Difficulty Rating : 6 Start: Avignon Finish: Avignon Terrain: Undulating with hills Daily Average: 53km Weekly Average: 317km Tour Type: Group Teaser: Two thousand years ago the Romans established their first province outside Italy, hence Provence.
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Two thousand years ago the Romans established their first province outside Italy, hence Provence. The Roman Remains in Provence are the most striking outside Italy, and include beautifully preserved amphitheaters in Nimes, Aries and Orange. Most famous of all is the aqueduct at Le Pont du Gard.

Our cycling tour also explores interesting wine regions including Chateauneuf du Pape, Tavel, rated by many the finest rose wine in France, and Les Baux de Provence, one of France's newest Appellations.

Our last three days are spent in the Luberon National Park, made famous in Peter Mayle's book 'A Year In Provence'.
A year in Provence painted a picture of mouthwatering Provancale cuisine featuring fresh herbs, olive oil and Garlic, and of beautiful Leberon Hills. We'll sample it all and visit the resurgent spring at Vaucuse, source of the river Sorgue, as well as the ruined fortress as Les Baux-de-provence which sits on top of a plateau surrounded by a 200 meter vertical drop.

It's hilly, but this is the most beautiful part of Provence - worth every pedal stroke.

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Day 1

Arrival Avignon

Arrive at the hotel in Villeneuve Les Avignon. Most people arrive in Avignon by TGV either from Paris or from London, although there are some direct flights to Avignon and to Nimes. Our first night is spent at the Residence les Cedres with our host, Christophe.

Day 2

Avignon - St. Rémy de Provence (22 miles / 35 km)

An easy day to get into the swing of things. We'll take advantage of a cycle path to follow the River Rhone almost as far as Aramon, where we cross the river and continue our way to St Rémy de Provence. In St Rémy we'll visit the Roman town of Glanum just outside the town. Dating from 27 BC, Glanum was part of the Romanisation of Provence, but was abandoned 300 years later after the town was overrun by the german Alamanni tribe. By the time the population left Glanum for St Remy, just a mile away, they had built two huge monuments, a mausoleum and a triumphal arch. The town itself, with its underground water systems broken and blocked, became submerged in mud and scree sediments from the nearby Alpilles, so until the 1920s Glanum had disappeared, there were just two huge Roman monuments next to the road which is now the D5. It wasn't until 1921 that anybody realised that on the other side of the road was a hidden Roman town. It's great, fascinating, and we'll go and have a look.

On the way we'll pass the asylum where Vincent Van Gogh voluntarily committed himself after his tempestuous time in Arles. St Remy itself is a very pretty town, lots of nice bars and restaurants. We'll stay at the Castelet des Alpilles, and we'll eat in the heart of St Rémy.

Day 3

St. Rémy to Cavaillon (31 miles / 50 km)

We set off due west, as if we were headed back towards the Rhone, but we turn onto the D27 to cycle through the Alpilles to Les Baux de Provence. This must be the most beautiful stretch of cycling on any Chain Gang tour. This road is reason enough for somebody to invent the bike. We follow the little river, the Gaudre de Valmouriane, winding through spectacular scenery as the Alpilles begin to build either side of us. Truly beautiful.

We've a decent climb into Les Baux, a fascinating, ruined fortress. Ruled over for centuries by (alleged) descendants of Balthazar, one of the biblical 3 Kings , this fortress was able to wreak havoc throughout Provence and as far afield as Toulouse. Eventually it became part of France, but following a rebellion was destroyed by none other than Cardinal Richelieu of Three Musketeers fame. Ten years later it was given to Monaco (the current Marquise of Les Baux is Princess Caroline of Monaco) and in the 19th century was the site for the discovery of aluminium ore, hence 'bauxite'.

Astonishingly, Les Baux became such a backwater that it effectively disappeared. Rediscovered after World War II, it's been excavated and restored to what we see today - a ruined fortress surrounded by tourist shops! Don't let me put you off, Les Baux is fascinating and has some of the best views you could possibly imagine. Today we'll visit an olive farm at Maussane Domaine Plaines Marguerite, and after lunch we'll go wine-tasting at Domaine de la Vallongue, proud producers of AOP Les Baux de Provence, one of France's newest Appellations.

