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5 Days Escape Sightseeing and Cycling Tour in Gordes, France
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Self Guided Cycling Tour in France

Join Discover France on their cycling tour in France! This cycling tour is based in the beautiful village of Gordes from where you can explore the wonderful countryside of the Luberon, as described by Peter Mayle in his book, 'A Year in Provence'. On this cycling tour, you will be given different itineraries starting from Gordes and allowing you to discover the landscapes and villages of Provence and Luberon. Each day, you can choose the ride that suits you best: visiting the beautiful Roussillon, riding the challenging Mont Ventoux, or cycling through L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue and its famous market. The choice is yours!

Key information

  • Trip type: Self-guided
  • Lodging: Center-based
  • Terrain: Rolling countryside, possible short climbs, and hilly terrain with a reasonable amount of climbs and difficulty
  • Difficulty level: Easy (Cyclist doesn't need to have certain level of fitness, mostly flat terrain though occasionally they will ride in unpaved or hills, 10-30 miles per day) and Moderate (Cyclist needs to have a good level of fitness, terrain is mostly hilly or unpaved but they will ride on flat terrain sometime, 31-45 miles per day)
  • Total distance: 79 - 92 miles / 127 - 148 kilometers
  • Vacation type: Leisure cycling
  • Type of bike: Hybrid bike (included)
  • E-bike: Available to rent / 100 EUR
  • Road bike: Available to rent / 100 EUR
  • Tandem bike: Available to rent / 25 EUR


  • 3-day self-guided bike tour
  • Starting and ending in Gordes
  • Visit to the Château de Lacoste, Mont Ventoux, and more
  • GPS, roadbook, maps, touristic information, and others
  • Hybrid bike rental during the tour
  • Transfers to and from Avignon
  • 4 breakfasts and 2 dinners
  • 4 nights' accommodation


3 days with instruction
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During this tour, you will be accommodated in various 2-star, 3-star, 4-star hotels.



  • Level: Hobby (for weekend riders and people with some cycling experience) or active (for cyclists with experience on longer rides)
  • Average distance per day: 28 miles / 46 kilometers
  • Average elevation gain per day: 704 meters / 2,310 feet


Day 1: Arrive in Gordes

The meeting point is in Avignon, which is easily reached from Paris by train. Discover France then organizes your transfer from Avignon to Gordes. After settling down in your hotel and getting your bike set up, you will be free to spend the rest of the day exploring the charming Provence village of Gordes.

  • Meals: dinner (breakfast and lunch on your own)
  • Accommodation: Various 2-star, 3-star, 4-star hotels

Day 2: Valley of the Luberon

  • Distance: option 1 (31 miles / 50 kilometers) or option 2 (25 miles / 40 kilometers) 
  • Elevation gain: 1 (800 meters / 2,625 feet) or 2 (510 meters / 1,673 feet) 

Gordes and the Luberon area in the South of France became famous thanks to the book 'A Year in Provence' by Peter Mayle. You will cycle through the villages Oppède le Vieux, Ménerbes (where Peter Mayle lived), and Bonnieux. You will also visit the Château de Lacoste, one of the homes of Marquis de Sade, a French aristocrat and author of the late 1700s. He was famous for his libertine sexuality.

  • Meals: breakfast and dinner (lunch on your own)
  • Accommodation: Various 2-star, 3-star, 4-star hotels

Day 3: The ochre hills

  • Distance: option 1 (26 miles / 42 kilometers) or option 2 (42 miles / 67 kilometers) 
  • Elevation gain: 1 (650 meters / 2,132 feet or 2 (780 meters / 2,559 feet) 

This cycle is a nice moderate ride through an area famous for its ochre hills. This ride will take you to the town of Roussillon in the Vaucluse department, where the ochre pigment was first invented and developed, using ochre from the mines of the Apt valleys (Roussillon, Gargas, and Rustrel).

  • Meals: breakfast (lunch and dinner on your own)
  • Accommodation: Various 2-star, 3-star, 4-star hotels

Day 4: Bédoin and Mont Ventoux or other options

  • Distance: option 1 (22 miles / 35 kilometers) or option 2 (25 miles / 40 kilometers) 
  • Elevation gain 1: 780 meters / 2,559 feet

Option 1

This challenging ride will take you on a hilly route through the magnificent landscapes of the Vaucluse up to the famous Mont Ventoux. You will stop at the picturesque Sénanque Abbey on your way. Founded in the 12th century, it is still home to a community of monks, which grows lavender and makes honey.

