- Cycling through stunning countryside past olive groves and vineyards, and through the wild Camargue
- Exploring the great towns of Arles, Avignon and St Remy de Provence
- Experiencing the timelessness of the landscapes made famous by Van Gogh
- Seeing the famous Roman aqueduct Pont du Gard
Cycle through a revolving landscape from the wilderness of the Camargue where wild horses roam, to scenes of picturesque Provençal villages and vineyards that inspired Van Gogh and the sandy beaches of the Mediterranean. The Camargue is rich in wildlife including flamingos and endemic plants, while its flat plains provide easy cycling, before giving way to the spectacular limestone foothills of the Alpilles. Explore the villages of Provence brimming with tasty treats, art studios and cultural relics. Enjoy the vineyard scenery and marvel at the well preserved Pont du Gard. Relax on board the barge after each day’s cycle and enjoy the views on the bank of the Rhone as you soak up the hospitality of the crew.
Make your way to Avignon. You will find the boat at the Quai de la Ligne next to the famous Pont St Bénezet. Boarding begins at 6pm.
Cycle near Avignon, afternoon guided tour (30km/18.5mi)
Today’s cycle takes us to the other side of the river Rhone by crossing the island Île de la Barthelasse, and we’ll ride in the typical Provencal landscape, between vineyards and orchards. Before heading back to the boat we’ll visit Villeneuve Les Avignon, once known as the town of the cardinals. In the afternoon there’ll be time to visit the historic centre of Avignon. Elevation +100m/328ft
By boat to Aramon then loop cycle to the Roman aqueduct, the Pont du Gard (40km/25mi)
We cruise for two hours this morning to the new harbour on the Rhone at Aramon. Back on the bikes we cycle to the best preserved Roman aqueduct in Europe, the Pont du Gard. This UNESCO listed aqueduct is a truly spectacular work of architecture. Later we return to our mooring in Aramon, a typical village on the banks of the Rhone, with a beautiful view over the Mont Ventoux. Elevation +110m/361ft
By boat to Vallabrègues then loop cycle through typical Provence countryside (35km/21.5mi)
This morning the boat cruises to Vallabrègues, another pretty Provençal village on the banks of the Rhône. The cycle takes us along country roads to the town of Barbentane with its castle at the confluence of the Rhone and Durance rivers. From here we continue to the magnificent Abbey of Saint Michel de Frigulet whose grounds are perfect for a picnic. Later we continue to the medieval village of Boulbon before returning to the boat at Vallabrègues. Elevation +90m/295ft
Cycle to St Remy de Provence and on to Les Baux de Provence and Arles (55km/34mi)
Today’s cycle brings us to Saint Remy de Provence, the birthplace of Nostradamus. This village is one of the “must-sees” in Provence. Vincent Van Gogh was treated here at Monastery Saint-Paul de Mausole and was so inspired by the light and landscape that he created 143 oil paintings and more than 100 drawings. We cycle to the Alpilles hills, with an ascent to the fortified town of Les Baux de Provence. This picturesque village is lodged high in the rock itself. A landscape of limestone cliffs, lavender and olive trees accompanies our journey. Continue to Arles. Elevation +300m/984ft
Visit Arles and cycle to Saint Gilles, by boat to Aigues Mortes (25km/15.5mi)
This morning is dedicated to visiting and exploring Arles, the ancient capital of Gaul on a guided walk. This World Heritage listed site has many important and beautiful Roman ruins. Getting lost among its small alleys is like entering a Van Gogh painting. We will arrive by bike at the wooden bridge which was portrayed by the great painter. Continue on to Saint Gilles, where we will meet the boat for a 2 hour cruise to Aigues Mortes. The striking walled town of Aigues-Mortes is set on the Petite Camargue, a flat marsh. The town has changed little in outward appearance since the Middle Ages, with its watch towers and fortified portes or gates. It was established as a port town with access to the sea via a canal through the marshlands. We recommend trying a “Fougasse”, a traditional local pastry made with Brioche dough, sugar and orange blossom. Elevation +0m Note: optional self guided cycle via the coast at Saintes Maries de la Mer to Aigues Mortes (65km 40.5mi)
Discover the Camargue by bike (55km/34mi)
We discover the spectacular Camargue on today’s round cycle. Through small country lanes between canals and lagoons, we’ll reach the charming village of Le Grau-du-Roi – and maybe take a refreshing swim at the beach. We return to Aigues Mortes for the last night on board the boat. Elevation +20m/65m
After breakfast the trip concludes in Aigues Mortes.
UT – PBB
Images courtesy of UTracks