Tonight we finish our day in Cavaillon in a delightful old quarter of the town at the Hotel de Parc.

Day 4

Cavaillon to Monteux (30 miles / 48 km)

Having left the Alpilles behind, we cycle into the Lubéron. Today, there is a memorable hill!
First of all we'll visit the beautiful village of Gordes, where we'll take a break and enjopy this delightful village. Then it's away into the Lubéron, climbing to visit the iconic Abbey de Senanque - even the Michelin guide calls the Abbey 'iconic', so I'm on safe ground. Leaving the Abbey we're still climbing a beautiful road through stunning Lubérion scenery, and we'll earn our spectacular descent into Carpentras.

We stay just outside Carperntras in Monteux, and we'll enjoy stunning views of Mont Ventoux, The Giant of Provence, which we definitely DON'T have to cycle up!

Day 5

Monteux Roundtrip (27 miles / 43 km)

Tonight we're returning to Monteux, so you get a day off packing! And today we explore some fabulous wines from some of the best appellations in Provence.

There's some more climbing today, but less than yesterday, and the scenery is beautiful. On our little loop today we'll cycle through the appellations of Beaumes de Venise, Gigondas and Vacqueyras, after Chateauneuf du Pape probably the best appellations in the Cotes du Rhone region. We'll visit the Domaine de Durban (AOP Bwaumes de Venise) and Caveau Gabriel Meffre (AOP Gigondas). Today is a beautiful ride, nice and leisurely, very pretty scenery, and we'll learn a lot about some very good wines.

Day 6

Mounteux to Orange (18 miles / 29 km)

We leave the hills of the Lubéron behind. Today is a day of two halves. In the morning we stay on tine roads as we head towards Courthezon, and we'll visit a very interesting vineyard, the Caves Jamet. We'll learn a lot about the rukes of appellations - and not all of it good! The motorway cut this vineyard in half, and as a result the owner produces Chateauneuf du Pape, and Vin de France (the lowest classification available). It's the same wine! He's a fascinating and funny guy, you'll enjoy Caves Jamet. In the afternoon we arrive in Orange. Until recently this town was home to the French Foreign Legion, but it's more famous as a retirement town for retired Roman soldiers, and today boasts a truly spectacular Roman Theatre - we'll visit before dinner.

We'll also have a look at the huge triumphal arch that dates back to the reign of Augustus. The Theatre and the Arch together are classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Day 7

Orange to Avignon (22 miles / 35 km)

A pretty flat day, just a short climb at the end of the day. Leaving Orange, we've a short ride on back roads to the world-famous wine village of Chateauneuf du Pape. It's a thriving place, completely devoted to its famous wines, and we'll visit the Domaine de Nalys to find out what the fuss is about. We'll also learn about olives in their beautiful olive groves, where we'll picnic when weather permits.

After lunch, we'll cycle along a series of islands in the Rhone as far as Avignon. We'll have plenty of time to explore Avignon, it's a wonderful place. Completely surrounded by its 3-mile wall. In the 14th Century, fleeing chaotic violence in Rome, Pope Clement V moved the papacy to Avignon, which became the base for a total of 7 popes. One of these, Benedict XII, supervised the completion of the largest gothic building in France, the vast, fortified Papal palace. We'll have time for a look round, but in fact the most spectacular aspect of the palace is to view it from the outside and marvel at the sheer size of the thing. There's a marvellous atmosphere in the centre of Avignon, open squares full of cafes, restaurants and street performers.

Leaving Avignon, we cross the Rhone for one last time and climb the short hill back to Villeneuve les Avignon and the Residence les Cedres. That's it, one final dinner together at the Hotel Les Cedres, and tomorrow we part company. Temporarily, I hope.

Day 8


Homeward bound. The tour ends after breakfast.

