cerise suite is made up of two connecting rooms, and can host up to five people. It also features a balcony and a large wooden terrace. The Junior suite stretches over two floors, with a bedroom on the ground floor, and an elegant bathroom with a bath on the first floor. Deluxe Suite comprises an elegant bedroom and a bathroom with a ceiling shower. This suite also boasts an attractive wooden terrace and a Bang & Olufsen music player.

Day 3: At Bedoin (Optional) (19km/11.8mi)

Explore the lively village of Bedoin, named for the 8th century Bedouins who settled there and home to the imposing church of Saint-Antonin, with its unique Spanish style - so different from any other in Provence. Bedoin is also the gateway to Mont Ventoux for more hardy cyclists seeking a challenge! Follow established cycle routes to the Chateau Pesquie, which offers everything from a stroll in the vines, to a guided cellar tour, to a tasting, to a full picnic lunch in the gardens.

elevation

You stay at Hotel des Pins.

hotel details



Hotel des Pins, Bedoin

HOTEL WEBSITE      TRIP ADVISOR

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


Set among the pines at the very foot of Mt Ventoux, and just outside the lively village of Bedoin (popular among cyclists as the gateway to the mountain), is Hotel des Pins. This property perfectly blends the traditional and the modern with the outside boasting wooden shutters and a terracotta tile roof while inside each of the stylish rooms and suites are individually decorated in a contemporary style. Some have 4-poster or canopy beds, while upgraded rooms add balconies or terraces. There's also an elegant restaurant along with a bar, a lounge, and a patio. Other features include pine-shaded gardens, an outdoor swimming pool and a space for massages.

Room upgrades: Confort / Prestige Room , Suite (Junior/Deluxe/Seven) or Suite (Cerise) .
Prestige rooms have a balcony or terrace, twin beds or a double bed, and a bath. The Cerise suite is made up of two connecting rooms, and can host up to five people. It also features a balcony and a large wooden terrace. The Junior suite stretches over two floors, with a bedroom on the ground floor, and an elegant bathroom with a bath on the first floor. Deluxe Suite comprises an elegant bedroom and a bathroom with a ceiling shower. This suite also boasts an attractive wooden terrace and a Bang & Olufsen music player.

Day 4: Bedoin to Vaison-la-Romaine (32km/19.9mi)

After the picturesque perched village of Crillon-le-Brave you swing across the gentle Carpentras plain to Caromb, a partly fortified little town. A short, steep ascent takes you to the Lac du Paty, hidden amongst the trees. Continue downhill through forest, vineyards and cherry orchards to the fortified village of Malaucene (where Pope Clement V once lived). The final section is a flat bowl along country lanes to the Roman garrison town of Vaison la Romaine.

elevation

You stay at Hotel Burrhus.

hotel details



Hotel Burrhus, Vaison la Romaine

HOTEL WEBSITE      TRIP ADVISOR

Shops
Bank
Mastercard
AmEx
Hairdryer
WiFi
TV


The Hotel Burrhus boasts a fantastic location, right in the very heart of Vaison la- Romaine.

Day 5: At Vaison-la-Romaine

Vaison has France's most extensive Roman remains including a 6000-seat theatre, baths, houses and streets. There's a fine 13th century cathedral and cloisters, castle ruins and fortified gateway, and squares with cool central fountains. The two halves of the town are joined by a 2000-year-old single arch Roman bridge which, amazingly, is still in use; it's well worth crossing to explore the narrow mediaeval streets and little squares of the Haute Ville.

You stay at Hotel Burrhus.

hotel details

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Hotel Burrhus, Vaison la Romaine

HOTEL WEBSITE      TRIP ADVISOR

Shops
Bank
Mastercard
AmEx
Hairdryer
WiFi
TV


The Hotel Burrhus boasts a fantastic location, right in the very heart of Vaison la- Romaine.

