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France
  • 6 days/5 nights
  • Next Departure: Apr 12, 2015
  • From $3,698 / person
  • ($780 single supplement)

France Vacation Packages

Escape the real world and nourish your soul with a taste of Provence. Run away with us on a France bike tour. Lose yourself in the inviting arms of Provence with its natural beauty and quaint market towns. Stop at a chocolatier, amble through a vineyard, and walk in the footsteps of Vincent Van Gogh.

  • Biking
  • Cultural
  • Hiking
  • Paddling
  • Wine / Gourmet

Activity Level: Moderately Easy

About
This Tour

Indulge in the ethereal pleasures of Provence, a vibrant tapestry of fertile vineyards, ancient Roman ruins, colorful markets and the ubiquitous fragrance of lavender, honey and thyme.

  • Climb the chalky limestone hills of the Alpilles for a picnic and postcard-worthy panorama at Les Deux Trous
  • Pedal from Eygalières to Cavaillon, breaking for a sweet, fragrant Cavaillon melon sold at a roadside stand
  • Visit the 2,000-year-old Pont du Gard aqueduct in Remoulins, a Roman engineering marvel
  • Peruse St.-Rémy’s famed open-air market for everything from local chocolates and cheeses to hand-made pottery and purses
  • Soak up some of the grandest views in all of Provence from the rocky promontory of Les-Baux-de-Provence
  • Reward yourself at the end of the day with a bouillabaisse and baguette with fromage de chèvre paired perfectly with a glass of crisp local rosé

 

Couple biking in Provence
Photo: Couple biking in Provence

I liked the whole experience. This was the best trip I’ve ever taken!

Howard Snyder Rock Hill, South Carolina

Itinerary
& Map

Tour Itinerary

6 days/5 nights

Avignon, France (AVN)

Day 1: Avignon/St-Rémy-de-Provence
Avignon/St-Rémy-de-Provence
Meals Included:  L, D
Overnight: Hotel de L'Image

On Day 1, we meet in Avignon in the morning.

We then take a short transfer to nearby St-Rémy-de-Provence, the birthplace of astrologer Nostradamus (1503) and our home for 4 nights.

From there, we start walking from St-Rémy and climb the Alpilles hill range up to the rock formation Les Deux Trous, where a picnic is organized offering the most beautiful views.

Before and after our hike, we will visit the Roman monuments and excavations, as well as the former hospital where Van Gogh was admitted in 1889 after cutting off his ear lobe and attacking a fellow artist, and spent an important period of his artistic life.

About Hotel de L'Image
A contemporary, refined hotel in the center of St. Rémy, famous for its private collection of photographs, dedicated gallery, projection hall and fully equipped photo lab. The outdoor pool is surrounded by a spacious private park.

Day 2: St-Rémy-de-Provence
St-Rémy-de-Provence
Meals Included:  B, D
Overnight: Hotel de l’Image

Mount up for your first bike ride and spend the day pedaling the base of the spectacular Alpilles hills, first exploring quaint Eygalières, after which you’ll soon have the option to cross the Durance River for a visit to the bustling town of Cavaillon, famous for its sweet, fragrant Cavaillon melons.

Return to St-Rémy via meadows of sweet-smelling vegetables and fruits.

Rest and freshen up in your room before joining the group for a delectable supper.

Day 3: St-Rémy-de-Provence
St-Rémy-de-Provence
Meals Included:  B, L
Overnight: Hotel de l’Image

We begin the day with a transfer to Remoulins and the 2,000-year-old Pont du Gard aqueduct, an engineering marvel constructed by the Romans with stone blocks weighing up to six tons.

Walk to Collias, where – after lunch – we enter our kayaks to go down the Gardon River back to the Pont du Gard and beyond: what a great perspective, to see the acqueduct from below!

Once back in St-Rémy, whether you wish to relax in your room or take a stroll around town, the evening is yours to spend however you would like.

Day 4: St-Rémy-de-Provence
St-Rémy-de-Provence
Meals Included:  B
Overnight: Hotel de l’Image

Take a morning stroll through the vibrant market in St.-Rémy, where a tantalizing array of stalls offers everything from local wines, olive oils, chocolates, and cheeses to fabrics, shawls, and tablecloths.

Then – on your bike – cross the chalky limestone hills of the Alpilles en route to Les-Baux-de-Provence, a deserted village perched on a rocky promontory, boasting one of the grandest views in all of Provence.

The sounds & light show Carriéres des Lumières is a must!

Return the same way, or do an extended loop ride via the Roman acqueduct of Barbegal and Fontvieille.

Day 5: Ménerbes
Ménerbes
Meals Included:  B, L, D
Overnight: Hostellerie du Roy Soleil

A short transfer from St-Rémy brings us across the Durance River to Robion in the Lubéron region, where we start our walk, passing through ancient stone villages like Maubec and Oppède-le-Vieux.

