Wine & Bike Vacation in Provence - France

Tasting
Wine, Local Food
Activity
Hiking, Biking, Meet The Maker
Included
Hotel, Meal, Tour guide
Languages
English
Theme
Outdoor, Countryside, Cultural
Minimum Drinking Age
21
$
2,941
33
/ Person
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Activity Overview
We welcome you to a six-day, self-guided cycling excursion through Provence. We will take you to all the remarkable sites and the mouth-watering culinary events of the region. Provence has an abundance of offers, from its prolific scenery rife with vineyards, Roman architecture, and lavender fields to its appetizing wholesome delicacies. This self-guided trip begins in Avignon, popular for its majestic churches that served as the pope’s residence in the 14th century. Along the way, and particularly in the renowned Cotes du Rhone, we will ensure that our cycling tour routes make their way through all the best vineyards and wineries in the area. Your cycling expedition will take you through La Garde d’Adhemar, to appreciate its Medieval structures, all the way past Mont Ventoux. The tour ends in Bedoin, but that is not all, we will ensure that you get back to Avignon safely. We have designed hotel stays, transportation, and the best biking routes. Be prepared for a week of biking through extraordinary France.

Itinerary

DAY 1: Arrival in Avignon - transfer to Chateauneuf du Pape
This Provencal Trail to Table adventure starts the moment your train arrives at the Avignon station. You will be picked up and transferred to the neighboring ancient village of Châteauneuf du Pape. The village is crowned by remnants of a 14th-century papal palace. Once you settle into your hotel, you will share a glass of wine from the handy vineyards as you get acquainted with your guide who will orient you with the itinerary for your days ahead. You will enjoy a relaxed dinner before retiring to your alluring hotel.

Day 2: Ride from Chateauneuf du Pape to Orange to Chateauneuf du Pape – (43 km/26.7 miles)
In the morning you will discover the picturesque little wine villages neighboring Châteauneuf du Pape. These villages include Vacqueyras, Sablet, Seguret and Beaumes de Venise. These villages consist of medieval stone houses adjacent to the vineyards providing a perfect photo opportunity of Provence! You will enjoy your initial wine tasting of the day with a picnic lunch of typical French specialties. After a relaxing mid-day break, you will take a relaxed bike ride to Orange. Along the way, you will visit a boulangerie where the traditional “navette,” a popular provençal biscuit is produced. Once you arrive in Orange, you will tour the highly preserved Roman amphitheater that dates back to the 1st century AD. You will also discover a triumphal arch of the same period. After your stroll through Roman history, you will enjoy a leisurely ride through the vines on your way back to Châteauneuf du Pape.

Day 3: Chateauneuf du Pape to Uzes to Avignon canoe.
After breakfast, you will be driven to the picturesque small town of Uzès. The town overlooks the luxuriant Alzon Valley, it is a classic provincial village with a marvelous Provencal market on the main square. You will then choose whether to traverse the village on your own or connect a visit to Meduz craft brewery where you will taste their artisanal beer. Afterward, you will advance to the breathtaking site of the Pont du Gard three-level aqueduct. It was built to carry water across the River Gardon to the City of Nimes and was regarded as one of the wonders of the ancient world. Next, you will take to canoes for a paddle down the river Gardon where you will enjoy the Provencal terrain from a waterside perspective. Finally, your activities for the day culminate with a drive to the majestic Avignon.

Day 4: Avignon to St. Remy – (35 km/ 21.7 miles).
You will start your morning with a walking tour of the ornate Pope's Palace, an impressive complex of buildings that date back to the era the papal seat was transferred from Rome to Avignon for the better part of the 14th century. Once you depart from this tremendous Gothic palace in all of Europe, you will pick up your bikes and commence a leisurely ride heading to the dazzling and typical villages of Provence, the St. Rémy. St. Rémy was the residence of Van Gogh for a while and the setting of many of his eminent paintings, it is famous for the aromas of wild herbs. After strolling through Van Gogh landscapes, it is worth to taste a glass of one of the remarkable local wines of the Les Baux.

Day 5: St. Remy to Les Baux to St. Remy (no bike) - hike to Les Beaux de Provence.
The day starts with a cooking class, where you will learn some traditional methods and flavors of Provencal culinary arts. The flavors will be souvenirs that you take home and use again and again with every French-inspired meal you prepare! You will enjoy a delicious lunch followed by a transfer to a natural wine and olive oil producer in Les Baux de Provence. The village is considered as the most amazing villages in France. You will be guided around this marvelous pilgrimage site to learn about its history as you enjoy the sweeping views from this village established on a high outcropping facing the plains below. This location provided Van Gogh with scenes of inspiration, reflected in many of his celebrated works. Afterward, you will head underground into the remnant quarries resulting from the stone excavated to establish the village. This day will give you an interactive art experience "Les Carrières de Lumières" where video and sound is projected onto walls and pillars built from excavations dug since Roman times. Finally, you will be transferred back to Saint Remy. However, you may opt for a horseback ride in Les Alpilles, an isolated mountain range within Provence. You may also opt to spend the evening relaxing at your hotel, enjoying local wines and cuisine (or both!)