Day 6: Vaison-la-Romaine to Vacqueyras (25km/15.5mi)

Today it's via Roaix and across the Ouveze River to mediaeval Seguret - officially ranked among the most beautiful villages in France; its streets hug the slopes of the Dentelles de Montmirail. There's a 15th century fountain, a 14th century belfry and a ruined feudal castle offering far-reaching views out across the Rhone Valley. Then it's on through pretty Sablet and extensive vineyards to our friendly little hotel near Vacqueyras.

elevation

You stay at Hotel Montmirail.

hotel details

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Hotel Montmirail , Vacqueyras

HOTEL WEBSITE      TRIP ADVISOR

Mastercard
AmEx
Pool
Hairdryer
WiFi
TV
Minibar
Safe
Tea/coffee


Just a short distance from both Vacqueyras and Gigondas is the Hotel Montmirail, a handsome 19th century villa tucked away between vines and olive trees at the foot of the lace like peaks of the Dentelles de Montmirail. The hotel features a fine-dining restaurant and a relaxed bar, as well as a swimming pool and an expansive patio in the garden. Standard rooms feature free Wi-Fi, satellite TV and minibar, while upgraded rooms are decorated in a French country style and have views of the garden and pool.

Please note that there are no twin rooms at this hotel.

Room upgrades: Comfort Room or Superior Room.
The Comfort room is slightly larger and offers views over the hills. The Superior room is larger still and offers a veiw of the garden and pool.

Day 7: At Vacqueyras

Orange, a thriving regional centre, is 20km away. It has two marvellous UNESCO World Heritage Sites, an elaborately decorated triumphal arch and a beautifully preserved Roman theatre which hosts regular evening performances; your hotelier will help organise a taxi. Alternatively, why not simply relax by the hotel pool?

elevation

You stay at Hotel Montmirail.

hotel details



Hotel Montmirail , Vacqueyras

HOTEL WEBSITE      TRIP ADVISOR

Mastercard
AmEx
Pool
Hairdryer
WiFi
TV
Minibar
Safe
Tea/coffee


Just a short distance from both Vacqueyras and Gigondas is the Hotel Montmirail, a handsome 19th century villa tucked away between vines and olive trees at the foot of the lace like peaks of the Dentelles de Montmirail. The hotel features a fine-dining restaurant and a relaxed bar, as well as a swimming pool and an expansive patio in the garden. Standard rooms feature free Wi-Fi, satellite TV and minibar, while upgraded rooms are decorated in a French country style and have views of the garden and pool.

Please note that there are no twin rooms at this hotel.

Room upgrades: Comfort Room or Superior Room.
The Comfort room is slightly larger and offers views over the hills. The Superior room is larger still and offers a veiw of the garden and pool.

Day 8: Vacqueyras to Pernes-les-Fontaines (32km/19.9mi)

Your final day's cycling takes you through the Cotes du Rhone vineyards, stops first at charming Vacqueyras where there are lots of caves. From here there's an optional detour to mediaeval Carpentras - with a cathedral, atmospheric cobbled streets and weekly (Fri) market - before returning to fountain-filled Pernes-les-Fontaines.

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 your holiday page for full details.

Extending your holiday

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

hotel details



Hotel Normandie , Auxerre

HOTEL WEBSITE      TRIP ADVISOR

Mastercard
AmEx
Hairdryer
WiFi
TV
Aircon
Safe


This hotel was originally a maison bourgeoise until it was converted into a hotel by an ex-patissier! It has now been in Mme Ramise's family for over 45 years.

The hotel only provides breakfast, although a la carte room service is possible (very reasonably priced and a good selection of hot and cold dishes). However, it's fun to explore the lovely town of Auxerre and there are plenty of good restaurants in all price ranges within 5-15 minutes walk.

There's a public swimming pool in the town and a sauna at the hotel (approx 7€). There is a secure closed garage behind the hotel (5€ per day) or free parking in front (ask at reception).