  •  7 nights hotel accommodation
  • Breakfast
  • Return transfer train station to hotel 
  • All evening meals
  • Luggage transfers
  • Route notes and maps
  • Tour guide that accompanies the group
  • Bike hire, with panniers, water bottle, helmet, etc.
  • Details of all hotels and restaurants
  • All routes available in GPS form
  • Cycling jersey
  • Vineyard tasting fees

Not included:
E-bike rental: €175

We use Trek 7300 FX Hybrid 24 speed touring bike with aluminium frame and Shimano gear system.

On this tour the guide cycles with you, however each person has their own route details. There is no “sag” wagon as such but we can arrange to collect the weary!!
The maximum group size on these tours is fifteen people and one, sometimes two guides.

Comfortable cycling clothing – padded cycling shorts and cycling gloves are invaluable.
Training shoes are fine for cycling.
Hat, sunglasses, suntan lotion, swimwear.
Casual clothes for evening. You may be grateful for something warm with long sleeves.
Helmets, though not obligatory in France, are highly recommended. To be sure of comfort we suggest you bring your own helmet, however, in the event that you need a helmet, they are provided.

We had a great time on the Provence ride! Mike's leadership skills were great, nice group of people, beautiful place. Overall, a very well organized trip.

John Ahern & Patricia Kent (Provene Group, 2017)

This was my first experience with a bike tour, so I really didn't know what to expect, but I had a blast. The accommodations were lovely. And the meals wonderful. I would definitely do another tour.

Candase Dunn (Provence group, 2017)

We had an absolutely delightful time on the Provence cycling tour. Pete McGee was our guide, and he was second to none. Really fantastic! The itinerary and the scenery were perfect, the accommodations were great. Can't say enough good things.

Dorin C. (Provence group tour 2014)

We loved the tour. The countryside was beautiful. Food excellent. Hotels were excellent. Really enjoyed our tour guide.

Dr. Stewart (Provence group tour 2014)

We had a terrific time in Provence. The pace each day was so enjoyable. The accommodations were fine. The food was fantastic. My bike was in great shape. Pete is a hoot, and he really makes it fun for everyone!

Karen Kellerman & Peter Arakas (Provence group 2015)

€2080 per person sharing
+€435 supplement for single room occupancy
(if travelling on your own, we will endeavour to find a roommate for you)


Self Guided Tour Information

Self guided option not available at the moment

How to get to the start point: 

The closest airports are Marseille Provence or Lyon airport. 

If arriving by train to Provence:
You will be met on Saturday(group) off the mid-afternoon train arriving at Avignon at 17:08 from London (via Ville), or at 17:08 from Paris and Charles de Gaulle airport or 17:18 from Paris Gare de Lyon and brought to the starting point at Les Eyzies.

At the end of the tour you will be brought back to the train station in time for the 09:14 departure to Charles de Gaulle airport (Paris), and later departures for Gare de Lyon and London (via Lille). Both local transfers are included in the tour price.

: On the group tour the times shown are the only transfers we arrange, on self Guided tours you can arrive at any time at our designated train stations.

For more details please have a look at the tour dossier.    As always please contact us in the office for more information (info@cyclingsafaris.com).

 tour is sure to check all the boxes from cuisine to culture; a fabulous way to holiday in the beautiful French countryside.


Day 1 & 7: Hotel Residence Les Cedres

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Day 2: Hotel Le Glacier

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Day 3: Hotel St. Genies

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Day 4: Hotel De Provence

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St Remy

Day 5: Hotel Castelet des Alpilles

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Day 6: Sable's D'Ocre

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Tour Date Options

Red = booked out / not available, Blue = Limited Availability, Green = available

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If you have been on a previous tour, there is a €50.00 discount on our week long tours in Ireland (unfortunately this discount does not apply to other European trips)

A €250.00 deposit is required for each person booking on a holiday. The Balance payment is required two month prior to the starting date. The deposit is forfeited in the event of a cancellation of your booking. The balancing payment is also non-refundable in the event of the cancellation occuring within 14 days of the tour starting date. All transactions are taken in Euro.

We will contact you to confirm your booking and payment details.

Please ensure that you have read the terms and conditions before proceeding.

