Provence – Cote d’Azur Cycling Holiday

  • 4.9
    (3 reviews)
  • Category

    Cycle Touring
    Self Guided
  • Grade

    Moderate
  • Duration/s

    7 nights
  • Start / Finish

    Avignon / Cassis
  • Distance

    204 miles/329 kms
  • Themes

    EbikeGastronomic
  • Accommodation

    Comfort to Superior
  • Tour code

    039-101CFR
Price From £792

Overview

A cycling holiday in Provence, leading you from Avignon to the Cote d’Azur, through sun-kissed scenery so revered by great masters of the past. The route leads you to picture-perfect villages and towns such as Le Baux en Provence and  Aix en Provence before delivering you to charming seaside town of Cassis.

Spend a night in Avignon – the City of Popes before heading south along quiet country lanes into the Alpilles for some great cycling and fantastic views including the ancient hilltop village of Le Baux en Provence. You’ll pass through a landscape of olive groves to the celebrated city of Aix en Provence, with its maze of medieval streets. Cycle the sunning Cézanne route through the foothills of Montagne Sainte Victoire to admire the scenery so loved by the great artist. Enjoy an exhilarating descent to Cassis and then spend a day on the Mediterranean coast exploring the the towering cliffs of Cap Canaille and the miniature fjord-like inlets of Calanques.

Calanques Limestone cliffs - Cassis - France*

Calanques – Limestone cliffs near Cassis

The terrain on this Provence cycle tour is quite varied. There are plenty of easy-going, flat roads, plus some rolling stretches as well as a few more substantial climbs. Everything can be taken at a sensible pace, however, with plenty of time for picnics, lunch stops and photo opportunities along the way. There are also options to extend your rides on a couple of days. These include more climbing and will need a bit more stamina, but are well worth it for the views and sense of achievement.  

Itinerary & Map

The terrain on this Provence cycle tour is quite varied. There are plenty of easy-going, flat roads, plus some rolling stretches as well as a few more substantial climbs. Everything can be taken at a sensible pace, however, with plenty of time for picnics, lunch stops and photo opportunities along the way. There are also options to extend your rides on a couple of days. These include more climbing and will need a bit more stamina, but are well worth it for the views and sense of achievement.

View larger map

Day 1: Arrive Avignon

Avignon

Avignon

On arrival in Avignon make your way to your hotel. After check-in you are free to relax or explore this charming and rather dramatic ‘city of the Popes’. Time permitting we suggest a visit to the fabulous Papal Palace and the famous bridge, immortalised in the well-known song.

Day 2: Avignon – Maussane Les Alpilles, 31 miles/50 kms

Les Baux de Provence - France*

Les Baux de Provence

Your first day’s cycling leads you south along quiet country lanes, through a rural landscape of orchards, fertile fields and tiny villages. The terrain slowly changes as you enter the Alpilles – a range of forested, limestone hills – which afford fantastic views and great cycling. Stop to explore the picturesque hill-top village of Les Baux-de-Provence before riding on to the charming village of Maussane Les Alpilles where you will spend the night.

Day 3: Alpilles – Aix en Provence, 45 miles/72 kms

Clocktower - Aix en Provence - France*

Clocktower in Aix en Provence

Leave the Alpilles and continue your journey, riding through a typical Provencal landscape of gently rolling hills and a patchwork of olive groves. Much of the local olive oil is used to make the famous local ‘Savon de Marseille’ soap – break your ride to stop and learn more before continuing through the glorious countryside. Today’s destination is the magnificent old city of Aix en Provence, once home to the painter, Paul Cézanne.

Day 4: Aix en Provence – Mount Sainte Victoire – Aix en Provence, 47 miles/75 kms

Mt. St. Victoire

Mt. St. Victoire

Today is a free day as you will spend a second night in Aix. Take a wander through the medieval city, exploring its charming squares and avenues. Stop for a leisurely drink in a pavement café or a bite to eat in one of its cosy restaurants. You may also wish to visit the cathedral or Cézanne’s former studios. If you prefer to get out on the bike, then there’s an option to head out on a challenging hilly ride, about 75km, around Mount Sainte Victoire, via Chateau de Vauvernargues where Picasso lived and is now buried.

Day 5: Aix en Provence – Maximin la Sainte Baume, 29 miles/47 kms

Basilica of Mary Magdalene - Saint Maximin la Sainte Baume - France*

Basilica of Mary Magdalene – St. Maximin la Sainte Baume

Leaving Aix behind you’ll follow the ‘Route Cézanne’ into the foothills of Mt. St. Victoire. The artist often painted here as he loved the light and colours of the surrounding countryside. Riding past the bleached white cliffs and green pines growing from a red soil on a blue sky day its easy to see the appeal. You then cross a wide fertile valley to the town of Maximin la Sainte Baume, where you’ll stop for the night. The charming town is home to the largest Gothic cathedral in south east France and is a major pilgrimage site.