Room upgrades: Privilege Room.
The Privilege room has a very spacious bedroom with king size bed.

Extra nights: Please contact us for 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.

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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.



Hotel Central, Avignon

HOTEL WEBSITE      TRIP ADVISOR

Mastercard
Visa
AmEx
Hairdryer
WiFi
TV
Aircon
Tea/coffee


Located in the heart of the Old Town of Avignon, the Hotel Central is situated in the historic centre of Avignon and close to the Palais des Papes and the famous Saint Benezet bridge. Hotel Central offers comfortable rooms with authentic charm. There is a pretty terrace where you can have drinks or enjoy breakfast.

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 £338.

These flight inclusive prices are based on two people sharing. Single supplement from £338.

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 £11 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

We found our Headwater holiday to have been well organised and thoroughly enjoyable and we would certainly consider using the company again. The admin team (Joe Chaplin) was very helpful with our booking and kept in touch over the intervening months. Stuart, our rep was a delight and all the accommodation was excellent.

Route was very suitable for us and we had lots of information from the navigation app. Well done Headwater.

Robert Murray, 1 Sep 2023

 

Excellent cycling holiday in incredibly beautiful surroundings

CULLEN, 21 Jun 2023

 

Had a lovely time, got what we expected and Joey the Rep was absolutely fantastic. The only area of complaint was the Hotel des pins. Location and room fine, Food not that great. We could clearly see from the other guests that the food was very good but we got a set menu which was not great. On both nights they forgot I had a Nut and Fish allergy which wouldn't have been to big an issue if they had provided me with a reasonable replacement but on the second night the starter, Fish and Salad was replaced with just salad for me. The main course was poor compared to the other hotels and then they finished me off with stewed apple sprinkled with nuts, good job my allergy is mild. Having said all that lets not forget that the Hotel Montmirail was absolutely fantastic.

Mr Winskill, 22 Sep 2019

 

A wonderful cycling holiday that had some hilly sections so the option of the e bike was great for the less fit, especially in the summer heat. Each hotel offered excellent service and food and the pools were lovely. We enjoyed the variety of quiet countryside hotels and the bustle of staying in Vaison with the fantastic Roman ruins to visit. The routes take you on quiet roads through vineyards and quaint villages with beautiful scenery every day.

Mrs Hulme, 19 Aug 2019

 

Our third cycling holiday ,great fun as always, and nice to travel around another different area.

Mr Woods, 31 May 2019

 

This was an excellent holiday through lovely countryside. The route was hillier than we had expected for a 1+ bike rating but the day mileages were short so it evened out. For those of us aged over 70 and with a temperature of 33C, the climb out of Caromb on Day 4 was indeed memorable! But there were some lovely long descents to compensate.

We had no problems finding coffee and lunch stops as there were lots of bars and cafes en route, even on Sundays and Mondays.

Accommodation was mixed, as always with Headwater, but every hotel had its excellent upsides.

We spent two extra days in Vaison and took the bus into Orange on one of them to see the splendid Roman theatre there. 10:03 from the top of the road beyond Tourist Info, the journey takes an hour and there are buses back at 16:15, 17:15 and 18:15.



Dr Brech, 14 Sep 2018

 

Wonderful holiday in a beautiful region with an excellent and charming rep. Marred by the anxiety for me (Jane) over the working of the new app, battery running out before reaching the destination and the lack of good and accurate back up directions. The apps need a bit of tweaking but will be good. Attachment to bikes need to be stronger and visible in strong sunlight.

Dr Atkinson, 6 Sep 2018

 

An excellent and varied exploration of the Vaucluse region of Provence, with opportunites to visit ancient Roman ruins, mediaeval villages and legendary Cotes-du-Rhone vineyards.

