Ventoux summit

Mont Ventoux Cycling Weekend

4 days
from
779 CHF
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Traveller ratings
4.9 / 5 from 18 reviews >
Trip code: 
MSV
Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Short Breaks
Activity:
Cycling
Min age:
16
Group size:
6–16

Conquer one of the Tour de France's most iconic mountains

Standing at 1912m, Mont Ventoux is known as the 'Giant of Provence', a mass of bare limestone rock that dominates the region and can be seen from miles around. The region boasts some fabulous cycling and the climb has become famously associated with the Tour de France, featuring 14 times since 1951. We will tackle the climb from Bedoin, passing the Tommy Simpson memorial along the way before later taking on the climb from Malaucene with its spectacular views over the valleys below.  

Highlights

  • A fantastic compact cycling trip around some of the best roads in France
  • Climb the Tour de France's most famous mountain by the two most iconic routes 
  • Beautiful scenery and Provencal culture

Key information

  • 2.5 days ride with guide in vehicle support (limited seats)
  • 100% tarmac roads 
  • Climbs are long and steady (average 7%)
  • Group normally 6 to 16, plus leader in support vehicle. 
  • 3 nights in a charming family-run hotel

 

What's included

  • All breakfasts
  • All accommodation (see below)
  • All transport and listed activities 
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Local bike hire (available on request)
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Visas or vaccinations
Call for general departures:
056 631 86 64
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

3

Days of Cycling
Pace:

Approximately 4-6 hours cycling per day

Terrain:

100% tarmac roads with high mountain passes 

Day by day breakdown
Day 138.0km/23.0miles
Day 2105.0km/65.0miles
Day 3100.0km/62.0miles
Day 465.0km/41.0miles

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Start Sault at the foot of Ventoux; short warm up ride through the Provencal countryside.

    Start Sault, right at the foot of Mont Ventoux. After time to check bikes and make any final adjustments, we will head out for a short warm up ride south west from Sault through the Provencal countryside around Monieux. That evening there will be a welcome meeting with your leader and the opportunity to discuss the route in more detail.

    Cycle approx. 38km with 520m ascent
    Comfortable hotel

  • Day 2

    Descend through the Gorges de la Nesque; climb Mont Ventoux (1912m) from Bedoin via the famous Tour de France route.

    Today we head to the iconic Mont Ventoux! Our ride starts with a great descent that winds itself through the magnificent Gorges de la Nesque. This is a lovely ride in its own right, but only the start of today's excitement. Arriving in Bedoin we can stop for a coffee break before starting the climb up Mont Ventoux (1912m) by the most famous Tour de France route. It is certainly a challenge as the road climbs for 21.5km at an average of 7.5% to the summit. The final 5km are tough with pitches as steep as 10.7 %, you'll have earnt a celebratory drink by the top! A scenic 30km descent takes us back to Sault, probably for another celebratory drink.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 3

    Cycle through undulating rural scenery to Malaucene; climb Ventoux via a less ridden but equally spectacular route.

    After breakfast we set out on the bikes to take on Ventoux for the second time, but this time via the less ridden and equally beautiful ascent from Malaucene. The first part of our ride is mainly downhill as we follow a lovely balcony road in the foot hills of Ventoux before arriving in the town of Malaucene, here we can stop for a coffee and snack break before starting the climb up Ventoux. The ascent form this side has an average gradient of 7.2% and rises 1535m over the 21.2km, making it in theory a little easier than yesterday’s ride. From the summit we have a brilliant 35km of downhill all the way back to the hotel in Sault.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 4

    Optional self-guided morning Ride; trip ends in Sault

    For the final day of the tour you have the option to head out on a short ride before the airport transfer. The self-guided ride follows a road to the south of the Nesque gorges through small traditional towns like Saint-Jean and Methamis before turning and climbing up the Nesque Gorge road back to Sault. This climb is 19.7km long with a total elevation of 444m at an average gradient of 2.3% making it a perfect climb after two tough days on the bike. Once back at the hotel there will be time to pack bags and any bikes brought from home before the tour ends here.

     

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

UK passport holders do not need visas for this trip. Other nationalities should check with the relevant embassies.

Vaccinations

No vaccinations are obligatory.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts are included. Lunch and evening meals are at your own expense. 

For breakfast you can expect a large buffet with eggs, meat, bread, yoghurt, cereals, jam and of course, croissants. Tea and coffee is available throughout the day in the hotel restaurant.   

Lunches and dinners are not included, giving you the flexibility to select your own diet and the option to try more items on the menu. There are some great bars and restaurants in the town offering superb local dishes and the hotel restaurant is also superb, with a varied menu and popular bar attracting friendly locals for a drink. 