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Booking Conditions

Irish Cycling Safaris Ltd (“the Company”) accepts bookings subject to the following conditions:

  • The contract is between the Company and the client, being any person travelling or intending to travel on a tour operated by the company. The contract, including all matters arising from it, is subject to Irish law and the exclusive jurisdiction of the Irish courts. A booking is accepted and becomes definite only from the date when the company sends a confirmation. It is at this point that a contract between the company and the client comes into existence. Before your booking is confirmed and comes into existence the company reserves the right to increase or decrease brochure prices. The company or their agents reserve the right to decline any booking at their discretion.
  • To secure a booking the Company or their agent requires a completed booking form and the necessary deposit. (Full payment if travel within 60 days). The first named client must be over 18 years of age. Clients booking by telephone, by website/E-mail or fax will be deemed to have signed the booking form and read and accepted our terms of booking. The person signing, or being deemed to sign, the booking form warrants that he/she has full authority to do so on behalf of all persons whose names appear thereon, and confirms that all such persons are fully aware of and accept these conditions.
  • The balance of all monies due, including any surcharges applicable at the time, must be paid to the company or their agents not later than 60 days before departure. In the case of non-payment of the balance by the due date the Company reserves the right to cancel your booking and cancellation charges will apply. If any cheque is dishonoured we reserve the right to charge €25 to cover administration costs.
  • Travel Insurance is mandatory for all clients whilst on a tour organised by the Company. Clients are wholly responsible for arranging their own insurance. Clients are responsible for ensuring that they are in possession of private Travel insurance with protection for the full duration of the tour in respect of at least medical expenses, injury, death, repatriation, cancellation and curtailment, with adequate cover.
  • An administration fee of €25 per booking plus any additional costs incurred will be charged if a confirmed booking is changed or transferred to a different departure date or tour, up to 60 days prior to departure. Thereafter all changes will be treated as cancellations and subject to the relevant charges. Changes are subject to availability. For an administration fee of €25 you may request a credit voucher. This must be redeemed within 12 months of issue and must be used against a new booking. The voucher is non transferable and cannot be exchanged for cash. In certain circumstances, which the Company considers reasonable, the booking may be transferred to another suitable person; however the tour arrangements must remain the same and will only be allowed if all suppliers agree to accept the name change. If a transfer is allowed an administration charge of €25 per person will be charged plus any extra charges levied by suppliers.
  • Should the client wish to cancel, cancellation charges will be imposed. These are calculated from the day written notification is received by the company or their agent as a percentage of the total tour price, including surcharges as follows:

    > 60 days before departure – retention of deposit

    60-14 days before departure – 50%

    < 14 days before departure – 100%

  • Clients are responsible for arranging, and must be in possession of, a valid passport and any visas and vaccination certificates required for the whole of their journey. Information about these matters or related items (climate, clothing, baggage, personal items etc) is given in good faith but without responsibility on the part of the company.
  • Should the client have a reason to complain, you must immediately notify our representative and the relevant supplier. If the client’s complaint is not dealt with satisfactorily at the time, they must write to us with full details of the complaint within 28 days of the end of the tour. Failure to notify complaints entirely within accordance of this clause will diminish or extinguish the client’s ability to claim compensation.
  • The company provides all services on a “ground only” basis. The client is responsible for arranging their own travel to the designated start points of each tour. The company cannot accept any liability for any delay/cancellation in your transportation and cannot offer any refunds for lost holiday time.
  • Clients agree to accept the authority and decisions of the Company’s employees, tour leaders and agents whilst on the tour with the company. If in the opinion of such persons the health, level of fitness or conduct of a client at any time before or after departure appears likely to endanger the safe, comfortable or happy progress of a tour the client may be excluded from all or part of the tour without refund or recompense. In the case of ill health the company may make such arrangements as it sees fit and recover the costs thereof from the client. If a client commits an illegal act the client may be excluded from the tour and the Company shall cease to have responsibility to/for them. If you are affected by a condition, medical or otherwise, that might affect you or affect other people’s enjoyment or active participation of the tour, you must advise us at the time of booking. No refund will be given for any unused services.
  • The Company will use its best endeavours to operate all tours as advertised. However, it reserves the right to change any of the facilities, services, prices or itineraries described in our brochure/website. If a major change is necessary or deemed advisable, the company will advise the client as soon as reasonably possible, if there is no time before departure. A major change does not apply to a change of transport or named accommodation, but is usually considered a major change in itinerary or change in duration of a client’s holiday. If advised of a major change before departure, the client will have the choice of accepting changes (at additional cost if applicable), purchasing another available tour from the company, or cancelling the tour with a full refund.

