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Tours

Tour de Provence (incl. Mt Ventoux) – 2019/20

£1,225.00£1,245.00

TOUR REF: MV91 / MV21
TYPE: Road Cycling
LEVEL: Challenging/Strenuous
DATES: 
15 June – 22 June 2019
13 June – 20 June 2020
DURATION: 8 days / 7 nights
ACCOMMODATION LEVEL: Standard

Clear
  • Optional Extras

    • 180 £
    • 60 £
    • 60 £

The toughest and most iconic climb on the fearsome Tour de France is Mt Ventoux, also known as the ‘Beast of Provence’.  Tommy Simpson died whilst climbing Mt Ventoux during the Tour and his memorial is now a place cyclists ‘need’ to visit.  This superb trip includes a tour through the magnificent region of Provence as you prepare to take on the ‘Beast’.  The final day provides the options of either cycling up Mt Ventoux after riding through the stunning Gorges de la Nesque or to try and join the Cingles (for the truly eccentric, there is the option to attempt to join the Club des Cingles (literally Club of the Madmen) by cycling up Mt Ventoux from the different three start points in 24 hours!).

No other region in Europe has so much colour, flavour and vitality as Provence.  It is easy to see why the Romans scattered their arenas and theatres across the landscape, why Vincent Van Gogh was mesmerised by the light and contours of the region and why the Popes fled to Avignon in the 14th Century. Provence remains a joyous combination of vineyards, castles, mountains, rivers, lavender fields, tiny towns perched on rocky outcrops, splendid beaches and above-all French style.

This tour starts on the Cote d’Azur in the stylish town of Nice, and finishes in Marseille. It follows the stunning coastline through Antibes and Cannes before heading inland to Aix-en-Provence (the ‘City of a Thousand Fountains).  The route continues through typical Provencal countryside to the ancient Roman towns of Arles and Avignon, both on the banks of the magnificent Rhone.  The route takes in numerous stunning hilltop villages, ancient buildings, stunning mountains and gorges, vineyards, lavender fields and rivers.  

From Avignon the route heads towards Mt Ventoux.  The iconic mountain rises high above the surrounding countryside and dominates your view.  We stay near the base of the mountain in the historic town of Vaison La Romaine.  You then have the choice whether to cycle through the incredible Gorges de la Nesque and then climb Mt Ventoux from Sault or to try and join the crazy Club des Cingles!

This is a superb ride and our cycling holiday groups are always great fun. If you fancy cycling through some of the most beautiful countryside in Europe, visiting some of the most historic towns in the world and then challenging yourself against one of the toughest mountain climbs in the world, this trip is for you! 

This trip is designed to link with our Perpignan to Nice trip, if you fancy the extra miles – and more of the glorious Med!

If you would like to read other people’s comments on our holidays then check out the Customer Comments page.

Itinerary:

Day 1 – Assemble in Nice

We meet up at our hotel in central Nice, get to know each other and make sure everyone is ready to go for the following morning.  Please arrange to arrive at Nice Airport by 5pm.

Day 2 – Nice to Draguignan – 65 miles

A lovely route to get the legs working, cycling along the spectacular Cote d’Azur coastline, passing through the stylish towns of Antibes and Cannes before heading inland with some tough climbing to the town of Draguignan.

Day 3 – Draguignan to Aix-en-Provence – 64 miles 

A stunning day of cycling through gorges, classical Provencale countryside and beautiful villages.  A great chance to stroll round this historic city and see where Cezanne used to hang out!

Day 4 – Aix-en-Provence to Arles – 79 miles 

Another challenging day with some tough climbs through spectacular scenery. The route takes you through areas of outstanding natural beauty and also through the famous hilltop town of Gordes.   We stop in another historic roman city, Arles.  Arles is home to numerous roman sites including the stunning arena (which is in far better nick than the Colliseum and right in the centre of town!), the Alyscamps burial grounds, the amphitheater and the Roman baths of Constantin.

Day 5 – Arles to Avignon – 67 miles

We cross the Rhone and pass the famous Pont Du Gard bridge.  We cycle through forests and beautiful countryside before coming back to the Rhone and the city of Avignon.  Avignon replaced Rome as the home of the Popes for over a century and you must see the remarkable Palace of the Popes and the famous Pont d’Avignon.

Day 6 – Avignon to Vaison la Romaine – 40 miles

We now have a very gentle day as we approach Mt Ventoux through vineyards (Chateauneuf du Pape), valleys and lavender fields.  This is a chance to recharge the batteries ahead of the challenges facing you tomorrow.  We are staying in another historic roman town, Vaison la Romaine.  You will have time to walk around and investigate some of the many roman excavations in the town.

Day 7 – Mt Ventoux Challenge (stay Vaison la Romaine)

Option 1 – Gorges de la Nesque and Mt Ventoux from Sault – 74 miles and 2950m climbing

You cycle round the base of the mountain and then through the incredible Gorges de la Nesque.  This has to be one of the most spectacular cycle rides anywhere.  You then climb gently to the town of Sault from where you will launch your assault on Mt Ventoux.  The climb from Sault is reasonably gentle but very long.   You join the Tour de France route at Chalet Renard.  From here the trees disappear and you climb through the famous ‘moonscape’ of the Mt Ventoux summit, past the Tommy Simpson Memorial and on to the famous summit.  You then have the long and exciting descent to Malaucene!

Option 2 – Club des Cingles de Mt Ventoux – 97 miles and 5500m climbing 

It is one of the ultimate challenges in cycling. Do you have what it takes to join the Club des Cingles de Mt Ventoux (Club of Madmen of Mt Ventoux)? You have the chance to earn the club medal and certificate and forever be a ‘Graduate’ of the Cingles. You climb and descend Mt Ventoux three times, from each of the start points – Malaucene, Bedoin and finally Sault. You must complete in 24 hours and have your Cingles card stamped at each point to prove you have achieved this ultimate physical and mental challenge. Good luck!!!

Please Note: You must contact the Club des Cingles independently several weeks before the holiday, pay your entry fee and receive your Cingles card if you want to try and join the club. Bike Adventures cannot do this for you. Their website is http://www.clubcinglesventoux.org/en/.

Day 8 – Transfer to Marseille Airport

We provide a transfer to Marseille Airport for your return journey. Please arrange flights for after 12 o’clock midday.

Tour Price includes:

Hotel accommodation
Breakfast
Vehicle support
Services of leader/mechanic
Local transfers
Route information
Local transfers to/from airport/railway station

Tour Price does not include:

Lunches or evening meals
Snacks or drinks required during the day
Travel to Nice/from Marseille
Cost of any optional excursions, entrance fees etc

Get In Touch

If you have any questions about any of our trips, please call us on 0800 002 9559 or send us a message below.