France | Provence | Adult Only
Rambling vineyards, rich history, and world renowned cuisine
7 days / 6 nights
Activity Level Activity levels are subjective depending on your general level of fitness and your experience; however, all of our trips are self-paced.
Welcome to Provence: a vibrant tapestry of fertile vineyards, ancient Roman ruins, colorful markets and the ubiquitous fragrance of honey, thyme and mint. Indulge in the earthy pleasures of this magnificent region, rich in history, rustic elegance and world-renowned cuisine. It offers an ideal mix of dry climate, picturesque hill towns, and landscapes blanketed in lavender, sunflowers, vineyards and olive groves.
Medieval architecture and lavender fields beckon on this sun-drenched hiking adventure through stunning southern France. Explore the bridges, castles, and churches of Avignon and St. Remy, and the enchanting hillside towns of Menerbes and Gordes, savoring mouthwatering meals of Mediterranean-inspired food and wine along the way.
- Soak up one of the grandest views in all of Provence on a deserted rocky promontory in Les Baux.
- Follow the Senacole River Gorge to Gordes, a tiny village clinging to the edge of the Vaucluse Plateau, where ancient stone castles glow orange in the morning sun
- Climb from St-Rémy into the hills of the Alpilles and walk the cedar woods and limestone cliffs of the Petit Luberon en route to Menerbes, once the home of famed author Peter Mayle
- Reward yourself at the end of each day with an exquisite meal, topped off with a sweet local dessert wine, a plate of fromage de chevre and a bowl of lavender-infused sorbet
A few more reasons why you've gotta go:
The vineyards: Provence is renowned for its rosé and its table wines. A large variety of grapes is used in Provence to create 140 million bottles of great wine.
Château de Lacoste: This famous residence of the Marquis de Sade was destroyed and vandalized during the French Revolution. Many parts of it were sold for construction materials.
The Roman ruins: Explore the remains of the Roman civilization from the most perfectly preserved Roman amphitheater in the world.
Avignon, France AVN
Avignon, France AVN
Avignon / St-Rémy-de-Provence
We meet in Avignon in the morning. Short transfer to nearby St-Rémy-de-Provence, the birthplace of astrologer Nostradamus (1503) and our home for two nights. We start walking from 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 les Ateliers 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.
A relaxed walk across the valley leads to Le-Baux-de-Provence, with one of the grandest views in Provence. Visit the ancient town’s hilltop remains and stop for a delicious lunch in the bustling lower town. We’ll return to St-Remy with time to explore its narrow streets before dinner.
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 two 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.
Today we hike through the scenic hills of Lubéron. We’ll take time to stop at Lacoste and its castle ruins, the former home of the infamous Marquis de Sade. Visit the fortified village of Bonnieux, which dates back to the 12th century. Tonight’s dinner is at the hotel restaurant which is known for its culinary mastery using only the freshest local ingredients.
Today’s walk follows the ochre-colored hills of the Carriere d’Ocre, to the warm and richly textured town of Roussillon, famous for its beauty and golden glow. After lunch, we’ll continue to Gordes, another stunning medieval town dramatically perched on a steep hillside. We’re rewarded with grand views of the Luberon from our luxury hotel.
About La Bastide de Gordes
Set atop a rocky outcrop at the heart of the Luberon in Provence, the village of Gordes offers exceptional views over the Luberon mountain range. And at the center of that village, La Bastide de Gordes offers all the splendor of a former stately home. Carved into the very rock face of the hill, and built on 12th-century ramparts, the chateau is integrated into fortifications of the village. Combining charm, elegance, comfort and luxury, the hotel features intimate, welcoming and restful interiors.
The scent of lavender draws us on ancient footpaths to the Cistercian Abbey of Senanque, where monks still work the land. After a visit, we’ll return to Gordes via the Senacole River Gorge, exploring ancient artifacts along the way, including igloo-shaped limestone bories. Tonight we’ll enjoy delectable local delicacies at our gourmet farewell dinner.The scent of lavender draws us on ancient footpaths to the Cistercian Abbey of Senanque, where monks still work the land. After a visit, we’ll return to Gordes via the Senacole River Gorge, exploring ancient artifacts along the way, including igloo-shaped limestone bories. Tonight we’ll enjoy delectable local delicacies at our gourmet farewell dinner.%MCEPASTEBIN%
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.
Arrival & 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, where 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).
Day 1 mileage options: 6 / 9
Day 2 mileage option: 5 / 10
Day 3 mileage options: 5 / 7
Day 4 mileage options: 6 / 8
Day 5 mileage option: 7 / 11
Day 6 mileage options: 5 / 8
Austin Adventures guides are experienced facilitators and regional experts. They will take the time to fit you to your bikes, explain the details of each ride, and answer any questions. Each day your guides will help you choose the distance and route that is right for you.
Escape the real world and nourish your soul with a taste of Provence. Warm and welcoming, Provence opens its arms with rugged natural beauty, bountiful farms, bustling market towns, and larger than life treasures from its Roman past. Exceptional cuisine, fine lodgings, and marvelous shopping possibilities highlight this trip. Lose yourself cycling in the fertile valleys where cool leafy villages invite closer inspection, or amid arid plateaus with their dusty high-perched hamlets. Chocolate lover or not, make time to taste a bit of heaven in St-Rémy, at the exclusive Joël Durand chocolatier. Spend time walking in the footsteps of Vincent van Gogh at the asylum. Savor the subtle lavender landscape, stop in for a wine tasting or try some farm-pressed olive oil as we gently cycle quiet roads in the very heart of sun-drenched Provence.
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.
After receiving your reservation and deposit, we’ll send you a pre-trip planner with general information about the area you’ll be visiting, a packing list, exercise guidelines, a guest information questionnaire and a liability release agreement for you to sign and return within 10 days.
Included in the 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.
- Any 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 the 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.
Activity levels are subjective depending on your general level of fitness and your experience; however, all of our trips are self-paced.1 Easy (1)
Activity levels are subjective depending on your general level of fitness and your experience; however, all of our trips are self-paced.2 Moderately Easy (2)
Want to know how to make fast friends in foreign places and how to get the most out of a destination by experiencing it like a local? Ask Adam, a longtime Austin Adventures guide who now serves as European Operations Manager in Holland. He caught the travel bug during a semester abroad in New Zealand and Australia and quickly discovered he never wanted to stop experiencing—and more importantly, sharing—the wonder of travel. He taught English in China, managed a resort in Mexico, and now lives with his wife and child in Amsterdam, ensuring guests have the best guides and experiences possible on their European adventures.