In the afternoon, ramble in the picturesque hills, as we explore the impressive cedar forests near Bonnieux, or simply relax in the comfort of your next hotel.

Home for the next 2 nights will be Ménerbes, once the home of famed author Peter Mayle.

About Hostellerie du Roy Soleil
Located in the most prestigious area of Le Lubéron, at the foot of the restored village of Mènerbes, Hostellerie Le Roy Soleil presents an impeccable Provencal-style décor and colors with sweeping views overlooking the village.

Consisting of a 17th century farmhouse, it has been lovingly restored. Modern cuisine is served under vaulted ceilings in the dining room and on a flower-decked terrace.

Day 6: Ménerbes
Ménerbes
Meals Included:  B, D
Overnight: Hostellerie du Roy Soleil

Today we do a pretty biking loop through the Lubéron, first heading for Gordes, perched against a hillside. Our next destination is Roussillon, where you have the opportunity to walk along the ochre-colored hills of the Carrières d’Ocre.

We proceed to the fortified village of Bonnieux, rising steeply in picturesque tiers of houses. Those not afraid of an extra hill can return to Ménerbes by a different route, stopping at Lacoste and its castle ruins, the former home of the infamous Marquis de Sade.

We gather this evening for a gourmet farewell banquet in the restaurant of our hotel.

Day 7: Avignon (departure)
Avignon (departure)
Meals Included:  B

After our last breakfast together, your guides will offer a shuttle to Avignon at the time of your preference.

** Trip itineraries are subject to change without notice due to road, weather and other factors outside of our control, for the safety and enjoyment of our guests, as deemed necessary and appropriate by Austin Adventures.

Dates, Rates
& Details

Start planning your next adventure now. See the information below for the rates and selection of available dates. For additional information on dates and availability, please contact our travel specialists.

  • 6 days/5 nights
  • Next Departure: Apr 12, 2015
  • From $3,698 / person
  • ($780 single supplement)

Departure Dates

  • Apr 12, 2015
  • May 03, 2015
  • May 24, 2015
  • Jun 14, 2015
  • Sep 06, 2015
  • Sep 27, 2015
  • Oct 11, 2015

Additional Trip Information

Departure
  • Prior to the trip, arrive at your own convenience in Avignon.
  • On Day 1, we will meet you in the lobby of Hotel Mercure Pont d’Avignon at 8:30 a.m. After a short transfer to St-Rémy-de-Provence, the hiking begins.
  • After breakfast on Day 7, we take you to the train station, airport, or the hotel of your choice in Avignon (45-minute transfer).
Activities

Hiking:

  • Day 1 mileage options: 6 / 9
  • Day 3 mileage option: 5
  • Day 5 mileage options: 7 / 11

Biking:

  • Day 2 mileage options: 23 / 30 / 34
  • Day 4 mileage options: 18 / 32
  • Day 6 mileage options: 25 / 34 / 40

Kayaking:

  • Day 3 mileage option: 8
Meals

The hallmark of an Austin Adventures vacation is our exceptional dining. All meals: breakfasts, lunches, snacks, dinners, refreshments and receptions are included as indicated by itinerary. (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner). Alcoholic beverages and related gratuities are not included in the trip price.

Included in Trip Price
  • Double occupancy rooms with private baths.
  • Fully trained, first-aid certified professional guides and knowledgeable local partners.
  • All activities, ferry crossings, etc.
  • All breakfasts. Lunches and dinners as listed by day. Snacks along the route.
  • Bikes, helmets and other necessary equipment – all safe and well maintained.
  • Vehicle support and land transportation during the trip.
  • Austin Adventures T-shirt, water bottle, luggage tags and luggage service.
  • Pre-departure and packing information.
  • Incidental expenses such as taxes, dining and housekeeping gratuities, local guide and expert gratuities.
Not Included in Trip Price
  • Gratuities to Austin Adventures guides.
  • Meals not designated.
  • Alcoholic beverages and related gratuities.
  • Pre-and post-trip accommodations and associated expenses.
  • Air and land transportation to/from host cities.
  • All types of personal insurance.
  • Personal expenses.

Countries we visit in Europe: , , , , , , , , , ,

A few more reasons why you've gotta go…

  • 1. The Roman archeology: From the stunning amphitheater to ruins positioned around narrow medieval streets, historic churches and shady terraces, it’s probably why Van Gogh had his most prolific period at Arles.
  • 2. The fashions: Shop for brightly-colored cotton tank tops, elegant long skirts and matching accessories at the lively market in St-Rémy-de-Provence.
  • 3. The farms: They’re a great place to get closer to nature, savor delicious products, and learn about an interesting and traditional way of life.
  • 4. The pink flamingos: You can see them wandering freely at the nature reserve of The Camargue, a wind-swept river delta bordering the Mediterranean Sea.
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