Mr Katesmark, 17 Aug 2018

 

Really enjoyed the holiday and out rep Mark was extremely pleasant and helpful. As we were 4 ladies we had requested twin rooms and this was confirmed by Headwater. However this was not the case in three of the hotels which provided double beds with single duvets. This was a 1+ cycle and we had elected for electric bikes which proved to be the right choice.

Mrs Mackenzie, 7 Aug 2018

 

A good concept for a cycling holiday and overall, a lovely and enjoyable time. Fabulous scenery and well selected routes to follow.

Mr Hughes, 13 May 2018

 

Despite being of the same modest grading as our two previous HW cycling holidays, this was significantly harder, because of the heat (over 34 degrees) and some long uphill stretches, especially on the Lafare-Vaison day. However, it was worth it for the lovely scenery, the downhill bits, and the hotels, two of which had lovely pools, and some excellent food, especially at Hotel Montmirail (if only it had air-con as well!) and at La Dame d'Oie at Pernes. Plenty of opportunities to sample the Provence Rose, Muscat de Beaumes de Venise and Gigondas wines. The archaeological sites and mediaeval town at Vaison la Romaine are well worth the 'rest' day.

Mr Cross, 12 Jun 2017

 

Takes you on new journeys

Dr Garton, 10 Oct 2016

 

A wonderful taste of Provencal scenery, wine and food!

Mrs Little, 14 Sep 2016

 

Hilltop villages of Provence

This was an excellent holiday, lovely scenery and good hotels and we had a lot of fun. Days 1 and 3 are quite challenging and justify the 2 bike plus rating but the other days are not overly taxing, and there is no shame in pushing your bike up the hill into Gordes! If you start the cycling bit of this holiday on a Sunday there is an excellent market in Isles sur la Sorgue where you can get picnic supplies...although pushing the bike through the packed town was a bit challenging.(I would give this holiday 5 stars)



Vineyards of the Vaucluse

Pleasant cycling through some enjoyable countryside, and lots of good wine! Le Grand Jardin is one of the loveliest places we have stayed. The food at Castel Mireio was delicious and the service (unlike a previous reviewer we didn't find it slow) and welcome very friendly. We are not quite sure it merits anything higher than a one bike rating - some of the distances for full days cycling were a bit short (but we had done 'Hilltop Villages of Provence' the week before so this may have coloured our view). It is not a very touristy area (apart from Vaison la Romain) so many places you visit are quite quiet.

(I would give this holiday 3 stars)

Mrs Huddart, 10 Sep 2016

 

This holiday is as described. Cycling more difficult at start but definitely got easier. The hotels tended to be on the edge of villages but this didn't matter too much as they had lovely swimming pools and the weather was very hot and sunny.

Mr Cummings, 4 Sep 2016

 

Superb cycling location with generally very quiet roads, beautiful countryside and pretty villages perched on hilltops. The reps were really helpful in every way and we enjoyed our time with them. Whilst staying at the Hermitage hotel we ate in the local town at the restaurant - Dame L'Oie which was superb. At Vaison la Romaine we ate at La Barantavelle which was a wonderful meal and far superior to the alternative restaurant in the Old Town. The most disappointing was Castel Mirei as although the owners were very helpful, both breakfasts and evening meals were very poor with extremely slow service and the room was very 'tired' with traffic noise from a side road interrupting any peace. There is however a decent sized pool and small cool sitting room with cold drinks to purchase which were very welcome.

The cycling instructions were generally easy to follow though we would welcome more distances being included between turning points and perhaps a small trip metre on the bike which we have had on other holidays with one of Headwater' s competitors.

Mrs Ramsden, 29 May 2016

 

Headwaters choice of hotels / restaurants resulted in us having some superb meals.

Mr Guthrie, 21 May 2016

 


Self-guided cycling

8 nights,
hotel-to-hotel

Level: 1+
Leisurely plus

10.0Kg CO2e

Headwater
Navigation App

Optional
e-bike hire

8 nights from £1869

CHOOSE A DEPARTURE

Call: 01606 720199

 

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