Then, you will continue on through a small mountain chain before reaching Venasque. Located on a hilltop with a splendid view of the area, it is one of France's most beautiful villages. If you choose to keep cycling, the path will lead you to Carpentras by small quiet roads. As the capital of Comtat Venaissin, Carpentras used to be the home of several popes during the 14th century and is now famous for its black truffle market.

Option 2

This ride will take you to L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, a charming village located on the bank of the Sorgue river. On the way, you will visit Fontaine-de-Vaucluse. Located at the bottom of the Vaucluse Mountains, the village hosts the spring of the Sorgue river, the biggest spring in France. If you can, make sure to take this ride on Sunday, when you can take part in the market and antique fair of L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue.

Option 3

This third trip goes through the Col de Murs (Murs Pass) on a beautiful mountain road. You will mainly cycle through the forest, but will also get the opportunity to stop at the Sénanque Abbey.

  • Meals: breakfast (lunch and dinner on your own)
  • Accommodation: Various 2-star, 3-star, 4-star hotels

Day 5: Departure from Gordes

On the departure day, you can take your time and enjoy your last day in Gordes. You will then be transferred to Avignon (transfer included), where you can add extra nights or catch a train to Paris. The transfer is fixed for 09:30 unless otherwise arranged by you. Please allow one-hour travel before your train departure time.

  • Meals: breakfast (lunch and dinner on your own)

Notes: You can ask Discover France to design you a custom tour or simply take their maps and add miles to your route. Feel free to improvise, but know your limits and know what the symbols on the maps mean!


For this tour, you should be an independent person, capable of reading a map, interpreting directions, and taking charge of your planning. Discover France is here to help you, but in the end, you will be the one out there on the road / trail and the more prepared you are mentally as well as physically, the more fun and better memories you will have! Use this tour as an excuse to increase your conditioning and fitness and take some time to read everything Discover France sends to you as well as do your own research.

Everyone travels at his or her own speed. In the bike rides, Discover France generalizes an average of 13-18 kilometers / hours on flat surfaces and 10-13 kilometers / hours on grade. Those times do include bathroom breaks, but no time for lunch and visits. Everyone should allow time to stop and explore, visit sites, and check directions.

If you can ride a bike at 20 miles per hour, you cannot take a trip and expect to finish a ride in two hours. First, you need to allow time to check directions as you go, and then stop to visit. No less than four hours should be allowed to do any of the hikes and rides Discover France has in their programs on any day. Longer days will last as much as eight hours with stops and visits included.

Bicycle rental

Discover France includes hybrid bikes in the tour rate. Bicycle rentals are optional for all tours and are available for an additional charge. The bicycles are electric bikes or road bikes of very high quality. The brand may change from year to year, so you are responsible for inquiring about what type of bike and added gear is provided with your bicycle rental at the time you reserve it.

Bikes are delivered to each participant based on height. They are sized as close as possible but they remain rentals and may take some minor adjustments. The quality is top notch for rentals. Discover France's mechanics review every bike after each rental to prepare for the next use. While on tour, remember that you must know how to fix a flat. Discover France gives you the tools but they are not on call to fix that. They will resolve any other mechanical issues if they should arise.

Any participant who chooses to bring his / her own bicycle is responsible for all mechanical issues and all transportation issues including traveling by train, which is difficult in France on the TGV. The bike you received is your responsibility once you are on the road. When the bike is at the hotel (inside or in the hotel's storage) the bike is under the hotel's responsibility. If you do not return the bike, break it or lose it, you will be invoiced for 400 EUR per hybrid / mountain bike or 1,200 EUR per road bike or e-bike. Each time, you have to check with the reception to know where to leave your bike.

Items included with bike rental:

  • Front handlebar bag
  • Plastic map holder
  • Tire levers
  • Lock
  • Repair tool kit (multi-tool)
  • Extra tube
  • Odometer
  • Water bottle (you can keep it after the trip!)
  • Pump
  • Rear pannier
  • Helmet

Hybrid bike - SCOTT Sub Sport 20

The SCOTT SUB Sport 20 features a sporty trekking geometry that suits trips of all distances. Equipped with a Shimano 30 speed transmission, integrated front and rear lights, a custom racktime carrier, and compatibility with Snapit accessories, this bike is begging to go on an adventure. All sizes available: S, M, L, XL.

Road bike - Cannondale Synapse Carbon 105 6

Cannondale's carbon construction method uses precisely placed high stiffness fibers over a base of high tensile strength fibers and high impact resins to deliver an extremely lightweight and perfectly tuned stiffness, without sacrificing strength. Discover France has all sizes for you: XS, S, M, L, XL. The weight is approximately eight kilograms (18 pounds).

