Ventoux summit

Mont Ventoux Cycling Weekend Trip Notes

Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Short Breaks
Destinations:
France
Programmes:
Cycling
Trip Code:
MSV
Activity Rating - Challenging/Tough
Challenging / Tough

You have a good level of fitness and are looking for a physically challenging holiday. Previous experience is essential for activity based trips.

4 Days Flight Inclusive
4 Days Land only
Min age: 16

Trip Overview

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.  

At a Glance

  • 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

 

  • Countries visited: France

Trip 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

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.

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as generally not suitable for persons of reduced mobility. However if you are a regular traveller on such trips, please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

Group

Normally 4 to 16 plus leader. 

Adult min age:
16
Min group size:
6
Max group size:
16

Itinerary

Land Only 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

    Distance covered: 38 km / 23 miles
  • 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
    Distance covered: 105 km / 65 miles
  • 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
    Distance covered: 100 km / 62 miles
  • 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
    Distance covered: 65 km / 41 miles

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.

Where a single supplement is available, paying for a single only guarantees a room for single use. It does not always mean a twin or double room will be provided for sole occupancy.

Single supplement from CHF 221.00

Food & Transport

Eating & 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.

Transportation

For airport transfers we use a bus. The rides are supported by a van, with limited spaces for clients and bikes. The vehicle will sweep through the group during the day offering encouragement, water and access to your snacks. A comprehensive tool kit and first aid kit is carried and the leader is a qualified first-aider. Lifts up or down the hills are naturally offered, if this is your desire.

Weather & Seasonality

Weather Information

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.

Weather Charts

MSV

Joining Instructions

Travelling flight inclusive from London: 4 days 

The group flight from London is a daytime flight departing on Day 1 of the itinerary.

We normally use the scheduled services of British Airways (depending on availability). As flight timings and schedules change regularly we recommend you call one of our specialist sales staff or your agent to confirm up‐to‐date timings. Please note timings may change at a later date and cannot be confirmed
until approximately two weeks before departure. UK Regional Flights The Flight Inclusive price is based on a London departure, but we are happy to tailor this to your local or regional airport. Please
visit www.exodus.co.uk/regionaldepartures for a useful overview of the options available, and contact our sales team for expert advice. If booking regional flights other than with Exodus, you must allow
a minimum connecting time (in addition to the international check in time) of 1 hour at Gatwick, and 1½ hours at Heathrow; this is longer than the official minimum, but baggage handling is known to be subject to delays.

Travelling land only: 4 days starting and ending in Sault

Your trip normally starts at our accommodation in Sault in the morning of Day 1 of the itinerary. Details of how to reach the start point are provided in the Final Joining Instructions ‐ sent approximately two weeks before departure. Accommodation check‐in times are normally from around 14:00. Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers will be sent to you as part of our Final Joining Instructions. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers will be sent to you as part of our Final Joining Instructions. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

Transfers Details

Airport transfers are included for those on the group flights. Please note that transfers are not included for clients arriving on any other flight, even if Exodus has booked it.

 

If you require airport transfers, you may (by prior arrangement only) be able to join the group transfer. Transfers are arranged to coincide with the arrival time of the group flight ‐ please check the group flight details 2 weeks before departure. If you do not take this transfer, or miss it, you must make your own way to the joining point at your own expense.

 

Location start:
Sault
Location end:
Sault

What to Take

Essential Equipment

You will need to bring the following equipment with you:
Normal daily clothes
Cycle helmet (compulsory on this tour)
Sunglasses/eye protection
Base layers
Short and long sleeved jerseys
Windproof Gillet
Lightweight waterproof jacket
The best quality padded cycling shorts you can afford
Full length tights or knee/Leg warmers
Cycling gloves
Arm warmers
Chamois cream
Energy drink powder
Energy bars and gels
Sunscreen

Please note that all bikes are supplied with flat pedals and only a limited number of clipless pedals are available from the hire company. Because of this we recommend bringing your own shoes and pedals for all drop bar cycling holidays.

If you are bringing your own bike we recommend packing the following items:
Spare tyre
Inner tubes
Brake pads
Correct length spokes (especially if using Mavic wheels)
Mulit tool
Mini pump
Tyre leavers
Puncture repair kit

The support vehicle carries a range of tools and 2 track pumps that you are free to use during the trip. Basic spares are also carried, but we are never too far from a bike shop, in the case that you require a specialist replacement part.

Every night the bikes will be put in a garage/shed, but it is best to bring a lock, just so that you can be sure yours is safe. Your bike box / bag will be transported to the end hotel on the roof rack of the support vehicle.

On all departures of this trip we can expect to be cycling in just shorts and a short-sleeved jersey. The temperature is naturally dependant on the altitude, so on some of the higher cols it can get fairly chilly. Unfortunately rain cannot be ruled out but the showers tend to be fairly short.

