BESPOKE CYCLING HOLIDAY PROVENCE WITH MILLS & HONEY
A journey through the different faces of the charming Provençal countryside, a landscape so charming that we could not say no. But there's a catch in this whole story. Because we only want to claim to be the experts of cycling holidays in Mallorca, but we want to keep a long lasting and dynamic connection with our past guests, we will offer our Provencal experiences only if you have traveled to Mallora with MIlls & Honey before. And you can rest assure that we will only offer trips in other locations that we feel are special and that offer something different from Mallorca.
We start at the vibrant winding streets of St Remy de Provence, from where we´ll ride up and along the limestones hills of the Alpilles range, and breathtaking villages like Les Baux-de-Provence and Eygalières. We then move towards the Luberon with its picture-perfect "perched" hill-top villages, lavender fields, and that Joie de vivre you can almost breathe in every little corner of villages like Gordes, Menerbes, Roussillon, and Bonnieux. A couple of days, unfortunately, won't be enough, we think you need a year to really absorb the goodness of this place. But Northbound we ride and as we do the terrain gets rugged, it will feel even remote as we ride through the Gorge de la Nesque spectacular cliffs, that you might find it hard to believe only days before you were glamorously sipping pastis in the Luberon. And how a cyclist can visit Provence without riding up Mont Ventoux, one way or another (patience or e-bikes we mean) we think we should all give it a go.
We adjust the itinerary to your dates, number of people, and personal preferences. Trip can be self guided, with Support-and-Gear vehicle or fully supported with SAG and Local Cycling guide usually including meals and other events.
CLASSIC & LUXURY HOTELS
We will have a couple of options in each location for you to choose from small B&B's usually in the 4-star category, to 5 stars luxury boutique hotels and spas.
LEISURE TO AVID
Plenty to choose from in terms of routes and terrain. The first few days will slowly ease you into with not very steep rolling hills that will get a little steeper and longer as we get closer to Mont Ventoux, which is of course optional.
Depends on type of hotels, season, number of people, and support. As guideline:
2650 euros per person for 2pax (Self-guided)
Including hotels, breakfasts, transfers, bike rental, M&H fees and taxes. More details below.
ST REMY DE PROVENCE - 2 Nights
An historic village built on one of the oldest archeological sites in Europe, St Remy de Provence has always attracted the right people they say. One of the most famous and emblematic of them, Vincent van Gogh, was known to had wandered the ruins of Glanum, the ancient city, during the last year of his life and it was here where he painted the renown Starry Night. Far from the crowds of the Cote d'Azur, artists are known to seek refuge here, where they can appreciate the unhurried pace ofProvencal life, and you can feel the artistic influence as you walk through the stylish narrow city streets. Here you can meditate quietly on antiquity, browse aromatic markets with basket in hand, and also enjoy urbane galleries, cosmopolitan shops, and specialty food boutiques.
DAY 1 - BONJOUR. Avignon will be the meeting point today which you can reach with a direct train from Paris (2h40m). We can come pick you up from the train station or from your pre-trip hotel if you arrive a day or two earlier, which if you have the time, we recommend. Depending on your day and time of arrival we can either plan a transfer to St Remy for checking in at hotel and a relaxing afternoon, or we could also visit Pont du Gard on our way to St Remy and plan a short intro ride to get the legs moving.
Ride: 35 km with 50m climbing.
DAY 2 - ALPILLES LOOP First full riding day today and it's a great way to start a cycling trip with a gentle 15 Km flat ride before we hit the first bumps on the route which takes us to Eygalieres. A coffee/pastis stop might be necessary before we carry on towards Mouries, Maussane-Les-Alpilles and Les Baux-en-Provence (pronounced Boh) dramatically perched amongst the craggy hilltops. After lunch in Le Boh, we can easy back to St Remy only 10 Km away.
Ride: 55 Km with 570m climbing.
Chateau des Alpilles - At the foot of the Alpilles, on the edge of Saint Rémy de Provence, nestles Le Château des Alpilles. This beautiful property extends over seven hectares planted with exotic and lush species... You will discover all the charm and tranquility of a vast 19th century manor house.
La Maison du Village - A well-appointed town house in the historic centre of Saint Rémy, La Maison du Village is a stylish and comfortable Bed & Breakfast with a healthy touch of that Provençal air of relaxation. Perfectly located in the calm centre of the village for strolling and wandering at ease.
BONNIEUX - 2 Nights
Dug into bedrock and cliff, Bonnieux (pronounced Bon-yuh) rises out of the arid hills in a jumble of honey-color cubes that change color subtly as the day progresses. Behind the village, on the crest of the Luberon Nature Park, the three communes (Bonnieux, Ménerbes and Lacoste) and the forest of cedars from the Middle-Atlas stretch out over approximately 250 hectares. In spring, the sweet fragrance of lavender accompanies as you walk along its sharply raked streets, and this until the end of summer, while the bees delight in this flower to produce for us their lavender honey. Shops, galleries, cafés, and fashionable restaurants abound here, but they don’t dominate. Bonnieux's got it all.
