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Cycle Provence

France - Trip code CVP Cycling
Days 8
Deposit From US$128
Price from US$1280
Flights not included
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Why book this trip?

Ride through the heart of Provence, visit hilltop villages, vineyards and discover the landscapes that inspired Vincent Van Gogh. Explore the region's amazing heritage of Roman remains, theatres and arc de triomphes.

  • Dentelles de Montmirail - Alpine foothills rising up from the edge of the Rhône Valley
  • Cycle the Luberon - Visit the village of Gordes and its Renaissance Château
  • St - Rémy-de-Provence - Wander the streets of this market town, one time home to Vincent Van Gogh
  • Included meals

    Breakfast: 7

  • Trip staff

    Explore Tour Leader / Driver

  • Transport

    Bicycle

    Taxi

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    Accommodation

    7 nights comfortable hotel

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    Cycling grade:

    Moderate

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    Group Size:

    10 - 16

Itinerary

Itineraries on some departure dates may differ, please select the itinerary that you wish to explore.

Day 1 - Join trip Marseilles Airport

We join our trip at Marseille Airport the drive to the pleasant Provencal town of Carpentras. Steeped in history from the 14th and 15th centuries, there are many delights to discover. This afternoon there will be a full trip briefing and then time for bike fitting, followed by some free time to wander the narrow streets.

No cycling today.

If you have booked an optional e-bike, you will be required to pay the €250 or £250 cash deposit and sign an agreement of care upon receipt of the bike.

If you wish to drive to the start of the trip, please ask us for parking details.

Accommodation:

Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Meals Provided: None

Day 2 - Cycle through stunning countryside and vineyards; return to Carpentras

We head out on a circular route today following the route of an old railway line towards Jonquières, through the vineyards to Séguret at the foot of the Dentelles de Montmirail. Séguret is an open balcony on the Rhône Valley, sat beneath the medieval castle remains surrounded by vineyards which produce a very respectable Côte du Rhône. Inhabited since prehistoric times and enriched in Gallo-Romano times, today's village was built in the 10th century and belonged to the Papacy before becoming part of France in 1793. Continuing on our way back towards Carpentras we pass through the villages of Gigondas and then Vacqueras, birthplace of the troubadour poet Raimbaud. Along this section of the ride there are some excellent views of the limestone pinnacles and the opportunity to try some of the best Grenache wines produced in the foothills of the Dentelles.

Our total cycling distance today is approximately 59 kilometres (Start height 96m, highest point 281 m. Total ascent 538m)

Accommodation:

Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Day 3 - Cycle under southern slopes of Mount Ventoux to vineyard for wine tasting and option lunch

The cycling route today gives us a taste of Provencal life, taking us through the lovely villages at the southern foot of Mont Ventoux, with a stop on the way for morning coffee, before reaching a local farm. Here we have a guided walk around the vineyards and olive groves with optional wine tasting and lunch(€25). Having eaten at the farm, there is time to relax and enjoy a dip in their swimming pool. In the late afternoon we cycle back through sleepy villages to our accommodation in Carpentras.

Our total cycling distance today is approximately 41 kilometres (Start height 96m, highest point 431 m. Total ascent 430m)

Accommodation:

Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Day 4 - Free day or optional circular cycle route via Gordes back to Carpentras

With four nights in Carpentras you may wish to take the opportunity to take a day off from cycling in which case, there are plenty of things to do and see in this historic and attractive town. The town is situated in an area where, in the 14th and 15th centuries, Jewish communities were protected, benefitting from the presence of the Popes in Avignon who granted them the freedom to worship and live peacefully, having been banished from the Kingdom of France. The Synagogue was built in 1367 and is one of the oldest in France. The Hotel Dieu in the town is an 18th century hospital with a well-preserved collection of apothecary jars, decorated walls and ceilings. Antique lovers will enjoy the Rue de Porte Mazan and the town's glass-covered shopping street. A short train ride away is the city of Avignon and the amazing Palace of the Popes. For those that would prefer to ride, options include the strenuous climb up Mont Ventoux, or riding east of Carpentras to find some of the Luberon's prettiest villages. Three of them have made it into the list of the 'Les plus beaux villages' (most beautiful villages) of France, an association of 144 villages selected on the quality of their architecture, environment and patrimony. This is one place where you can view lavender fields if travelling in July as we continue south-east to arrive at Gordes where there may be time to experience the local street market. On the flanks of the Vaucluse plateau, just across the Luberon barrier, Gordes is a typical Provençal village. A maze of intricate lanes leads up to St Firmin's church and to the massive hulk of a Renaissance château perched on the top of the village (Optional longer rides available).

