Velusso Spotlight – Cycling in Provence
Most cyclists, when envisioning a cycling trip in France, conjure up images of heroic Tour de France stages, endless Alpine climbs and exhilarating hairpin descents.
However if you’re interested in a cycling holiday instead of a gruelling training camp and would prefer to take things a little easier while still riding day in day out through stunning scenery, you might want to consider the Rhône Valley area of Provence in Southern France.
With its lush green vegetation and generous sprinkling of medieval architecture, not to mention the Mediterranean weather, a visit to Provence is guaranteed to leave you feeling fully recharged. Throw a bike ride or three in to the mix and you have everything you need for a memorable cycling holiday.
For the foodies, Provence has a reputation for producing some exceptional truffles and mushrooms, not to mention the famous ratatouille which hails from the region.
If the thought of a nice glass of wine at the end of a day’s cycling piques your interest then Châteauneuf-du-Pape, just North of the medieval former seat of the Catholic Pope in Avignon, produces some of the most popular wine in the world and is a great choice to accompany dinner – although, given that Provence is truly a wine region, you can’t go far wrong with any local selection.
Aside from being surprisingly verdant throughout the 30 degrees summer weather, the terrain in Provence lends itself perfectly to a relaxing bike getaway.
If you do fancy a challenge, there are plenty of notable inclines within easy reach such as the rewarding ‘Val d’Enfer’ climb up to Les Baux de Provence. This fortified hilltop medieval commune, complete with siege engines and a windmill tower, offers stunning views, cobbled streets and an endless amount of tourist facilities such as cafes, restaurants and shops. If you’d prefer an easier ride, there’s an abundance of vineyard and orchard roads accessible by bike, ideal for a pleasant and relaxing cruise away from cars, town centres or, well, anyone else save the occasional vineyard employee.
Wherever you ride in the region, the ‘Giant of Provence’ is always watching over you. Mont Ventoux, arguably the most respected and feared climb in the history of cycling, is seemingly constantly visible on the Eastern horizon. However, for those looking for relaxation, it makes for a stunning photo background whilst sampling some of the local produce.
Find out more about booking a Velusso Holiday to Provence here.