Day 6: Departure.
On this day, after breakfast, we say "au revoir". Enjoy your final au lait and croissant before your transfer to Avignon train station as you head home or on to the next phase of your adventure!
 
Practical information
Level - Level: 2-3 Moderate Cycling, Hiking, Paddling

Lodging
Accommodations: 3 to 4 star hotels within close proximity to town centers. All lodging includes private bathroom and a variety of other amenities.
- Hotel Chateau des Fines Roches****
- Hotel Bristol****
- Hotel Gounod***
 
Included
  • 3 nights accommodation in 4* hotels (Superior room)
  • 2 nights accommodation in 3* hotels (Superior room)
  • Breakfast Buffet
  • 3 x 4-course evening meal
  • 4 picnics with wine
  • 1 cooking class
  • 3 wine tastings
  • 1 beer tasting
  • 1 olive oil tasting
  • Visit of the Roman theater in Orange
  • Visit of Pont du Guard
  • Visit of Les carriers de Lumiere
  • Luggage transfer between each hotel
  • Maps
  • Assistance
  • Bus with Driver
  • English speaking Guide
  • All transfer mentioned
  • Transfer from/to Avignon Train station
  • Optional activity: Horse ride in the Alpilles - Canoe at le Pont du Gard
Rates
Per
Price
Pricing Info
Person
$
2,941
33
Price per person for double occupancy
Add-on
Per
Price
Pricing info
Person
$
82
77
Hybrid Bike rental
Person
$
268
19
Road Bike rental
Person
$
689
80
Single supplement fee
Timing
Dates
Start Time
More Information
More information about the timing
On May 14, 201812:00 PMPublic tour
On Oct 1, 201812:00 PMPublic tour
Daily12:00 PMPrivate tour - Please contact us for availability
Duration
6 Days, 5 Nights
More Info
Cancellation Policy
Non-Refundable
  • Cancellations made at a later date will not be refunded.
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Overall Experience
Tastings Nearby
Orange, Provence-Alpes-Côte D'azur, France
Duration:
5 H
This amazing Tour is only Available on Thursdays (Orange weekly food market) and is designed to take you through Orange city. You'll learn how to buy fresh local produce from a true ... moreProvençal market (Orange), followed by a cooking class at my home and then enjoy your cooked lunch with local wines. Be prepared to smell new scents, observe new fresh produces from the Provence area. This tour starts at around 8.30 am in Orange market, where you’ll go looking for food to cook for lunch. By 10 am, we’ll back to the cuisine of an enchanting Provençal Bastide-style hotel where you'll be trained how to make easy Provençal recipes that you can reproduce back at home. You’ll enjoy your own food for lunch paired with wine. This tour takes approximately 5 hours. Check "Contact, tour prices, and reservation" section for prices.
Beaumes-De-Venise, Provence-Alpes-Côte D'azur, France
Duration:
5 H
 (1)
You’ll be amazed by the vineyards of the vineyards of Gigondas, Beaumes-de-Venise, and Vacqueyras, situated around Les Dentelles de Montmirail. The Hilly terrain, olive trees, vines, ... moreand secluded charming villages, will surely offer an unforgettable experience. Make sure to carry your camera with you as the tour takes you to picture perfect locations. Apart from the beautiful landscapes, this trio "crus" has nothing to envy other than their own unique character. This region is recognized for producing excellent deep-colored red wines, fine and elegant whites, and of course the deliciously fruity and refreshing rosés. "Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise" a natural sweet wine, can't be missed out as it has been cultivated in this region since the 1st century AD. Book through us for a chance to enjoy every drop of it!