Our total cycling distance today is from 20 kilometres, up to 80 kilometres (Start height 96m, highest point 585 m. Total ascent 1130m)

Accommodation:

Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Day 5 - Cycle the villages between the Plateau de Vauclause and the Montagne du Luberon; ride to Cavaillon

The cycling route takes us southeast through the market gardens of the Vaucluse region following lanes across flat farmland and through the delightful old villages of Pernes-les-Fontaines and L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue. Our route continues south of the Vauclause Plateau, giving the options to climb to the view points in a number of the villages dating from the 12th to 14th century. Our destination for today is Cavaillon, a key focal point in the Luberon, from its 1st century Roman Arch, 12th century Cathedral, Synagogue and Museums. The avenues are tree lined round the old town, offering occasional view up the hill of St Jacques, which dominates the area and offers some great walking.

Our total cycling distance today is approximately 61 kilometres (Start height 96m, highest point 265 m. Total ascent 478m)

16

Accommodation:

Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Day 6 - Following the line of the Alpilles Mountains, we arrive in St Rémy-de-Provence, for free time to see the sites; return to Cavaillon

Setting off to cross the river valley, this morning we follow a marked cycle trail through the fruit orchards and villages to arrive in St Rémy-de-Provence by lunch time. This beautiful town was the birthplace of Nostradamus and one time home to Vincent Van Gogh. There are many optional visits here for art and history lovers and your leader will detail all the options. After a few hours of free time, our return route hugs the base of the rocky ridge to return to Cavaillon.

Our total cycling distance today is approximately 52 kilometres (Start height 72m, highest point 128 m. Total ascent 277m)

16

Accommodation:

Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Day 7 - Optional circular cycle along the valley of the Durance River

Today's cycle route crosses the river, passing through Orgon with its 13th century Knights Templar castle. Heading south to Sénas, we ride through the fruit orchards, cross the river again and use some traffic free cycle routes which give superb views of the Lubéron escarpment. Following the edge of the forest, this route offers views along the Durance Valley before returning to Cavaillon, where there is some free time to explore the sites.

Our total cycling distance today is approximately 45 kilometres (Start height 72m, highest point 156 m. Total ascent 221m)

Accommodation:

Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Day 8 - Trip ends Marseilles Airport

After breakfast we drive from Cavaillon to Marseille Airport where the trip ends.

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Trip information

Country information

France

Climate

Across France, from April - August, weather conditions are generally warm and pleasant with moderate rainfall; Autumn temperatures are a bit lower and the winter months (though colder) remain mild. The summer months on the Mediterranean Coast in the south tend to be warmer than the rest of France and have less rainfall, and also more mild winters; freezing conditions are nearly unheard of. The mountainous areas of the Alps, Juros and Pyrenees can be quite different. During summer the morning and evening temperatures are considerably cooler and it becomes much colder in winter with heavy snowfall. Western France, along the English Channel, there can be very strong winds and frequent rain during the winter months Nov - Apr. Wine harvesting takes place in late August/early September.

Time difference to GMT

+1

Plugs

2 Pin Round

Religion

Catholic

Language

French

Budgeting and packing

Optional activities

The following excursions and/or activities are usually available and may be arranged locally. Estimated costs are provided below for guidance only, are on a per person basis unless shown otherwise, and may depend on the number of participants. Prices quoted are correct as of the date these tour notes were originally issued but may change at any time due to currency fluctuations. Please note: These activities are booked and paid for direct with the supplier and do not form part of your Explore holiday contract.



Avignon - around Euros 15 per person return (depending on train type).
Day 5 Optional lunch, wine tasting after guided tour of the vineyard €25
St Rémy-de-Provence - Ancient Glanum 6th century B.C to 3rd Century A.D ruins €8.00
St Rémy-de-Provence - Monastry of St-Paul-de-Mausole, Van Gogh Visit €5.00

Clothing

Pack essentially for hot weather. However, you must bring a warm sweater or jacket for cycling on cool days and for wearing during the evenings. In case of rain, waterproofs are essential. Also, a pair of long trousers or tracksuit bottoms are useful for cycling along hedgerow-lined footpaths.

Footwear

If you are not bringing cycle shoes then try to bring stiff-soled shoes as these are better for cycling - transmitting your energy into the pedals more efficiently. This becomes more relevant and recommended the more demanding the grade and distances to cover. SPD cycle shoes are not well suited to trips that combine sightseeing with cycling.
Comfortable shoes, trainers, sandals or flip flops are useful when not on the bike.

