Tour length: 5 nights/6 days
Our “Cycling through Lavender” is a celebration of lavender in all its forms, whether cultivated by locals, growing wild in the fields, in soaps and oils or even in edible treats.
Located between the Alps and Provence, our lavender route highlights the beauty and culture of these intersecting regions. When done in July, when the lavender is in bloom, the unmistakable and calming aroma of the colorful lavender fields makes this trip a kind of body retreat to reconnect with one’s senses.
On this tour, you’ll experience the Gorges of Verdon (France’s “Grand Canyon”), climb to the hilltop village of Valensole and its spectacular lavender-covered plateau, and meander through hills and valleys bordering the Luberon. You’ll visit places steeped in history and tradition, such as Moustiers-Sainte-Marie, the medieval citadel of Manosque, as well as the spa towns of Digne-les-Bains and Gréoux-les-Bains.
The two closest towns to your first accommodation are Manosque and Forcalquier. If you take a train, we’ll pick you up from Manosque and transfer you to your hotel. If you choose to drive, you can leave your car at the first or last hotel of this tour. We’ll arrange your transfer accordingly. Your hotel is located a 10 minute bike ride from the center of Forcalquier, a charming village, the perfect introduction to the Provençal way of living!
After breakfast, if you rent bikes from us, you’ll meet our local representative. They will outfit you with bikes and go over the itinerary. If you bring your own bikes, the whole navigation kit will be there for you at the hotel reception. We are a phone call away if you have any questions. As soon as you set off, you’ll find yourself treated to superb views of Sainte-Victoire Mountain to the southwest, along with the Plateau de Valensole. Among the highlights of the ride is the rocky formation of “Les Pénitents des Mées.” If time allows, consider a visit to the thermal baths in Digne.
Prepare your legs for a gradual (but gentle!) 7.5% climb to the Plateau de Valensole, a picturesque and colorful stretch of lavender fields. From this location you will be rewarded with a spectacular panorama of Provence’s most famous mountains.
As you cycle down small roads, you’ll soon find yourself surrounded by magnificent lavender and sunflower fields. You’ll then ride through the Roman town of Riez before reaching Moustiers-Sainte-Marie, one of France’s most beautiful villages.
On this day you’ll have a chance to relax and enjoy the magic of Moustiers-Sainte-Marie. At an altitude of 630 meters (2,067 ft), this medieval town sits at the base of two rocky cliffs. No matter which direction you look, the views are astounding!
Our optional loop includes the Gorges of Verdon and fabulous cliff views. The village of La Palud is the start of the “Route des Crêtes” (Crest Road) and it offers many lookout points.
The ride to Greoux starts with a short, one-mile steep climb (18%). The reward is at the top… amazing views of the Lac de Sainte Croix and small roads through the lavender fields. After an optional visit to a lavender distillery, you’ll coast down to the spa town of Gréoux-Les-Bains. The ancient Roman town of Gréoux-Les-Bains is a popular destination for its mineral hot springs. Take some time to enjoy the thermal baths, renowned for their therapeutic and beneficial effects.
Note: The shorter option does not take you through the Valensole Plateau. From Allemagne-en-Provence, you’ll reach Greoux-les-Bains via the main road, on mostly flat terrain.
If you’ve arrived by train, we’ll transfer you to Manosque. If you’ve driven and left your car at the first hotel of the tour, we’ll transfer you to Forcalquier.
This tour is highly customizable (extra nights and extra rides can be added as well as activities). Just let us know more about your dream cycling trip in Provence and we’ll let you know what can be done.
5 nights in 3-star hotels
From 860 euros per person sharing a room (single supplement is 355 euros)
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