In one week I’ll be going on a vacation to Southern France :-)
I’ll be cycling 20 to 60 km (12 to 37 miles) per day in the Provence for 6 days. I already spent a cycling vacation last year in April. Although spring had just begun, the weather was nice enough to cycle wearing a light jacket. Actually, doing the same tour in the summer would have been much more difficult, because temperatures can get really high in the afternoon when you’re climbing a small hill.
Going on a cycling trip doesn’t mean you have to be a cyclist. Last year I visited the Lubéron area in the Provence. There were many hills and it was okay for my level (following 2 to 3 spinning classes per week at the gym). You always cycle at your own pace anyway.
I had bought the tour on this site: www.walkinnprovence.com/en. It was a 5 day vacation including accommodation, breakfasts & dinners, luggage transfer and a road book for the itinerary. The itinerary was designed “to showcase the region’s scenery”.
The self-guided tour I followed is still online on their site: www.walkinnprovence.com/ang/cycling-product-L0B.html
Cherry trees in blossom
We stayed over in two different hotels. Our luggage was transferred from the first to the second hotel. For lunch, we bought fruits, vegetables, bread and cheese at local markets and bakeries.
We didn’t eat many unhealthy things actually! Portion sizes for dinner at the hotels were quite small after a day of cycling!
A lot of the typical villages to visit are located on top of a hill and you have to push yourself a bit to get there. But a big part of the tour was also on flat roads with little car traffic.
The most beautiful village of the tour: Gordes
It rained once during the tour: a big thunderstorm that lasted about two hours. We took refuge from the thunderstorm in a local bar. We had a warm crêpe with Nutella. It tasted like the best ever after having burned some serious calories in the rain looking for the closest village to reach. After the rain the sun quickly came back.
The Lubéron area of the Provence was made famous by Peter Mayle’s book, A Year in Provence. It is a favourite destination for French high society, British, German, and American visitors.
It was still off-season, everything was nice and peaceful. I suppose the whole region gets “busier” when tourists arrive at the beginning of the summer.
The second hotel / Bed & breakfast was really great. The owners were doing their best, food was simple but great, everything was homemade. Highly recommended! The hotel’s site: www.hotel-bastide-bois-breant.com