    Provided that the major change is not as a result of situations outside the company’s control or consolidation, compensation will be paid as follows:

    Notification Period Given / Compensation Per Person

    More than 30 days: Nil

    14-30 days: €40

    Less than 14 days: €50

  • Force Majeure. We regret we cannot accept liability or pay any compensation where the performance or prompt performance of our contractual obligations is prevented or affected by reasons of circumstance amounting to “force majeure”. In these conditions “force majeure” means any event which we the supplier of services in question could not, even with all due care, foresee or avoid. Such events include war or threat of war, riot, civil strife, industrial dispute, terrorist activity, natural or nuclear disaster, fire or adverse weather conditions, epidemics or health risks and all similar events outside our control.
  • The company reserves the right to cancel a tour in any circumstances but will not cancel a tour less than 4 weeks before departure except for “force majeure”, consolidation, or the client’s failure to pay the final balance. Unless the client fails to pay the final balance, the company, upon cancellation will return all monies paid to it, or offer the client an alternative holiday of comparable standard if available (if less expensive than original we will refund the difference, if more expensive, the client will have to pay the difference). Compensation will not be payable (1) where the company is forced to cancel as a result of unusual and unforeseeable circumstances beyond our control, the consequences of which we could not have avoided even with all due care or (2) where an insufficient number of people book the clients chosen holiday and we notify we are cancelling for this reason not less than 28 days before departure. In all cases our liability is limited to offering the above choices and the compensation payments (where applicable) set out in clause 11. No compensation is payable if we notify you of cancellation more than 8 weeks before departure. We cannot be held responsible for any costs or expenses you may have as a result of cancellation.
  • Client’s bookings are accepted on the understanding that they appreciate the risks inherent in adventure travel and that they undertake the tours featured in our programme at their own volition. Our obligations, and those of any suppliers providing any service or facility involved in any travel arrangements you book with us, are to provide services and facilities with reasonable care and skill. Facilities will be provided to the realistic minimum standard recommended by the regulatory authorities responsible.
  • Bike Hire: The equipment including all accessories supplied is let out on hire. The equipment remains the property of the company and the Client will not sell, hire out or otherwise part with the possessions thereof.

    The Client undertakes not to misuse the equipment and to return it with all accessories in the same condition as when received (ordinary wear and tear accepted). The company shall be entitled to charge the client for any damages caused to equipment during the period of hire. In event of a breakdown, other than a result of the Clients misuse, the company will use its best endeavours to repair or procure repair of the equipment.

    The company will not be liable for any damage or loss whatsoever, through breakdown or other defect in the equipment or other circumstances beyond the company’s control. The Client shall indemnify the company with respect to all costs, claims, expenses and demands suffered or incurred which arise directly or indirectly out of the use of the equipment during the period of hire. The company reserves the right to charge the client for partial or full settlement of any claim. In the event of the equipment being stolen or lost, the company reserves the right to call upon the client to indemnify the company the replacement of the equipment. However, should the equipment subsequently be returned in a satisfactory condition, the company undertakes to refund the clients indemnity within 14 days.

    The Client will ensure that the equipment is adequately secured when not in use, will not use the equipment whilst under the influence of drink or drugs and will immediately notify the company in the event of breakdown or loss of equipment.

  • Clients bringing their own bikes do so on the proviso that their equipment is in a suitable condition for participation in a tour. Responsibility for maintenance of bicycles brought by clients rests with the client. The company will endeavour to accommodate such clients, but cannot guarantee that correct tools and spares will be available, given the wide range of possibilities that exist.