TOURISM & THE SIGHTS.
The Luberon and Provence provide a great environment for cycling and outdoor living with superb countryside
and stunning, intriguing hill villages. In the relatively small area of the Luberon Park alone, we have four of France's
most Beautiful Villages.; Roussillon, Gordes, Menerbes & Lourmarin. Plus a handfull of other villages that should probably be clasified too.
The area has a varied terrain: from the flat orchard filled river plain, rolling vine covered hills to quiet, long climbs. Throw in the beautiful Provencal architecture and the quiet country back roads and it should make for some of the best cycling you have ever experienced.
On the cultural front, there is a wide and deep range of activities with many interesting villages (See them all below) & towns (L'Isle sur la Sorgue, historic Avignon, Arles and Aix-en-Provence), museums, chateaux, vineyards, churches, various festivals, historic sites etc...
We'll provide you with our own "Real Provence" guide to the area; with all the popular places to visit (as well as the lesser known but equally good sights), our favourite restaurants, vineyards, etc. Whatever your interests, just let us know and we will be happy to show you the ride that will take you where you want to go. Of course if you've had enough cycling the car is always an option, with lots to see.
Our self guided rides visit all of the best Luberon sights:
Roussillon: Visit the beautiful village and its famous Ochre mines.
Gordes: Spectacular hill village with great views.
Oppede le Vieux: A unique, charming, old village that was half destroyed by an earth quake - with a great walk
from the village square up through the destroyed houses to the Castle & Church.
Goult: A very old, beautiful village off the tourist track, great restaurants & cafes and an interesting walk around the oldest part of the village.
Lacoste: A quiet village, with a great walk up amongst the houses to the Marquis de Sade's Chateau that tops the village and valley.
Menerbes:The archetypal Luberon village - made famous by the book "A year in Provence" - nice restaurants, views & walk.
Bonnieux:An interesting, stylish village set above the Luberon valley. Restaurants, galleries, shops...
Lourmarin: Beautiful village set at the entrance to the mountain pass.
Fontaine-de-Vaucluse: Picturesque village, famous for the crystal clear water source that flows through
it and onto L'Isle sur la Sorgue. Nice walk up to the water source with plenty of restaurants, cafes and shops along the way. You can even hire a canoe or fishing
Isle sur la Sorgue: Walk along the interesting water ways of Venice of Provence & browse the dozens of antique shops or just stop and have an ice cream by the river.
Other activities include:
Vineyards - Try some wine tasting at the numerous, excellent, local vineyards.
Markets - The choice is large with a market somewhere almost everyday.
Abbaye de Sénanque - The famous, impeccably preserved 12th-century Cistercian Abbey.
Fort de Buoux - An abandoned village and medieval fortress high on a stony outcrop - really interesting.
The Cedar Forest - at the top of the Luberon mountains, great for a picnic.
"Conservatoire des Terrasses" and its centuries old stone agricultural buildings.
And there are plenty more sights that are just a short journey by car:
Mont Ventoux - Probably the most famous mountain in the Tour de France. Take a drive up it, or if you're feeling fit join the others for the 2-hour grind up Cycling Mecca.
Roman sites - Pont du Gard (aquaduct), Glanum (excavated ancient village), Arles (Roman arena, theatre, baths & cemetery) & Nîmes (Roman arena).
Towns - St Remy de Provence, Avignon, Aix en Provence.
Sights - Château de la Barben, Zoo de la Barben, Vineyards (eg Châteauneuf du Pape, Gigondas), Les Baux de Provence.
Mediterranean beaches - Cassis, Bandol, Sainte Marie de la Mer etc.
"We had a wonderful 6 days cycling in Provence. Neil designed great rides each day to match our ambitions that took in wonderful villages, great lunch spots and wonderful views."
Adrian - NZ - Oct 13.
"Neil's knowledge and obvious love of bikes and the region helped to make our holiday a most memorable time."
Kim & Annemarie - Australia - May 11.
"Great cycling in beautiful surroundings with some great places of interest to visit."
Pippa & Dave - UK - July 10.
"Neil knows the area so well and keeps you on beautiful, quiet, country roads. We passed vineyards, olive groves, lavender and travelled through beautiful Provencal villages."
Donna - US - June 10.
"The house is perfectly placed for visits to many pretty villages and attractions. Neil's knowledge of the area is a great asset and proved to be invaluable. His recommendations for days out and places to dine were readily taken up and we were never disappointed."
Mark & Gill - UK - June 09.