Headwater - Vineyards of Vaucluse Cycling

9 days
from
£1,599
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Trip code: 
C08PV
Way to Travel:
Self-Guided Adventures
Activity:
Cycling
Min age:
8

For wine-lovers, this 8-night tour circles the famous Cotes de Rhone vineyards, and includes 2 nights in Vaison la Romaine - France's most extensive Roman site with 6000-seat theatre, baths, houses and streets.

In the heart of Provence, the Vaucluse is steeped in history. Originally Celtic, it was conquered by the Romans and is now rich in well-preserved Roman remains, especially at Orange and Vaison-la-Romaine where the large site is comparable to Pompeii. The skyline is dominated by the majestic silhouette of the Dentelles de Montmirail and dramatic Mont Ventoux. 

Highlights

  • Easy interest-packed cycling on Provencal plains and foothills
  • Famous Cotes du Rhone vineyards: Gigondas, Beaumes-de-Venise, Vacqueyras
  • Extensive Roman remains at Vaison-la- Romaine and UNESCO Orange
  • Colourful Provencal markets; numerous wine festivals; some of the prettiest villages in France
  • Friendly, family-run hotels, most with private pools; good local cuisine

Key information

  • 8 Nights, hotel-to-hotel
  • 4 days cycling
  • Departs Every two days from 13 May '18 to 14 Oct '18
  • Headwater wine service 
  • Route notes and maps provided 
  • High quality bikes provided
  • Optional electric bikes 
  • Luggage transfers between hotels

What's included

  • All continental breakfasts and evening meals 
  • All accommodation
  • Headwater wine service 
  • Route notes and maps
  • High quality bikes 
  • Luggage transfers between hotels

What's not included

  • Optional electric bikes
  • Visas and vaccinations
  • Travel insurance
  • Single supplements
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.

4

Days of Cycling
Terrain:

The cycling is mostly on plains or gentle foothills and we have used the quietest possible lanes to link the towns and villages. There are only occasional (unavoidable) short stretches on major roads. One or two parts of the countryside are fairly hilly, so take your time on the steeper climbs and admire the wonderful long-distance views.

Day by day breakdown
Day 234.0km/22.0miles
Day 430.0km/19.0miles
Day 617.0km/27.0miles
Day 830.0km/19.0miles

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

London
to
London
  • Day 1

    Arrive in Pernes-Les-Fontaines

    Your 3-Star hotel is just north of the village of Pernes-les-Fontaines. Plenty of time to relax and explore the hotel grounds before dinner. (Staying at Hotel l'Hermitage)

    Meals included: Dinner
  • Day 2

    Pernes-Les-Fontaines to Bedoin

    Leave Pernes-les- Fontaines this morning and head to the popular village of Saint-Didier, where you can opt to make the climb up the hill to the mediaeval settlement of Venasque (one of the prettiest villages in France) with its three Saracen towers. You'll then follow lanes and tracks up past Malemort-du-Comtat and then dropping down into the mediaeval village of Mazan with its church wall that is made up of more than 60 Roman sarcophagi. Continue on through the vines with a back drop of Mont Ventoux as you climb steadily towards Bedoin. (Staying at Hotel Les Pins)

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 3

    At Bedoin

    Explore the lively village of Bedoin, named for the C8 Bedouins who settled there and home to the imposing church of Saint-Antonin, with its unique Spanish style - so different from any other in Provence. Bedoin is also the gateway to Mont Ventoux for more hardy cyclists seeking a challenge! Follow established cycle routes to the Chateau Pesquie, which offers everything from a stroll in the vines, to a guided cellar tour, to a tasting, to a full picnic lunch in the gardens. (Staying at Hotel Les Pins)

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 4

    Bedoin to Vaison-La-Romaine

    After the picturesque perched village of Crillon-le-Brave you swing across the gentle Carpentras plain to Caromb, a partly fortified little town. A short, steep ascent takes you to the Lac du Paty, hidden amongst the trees. Continue downhill through forest, vineyards and cherry orchards to the fortified village of Malaucene (where Pope Clement V once lived). The final section is a flat bowl along country lanes to the Roman garrison town of Vaison la Romaine. (Staying at Hotel Burrhus)

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 5

    At Vaison-La-Romaine

    Vaison has France's most extensive Roman remains including a 6000-seat theatre, baths, houses and streets. There's a fine C13 cathedral and cloisters, castle ruins and fortified gateway, and squares with cool central fountains. The two halves of the town are joined by a 2000-year-old single arch Roman bridge which, amazingly, is still in use; it's well worth crossing to explore the narrow mediaeval streets and little squares of the Haute Ville. (Staying at Hotel Burrhus)

