Pedal through history in France
Delve into French history on a Softies holiday, from the beaches of Normandy and the lavender fields of Provence to the majestic châteaux of the Loire.Read more
Explore the Cotes du Rhone by pedal power and sample some of the region’s finest landscapes, most charming towns and most delectable wines. The highlights of this tour include the spectacular scenery of the Chateaneuf-du-Pape vineyards, where you are never more than a short walk from an opportunity to indulge in the world famous local produce, and the city of Avignon, with its rich history as a seat of power for the catholic church. This is the perfect tour four oenophiles and history buffs alike.
Day 1 | Arrive at Avignon or Marseille and transfer to your hotel in Mazan
Relax by the pool, enjoy a glass (or bottle) from the hotels well stocked cellar and relax, ready to start your cycling on day 2.
Day 2 | Optional Round Trip: Bedoin | Distance 15 miles (25km)
Your first day on the bike takes you north to the market village of Bedoin, the most popular starting point for those avid cyclists looking to take on the climb of Mont Ventoux. Don’t worry though, our route turns back towards Mazan before the climb! You’ll spend most of the day riding through a vineyard covered landscape, with spectacular views all around. We love taking a long lunch in Bedoin and soaking up the atmosphere of this cycle-centric village.
Day 3 | Mazan to Chateauneuf-du-Pape | Distance 22 miles (36km)
Today starts with a short ride into the town of Carpentras, a real treasure trove for lovers of history and architecture. As you pass through, keep an eye out for the Port d’Orange, the fortress ruins and the Hotel Dieu in particular. From Carpentras you pick up the Via Venassia cycle path for an easy, traffic-free stretch taking you to the village of Jonquieres. A short spin further down the road lies Courthezon, where a quick stop for coffee and a cake will give keep you topped up for the last stretch through vineyards to your overnight hotel on the outskirts of Chateauneuf-du-Pape.
Day 4 | Optional Round Trip: Orange | Distance 21 miles (35km)
There’s time today to explore this charming village, built at the base of its fortress remains, overlooking the plain of Comtat and endless vineyards. Most importantly, there are wine tastings offered on virtually every street corner. If you’re itching for a ride, why not take the route up to the spectacular Roman ruins of Orange, once the Roman’s capital of the region.
Day 5 | Chateauneuf-du-Pape to Avignon | Distance 13 miles (22km)
From the hillside, we drop down into the Rhone valley and take a flat route loosely following the rivers path, following the Euro Velo 17 long distance cycling route. After a short stretch in the countryside, passing yet more vineyards, we enter the town of Sorgues, where you can find a quaint old town area. However, the real attraction today is your arrival in Avignon, which is just 6km away at this point. We advise pushing on and making the most of an afternoon to start exploring Avignon, perhaps starting with a visit to the Papal palace.
Day 6 | Rest Day in Avignon
The day is yours to explore the magnificent maze of streets that make up Avignon. Whether you want to explore the countless cafes, boutiques and bars, brush up on the cities rich history or take in some culture in the theatres, there is something for everybody in this charming town. You will still have your bikes, so you'll be able to see even more of the city by pedal power.
Day 7 | We say au revoir
Trip extensions are available upon request.
What not to Miss
This is a château hotel surrounded by a fabulous garden. Once home of the notorious Marquis de Sade, the 17th century château while being 4* luxury feels relaxed and homely. In a small Provençal village, at the base of Mont Ventoux, the highest mountain in Provence, the views are magnificent and the scenery stunning. The terrace is used for summer dining, so you can enjoy your gastronomic dinners listening to the cicadas and if very lucky, a nightingale. The hotel swimming pool is situated in the landscaped gardens and there is also a floral terrace.
Located in the heart of the prestigious vineyards of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, this turreted castle built in the late 19th century was inhabited by the Marquis de Baroncelli and frequented by many Provencal poets. The landscapes here are breath-taking, with the peak of Mont Ventoux jutting out of the vast Provencal plains and the seemingly endless rows of grapes stretching out to the horizon. The peace and quiet is only broken by the clink of wine glasses.
|2020 Departure Dates||Nights||Adult Price|
|April to October||6||£1245|
|April to October||3||£865|
|2020 Departure Dates||Nights||Adult Price|
|April to October||6||£1515|
|April to October||3||£11145|
eBike Supplement: £20 per day
Single Supplement available on request.
Please note package prices are based on Eurostar travel to Avignon. Flights into Marseille or Avignon are available but may impact the price.
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