Cycling in Provence

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Cycling in Provence offers an array of experiences that cater to every type of cyclist, from leisure riders to those seeking challenging climbs like the iconic Mont Ventoux. The region is renowned for its scenic beauty, blending ancient villages, vineyards, olive groves, and lavender fields, with the rugged terrain of the Alps and the serene landscapes along the Rhône Valley.

Historical Overview

The historic French province of Provence, located in the southeast corner of France between the Alps, the Mediterranean, the river Rhône, and the upper reaches of the river Durance, was inhabited by Ligures beginning in Neolithic times; by the Celtic since about 900 BC, and by Greek colonists since about 600 BC. It was conquered by Rome at the end of the 2nd century BC. From 879 until 1486, it was a semi-independent state ruled by the Counts of Provence. In 1481, the title passed to Louis XI of France. In 1486 Provence was legally incorporated into France. Provence has been a part of France for over 400 years, but the people of Provence, particularly in the interior, have kept a cultural identity that persists to this day.

Notable Tours and Routes

Here are some of the must-ride and must-see places in Provence.

Cycling Mont Ventoux

Mont Ventoux is often seen as a rite of passage for many cyclists, presenting a formidable challenge with its steep inclines and unpredictable weather. However, Provence offers much more than just this mountain. Routes like the Gorge de la Nesque provide unforgettable cycling experiences, combining physical challenges with breathtaking views.

Col du Pas de la Couelle loop

One of the highlights of this biking route is the stunning alpine scenery. Cyclists will pass through picturesque mountain landscapes, including lush forests, meadows dotted with wildflowers (in the warmer months), and breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding peaks. 

Aqueduc de Roquefavour

The hilly terrain around the aqueduct provides opportunities for cyclists to test their skills and endurance. With rolling hills and winding roads, cyclists can enjoy challenging climbs and exhilarating descents while taking in panoramic views of the landscape.

View all cycling routes in the Provence Region

Cycling Accommodations

Provence is dotted with bike-friendly accommodations, ranging from luxury hotels to charming B&Bs, situated in picturesque locations perfect for cyclists. These accommodations often offer amenities tailored for cyclists, including secure bike storage and local cycling information.

Hotel la Garance [website]
18, avenue des Gobelins 75005 Paris – France

Coquillade Provence [website]

Hameau Le Perrotet
84400 Gargas – France (Provence)


Bike Shops

For those not bringing their own bikes, there are numerous rental options available across Provence, offering everything from high-performance road bikes to comfortable hybrid and electric bikes, ensuring you have the right gear for your cycling adventure​​.

Provence Bike Rental [website]

8 Rue des Teinturiers, 84000 Avignon, France
Offers a wide range of bike rental options for exploring Provence, including road bikes, mountain bikes, and electric bikes.

Cycles Mistral [website]

2 Boulevard National, 13001 Marseille, France
A well-established bike shop in Marseille offering sales, repairs, and rentals of bicycles, as well as accessories and gear.

Vélo Luberon [website]

1 Place du Château, 84400 Gargas, France
Located in the Luberon Regional Natural Park, this bike shop specializes in bike rentals and guided tours to explore the picturesque countryside of Provence.

Must-See Places

Exploring Provence by bike allows for unique encounters with the region’s rich history and natural beauty. Notable destinations include the market town of Apt, known for its Roman heritage and vibrant market scene, and the medieval village of Saint-Saturnin-Les-Apt, offering panoramic views from the Luberon Regional Nature Park​.

For those planning their cycling trip to Provence, detailed route suggestions, accommodation options, and rental services are available to ensure a memorable experience exploring one of France’s most picturesque regions by bike. Whether you’re meandering through the lavender fields, tackling the slopes of Mont Ventoux, or enjoying the culinary delights and wines of the region, cycling in Provence promises an adventure that caters to all senses.

Restaurants & Cuisine

La Mirande (Avignon) [website]

4 Place de l’Amirande, 84000 Avignon, France
A Michelin-starred restaurant offering refined Provençal cuisine in an elegant setting within a historic mansion.

Le Petit Nice (Marseille) [website]

Anse de Maldormé, Corniche J.F. Kennedy, 13007 Marseille, France
A renowned seafood restaurant overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, led by Chef Gérald Passedat, known for his innovative and creative culinary style.

La Chassagnette (Arles) [website]

Mas de la Chassagnette, Chemin du Sambuc, 13200 Arles, France
Set in the heart of the Camargue region, this restaurant offers a unique dining experience with a focus on organic, seasonal ingredients sourced from its own garden.

Planning Your Trip

The best time to visit Provence largely depends on your preferences and what activities you plan to do. However, generally speaking, the most popular times to visit Provence are during the spring (April to June) and the fall (September to October).

Spring (April to June)

  • Springtime in Provence is characterized by mild temperatures, blooming flowers, and vibrant landscapes.
  • The weather is generally pleasant, making it ideal for outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, and exploring the charming villages.
  • April and May are particularly lovely months when the countryside is blanketed with colorful wildflowers, including lavender in bloom towards late June.

Fall (September to October)

  • Fall in Provence brings cooler temperatures and fewer crowds compared to the peak summer months.
  • The vineyards are bustling with activity as its harvest season, offering opportunities for wine tasting and vineyard tours.
  • The landscapes are still picturesque, with the added bonus of autumn foliage painting the countryside in shades of gold and red.
  • Summer (July to August) can also be a popular time to visit Provence, especially for those who enjoy warm weather and festivals. However, keep in mind that it can get quite hot during these months, and popular tourist destinations may be crowded.

Ultimately, the best time to visit Provence depends on your preferences for weather, activities, and crowds. Whether you choose to visit during the spring, fall, or summer, Provence offers something unique and beautiful year-round.


The nearest major airport to Provence is Marseille Provence Airport (MRS), also known as Marseille-Marignane Airport. It is located approximately 25 kilometers northwest of Marseille, making it a convenient gateway to the Provence region.

Train Stations

Provence is well-connected by train, with several train stations serving different parts of the region. Some of the key train stations in Provence include:

  • Gare d’Avignon-Centre (Avignon Central Station)
  • Gare de Marseille-Saint-Charles (Marseille Saint Charles Station)
  • Gare d’Aix-en-Provence TGV (Aix-en-Provence TGV Station)
  • Gare de Nîmes (Nîmes Station)
  • Gare de Arles (Arles Station)

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See you on the roads!



Coach Patrick is a 10-time Ironman® Hawaii competitor and co-founder of Endurance Nation. When he's not training or racing, he can be found hanging out in Rhode Island with his awesome family.

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