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 6

    Vaison-La-Romaine to Vacqueyras

    Today it's via Roaix and across the Ouveze River to mediaeval Seguret - officially ranked among the most beautiful villages in France; its streets hug the slopes of the Dentelles de Montmirail. There's a C15 fountain, a C14 belfry and a ruined feudal castle offering far-reaching views out across the Rhone Valley. Then it's on through pretty Sablet and extensive vineyards to our friendly little hotel near Vacqueyras. (Staying at Hotel Montmirail)

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 7

    At Vacqueyras

    Orange, a thriving regional centre, is 20km away. It has two marvellous UNESCO World Heritage Sites, an elaborately decorated triumphal arch and a beautifully preserved Roman theatre which hosts regular evening performances; your hotelier will help organise a taxi. Alternatively, why not simply relax by the hotel pool? (Staying at Hotel Montmirail)

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 8

    Vacqueyras to Pernes-Les-Fontaines

    Your final day's cycling takes you through the Cotes du Rhone vineyards, stops first at charming Vacqueyras where there are lots of caves. From here there's an optional detour to mediaeval Carpentras - with a cathedral, atmospheric cobbled streets and weekly (Fri) market - before returning to fountain-filled Pernes-les-Fontaines. (Staying at Hotel l'Hermitage)

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 9

    Leave Pernes-Les-Fontaines

    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

All continental breakfasts and evening meals included.

Provençale cuisine is a blend of many influences from the plentiful sea, to neighbour Italy and the early Roman occupation. The soil is rich and the climate is conducive to producing a wide variety of fruit and vegetables.
Whilst not the most sophisticated of the French cuisines, most dishes use the excellent tasting local fresh produce. Cooking à la Provençale uses local olive oil, garlic, peppers, tomatoes, courgettes, aubergines and wild herbs, all ripened by the sun to give an intensity of flavour. You can browse among the colours and smells, and make picnic purchases at the lively local markets.
The proximity of the sea makes fish and seafood an important element of the local cuisine. Regional dishes include the famous bouillabaisse, a rich fish stew served with aioli and rouille; the bourride – a lighter version of the bouillabaisse; pistou soupe (summer vegetable soup with a blend of garlic, basil and olive oil); authentic ratatouille, large colourful salads and delicious courgette flower fritters. Tapenade and anchoïade are savoury dips made with local olives and anchovies; pissaladière is an onion tart with olives and anchovies and is very likely to have come from the Romans.

Weather

Temperatures tend to average around 30°C  during the summer months and fall to an average of 15°C during winter. The infamous Mistral wind can have a great effect on the temperatures, particularly in the western part of Provence. 

July and August are very warm with little to no rainfall. Temperatures tend to climb up to 30°C during the day. At night it cools off considerably, especially on the coast, near a lake or in the mountains. In general, the farther away from the coast the more oppressive the heat becomes during the day. 

The months around the high season are the most pleasant (May, June, September, October) with average temperatures between 22°C and 27°C . October is the most uncertain month of the four, but of course it can also be a splendid month with warm, sunny days and practically no rain.

Is this trip for you?

Classification: Self-Guided
Activity Level: 2 (Leisurely/moderate)
Average daily distance on move on days: 30.25km (19 miles). 
No. of days cycling: 4
Terrain: The cycling is mostly on plains or gentle foothills and we have used the quietest possible lanes to link the towns and villages. There are only occasional (unavoidable) short stretches on major roads. One or two parts of the countryside are fairly hilly, so take your time on the steeper climbs and admire the wonderful long-distance views.
Vehicle Support: This is a self-guided trip for those who prefer to cycle independently, but with our assistance to take out the stress of the logistics and planning. We arrange your accommodations, provide you with a map and route notes so that you can cycle at your own pace. A representative will be there to meet you, make sure the bikes are all set up and will be on call throughout the trip should you need.

It is important that you are happy reading maps and following route notes, we make these as accurate as possible and they are regularly checked. 

As this is a self-guided holiday there is no group and no leader. There may be others on the same departure date as you, but you will not be organised together. The route notes contain a 24-hour emergency assistance telephone number should you need it and in emergencies, the local representative is normally able to dispatch a taxi or pick you up themselves. They may wish to charge for this service.

On this eight night cycling holiday you get the best of both worlds: breathtaking scenery all around combined with easy pedalling on plains and gentle foothills dotted with lavender, orchards and the famous Cotes du Rhone vineyards. The towns and villages you pass through are particularly picturesque with their old quarters, weekly markets and chateaux. 

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

Hotels

Our hotels, which are all family-run, pride themselves on their Provencal cuisine and cellars full of fine local wines - one of which is located between the three world-famous vineyards of Beaumes de-Venise, Gigondas and Vacqueyras.

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