Day 6: Maximin la Sainte Baume – Cassis, 37-43 miles/60-70 kms

Cassis - Provence - France*

Cassis

You’ve the option of two routes today, depending on how energetic you feel. Either cruise through gentle, rolling hills, including two long, freewheeling descents, or take the slightly longer, and considerably hillier route to Montagne Sainte Baume. If you do take the longer route the downhills are even more spectacular and enjoyable. Either way, you’ll be afforded splendid views and countryside, before arriving in the pretty port of Cassis on the Mediterranean coast.

Day 7: Cassis, 14 miles/20 kms

Cassis from Route de Cretes - Provence - France*

Cassis from the Route de Cretes

Today is yours to spend as you please in and around Cassis. You could simply relax on the beach or if you’re feeling energetic you could rent sea kayaks and go for a paddle along the coast. A popular option is to cycle out along the Calanques coast to admire and swim in the turquoise waters of the fjord-like inlets. If you want a more challenging route then take the 30km Route de Cretes loop that leads you south along the the stunning cliff-top road to the nearby town of La Ciotat.

Day 8: Cassis

After breakfast it’s time to check out and head for home or your next adventure.

Dates & Prices

2019 Arrival Dates
Arrivals daily from 01 April - 15 October

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2019 Prices
039-101CFR
Per person
01 Apr
to
22 Jun
23 Jun
to
21 Jul
22 Jul
to
31 Jul
01 Aug
to
15 Oct
Comfort category
Double/twin £952 £973 £973 £952              
Single £1356 £1398 £1398 £1356              
Solo cyclist £1602 £1644 £1644 £1602              
Triple £792 £806 £806 £792              
Superior category
Double/twin £1246 £1455 £1246 £1246              
Single £1778 £2191 £1778 £1778              
Solo cyclist £2028 £2437 £2028 £2028              
Triple £1012 £1170 £1012 £1012              
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Deposit per person £100

Price Includes

7 nights accommodation. See practical information
7 x Breakfast
Luggage transfer
Maps & route information
GPS device with route data
Local assistance

Price Excludes

Flights and transfers
Bike hire (see supplements)

Supplements

Bike with pannier & lock. See practical information (£76)
Electric bike with pannier & lock (£172)

Practical Information

Bikes

hybrid bike

Example of men’s hybrid bike used on this tour

The bikes provided on this tour are modern alloy framed, 24-gear hybrid bikes with comfortable saddle and upright riding position.

These bikes come equipped with rear pannier, lock, odometer, repair kit, and water bottle.

Electric bikes are also available for hire.

e-bike female

example of electric bike used on this tour

We suggest you bring your own helmet for safety and hygiene reasons. Alternatively, helmets can be provided on arrival.

Accommodation

Below you will find examples of the types of accommodation typically used on this tour. Please note that the hotels we book for you may differ slightly from those described but they will certainly be of a similar standard.

Comfort: Comfortable hotels and guesthouses.

Avignon: Ibis Pont de l’Europe
Maussane les Alpilles: Les Magnanarelles
Aix en Provence: Le Mozart
Saint Maximin la Sainte Baume: Le Couvent Royal
Cassis: Le Cassitel

Superior: Good quality hotels and guesthouses.

Avignon: Grandhôtel
Maussane les Alpilles: Castillon des Baux
Aix en Provence: Les Augustins
Saint Maximin la Sainte Baume: Le Couvent Royal
Cassis: La Rade

 

Getting There

Fly to Marseille, Montpellier, Lyon or Paris and then catch a train to Avignon. At the end of the trip take the bus/metro from Cassis to Marseille or Paris.

Research flights from the UK here

Research trains in France here

Gallery

Current rating for this cycling holiday based on 3 reviews 4.9
  • Date - 15/10/2018
  • Name - Anonymous
  • Service rating -
    5.0
  • Service comment - All queries promptly responded to and very helpful in adjusting dates and hotels so as to be able to have an ebike.
  • Product rating -
    4.0
  • Product comment - Good holiday, bikes good and itinerary and directions clear. Hotels comfortable and well situated. Only reasons for 4 starts not 5 was the route through to Cassis on Day 6; had to negotiate very busy and complicated route crossing the motorway, multiple roundabouts and junctions. Was almost impossible to read next instruction whilst riding, and not knowing where the exit on the next roundabout was in order to be in the right lane!
  • Date - 03/09/2018
  • Name - Anonymous
  • Service rating -
    5.0
  • Service comment - They were quick to respond to our queries . The hotels were great . They made suggestions when we asked .
  • Product rating -
    5.0
  • Product comment - Great experience . We'd definitely use Flexi Treks again . The service provider in France was outstanding. The self guided maps we used were
    So accurate
  • Date - 09/10/2017
  • Name - Anonymous
  • Service rating -
    5.0
  • Service comment - Good, personal service. Someone always available on the phone.
  • Product rating -
    5.0
  • Product comment - Great scenery, good directions.
  • Flexitreks response - So glad you enjoyed your cycling adventure in Provence!