Fascinating facts and figures about Beaumes-de-Venise
The Greeks were the first to grow Muscat grapes in 600 BC when they settled in the region. According to Pliny the Old (23-79 AD) in his "Natural History", he mentioned that the muscat grape had been cultivated in Beaumes-de-Venise for long and that it gave a remarkable wine.
In 1248 Saint Louis during one of his crusades took some with him. And in 1309 Clément V, the first pope in Avignon to be supplied with Muscat assisted to develop the product as all the popes who succeeded him, were all supplied with wine from the Muscat. The existence of Muscat and wine in the Beaumes area share a deep history. However, Beaumes-de-Venise, the naturally sweet wine, was not granted the status of cru until 1943. The reds (no whites) were to get that status in 2005. The appellation of Beaumes-de Venise is set at the base of the Dentelles de Montmirail mountains. It is composed of three distinct types of terroir: gypsum mottled marl, which is a combination of clay and limestone, gravel and silt, limestone scree and river rocks.
The varieties grown are Grenache, which accounts for 50% of planted vines, Syrah at 25%, and secondary varieties like Counoise, Cinsault, and Carignan. There are also white grape varieties which only account for 10% of the final blending. The yield is controlled and low, and cannot be more than 38hl per hectare at any time. Harvesting is entirely hand-picked. Chemical weeding is not allowed as well as certain anti-botrytis treatments, Thermovinification, and enrichment methods. The region has about 100 producers operating on 629 hectares, which makes it a rather tiny appellation. The terroir includes the villages of La Roque-Alric, Suzette, Beaumes-de-Venise, and Lafarge.
The AOP is recognized for producing deep colored, fruity and elegant red wines with black and red berries aromas coupled with peppery notes. The muscat AOP is composed of a 100% Muscat petit grain variety, you are most likely to find it in white and rosé although some old red plants which constitute a very rare nectar, have survived. The annual production is about 12 000 hectoliters with a surface of 500 hectares, producing not more than 30 hectoliters per hectare. They offer a powerful and rich nose with rose, peach, lychee, mango, apricot, honey notes. The Muscat from Beaumes-de-Venise is sweet, very well balanced and rich in freshness.
Châteauneuf-Du-Pape, Provence-Alpes-Côte D'azur, France
Duration:
3 H, 5 H
 (1)
Welcome to the beautiful terroir of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, and enjoy amazing aromatic and full-bodied wines that have made this Southern Rhône cru popular in the world of wines. All ... morethe winemakers registered under the Federation of Châteauneuf-du-Pape winemakers, scrupulously adhere the AOP specifications that were enforced in1936. These specifications elaborate their wines according to the various soil types on which their parcels are located. The farmers altogether bring out their ancestral "savoir-faire" which results in the best of their "terroir".
You'll visit great cellars in Châteauneuf-du-Pape from small ancient cellars to more modernized ones. This tour gives you a special moment to be in one of the most authentic and picturesque vineyards in France. Châteauneuf has preserved its tradition and ancestral way of tilling the land and winemaking. Kindly note that this tour is not available at the weekend due to the closure of the cellars. Ideally commencing at 9 am, you'll get the chance to visit and taste wines in 4 distinctive Châteauneuf-du-Pape Domaines. You’ll be adequately briefed regarding the terroir and the vinification methods. You can inquire in case you wish to visit big Châteaux since there are a few. You’ll be charged a tasting fee of between 8€ to 14€ which is directly paid on their premises. You’ll have lunch in a local authentic Provençal restaurant. Estimated departure time from Châteauneuf is around 4. 30 pm.

Amazing facts and figures about Châteauneuf-du-Pape

The Châteauneuf-du-Pape vineyard consists of five different villages and cities and villages which includes; Châteauneuf itself, Courthézon, Sorgues, Bédarrides, and Orange. The region covers 3200 hectares (roughly 8000 acres) with approximately 3000 vines planted per hectare, which is roughly 1200 plants per acre. A 1/4 of these vines is organic, and 95% of the wine produced here is red, while 5% white (rosés are not permitted in the Appellation).
The region has a total of around 300 producers who produce 97% of the total wine in this region, while 3% is vinified by a cooperative. The annual production is estimated at around 100,000 hl, translating to 2,641,720 US gallons and 2,199,692 imperial gallons respectively. Annually, 14 million bottles are commercialized here. This region is the first French wine AOC passed by law in 1936. Among the AOCs requirements: 13 grapevines permitted (and Grenache is king!), with a 12.5% minimum alcohol content, grapes sorting, no watering, hand harvesting, disbudding and green harvesting allowing the low average yield of 31 hl per hectare producing 331 US gallons per acre and 276 imperial gallons per acre respectively. It also states that no more than 35 hl can be grown per hectare, which roughly 374 US gallons or 311 imperial gallons per acre.
Low yields ensure quality which characterizes the specific terroir mainly consists of clay, limestone, and the well-known river rocks (galets roulés in French) all of which bring structure and strength to the wines. The regional sand also gives more elegance-styled wines.
Concrete tanks and massive wooden casks (foudre in French) have been used for ages in the fermentation and aging of wine in Châteauneuf-du-Pape (grenache fearing oxidation). A majority of winemakers have preserved their tradition and their highly demonstrative terroir.