E-bike - Cannondale Mavaro Active 1

With its integrated rack, seamless assist, and comfortable upright position, the Mavaro is all about freedom, the freedom to enjoy weekend treks or trips to the store, the freedom to escape the car for the daily commute or the freedom to feel the wind in your face - effortlessly.

Tandem bike - Cannondale Tandem 29er

A more upright and adventurous model brings the strength, stability, and smooth-rolling comfort of 29-inch wheels to the two-up crowd.

Kid bike - Orbea MX 20 or 24 (or equivalent)

This bike is a truly functional bike for smaller riders who like a race-inspired style. With this bike, let your children ride totally safe. Included with your bike rental are a helmet, one new bottle, two tire levers, one spare tube, patch kit, and multi-tool.

GPS and route books

Discover France provides, at the orientation, a roadbook with cue sheet (step by step itinerary), detailed maps, and regional information. Discover France is proud to be a leader in providing complete and even advance technology on their self-guided and custom-guided tours that allow their clients to use the best equipment possible. They invested in GPS units a few years back and have some simple to use, easy to read, yet sophisticated devices available on nearly all of their tours.

Garmin GPS are included on all tours. Since 2008, Discover France had mainly chosen Garmin for their GPS (or equivalent brand in some countries). They change the units every two years and always invest in the best models. Simple to use, easy to read, yet sophisticated devices, they are available on all of their tours. The routes described in your roadbook are stored as tracks in the GPS unit. You simply have to follow the line shown on the GPS and enjoy. One GPS is provided for every three people. The GPS you received is your responsibility. In case you lose, break it, or do not return it, you will be invoiced for 300 EUR.

Discover France's roadbooks are complete packages of information that will help you to guide yourself through the itinerary that they have planned and laid out. They have invested significant time and incorporated the feedback of their customers over many years (since 1997!) to make the road books even better.

The road books include colored-maps, highlighted routes, touristic information, orientation points to reach hotels, and easy to follow directions (step by step). Discover France tries to give you enough information to interpret the route without giving you too much information that makes you read all the time and not enjoy the ride! It is a delicate balance!

Tour support

Even on a self-guided tour, Discover France is behind the scenes working and they are available to you if you need help. In their two offices in the Loire Valley and in the South of France, they are on standby via phone for all of their travelers no matter where they are in France. This support service is available during daylight hours when the clients are out on the routes.

They will help customers arrange alternative transfers if the weather is bad or if someone is sick and can't participate in the day's activity. They can also iron out any problem with hotels you may encounter when you arrive. Moreover, they can help if a bike problem should arise and help with additional services you may need during your trip.

Surface / trail / road conditions

All assumed to be in good condition; no technical experience is needed and not an added difficulty factor. You will also find plenty of road signs and indications to keep you on course and roads are easily identified on maps included with the roadbook.

Luggage transfer

Bags are transferred for the self-guided trips via pre-arranged transportation with the hotel. You will need to have bags packed and left at the checkout desk by 09:00, or it will be noted what time bags must be dropped. Check for any bag limits. Bags are dropped at the hotel by 17:00 (latest time). Discover France has never lost a bag - don't worry about that!

Child policy

Children are welcome at many of the hotels, but kids under the age of 10 may require special equipment such as trailers or child tandems. If so, Discover France recommends parents to have some prior experience at home with these tools. Keep in mind that some of the routes and tour activities may not be very interesting for children. Discover France recommends discussing the proposed routes with them to determine whether the route is suitable for kids.

Health requirements

Ask yourself if you are fit enough to do the trip you are contemplating and enjoy yourself along the way. Discover France's cycling tours require a minimum level of fitness, so please call them. While on tour, please remember you’ll have access to their local support contacts, but if you are unable to finish the day’s ride, they will send a support van. Of course, that’s just another opportunity to have a beer at a local café, smell the flowers, etc.


This cycling tour will take place in France. Starting and ending in Gordes, the route will cover places such as Luberon, Oppède le Vieux, Ménerbes, Bonnieux, Lacoste, Roussillon, Bédoin, Venasque, Carpentras, L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, and Fontaine-de-Vaucluse.


The French region of Provence is located in the southeast of France between the Alps, the Côte d’Azur, and the Rhône river. It comprises the departments of Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, Var, Bouches-du-Rhône, and parts of the departments of Vaucluse and Alpes-Maritimes.

There are different layers of Provençal life: the Roman towns of Orange, Nîmes, and Arles; the medieval bastions of Les Baux-de-Provence and Avignon; the essence of Provençal landscape in Luberon villages like Gordes; and finally, the great city lifestyle of Aix-en-Provence.

