Provence is a place whose natural light and landscapes have served as inspiration to such iconic figures as Van Gogh, Cezanne, Picasso and Dumas (not to mention Peter Mayle!), and this 4 night holiday has been designed to give you a taste of the famous hilltop villages which dot its breath-taking, lavender-scented Luberon region.
Day 1: Arrive in Pernes-les-Fontaines Arrive at your 3 star hotel, just north of the town of Pernes-les-Fontaines. There's plenty of time to relax and explore the hotel grounds before dinner.
Day 2: Pernes-les-Fontaines to Roussillon 48km/30mi or 50km/31.5mi Pass by Pernes-les-Fontaines before setting off alongside the Canal de Carpentras and on through the beautiful scenery of the Vaucluse down to the popular town of L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue. The old town here is entirely surrounded by the clear waters of the River Sorgue. There are lots of lunch options in the town, or you could stop a little further on in the pretty village of Fontaine-de- Vaucluse. In the afternoon you climb to enjoy your first spectacular views of the Luberon before descending past vineyards, olive groves and windmills, and on to the ochre-painted village of Roussillon, the starting point of the Ochre Trail.
Day 3: Roussillon to Maubec 49km/31mi After breakfast, set out along the Ochre Trail to the village of Gargas where you have the opportunity to visit the Ochre Mines of Bruoux. Then head south along country lanes where a mixture of climbs and freewheeling takes you through some of the most beautiful villages in Provence. First there's Bonnieux, from where the nearby Chateau la Connorgue (made famous by Ridley Scott's A Good Year) can be visited for tastings. Then it's on to Lacoste to explore the ruined castle, once a mighty fortification and now a spectacular viewpoint. From here you'll freewheel down before another short climb to Menerbes, made famous by the books of Peter Mayle, and a great place to stop for lunch. The last leg takes you to Maubec where your hotel awaits.
Day 4: Maubec to Pernes-les-Fontaines 46km/29mi This morning you ride through apple country where you'll see orchards aplenty. Following the lanes brings you to the mediaeval town of Le Thor, after which you pass the ruins of the fortified monastery at Thouzon, along with the Grotte de Thouzon; a network of caves carved out by an underground river. Then it's back to Pernes-les-Fontaines where you have time to explore the mediaeval old town and the numerous ancient stone fountains and lavoirs.
Day 5: Leave Pernes-les-Fontaines Please note that cycling helmets are compulsory in France for children under 12. As we are unable to provide these, we strongly recommend that you bring your own. Please see our Planning you holiday page for full details.
Add 230 single supplement.
British Airways Heathrow to Marseille 07:20/10:15 then rail Marseille to Avignon TGV 13:59/14:33 and transfer to hotel 40 minutes. Return: Transfer to station 40 minutes then rail Avignon TGV to Marseille 12:46/13:23 then British Airways Marseille to Heathrow 16:50/17:50.
Hotel lHermitage (3 star) This 19th century residence, transformed into a hotel, feels like an old family home. It is set amidst 2 hectares of grounds bedecked with fountains, many species of trees, and an orangery. The Hotel l'Hermitage is about 4km outside Pernes-les-Fontaines. The hotel also has a swimming pool in the heart of the property.
Les Sables dOcre (3 star) Just a 10 minute walk outside Roussillon, this modern hotel is surrounded by landscaped lawns and has a relaxing pool area. The good sized bedrooms are decorated in rich Provencal colours.
La Bastide du Bois Breant (3 star) A former farm house, once owned by a duchess and set amid its own woodland in the peaceful south west of the Luberon, the Bastide du Bois Breant has been restored to provide a typically Provencal feel, offering traditional rooms with modern features overlooking a courtyard. With a garden and a lovely swimming pool, the hotel provides an oasis of tranquility in close proximity to some of the most popular villages in Provence. Standard room type here is the Inspiration room, with upgrades available to Quietude and Plenitude rooms on request.
All continental breakfasts and 2 evening meals
Book with flexibility
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