 

 

Optional Equipment

You may like to bring your own pedals and saddle (excluding the seat post) or gel saddle cover to fit to the hire bikes. We encourage this, if it is your preference. However, please note that you are responsible for your own equipment, and removing your saddle/pedals at the end of the trip. We cannot guarantee the return of any bike parts left behind.

Equipment Hire

 

Local Bike Details: Bike hire is not included in the holiday price of our Drop Bar holidays.

Giant Defy Advanced carbon road bikes with disc brakes available on request.

Extra Bike Bits

You may like to bring your own pedals and saddle (excluding the seat post) or gel saddle cover to fit to the hire bikes. We encourage this, if it is your preference. However, please note that you are responsible for your own equipment, and removing your saddle/pedals at the end of the trip. We cannot guarantee the return of any bike parts left behind.

Exodus Policy on Cycling Helmets

Wearing a helmet is mandatory for anyone taking part in any guided Exodus cycling holiday. Group members must bring their own helmets, as they are not available for hire, even if they are hiring a bike from Exodus.

For self-guided cycling holidays wearing a helmet is highly recommended. Customers who choose to ignore our advice do so entirely at their own risk and on the understanding that it may affect the validity of their travel insurance. It should also be noted that in some countries we travel to wearing a helmet is already a legal requirement.

Cycling of all kinds has its dangers and accidents can happen from time to time. Please ensure that you are properly prepared for the riding you are going to undertake.

Bike hire should be arranged at the time of booking and the cost will be added to your invoice. We will take your height in order to reserve equipment. There may on occasions be insufficient bikes available in the correct size; we will endeavour to find suitable alternative equipment but this cannot be guaranteed. We will tell you before you book whether suitably sized bikes are available.

Conditions

1. The equipment remains the property of the supplier and you may not sell, hire out or part possession with the equipment.
2. You must not misuse the equipment and must return it in the same condition as when received (ordinary wear and tear excepted). The supplier is entitled to charge for any damage caused to the equipment during the period of hire.
3. You must ensure that the equipment is adequately secured when not in use. In the event of the equipment being lost or stolen, you may be liable for the replacement value of the equipment
4. You must not use the equipment whilst under the influence of drink or drugs and should immediately notify the Supplier in the event of breakdown or loss.

Bringing Your Own Bike Drop Bars

If you prefer the familiarity of your own bike, you may of course bring it along. Please advise us at the time of booking if you plan to do so. You will be responsible for any extra baggage charges, please speak to our Sales team for individual airline fees. Any clients bringing their own bike should ensure they have adequate cover for loss, damage or theft under their travel, home contents or a specialist insurance policy as if Exodus is confident that we have taken all reasonable care to ensure the safety of your bike, in the rare event of loss, damage or theft you will need to claim under you own insurance policy.

Reading List

Mountain High: Europe's 50 Greatest Cycle Climbs - by Daniel Friebe
Put Me Back On My Bike: In Search of Tom Simpson - by William Fotheringham

Practical Information

Passport

France

Most nationalities, including British, require a full passport that must be valid beyond the intended length of stay. It is your responsibility to have the correct personal documents and to obtain your own visa, if one is necessary, in accordance with the regulations of the country you are to visit. The information below is primarily for UK passport holders, and other nationalities should check with their travel agent or the relevant embassies. We are not responsible for the actions of local immigration and customs officials, whether at points of entry or otherwise, and any subsequent effects.

Visa

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

Visa regulations can change without notice: please check the current regulations in good time to obtain a visa if one is required.

Vaccination

No vaccinations are obligatory.

Travel health can often be something people forget about before going away, but a little preparation and knowledge can go a long way to help you stay fit and healthy while abroad.

The above information can change at short notice; as we are not qualified to answer all your questions about travel health we strongly recommend you contact your Medical Professional or a Travel Health Clinic at least 8 weeks prior to departure for up-to-date information. Please note: vaccinations that are routinely recommended to residents of the UK, North America or Australasia are not considered to form part of the travel health advice, and you should ensure these are kept up to date where necessary.

For additional information please visit: https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/countries

Insurance - are you adequately covered?

It is a condition of joining any of our holidays that you must be fully insured against medical and personal accident risks (to include repatriation costs and air ambulance or helicopter rescue services where appropriate). On arrival in destination for your trip, you will be asked to present details to your leader or local representative of your policy.

If you are resident in the UK we strongly recommend the Exodus travel insurance policy, this is specifically designed to cover all activities on your trip. If arranging your own policy please ensure that you are covered for all activities that are part of the trip, optional activities that you intend to take part in and/or on high altitude itineraries, that you are covered up to the maximum altitude of the trip.

Local Time

France's Timezone:
Europe/Paris CET (GMT +01:00)

Electricity

France's Electricity:

European plug ‐ 2 round pins. 230 Volts AC.