Luggage

20kg

Luggage: On tour

We recommend you bring a daypack and one main piece of luggage (total allowance: 44lb/20kg) which will be transported between hotels while you cycle. Check the bike details section to see if a pannier or handlebar bag is provided on the bike.

It does occasionally happen that luggage does not always reach its destination on the same flight as its owner, or possibly it may be damaged in transit. If you are unlucky enough for this to occur, it is important that you file a PIR (Property Irregularity Report) with the airline before leaving the airport. This is essential when you come to make a claim either against the airline or from your travel insurance company.

Equipment

On all Explore cycle holidays we strongly recommend you bring along and wear your cycle helmet. In case of an accident resulting in personal injury, certain insurance policies are invalidated in cases where a helmet was not being worn. Cycle glasses to protect against dust, pollen and the sun, padded cycle gloves and a water bottle or water delivery system (e.g. camelback or platypus) are also useful. You may choose to bring your own gel seat cover for added comfort. If a handle bar bag or pannier is not provided (check bike details) then you may like to bring a small rucksack to wear while cycling. Other items to consider bringing are a sunhat and sun cream, torch, earplugs and insect repellent. Please carry some or all of your cycling equipment e.g. helmet as part of your hand luggage. A swim towel would also be useful for day 3.

Tipping

Explore leader
At your discretion you might also consider tipping your Explore Leader in appreciation of the efficiency and service you receive.
Local crew
Although entirely voluntary, tipping is a recognized part of life in this region of the world. Some local staff will look to members of the group for personal recognition of particular services provided. In order to make things easier for you, the Explore Leader may organise a group's tips kitty and if this is the case, they will account for it throughout the trip.

France

Food and drink

The costs for meals may vary depending upon location, type of restaurant and number of courses eaten and so the prices given are an average guide. Local restaurants located off the beaten track may be less expensive, whereas an upmarket restaurant located in the centre of a major city may charge more.


Lunch price
£11
Dinner price
£16.00 - 18.00
Beer price
£4
Water price
£1.3
Foreign Exchange
Local currency
Euro
Recommended Currency For Exchange
Pounds Sterling and US Dollars can only be changed in larger airports with a Bureau de Change. Please change currency into Euros prior to arriving in France.
Where To Exchange
Bureau de Change can only be found in major cities and large airports. Many French banks no longer exchange Foreign currency.
ATM Availability
In cities and most major towns
Credit Card Acceptance
In major restaurants (make sure you have informed your credit card company that you are travelling abroad as some companies will reject payments)
Travellers Cheques
Travellers Cheques are no longer commonly accepted and can only be changed in larger airports with a Bureau de Change.
Transport, Accommodation & Meals

Transport Information

Bicycle, Taxi

Accommodation notes

Comfortable - Our mid-range accommodation offers a good level of service often with other amenities such as a restaurant, bar, garden or swimming pool. Generally rooms will be comfortable with en-suite facilities.

Essential Information

FCO Advice

We strongly recommend that you check your government's travel advisory for up-to-date information and advice about your destination: safety and security, entry requirements, health, local laws and customs. For UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office advice click here.

For more information from Explore about travel advice, click here
 

Under 18 immigration guidance

Please note that some countries require proof of parental consent when travelling overseas with under 18s. Please check requirements with the relevant embassy or consular office well in advance of travel if this applies to your party.

Price Guarantee

Once your booking has been confirmed we guarantee the price will not increase, whatever the circumstances. Before booking please ensure you have read our important tour pricing information.Booking Conditions

Visa and Passport Information

France: Visas are not required by UK, EU, Australian, New Zealand, US and Canadian citizens.

Other nationalities should consult their local embassy or consular office. You should confirm all visa related questions with the relevant Embassy prior to departure.


If you do require assistance in obtaining a visa then you may be able to apply through Explore's recommended visa service in the UK, Travcour. See www.travcour.com to download the relevant visa application for your trip, if applicable (UK citizens only), along with details of how to apply for your visa through Travcour. The Team at Travcour will be happy to answer specific questions relating to visa applications, please call them directly on 0208 5431846.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you are in possession of a full passport, with the correct validity for your chosen destination.
 

Booking conditions

Before booking your Explore trip, please ensure that you read both our Essential Information and Booking Conditions.

Transfers

Find out more about Trip Transfer Terms and Conditions before you book.

Booking a land only package with Explore

Customers who have chosen to book on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements of our tour, please ensure that you have checked your tour specific ‘Joining Instructions’ prior to booking your own travel arrangements. Your joining instructions can be found below in the dates and prices information. 

