Cycling in the Gorges de la Nesque

Cycle Mont Ventoux - Tom Simpson Special

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Trip code: 
MSS
Way to Travel:
Short Breaks
Activity:
Cycling
Min age:
16
Group size:
4–16

Climb Mont Ventoux on a special day in cycling history

Join us on this one off cycling holiday to celebrate one of Britain’s most successful professional cyclists; the first brit to pull on the yellow jersey and the rainbow bands, overall wins in Paris - Nice, the Tour of Flanders, Milan - San Remo and top ten results in Paris - Roubaix, Gent - Wevelgem and of course the Tour de France. Tom Simpson is a true legend of British cycling but tragically passed away whilst climbing Mont Ventoux on July 13th 1967 during stage 13 of the Tour de France, 50 years on and a memorial to ‘Major Simpson’ still stands near the summit of the climb. On this special trip we tackle Ventoux via two of the most iconic routes including the climb from Bedoin past Simpson’s memorial stone on the 13th of July, as well as riding some of the most spectacular roads in Provence like the Gorges de la Nesque and the Col de L’homme Mort.

Highlights

Commemorate the 50th anniversary of Tommy Simpson’s death on Ventoux Climb the bald mountain from two iconic routes Cycle through the spectacular Gorges de la Nesque

Key information

4.5 days cycling with 100% vehicle support (limited seats)

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
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.

Days of Cycling
Day by day breakdown
Day 125.0km/15.0miles
Day 2105.0km/65.0miles
Day 387.0km/54.0miles
Day 498.0km/60.0miles
Day 566.0km/41.0miles

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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 in Sault at the foot of Mont Ventoux.

    Start Sault in the Vaucluse Mountains. Once checked in to our hotel, there will be time to build bikes or set up hire bikes and head out for a short ride around Sault and the surrounding area.

    Cycle approx. 25km
    Standard accommodation

  • Day 2

    Cycle through the Gorges de la Nesque and climb Mont Ventoux from Bedoin on the 50th anniversary of Tom Simpson's death.

    After breakfast we get on the bikes and ride out of Sault towards the Gorges de la Nesque. After 5km of climbing we reach the top of the gorges where there are incredible views of Ventoux in the distance. From here we have a 25km descent on a fantastic road that literally cuts its way through the gorge as it gradually descends towards Bedoin. We will take a break in Bedoin for a coffee and to load up on any energy products or clothes that we might need for the ascent before starting the climb from the official start line in Bedoin town centre. From here it is up for the next 20km to the summit! 2km from the top we will pass the Tom Simpson memorial stone where there are guaranteed to be plenty of cyclists on the day. After reaching the summit of the climb we head back down the mountain and can stop off at the memorial to pay our respects before descending for 35km back to our hotel in Sault.

    Cycle approx. 105km with 2060m of ascent
    Standard accommodation

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 3

    Bastille day! Cycle through lavender fields, hill top villages and over the Col de L'homme Mort.

    Today we have a slightly easier day on the bikes as we head to the north east of Ventoux. Our ride starts with a very scenic descent out of Sault through pretty hillside villages before reaching the bottom of the Col de Macuegne. This is one of the must do climbs in the area and tops out at 1068m of altitude. From here we get another great view of Mont Ventoux in the distance before continuing to climb over the Col de L’Homme Mort (1213m). From here it is mainly downhill through small towns and vast lavender fields as we make our way back to the hotel.

    Cycle approx. 87km with 1170m ascent
    Standard accommodation

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 4

    Ride through the Toulourec valley before climbing Ventoux from Malaucene; descend to Sault.

    Today we take on Mont Ventoux for the second time, but this time via the challenging and winding ascent from Malaucene. Leaving our hotel we start our ride with a beautiful descent through the Toulourec Valley where we can see the summit of Ventoux in the distance. After a few small undulations we reach the town of Malaucene and from here it is up for the next 20km. This ascent is broken up with plenty of switchbacks and great views through the valley, at some points the road kicks up to over 13% so make sure you pace yourself! Once at the top we follow the same route down to Sault as on day 2 which means you get a second chance to enjoy one of the best descents in the area.

    Cycle approx. 98km with 2200m of ascent
    Standard accommodation

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 5

    Cycle over the Plateau de Vaucluse before climbing through the Gorges de la Nesque.

    After breakfast we get on the bikes for the final time and ride out towards the small town of Methamis at the foot of the Gorges de la Nesque. This ride starts with a fantastic 25km long descent which has some great views from the south side of the gorge, once in Methamis we can stop for a coffee before climbing the gentle ascent up through the Nesque Gorges. Once back at the hotel we will have some free time to pack up bikes, clothes and kit before the trip ends here.

    Cycle approx. 66km with 830m of ascent

    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

France

No visa required for British passport holders.

Vaccinations

France

There are no specific health risks.

Eating and Drinking

4 continental breakfasts are included in the trip price. If you are a vegetarian please advise us when you book as we will need to inform the hotel. Lunches and dinners are not included, giving you the flexibility to enjoy the great selection of local restaurants and bars in Sault. The tour guide will be on hand to recommend the best places to eat and drink throughout the trip. We suggest that you bring your favourite energy bars and drinks powders as the choice of flavours and brands are quite limited in the area. For the breakfast that are included you can expect a well-stocked continental buffet including cold meats, cheeses, bread, salad, bread, yogurt and of course croissants. Tea and coffee is available at any time from the hotel restaurant.

Weather

At the time of year that we run this tour the weather is often glorious and sunny, but given the height and the surrounding terrain, there can often be a micro-climate on Mont Ventoux. As the name might suggest (ventoux 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 with appropriate clothing. Please note that any clothing can be left in the support vehicle and accessed when needed if the weather changes.

Is this trip for you?

This trip is classified Drop Bars. Activity Level: 6 (Challenging/Tough). 4.5 days cycling, average 78km per day (49 miles), average elevation gain of 1300m per day (with 2200m of climbing on the Ventoux days). 100% 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 plug away at a steady pace and stop whenever you feel tired. We cover some of same routes as the Tour de France but this trip is definitely not a race! 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. 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. The support vehicle is always available for riders who have achieved their personal goal and require a lift up or down any of the hills.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
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

We spend four nights in the charming family-run Hotel Albion in Sault. The hotel is situated right at the foot of Mont Ventoux, all rooms are en suite and the hotel has a great onsite bar and restaurant as well as an outside terrace area for post ride coffee and beers.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
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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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 020 8772 3936