230 Volts AC, standard European adapter required.

Money

France's Currency

The national currency of France is the Euro (EUR), with an exchange rate at the time of publication (October 2017) of approximately 1.1 to the GBP,  0.84 to the USD, 0.67 to the CAD, 0.66 to the AUD and 0.59 to the NZD.

ATM Availability

We recommend you bring your spending money in cash, but Visa / MasterCard credit or debit cards may be useful for shopping, extra excursions and withdrawing cash from ATMs (cash points). We do not recommend travellers cheques, as they may be difficult to change during the holiday. Cash points are available in Marseilles airport as well as a number of the towns that we pass through during the rides.

Extra Expenses & Spending Money

For the meals that are not included, you should allow approximately €5-10 for lunch and €15-20 for dinner.

Tipping

This is entirely at your own discretion. However, as a guideline, we suggest you allow a few pounds each day for tips for the guide‐ about £4 (approx. US$6‐7) a day per client would seem reasonable.

Responsible Tourism

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… 

Exodus Community

Join the Exodus online community

Don't forget to visit the Community area on our website. You can view the range of Exodus videos and podcasts, read trip write-ups which have featured in the national media and take advantage of some special deals on travel gear and equipment.

In the Community Travel Forum you'll find the Departure Lounge where you can discuss your trip with fellow travellers before you depart. When you get back from your holiday remember to upload your images to the relevant trip page on our website. This helps other people see what our holidays are really like and you'll be entered automatically into our monthly photo competition.

To make full use of the Community you'll need to join My Exodus. It's free, registration is simple and easy, so what are you waiting for?

Important Information

On all guided trips

Although our leaders are well trained to deal with different capabilities, if they have any concerns about someone’s ability to safely partake in an activity, or their impact on other people’s enjoyment, we authorise them to take necessary action which, in some circumstances, may involve asking someone to miss that activity.

Although rarely enforced, by booking this trip you agree to section 14 of our Booking Conditions which clearly states that our leaders have the authority to do this. In these circumstances we will ensure anyone sitting out is safely provided for and offered alternative options where possible. Refunds will not be provided for activities missed and customers may be liable for additional costs incurred.

On all trips

In booking this trip you should be confident in your ability to participate in all activities described in these Trip Notes. If you have any doubt about your suitability you should call the Exodus office and ask to speak to one of the experts on this itinerary.

In an emergency, please contact our 24 hour out of hours service on +44 (0) 844 326 7041.

Every time that you travel abroad you should take the time to read the warnings in the essential information in the brochure.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers, and details of how to reach the start point, will be sent to you approximately 2 to 3 weeks prior to departure. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

The information in these Trip Notes is given in good faith. Where differences exist between the Trip Notes and our current brochure or website, the Trip Notes supersede the brochure and website. All holidays can be subject to unexpected changes; in order to enjoy them you should be prepared to be flexible where necessary. Occasionally, as stated in our brochure, it may not be possible to follow the itinerary as planned. This may be for a variety of reasons - climatic, political, physical or other. In these circumstances we will make the best possible alternative arrangements that maintain the integrity of the original itinerary.

As fuel prices, airport taxes and exchange rates fluctuate, and airlines manage their rates to match demand, it is proving harder than ever to guarantee our Flight Inclusive prices. Although we endeavour to keep our website as accurate as possible, daily fluctuations mean that our Flight Inclusive price may be out of date. For accurate prices we recommend that you contact one of our Travel Experts, or your Travel Agent.

TRAVEL AWARE – STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD

 

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office and the NHS have up-to-date advice on staying safe and healthy abroad. For more on security, local laws, plus passport and visa information, see https://travelaware.campaign.gov.uk/

Keep informed of current travel health news by visiting https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/

Advice can change so check regularly for updates.

For all latest travel information about your holiday, please visit our Travel Safety Advice page.

How to Book

1. Check availability

Go online to check availability, or contact us by phone or email.

2. Secure your place

You can provisionally hold a place on this trip, usually for between three and seven days.

3. Complete your booking and payment

When you're ready to book, go to www.exodus.co.uk for online booking, book over the phone or you can complete a booking form (available online or on request by calling us). We accept all major credit and debit cards, or you can pay be cheque. Book with confidence: Exodus is fully licensed and bonded as a tour operator. We hold Air Traffic Organisers Licence (ATOL) number 2582 issued and bonded with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We are also bonded to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and we are members of the Federation of Tour Operators (FTO) and ABTA ‐ The Travel Association. This means you can book your Exodus holiday with confidence, as all monies paid to us for your trip are fully protected.

TRIP NOTE VALIDITY

These Trip Notes are valid from the "Current as" date on page one. They will occasionally be updated post booking and pre-departure; if there are any updates that significantly impact the inclusions or itinerary bookers will be written to separately. All customers will also receive a link to the most up-to-date version of the Trip Notes with their Final Joining Instructions pre-travel.