We suggest that you budget around £20 - £30 per day for an evening meal including drinks. For lunch you can either stop in cafes or restaurants or (weather dependant) have the guide set up a picnic on route; we recommend budgeting between £5-15 per day for lunches. We also recommend that you budget another £5 per day for coffee / cake stops whilst out riding.   

We recommend that you bring your favourite energy bars/products with you as there are limited options available locally.

Weather

At the time of year that we run trips here, the weather is often glorious and sunny, but given its height and the surrounding terrain, there can often be a micro-climate on Mont Ventoux. As the name might suggest (venteux means windy in French), it can get windy at the summit so you should be prepared for this. Maximum temperatures can be up to 30ºC, but this will vary with altitude. If we are riding through low cloud it can get very chilly on the descents, but these should be short spells only. There is of course the possibility of wet weather so you should also come prepared for this.

MSV

Is this trip for you?

This trip is classified Drop Bars.

Activity Level: 6 (Challenging/Tough).

3 days cycling, average 102km per day (63 miles), average elevation gain of 1800m per day

Partial vehicle support (with limited seats).

The riding on this trip can be accomplished by any fit cyclist, but it is as much a state of mind as your fitness that will see you up and over the cols. The secret to making it up the mountains is to spin away at a steady pace and stop whenever you feel tired. We cover the same routes as the Tour de France but this trip is definitely not a race!

The roads are good quality - they just aren't flat! Although the gradients do not get much steeper than 10%, they can be long. Daily distances are realistic, and there are plenty of opportunities for stronger riders to add more kilometers if they wish.

On all our drop bar trips the guide does not cycle with the group but leads from the support vehicle. This enables them to carry any spare parts, snacks and drinks whilst also being able to filter through the group on long climbs and react quicker in the case of an emergency.

Please note: Exodus drop bar cycling holidays are not run in a training camp style, all our daily rides are group rides and we aim to cycle as a group wherever possible. The days are broken up with food and coffee stops so it is likely that we will be outside for the majority of the day (sometimes between 9am – 5pm). It is common for the group to split on the longer climbs, please keep in mind that if you are looking to push yourself on the climbs you might have a wait at the top for other members of the group, however the support vehicle will be there to offer warm clothes and snacks.

Call for general departures:
056 631 86 64
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Hotel du Louvre

We stay in the 2-star Hotel du Louvre throughout the itinerary. This bike-friendly family-run hotel is ideally located in the centre of the village of Sault, right at the foot of Mont Ventoux. All rooms have en suite facilities and the hotel has a popular restaurant and bar with a pleasant outside seating area on the town square.

Call for general departures:
056 631 86 64
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Experts

Contact a member of staff who has done this trip

Call for general departures:
056 631 86 64
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

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  • Reviewed October 2018
    Mike Taylor

    Seven go to Mt Ventoux !

    We had a fantastic time; great cycling, beautiful scenery, good humour, two epic climbs up Mt Ventoux, nice food and wine, pleasant company, perfect weather and everything worked out just fine.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Cycling up Mt Ventoux from Bedoin on day 2. A continual uphill slog of between 1.5 and 2.5 hours depending on your fitness and weight, pedalling out of the woods and into the lunar landscape of the final 6 km at the summit which looks out over Provence at 1900m above sea level. This is an iconic location from Tour de France's of years gone by with it's distinctive transmitter building and mast at the top, our inspirational moment.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Yves was a frist rate leader. Organised, well prepared, suitably cautious, good fun, knowledgable, patient and selfless and also a good photographer who snapped us in action. He speaks very good English, knows about cycling, and also know the area very well. He is an ideal guide.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Not sure Exodus are running this trip again ? If you are then tips would be:- - max kg in bike box at LHR T3 is 23kg - cash point machines in local villages often broken - take sun cream

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Tips for Exodus:- - please issue the maps in electronic form as files for Garmin etc before trip - please issue Email messages from a single e-mail address [easier to find] - please send a single message [rather than in dribs and drabs] with all details as close to booking as you can manage - Please run the trip again !
  • Reviewed September 2018
    Tracey Sheppard

    Ventoux trip

    Ventoux was a personal challenge for me, and this trip was fantastic. Ventoux was the highlight but the whole area is amazing. Nice hotel in a lovely town (Sault), with great local support. Would love to go back!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Reaching the summit of Ventoux (3 times!)

