PROVENCE CYCLING WEEKEND

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Dominated by fragrant lavender fields, tree-lined laneways and rugged mountains, a cycling tour through Provence is the perfect adventure for anyone wanting to experience the best of the region. Head north past the Luberon mountain range, and come face to face with the legendary Mont Ventoux, a gruelling climb of La Tour De France - maybe even try to tackle it yourself? Pedal through the classic French landscape, stopping for refreshments at beautiful market towns along the way. Become accustomed to the Provencal way of life as you ride through this breathtaking region.

Itinerary

Day 1 Cavaillon

Arrive in the prosperous Roman colony of Cavaillon and explore the beauty of this French agricultural centre. Sample some of the town's famous melons in the summer months, or follow a picturesque path to the top of St-Jacques Hill for stunning views over the region.

Day 2 Cadenet

Follow the flow of the River Durance before climbing through historic Merindol and Lauris - where the views from the escarpment take in the stunning Durance Valley. Cycle to the Provencal village of Cadenet and spend the evening at leisure exploring the old village at the base of the cliffs, or venture up to the ruins of the ancient chateau.

Days 3-4 Gargas

Cycle through the lavender fields and tree-lined lanes of the Provencal countryside while traversing the Luberon mountain range. Visit the quaint hilltop villages of Bonnieux and Apt in the heart of the Luberon Nature Reserve. Continue through to Gargas and enjoy a free day of cycling or sightseeing. For the die-hard cyclists on the ride, why not step up to the ultimate challenge and push to the summit of Mt Ventoux, one of the most gruelling sections of the Tour de France?

Days 5-6 Cavaillon

On the way back to Cavaillon, perhaps take a detour to the ancient city of Gordes. Energetic riders should venture to the town of L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, also known as the 'Venice of Provence', with its narrow canals and stunning Baroque church, Notre Dame des Anges. Those wishing to ride at a more leisurely pace may opt to travel through rolling meadows and Provencal villages on the final leg of the tour.

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