Camargue and Provence Bike and Boat

A wonderful bike and boat cycling holiday from Camargue through the sensory delights of Provence to Avignon. Cycle through lavender fields, shady olive groves and picture-perfect artisan towns. Highlights include Van Gough’s Arles, the picturesque villages of the Alpilles, the ancient Pont-du-Gard and the wine village of Châteauneuf-du-Pape.

This cycle cruising holiday operates between Aigues Mortes, in the Camargue on the Mediterranean coast and the medieval town of Avignon on the Rhone River in Provence. You and up to 20 other cyclists are accommodated aboard a comfortable barge that wends its way along the waterways and canals of this delightful region. You can choose to cycle alone, using the detailed route notes provided, or with the group led by an experienced bike guide.

Avignon

As an introduction to this stunning region of France, this tour is in a class of its own. Visit Arles, where Van Gough enjoyed his most creative period, the stunningly beautiful medieval village of Le Baux de Provence as well as the Pont du Gard, Europe’s best preserved Roman aqueduct, and the gorgeous old town of Avignon, the City of Popes.

The cycling is relatively easy, following bike paths and quiet roads most of the time. There are a few hills along the way but there’s no rush so take a break to enjoy the view as often as you please.

Please note that this holiday also operates in the reverse direction.

Camargue and Provence Bike and Boat

A wonderful bike and boat cycling holiday from Camargue through the sensory delights of Provence to Avignon. Cycle through lavender fields, shady olive groves and picture-perfect artisan towns. Highlights include Van Gough’s Arles, the picturesque villages of the Alpilles, the ancient Pont-du-Gard and the wine village of Châteauneuf-du-Pape.

This cycle cruising holiday operates between Aigues Mortes, in the Camargue on the Mediterranean coast and the medieval town of Avignon on the Rhone River in Provence. You and up to 20 other cyclists are accommodated aboard a comfortable barge that wends its way along the waterways and canals of this delightful region. You can choose to cycle alone, using the detailed route notes provided, or with the group led by an experienced bike guide.

Avignon

As an introduction to this stunning region of France, this tour is in a class of its own. Visit Arles, where Van Gough enjoyed his most creative period, the stunningly beautiful medieval village of Le Baux de Provence as well as the Pont du Gard, Europe’s best preserved Roman aqueduct, and the gorgeous old town of Avignon, the City of Popes.

The cycling is relatively easy, following bike paths and quiet roads most of the time. There are a few hills along the way but there’s no rush so take a break to enjoy the view as often as you please.

Please note that this holiday also operates in the reverse direction.

Itinerary

This holiday also operates in reverse, see the Provence and Camargue route.

The captain reserves the right to make changes to the planned route due to changing wind, tide and weather conditions, and where required by organizational necessities.

Day 1 : Arrive Aigues-Mortes

HELLOUpon arrival into Aigues-Mortes make your way to the barge. Boarding is at 6pm. If you arrive early we recommend exploring the medieval town. In the evening there will be a welcome meeting where the guide will describe the week ahead in detail. Over dinner you can also get to know your fellow passengers.

Day 2 : Aigues-Mortes
round tour

Your first ride leads you along quiet country roads between the canals and lagoons of the Camargue. It’s a relatively easy ride on mainly flat terrain to ease you into the holiday. Towards the end you cycle into the fishing village of Le-Grau-du-Roi – don’t forget your swim stuff in case you fancy a swim from the sandy beach. Return to the barge for dinner aboard and a second evening moored in Aigues Mortes.

Day 3 : Aigues-Mortes – Arles
16 miles/25 kms

The day starts with a leisurely cruise along the canal to the charming town of Saint Gilles where you disembark for today’s cycle ride. The relatively short route leads you across open countryside to Arles. The town captivated Van Gogh and many consider the period he spent here to be his most creative. A guide will introduce you to the town’s highlights leading you through the small colourful alleys and streets. The barge moors for the night here so you can also return for another visit in the evening.

Day 4 : Arles – Vallabrègues
34 miles/55 kms

Today the landscape changes as you cycle into the Alpilles past limestone cliffs and olive groves up to the medieval village of Les-Baux-de-Provence. Then it’s a beautiful descent to the pretty town of Saint Rémy where Van Gogh painted Starry Night, and finally to Vallabrègues on the banks of the Rhône, where the barge moors for the night.

Day 5 : Vallabrègues – Aramon
22 miles/35 kms

Cycle along quiet country roads today as you make your way to Barbentane, at the confluence of the Rhone and Durance Rivers. From here you cycle through pleasant forested countryside, first to the Abbey of Saint Michel de Frigulet – a pilgrims destination for centuries – and then on to the charming medieval village of Boulbon. Then it’s back to the barge for a late afternoon cruise to the town of Aramon where the barge moors for the night.

Day 6 : Aramon – Avignon
25 miles/40 kms

Today you will leave the river and cycle north to admire the best-preserved Roman aqueduct in Europe, the Pont-du-Gard. Afterwards you return to the river for a cruise upstream to Avignon, the medieval city of the Popes. You will be moored in Quai de la Ligne next to the famous Pont Saint-Bénézet (aka Pont d’Avignon).

Day 7 : Avignon
round tour

Today’s route leads you further upstream, along quiet roads surrounded by vineyards and orchards. The route crosses the Rhône at Île de la Barthelasse before returning via the charming town of Villeneuve Les Avignon. Your last night aboard is spent in the heart of the city of Avignon.

Day 8 : End of trip

After breakfast it’s time to disembark, by 9am, and head for home or your next adventure.

Bikes

Regular bikes provided are modern alloy framed models with 27 speeds. The bikes come equipped with pannier, lock and a repair kit with pump.

Electric bikes are also available.

We suggest you bring your own helmet for safety and hygiene reasons, alternatively helmets for adults are available on arrival.

Accommodation

Two very similar Dutch barges operate this route in unison, the Caprice and L’Estello. Both offer comfortable accommodation and a warm, convivial atmosphere.

Le Estello (comfort)

Built in 1938 this is a classic Dutch barge with comfortable facilities and a warm friendly atmosphere.

There is an air-conditioned living area divided into a dining area with large picture windows and a bar with sofas and armchairs. Board games and boules are also available on board. The sundeck has seating and a fixed awning. There is free Wi-Fi in the restaurant/bar area.

There are 10 cabins on board: 1 double and 9 twins measuring 7-8 m². All cabins are air-conditioned and have en-suite shower/wc and portholes. Bedding and towels are provided and a complimentary courtesy kit: soap, shower gel, shampoo.

Meals

A hearty buffet breakfast is provided each morning where guests are also invited to prepare their own packed lunch. Evening meal is served on-board. There is also a free hot drinks machine.

Caprice (comfort)

The Caprice is a traditional Dutch barge offering a cosy atmosphere, comfortable cabins and a friendly welcoming crew.

There is a spacious air-conditioned restaurant and lounge area with bar. The sun-deck has seating and a fixed awning. There is free Wi-Fi in the restaurant and lounge area.

She is equipped with 11 cabins (1 Single, 2 Doubles, 8 Twins) measuring 7-8 m². All are air-conditioned with en-suite shower/wc and fixed portholes. There is ample closet space, a power socket and a full-length mirror. Bedding and towels are provided and a complimentary courtesy kit: soap, shower gel, shampoo.

Meals

A hearty buffet breakfast is provided each morning where guests are also invited to prepare their own packed lunch. Evening meal is served on-board. There is also a free hot drinks machine

Getting there

Fly to Montpellier, Marseille, Lyon or Paris and then catch a train to Aigues Mortes

Research flights from the UK here

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