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent. We were a larger group (15) but somehow Yves managed to support us all. He was very knowledgeable, helpful and encouraging.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Remember to pace yourself and don't overdo it early on.
  • Reviewed September 2018
    Michael Navin

    Excellent trip and organisation

    Well organised and local support was excellent. Hotel was comfortable and provided secure storage for bikes. Fantastic countryside and climbing was tough but as expected Overall can thoroughly recommend

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Getting to have photo at top of Mont Ventoux

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't overdo it on 1st day. The following days are tough
  • Reviewed June 2018
    Miquela Riley

    Fantastic four days of climbing

    I loved everything about this tour. Our guide, Yves was fantastic (and seemingly everywhere on the mountain for our group of 10 riders). He is also a man of many talents... translator, support car driver and bike mechanic to name a few. The tour is exceptionally organised and allows you to go at your own pace, despite being in a group. I'd recommend itto anyone who wants to challenge themselves who has a good level of fitness.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Making it to the top of Mt Ventoux...twice! Brilliant!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Bring layers - warm gloves, head warmer and jacket for the descent
  • Reviewed May 2018
    Jeff rogers

    Ventoux Cycling Weekend

    If you like the mountains this is a superb trip with wonderful scenic riding and fantastic views! The Gorge de la Nesque and Le tour route to the summit of the ventoux was a fantastic days riding. Great guide, superb food and cycling to die for!! Thanks to exodos for some special memories!!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Gorge de la Nesque ( Fantastic place}

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Outstanding! Nothing else to say

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Train hard at home in the hills before you go to enjoy the most of your trip! That said you don't need to be a tour winner!!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Maybe make it an extra day and fit another wonderful days riding in ! just a wonderful area to be on the bike
  • Reviewed September 2017
    Rupert Livingstone

    Ventoux, Ventoux - so good I had to do the trip again

    I did the trip in 2016 and got my nutrition wrong so walked the last 2k to the summit. I just had to go back to do it properly this year. I was not disappointed as going back made the trip even more enjoyable. The cycling is fantastic and finally cycling all the way to the summit was an emotional and satisfying experience. The trip is changing slightly for 2018 and my only dilemma is whether to go back again to attempt another route. This is a great short break, properly getting away from it all, enjoying some wonderful climbs and descents and basically just enjoying being able to focus solely on cycling.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Personally, being successful in cycling to the summit - a big monkey off my back. As a trip, the beauty of the countryside, the camaraderie of the group and the sheer bliss of cycling provided the inspiration. The descent to Sault is a joy, as is the Gorges de Nesque.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Yves was simply superb. Without him, the trip would not have been as successful. At no point were there any qualms or concerns as Yves managed to cover off any issues before they arose - even diverting to get bananas when the Sault supermarche decided not to open on time.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you are reading the review then you are probably serious about the trip so I would use the cliché - just book it. It is a fantastic trip and the satisfaction of reaching the summit more than offsets the pain of the forest. The best advice is the obvious advice. Do some training, get yourself fit, ensure that you have tackled some hills or done some consistent resistance training on a turbo and get your nutrition right. Other than that, enjoy what will be a fantastic and memorable weekend of cycling.
  • Reviewed May 2017
    Robert Lawton

    Mount Ventoux

    A fantastic well organised trip that was both friendly and professional made special by our guide Thierry.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    We cycled in beautiful weather on quiet roads through some stunning countryside - topped off by achieving the ascent of My Ventoux - the descent wasn't bad either!!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Fantastic - friendly, well informed, patient & professional.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take this trip and enjoy the scenery, food & cycling
  • Reviewed April 2017
    Dylan Bexley

    Mont Ventoux weekender

    I did this trip with Exodus back in October 2016 and have had it on my to-do list to leave a review ever since so am sorry it has taken so long! To be clear I won this trip, along with 7 others, as part of competition that Exodus were running. That said I do not believe the quality and service would have been any different if I had paid for the trip privately - in short both were top notch.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Having been on a numerous cycling holidays to Europe (all self delivered) I can safely say this was the best by far. The location is truly inspirational given the history and views. The routes the team had planned were fantastic and the base location in Sault is ideal. The Gorge de la Nesque to Bedoin route, before you take on Ventoux, is superb.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Leadership was spot on. Our group had varying degree's of fitness and the leader would always provide clear instructing on turning and meeting points and was always on hand to accept additional clothing or hand out snacks and drinks. He chose some great lunch locations and would arrange a DIY baguette picnic with plenty of fruit and drinks which was perfect.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Mont Ventoux is not to be taken lightly but is a real accomplishment whether you are going for a Strava time or just looking to conquer it. Virtually all of our group felt quite emotional after summiting which is maybe due to the history and the landscape.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    A great short break that I would absolutely recommend. The scenery in the area is lovely and the riding was far better then I imagined it would be. Far more then just Mont Ventoux. The Exodus team were superb from beginning to end.
  • Reviewed October 2016
    Eric Farnworth

