Bicycling the Heart of Provence in France
John Giebler, ExperiencePlus! France Country Coordinator, talks about our Heart of Provence bicycle tour as an easier, shorter way of experiencing a lot of the great sites, food, wine, and beauty of Provence than our longer 11-day Provence & the South of France tour.
The ExperiencePlus! 8-day Heart of Provence bicycle tour is an easier, shorter way of experiencing a lot of the great sites, food, wine, and beauty of Provence than our longer 11-day Provence & the South of France tour. I was lucky to help develop the routes we use on this tour and am really proud of what we found. As Barry C., one of our first customers wrote, every day we enjoyed "easy riding on a wonderful selection of back roads (or paths) with almost no auto traffic."
For me, Barry is part of what makes tours like this so much fun. On his tour, everyone was so excited and appreciative of what the tour had to offer that right from the beginning, during our introductory tasting of local Châteauneuf-du-Pape wines, people were talking and laughing together as if they’d already been friends forever.
But the Heart of Provence is about a lot more than just great people. The variety of terrain we ride through on this tour is astounding. In just over a week’s worth of time we visit the ruins of the Avignon Popes’ 14th Century summer palace, cycle by enchanting hilltop villages (some crowned with their own castles), and spend two days exploring in Uzès – a perfectly preserved medieval town you have to see to believe! Additional visits to Van Gogh’s St. Rémy and medieval Les Baux, perched on a craggy cliff overlooking Dante’s Valley of Hell, are also spectacular. All this is without mentioning the famous Pont du Gard and some of the best Roman ruins found anywhere in the world.
The pace of this tour is really relaxing. We spend two nights in most towns, so everyone can sleep a little longer, stay out a little later, and take time to enjoy all the sights, scents, and flavors for which Provence is famous. Of course, our days are filled with plenty of great cycling too. As for meals, Orange, St. Rémy, and Uzès feature some of the best examples of French cuisine in the world, so bring a hearty appetite to go along with your cycling shorts! I promise, you won’t be disappointed.
Personally, I can’t wait to do this trip again next year. We’re offering it four times, so I look forward to making a lot of new friends. Perhaps one of them will be you! See you in Provence!