You may also be eligible for the Free Explore Transfer.


Joining Tour Abroad

Customers booked on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements will now receive a Free Transfer, provided you arrive and depart on the tour only itinerary start and end dates. The complimentary transfers will be arranged from the Explore designated airport or train station to your trips joining point, and then back from the ending point to the designated airport or train station. Generally the airport or station that Explore have selected will be the one that is closest to the town or city where the trip starts, or the one nearest to the joining point. It will be either an airport or train station but not both.

The exception to this rule is customers who are booked on a tour where the joining and ending point is at the designated airport or train station.  

Free transfers are not available for Self-Guided, Polar, Tailormade or Tours for Churches customers.

If you are not eligible for the Free Transfer then you will need to make your own way through to the joining and ending point. On a majority of our tours Explore will be able to provide a private transfer at an additional cost. Please ask for a quote at the time of booking.  


For more information regarding the Explore Free Transfer click here

Insurance

It is a condition of booking with Explore that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the tour, including all optional activities. Your Insurance Policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation to your home country. Please ensure your policy includes medical emergency helicopter evacuation in the event of illness or injury and covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are trekking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip. The cost of many of our Polar Voyages will exceed the capped amount covered by standard insurance premiums and you will be required to pay an additional premium to cover the full value of your trip. Please ensure that you are covered for the full amount of your holiday cost, as insufficient cover could invalidate a claim under the policy. Medical and repatriation insurance cover is not mandatory for UK residents who are travelling on trips within the United Kingdom.
Read more information about what travel insurance is required.

Flight information

Explore offers a wide range of flexible flying options to make joining and leaving our trips easy. Read more about them here.


Flight Information

You are able to book this tour on a 'land only' basis or as a ‘flight inclusive’ package. Your flight inclusive package will be fully protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ATOL protection scheme.

  

Booking a flight inclusive package with Explore

We have a good selection of flights not only from London but from many regional airports around the UK allowing us to compare fares between scheduled carriers as well as low cost and charter airlines. Our dedicated flights team will match the best flight options to your arrival and departure airport.

On our website we display a UK flight inclusive package guide price which is generally based on a London departure. To avoid paying supplements or to secure your preferred flight option, we recommend booking as early as possible, especially for peak travel dates.

France

Vaccinations

Nothing compulsory. Tetanus recommended. Please check the latest requirements with your travel clinic or doctor prior to departure. The above is not an exhaustive list. Further information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found by following the NHS and NaTHNaC links at Explore Travel Health and from your local healthcare provider. Visa and vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed by you before travelling.

Cycling information
General cycling information
On this trip we cycle 322 km over 6 days average 54 km per day with further more challenging optional rides available. One of the more challenging options is the classic Tour de France climb of Mont Ventoux. We use quiet, undulating roads although there will be several steeper sections. We have graded the route as moderate. GPX files are available for this holiday.
Bike included
21 gear RTE 520 hybrid bikes with front suspension. Electric bikes (e-bikes) are available for an additional cost for the duration of the holiday. Please contact us for more details or to request your e-bike.
Bike information
Your included bike is a 21 gear RTE 520 hybrid and will be the correct frame size for your height. These are unisex step-through frames, but women's step through frames are available, but are limited in number and size and may vary in bike type - please request at time of booking. A 15-litre pannier and water bottle holder are included as well as the facility to fit your own pedals or saddle if you wish to bring them. A support vehicle carries the luggage from point to point and is driven by the Explore Leader. Maps are provided to cycle individually or as a group. We provide spare parts and take care of the day to day maintenance. All you need to bring is your own helmet and water bottle. Electric bikes (available for an additional cost) will be the similar RTE 700 unisex step-through frame bikes with front and rear suspension fitted with a 250watt Geonaute 8FUN motor. You will be required to pay a refundable cash 250 Euro or GBP deposit upon collection of the e-bike in country. Please contact us for more details or to request your e-bike.
Cycling grade
Moderate
Additional Information

Why book this trip

Unlike many other operators, we include the hire of your bike in the overall cost of the holiday: you don't need to bring your own or pay extra to hire one locally. We also provide a support vehicle, spare parts and take care of day to day bike maintenance. All you need bring is your own helmet.