    Mont Ventoux Cycling Weekend

    A four day trip. Day 1 - flight, transfer to hotel, bike fit, dinner. Day 2 - a glorious 87km ride with as much descent as ascent. Day 3 - Mont Ventoux Day!! 105km, total ascents 2060m. We all made it! Celebratory dinner at hotel. Day 4 - gentler ride (still 75km, 1000m ascent), transfer to Marseille airport for evening flight home.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    We all made it to the summit of Ventoux without seeing the inside of the support vehicle, and without walking a single metre. Some cycled to the top without a stop (and in very impressive times). Some found it gruelling and stopped many times (and at the cafe half way up) to gather breath before re-starting. It didn't matter which category you fell into, it was a challenge to everyone and we each celebrated the achievement of the others as well as our own.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Very French, very charming. Helpful, experienced, professional.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Perhaps drink a little too much alcohol in the evening to deal with those nerves!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    As to the cycling, it was superb. Of course it's a challenging trip, but as we stayed in the same hotel throughout, the total daily descent was the same as the aggregate climb for the day. The descents were glorious, on good tarmac with little traffic. I whooped with joie de vivre! (Well, it was France.) As to everything else, don't forget that the scenery in Provence is stunning - wooded mountains, dramatic hillsides, ancient churches, fortified towns, lavender fields, village squares with pavement cafes and colour-washed buildings. Good hotel, excellent (and plentiful) food.
  • Reviewed October 2016
    Susannah Pink

    Cycling up the beast of Mont Ventoux

    Thank you to Exodus for a truly fantastic trip. Climbing Mont Ventoux is of course the highlight of this trip but there is so much more! Every day you are cycling beautifully planned routes, climbing and descending in stunning Alpine scenery, through rocky gorges and pretty Provence villages, past vineyards and lavender fields. The road surfaces are really smooth, traffic minimal and courteous. The food was delicious and accommodation excellent. It was my first trip to the Alps and will not be my last! Climbing Mont Ventoux was just thrilling, you certainly need to be fit, but not at pro cyclist level to get up the big hill-determination plays a massive part too. Believe you can do it and you will-I did and without stopping!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Climbing Ventoux was the most amazing and inspirational experience that I won't ever forget-as you cycle up through the forest you see all the famous rider names from the Tour written on the road, as you reach the barren white rocks, you see the famous red and white tower getting gradually closer, then near the top you pass Tom Simpsons memorial (I stopped to pay my respects on the way back down). I was really emotional as I reached the top! The group camaraderie was really amazing, a lovely bunch, one of our group, having cycled his way in record time to the summit of Ventoux, then cycled back down just to keep me company up the final 6km-that was pretty inspirational! Descending through Gorge de la Nesque was amazing too-its the most stunning scenery-you start really high and the road gradually winds down through the gorge. Every day the views were inspirational, a feast for the eyes.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The group leader was excellent. Actually I can't praise Andy, Dave and Thierry from Exodus highly enough! They could not have done more to look after everyone in the group, whatever level cyclist they were. Support, encouragement, bike maintenance, superb routes, planning-they were all just excellent. Thierry also provided delicious picnics en route and was always there in the support vehicle at key points at road junctions so you knew where to go. He knew the best coffee stops and pointed out things of interest along the way such as old churches so you could enjoy a bit of local history too!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    My advice is to book this trip! It's a truly incredible and memorable experience. One of the best trips I have done, you get such a massive sense of achievement! I loved it so much I am thinking of doing it all over again! -Don't be frightened to take your own bike, I took my own (a light carbon bike with compact chainset) and it was just perfect for getting me up Ventoux, but you can also borrow a bike out there if required; everyone who borrowed bikes was really pleased with their quality. -You don't need to know anything about bike maintenance either, the Exodus crew are highly knowledgable on anything mechanical which was reassuring. -Take plenty of warm layers-arm warmers, leg warmers, gilet, windproof and waterproof jackets, long gloves, toe warmers, buff-it's freezing on the descents and at the top of Ventoux and the support vehicle carries everything for you, so you can take any layers off before the climbs. It can be quite hot in the valley and several degrees lower at the top of Ventoux. -Take your own energy drink, bars and gels (take lots) there is nowhere to buy anything like that locally!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I'd like to thank Exodus for a superbly planned trip, I highly recommend it. If you are thinking about booking....do it! Make sure you are fit then go and have the experience of a lifetime!

Dates & Prices

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

Call us on 056 631 86 64