With its lavender fields, white-blanketed mountains such as Mont Ventoux and its picturesque ancient villages, it can be argued that Provence is the loveliest region of France. Historians, artists, but also wine enthusiasts rush to this region for its culture, breathtaking scenery, and the delicious Provençal gastronomy.


This beautifully-preserved medieval city has many wonders waiting behind the fortified walls surrounding the city. One of the most impressive buildings in Europe, the Palais des Papes, played an influential role in Catholic history housing a number of popes. With its gothic style architecture and grand size, this is a castle one not soon forgotten. Just a quick cycle down the road is another famous Avignon sight: the Pont Saint-Bénézet. Only four arches of the original twenty-two remain of this spectacular bridge. Make sure you come and visit Avignon in July so you can take part in Festival d’Avignon, one of the major art festivals in France.


With ancient houses perfectly restored and numerous shops and restaurants throughout the village, Gordes is the most typical village in Provence. Walk up the narrow cobbled stone streets to the top of the village to visit the church and castle. Gordes is also a strategic point from which to visit many historical and unique attractions from the Village des Bories at the top of the Vaucluse Mountains to Sénanque Abbey, which houses Cistercian monks.

Mont Ventoux

The climb of the Mount Ventoux is widely known thanks to the famous Tour de France cycling race. It is a very challenging climb and advanced riders will be able to test their endurance cycling on this epic route! Hiking up the Mont Ventoux is just as challenging as cycling, but at the top of the "Giant of Provence", your efforts will be rewarded by views over cherry orchards and of the Alps to the northeast, not to mention the unique lunar atmosphere of Mont Ventoux’s summit. If you don’t feel up to the arduous climb, you can also just admire the white-capped summit from the Provençal countryside.


Food is the best part of travel in France! This is certainly no time to go on a diet, but as you will learn, in France, many wonderful things can be enjoyed in moderation. All of the tours offer cuisine of the region and suggestions for places to visit and specialties to enjoy will be available. For meals that are included, if you have a special need, please let Discover France know in advance and they will make every effort to meet those needs. In nearly every case, beverages are not included with meals (your individual purchase).

Provence food and wine

If you are a foodista, Provence is the place for you! It is bursting with local specialties. Among them, you might want to try:

  • Bouillabaisse: a highly-seasoned fish stew with tomatoes, olive oil, and saffron
  • Soupe au pistou: a thick vegetables soup with beans, flavored with garlic and basilica
  • Daube de boeuf à la Provençale: beef stew with tomatoes and olives, cook for to six hours!
  • Tapenade: a paste made of olives, lemon, capers, anchovies, and olive oil
  • Herbs de Provence: a mix of wild rosemary, thyme, oregano, basil, and savory

With over 2,500 years of experience, Provence knows a thing or two about wine! The appellations in Provence, more specifically the regions of Côtes de Provence and Bandol, are well-known for their rose wines. But wine critics rant about Provence's spicy, full-flavored red wines as well. Rose or red, while cycling around Provence make sure you take some time to do a wine tasting session. Aside from the wine, the most popular drink in Provence is Pastis, a local aperitif made from aniseed. Don’t be afraid to order in Provençal slang for a pastagas!

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
  • Other dietary requirements on request
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

Things to do (optional)

  • Taking part in Festival d’Avignon in July
  • Visiting Village des Bories

What's included

  • 3-day self-guided bike tour
  • Exploring Gordes
  • Visit to the Château de Lacoste
  • Sightseeing in Roussillon
  • Mont Ventoux visit
  • Visit to Sénanque Abbey
  • Venasque and Carpentras visits
  • Trip to L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue
  • Visit to Fontaine-de-Vaucluse
  • Hybrid bike rental
  • 1 Garmin Oregon GPS for 3 people
  • Detailed roadbook (including detailed maps, touristic information, step by step itinerary, and cue sheets)
  • Orientation in person with a local guide
  • Technical and emergency support (available at all times)
  • Comprehensive trip literature
  • Transfers to and from Avignon
  • 4 breakfasts and 2 dinners
  • 4 nights' accommodation
  • Luggage transfers

What's not included

  • Airfare to and from the trip
  • Lodging before and after the trip
  • Drinks
  • Other meals
  • Travel insurance
  • Medical insurance
  • Excess baggage charges
  • Any personal items

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG).

Arrival by train

Avignon is accessible via train from Gare de Lyon station in Paris. The ride takes two hours and 45 minutes.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 20% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 30 days before arrival.
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