Dates, prices and booking

All trips are subject to availability and prices are subject to change
Sat 30 May 2020 - Sat 6 Jun 2020
CVP_2020
Price US$1280
Save was
Single room (optional) +US$400
All customers that travel on an Explore Group or Private Journey trip will be provided with a complimentary transfer, provided they arrive and depart into the designated airport or train station on the trip start and end dates. Generally the airport or station that Explore have selected will be the one that is closest to the town or city where the trip starts, or the one nearest to the joining point. It will be either an airport or train station but not both. The exception to this rule are customers who are booked on a trip where the joining and/or ending point is the airport or station. In this particular case there will be a specific time provided for when the trip starts and ends. On these particular trips, only one arrival and departure transfer will generally be provided for the whole group. Please see free transfers for terms and conditions.

These trip joining details are provided on a provisional basis and may change prior to this tour departing. Any changes to these details will be updated on this page.
For those not eligible for a free transfer the joining / ending time and location for your trip are detailed below:
Joining Point
Town
Marseille Airport
Time and place
12:00 PM at Near the exit of the arrivals hall at Terminal 2
Ending Point
Town
Marseille Airport
Time
10:00 AM
If you have booked a pre or post trip accommodation directly with the hotel, or through any other intermediaries, please ensure you regularly check this page in case of any changes.

Flight-inclusive price information

The price of this trip is a guide price only. The price may change due to the availability of flights and your preferred airport and airline. When you submit your booking request we will hold your place and contact you to confirm that you're happy to go ahead.

ATOL logoATOL Protection
This flight inclusive package is financially protected under ATOL 2595 held by Explore Worldwide Limited.

Sat 18 Jul 2020 - Sat 25 Jul 2020
CVP_2020
Price US$1330
Save was
Single room (optional) +US$400
All customers that travel on an Explore Group or Private Journey trip will be provided with a complimentary transfer, provided they arrive and depart into the designated airport or train station on the trip start and end dates. Generally the airport or station that Explore have selected will be the one that is closest to the town or city where the trip starts, or the one nearest to the joining point. It will be either an airport or train station but not both. The exception to this rule are customers who are booked on a trip where the joining and/or ending point is the airport or station. In this particular case there will be a specific time provided for when the trip starts and ends. On these particular trips, only one arrival and departure transfer will generally be provided for the whole group. Please see free transfers for terms and conditions.

These trip joining details are provided on a provisional basis and may change prior to this tour departing. Any changes to these details will be updated on this page.
For those not eligible for a free transfer the joining / ending time and location for your trip are detailed below:
Joining Point
Town
Marseille Airport
Time and place
12:00 PM at Near the exit of the arrivals hall at Terminal 2
Ending Point
Town
Marseille Airport
Time
10:00 AM
If you have booked a pre or post trip accommodation directly with the hotel, or through any other intermediaries, please ensure you regularly check this page in case of any changes.

Flight-inclusive price information

The price of this trip is a guide price only. The price may change due to the availability of flights and your preferred airport and airline. When you submit your booking request we will hold your place and contact you to confirm that you're happy to go ahead.

ATOL logoATOL Protection
This flight inclusive package is financially protected under ATOL 2595 held by Explore Worldwide Limited.

Sat 29 Aug 2020 - Sat 5 Sep 2020 Guaranteed departure
CVP_2020
Price US$1330
Save was
Single room (optional) +US$400
All customers that travel on an Explore Group or Private Journey trip will be provided with a complimentary transfer, provided they arrive and depart into the designated airport or train station on the trip start and end dates. Generally the airport or station that Explore have selected will be the one that is closest to the town or city where the trip starts, or the one nearest to the joining point. It will be either an airport or train station but not both. The exception to this rule are customers who are booked on a trip where the joining and/or ending point is the airport or station. In this particular case there will be a specific time provided for when the trip starts and ends. On these particular trips, only one arrival and departure transfer will generally be provided for the whole group. Please see free transfers for terms and conditions.

These trip joining details are provided on a provisional basis and may change prior to this tour departing. Any changes to these details will be updated on this page.
For those not eligible for a free transfer the joining / ending time and location for your trip are detailed below:
Joining Point
Town
Marseille Airport
Time and place
12:00 PM at Near the exit of the arrivals hall at Terminal 2
Ending Point
Town
Marseille Airport
Time
10:00 AM
If you have booked a pre or post trip accommodation directly with the hotel, or through any other intermediaries, please ensure you regularly check this page in case of any changes.

Flight-inclusive price information

The price of this trip is a guide price only. The price may change due to the availability of flights and your preferred airport and airline. When you submit your booking request we will hold your place and contact you to confirm that you're happy to go ahead.

ATOL logoATOL Protection
This flight inclusive package is financially protected under ATOL 2595 held by Explore Worldwide Limited.

Award Winning Explore Leaders
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Price Guarantee Promise
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Airport Transfers
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