This gentle bicycle tour weaves its way through the picturesque Van Gogh landscapes of Provence and into the wild heart of the Camargue. Pedal at your own pace along quiet backroads through sweeping plains, olive groves and vineyards, and discover the towns of Avignon, Saint Rémy, Arles - the provencal “Rome” - and Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer en route.

This is classic Provence in every sense, with its traditional stone farmhouses, Romanesque chapels, and quaint medieval villages perched atop hillsides. Under the limestone ridges of the Alpilles mountains, and in the valleys of aromatic herbs and thyme, this cycling holiday offers the chance to get up close with the details of this beautiful part of France.

The untamed wildness of the Camargue won't fail to delight you, with extended flatlands of rice paddies and salt pans, sparse farmhouses and windswept fields. White horses trot through the marshes, black bulls graze in their farms, and thousands of flamingoes, egrets, and herons fill the skies in their graceful flight. It's not to be missed!



Holiday details

Price

Classic

from £1,935 per person
Trip is available from March to November. If booked in the low season - March, April and October to November 15 the price is £1,805 per person

Luxury

from £2,290 per person
Trip is available from March to November. If booked in the low season - March, April and October to November 15 the price is £2,190 per person

Based on two people sharing a room

What’s included?

Transfers to/from Marseille airport or Avignon/Arles station, dinner on day 5 and and picnic lunch on day 6.  See what’s included as standard

Duration

6 nights

Start & Finish

Starts daily from Avignon station or Marseille airport and finishes at Arles station or Marseille airport

Hotels

Classic

3 star hotels, a charming guest house and one 5 star hotel

Luxury

4 and 5 star hotels and guest houses

Holiday type

Self-guided

This tour is priced without a guide and you are free to explore on your own.  If you would like a guide for part or all of your trip, we are happy to provide a knowledgeable, local guide

Activity level

Gentle cycling (2) More info...

Electric bikes

Available

Mileage

4 days of cycling with a further day of optional cycling; 17 - 31 miles (28 - 50 km) per day

Terrain

The Camargue is flat whilst Provence can be hilly - although the tour is gentle in distances, if you are concerned you may wish to consider an electric bike

Traffic-free

Quiet lanes and tracks

Options

Additional nights in Arles, Avignon and Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer


Itinerary day-by-day


Classic & Luxury

  1. 1. Day one

    Avignon

    We will meet you at Marseille airport or Avignon station and transfer you to your hotel in Avignon where you can check in any time from 2pm. Spend the day exploring this wonderful medieval town on the banks of the Rhône river, which is home to the Pope’s palace, a 12th century bridge, 14th century ramparts, and many museums and churches. The town also hosts a covered market every morning except Mondays.

  2. 2. Day two

    Avignon to Saint Rémy de Provence

    Today we meet you after breakfast to run through your itinerary and fit you to your bicycle. Then you are off on your bike, pedalling through orchards and along sleepy lanes lined with cypress trees until you reach the quaint town of Barbentane. From here, make your way up the “montagnette” – literally “little mountain” – which affords magnificent views of Provence's plains as well as being home to the monastery of St. Michel de Frigolet, a real gem for architecture fans. Continue on through the charming villages of Graveson and Maillane before reaching Saint Rémy de Provence, an artist's mecca where Van Gogh spent the last year of his life.

    21 miles (35 km)

  3. 3. Day three

    Circular ride from Saint Rémy de Provence

    Set off on a circular route from your hotel in Saint Rémy, stopping first at St. Etienne-du-Grès, and the Romanesque chapel of Saint Gabriel. From here, you ride alongside the imposing silhouette of the Alpilles mountains, among olive groves and almond trees. After lunch in Fontvieille, you can visit the elegant Château d’Estoublon estate and sample their olive oils and fine wines. Hop back on your bike and ride onwards into the heart of the Alpilles until you reach Les Baux de Provence, a village built atop a vertiginous rocky spur, hailed as “one of the Most Beautiful Villages in France”. Cycle back to St Rémy de Provence at your leisure.

    17 miles (28 km)

  4. 4. Day four

    Saint Rémy de Provence to Arles

    After breakfast, climb into the saddle once again and bike southward to Arles. Today you will get your first glimpse of the famed Camargue region – vast flatlands covered in rice fields, wild white horses and birds soaring overhead. Enroute, enjoy a stop in Maussane or Le Paradou to explore and relax over lunch. In the evening head out to explore the town of Arles.

    31 miles (50 km)

  5. 5. Day five

    Arles to Le Sambuc

    Today you head out across the Rhône River and enter the heart of the Camargue's landscape of wheat fields, rice paddies, orchards and vineyards, stretching as far as the eye can see. En route, there's the opportunity to stop off for a spot of wine tasting at the Domaine de Valériole estate, between the hamlets of Gageron and Villeneuve. Continuing along your route, you'll also glimpse the bull and horse farms that line the huge marshlands of the Vaccarès.

    20 miles (33 km)

  6. 6. Day six

    Le Sambuc to Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer

    Be sure to pick up your picnic lunch from the guesthouse before heading out for your final day of cycling. The route winds its way through a vast expanse of lagoons, rice paddies and marshlands for some time until you join a path along the sea wall, where you might be lucky enough to catch sight of one of the thousands of flamingos that nest in the region. Soon you'll spot the bell tower of Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer on the horizon. This charming town of white-washed homes is known for its gypsy spirit - the story goes that its patron saint Sara arrived here upon a raft 2000 years ago from Palestine, and her remains lie in the ancient church that dwarfs the rest of the town.

    21 miles (35 km)

  7. 7. Day seven

    Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer to Arles

    Spend the morning exploring Saintes-Marie-de-la-Mer at your leisure (perhaps visiting the local market if it happens to be a Friday). After lunch, we will transfer you and your luggage either to Arles for the train or to Marseille for the airport at a time that suits you.