DAY 3 - ST REMY TO BONNIEUX. Penty of options today as we leave St Remy and the Luberon beckons. We can ride from hotel or take a shuttle to make the ride shorter which will take us riding along the Southern foothills of the Luberon range into Lourmarin from where we ride over into Bonnieux.
Ride: 50-78 Km with 600-1000m climbing.
DAY 4 - PERCHED VILLAGES. It's one of the highlights of the trip in a route filled with twists and turns that will lead us into awe-inspiring villages, one after the other. First we will find Lacoste and Menerbes where a coffee stop (we mean pastis of course) and a little wander around its rugged streets will be necessary. We will take our time today. We then ride down and up to Gordes, one of the jewels of the region, and after the compulsory stroll we ride then towards Murs, Joucas, and Roussillon and a well-deserved lunch.
Ride: 62 Km with 1200m climbing.
La Bastide de Capelongue - In the heart of the Luberon golden triangle, Bastide de Capelongue is an elegant, sophisticated Provençal bastide. Serenity and art de vivre are the hallmarks of this prestigious hotel which offers its guests a simple and magical experience: simply to slow down and enjoy the setting of the sun and the magnificent views over the village of Bonnieux.
Le Clos du Buis- Located in the centre of the wonderful village of Bonnieux, Le clos du Buis, a 3-star Hotel de Charme, invites you to discover Provençal culture. A true authentic break at the heart of the Luberon. Le Clos du Buis is a perfect location from which to start your daily activities. From the regional Park of the Luberon https://www.leclosdubuis.fr/en/
CRILLON-LE-BRAVE - 3 Nights
Located on the foothills of the Mont Ventoux, the Giant of Provence a they call it, Crillon-le-Brave lies only 2 Km from Bedoin which is start of the climb to this fabled mountain. It's a tiny little village, with only one paved road running through the middle, and contains little more than a café, a bakery, a hotel, a restaurant, a church, as well as a school. After a few spells of prosperity and decline, as with many other location around the Mediterranean, since the early 1970s new inhabitants have brought new life to the old stones, so that today Crillon-le-Brave has once again become a lively village.
DAY 5 - GORGE DE LA NESQUE. Today we have a couple of options either starting from the hotel or taking the van up to Simiane. Both options then take us to Monieux at the start of the spectacular road to Gorge de la Nesque, one of the biggest canyons in France and all the way to Crillon-le-Brave, our home for the next 3 nights.
Ride: 65-80 Km with 900-1350m climbing
DAY 7 - OPEN DAY. It's a great day to have rest day or at least a day off the saddle. Relaxing by the pool and enjoying the amazing vie from the hotel, going for a little hike around Crillon, we could arrange a visit to a winery, or if you can't be bother with rest days we can also plan a great loop towards Suzette, La Roque-Alric, and ride by the Dentelles de Montmirail.
DAY 7 - MONT VENTOUX. Today is the cherry on top of the cake, and one of the most famous climbs in the world, the fabled Mont Ventoux. We're not going to lie here, it's difficult, very! The most popular way and most used in the Tour de France is from Bedoin and it's 21 Km in which you climb over 1600 vertical meters. We have very different options either descending back to Bedoin, down to Malaucene, or Sault, but it will all depend on what we've done the previous days, and of course the wind... they call it Ventoux for something.
Ride: 65-85Km with 2000m climbing.
DAY 8 - AU-REVOIR. After a clebratory last evening with gourmet meal at the hotel this moring we will transfer to your next destination after breakfasts.
Crillon-Le-Brave - Around the church, a splendid maze of 17th and 18th century buildings, covered in Virginia creeper, reveals a secret passage here, a breath-taking panoramic terrace there. The hotel consists of around ten ancient houses. In the middle, an age-old olive tree proudly stands guard... https://www.crillonlebrave.com/
La Maison de Crillon - Nestling in the heart of the protected village of Crillon-le-Brave, with a Fine-tuned combination of design comfort, subtle luxury and Zen atmosphere, the hotel is decorated with old furnitures found in the brocante, and with some creations of designers, to give you this unique atmosphere.
BIKE OPTIONS AVAILABLE
As with all of our itineraries, prices vary from group to group depending on the number of people, the hotels and the type of rooms available, level of support, and of course which season you're coming. The prices shown below are to be considered as guidelines:
- from 3050 euros per person for 4 people, or,
- from 2750 euros per person for 8 people.
Full Support (SAG vehicle + Cycling Guide - Minimum 4 pax)
- from 6250 euros per person for 4 people, or
- from 5050 euros per person for 8 people
- All accommodations, breakfasts and eco taxes. (6 nights)
- Bicycle rental (Standard Carbon Road Bike). Upgrades available.
- All transfers (airport transfers, luggage transfers between hotels, any transfers logistically needed during the rides, NOT dinner transfers to restaurants)
- FULLY SUPPORTED - 5 lunches and 5 dinners.
- Welcome to Provence Pack from Mills & Honey
- All of Mills & Honey planning fees, on-trip assistance and taxes. This includes a welcome meeting, bikes set up, navigation app assistance and general safety briefing.
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