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Bicycle Ride

Cycle Bonnieux to Rousillon (long route via Saint Saturn les Apt)

Bicycle Ride · Vaucluse
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    Photo: Macs Adventure
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    Photo: Macs Adventure
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Start the morning with a freewheel down to the town of Apt the gateway town for Haute Provence farmers  fruits, vegetables and crafts. Beyond Apt, lies Gargas where town life gives way to vineyards and the route gently climbs to the red-ochre village of Roussillon, where you will spend the next 3 nights. There is the choice to extend today’s route via the Saint Saturn les Apt if you so wish. 
Distance 34.3 km
2:35 h
239 m
298 m
Enjoy the first 10km of this day as you wind down into the Luberon Valley, taking in the sights. If you have opted for this longer route, after leaving Apt you will head through the quiet villages of the valley to Saint Saturnin les Apt, before heading to the hilltop town of Roussillon, famed for its ochre cliffs. This last section can be a little tough on the legs, so make sure to have plenty of water and snacks with you!

Author’s recommendation

If you happen to travel through Apt on market day (Sunday mornings), do hop off the bikes for an exploration of local foods and goods which sprawls through the heart of the old town.
Highest point
375 m
Lowest point
221 m

Safety information

The route is largely on main roads so when cycling please beware of traffic and cycle on the right-hand side of the road if there is no cycle lane.  Whilst drivers in France are respectful of the 'velo', please do be mindful of other road users at all times, obeying local road signs and any change in road conditions.  Beware of traffic especially when entering and leaving the towns where the traffic flow tends to be highest.

Before starting your ride it’s always worth inspecting your bike for any damage. Check for any damage to the frame, components or wheels. Ensure there are no loose cables and that the tyres are inflated and the brakes are working. Always wear a helmet when cycling. If you are doubtful of the condition of your rental bike please call the office or the local bike hire on the number provided in your information pack.

Tips and hints

Food & Drink

You will travel through Apt today, which is a fairly large town with plenty of shops and cafes. If you wished to stock up on supplies, a short detour will also take you to a large supermarket just outside of town. Roussillon is one of the more touristy towns, and as such, cafes and restaurants will tend to be open throughout the day. Why not treat yourself to an ice cream as you look out over the ochre cliffs after your cycle!


Points of interest

Saint Saturnin les Apt 

This small town is situated near the top of the valley, with an 11th Century castle and chapel (now in ruins) at the very top of the town. Hop off your bike and take a look around the ruins, before grabbing a quick drink and heading back out on your ride.



The large town of Apt is one of the most well known in Provence for its sprawling market, with hundreds of vendors selling everything from saucisson to fresh coquille Saint-Jacques and more. A great place to stock up on some snacks for the journey ahead, or souvenirs to take back home, including some of Provence’s signature Lavender soaps.


Roussillon viewpoints

From your finishing point in Roussillon, you can make your way slightly uphill to one of the main viewpoints of this beautiful town. Although impressive, with its huge sundial and expansive sights, there is a higher viewpoint at the very north of the town, looking over to Mont Ventoux which offer (in my opinion) a superior view to the more crowded one in the centre. A perfect spot to watch the sunrise or sunset as you get a near 360 degree view of the surroundings


The church in Bonnieux (374 m)
43.824120, 5.309310
43°49'26.8"N 5°18'33.5"E
31T 685695 4854930


Centre of Roussillon

Turn-by-turn directions

0.00km - Beginning at the church from the previous day on your left hand side, STRAIGHT ON along the main road.

0.60km - STRAIGHT ON DOWN the main road, following the road sign for Apt.

N.B. If staying at Les Terrasses du Luberon, begin here.

1.60km - STRAIGHT ON along the main road, ignoring the road to your right. Continue down this main road for the next 8.6km, ignoring any turn offs.

10.20km - Just after you pass over the motorway, FOLLOW THE ROAD AS IT BEARS LEFT, into Apt. Continue on this main road until you read the stop sign.

11.60km - At the stop sign, TURN LEFT. This road can be quite busy, so beware of traffic approaching from both directions.

12.00km - At the traffic lights, TURN LEFT, going over the bridge. There are 2 lanes of traffic here, place yourself in the left hand lane.

12.40km - After the next set of lights, the 2 lanes will merge into one. TURN RIGHT just opposite the Post Office to follow Voie Domitienne as it heads slightly uphill.

12.80km - When you reach the fork in the road, BEAR TO THE RIGHT, where this road continues onwards. You will see a cycle path on your right hand side. Go past the cycle path, continuing on the main road following the sign for 'Le Paou'.

13.10km - At the roundabout, head STRAIGHT ON uphill. Following the orange cycle sign, stay on this road for approx. 500m.

13.60km - When you reach the T-bar junction, TURN LEFT, going downhill.

13.70km - Ignore the turn offs to your left and right and CONTINUE ON THE MAIN ROAD DOWNHILL.

16.30km - Just after you cross a small bridge with brick walls, TURN RIGHT, following the orange cycle sign.

17.25km - CONTINUE DOWNHILL, staying on this road as you follow the orange cycle sign.


17.70km - FOLLOW THE MAIN ROAD, WHICH BEARS LEFT at the fork, ignoring the road on your right.

18.05km - STRAIGHT ON ahead, until you reach the stop sign. The road slightly narrows here.

18.40km - At the stop sign, TURN LEFT DOWNHILL. There are 3 cycle signs in front of you, the one for ‘Liaison’ is the one you want to follow for now. Head STRAIGHT ON at the next two stop signs, becareful of other road users at the junctions.

20.00km - There is another stop sign at the end of this road, TURN RIGHT here, following the orange cycle sign in front of you.

20.10km - TURN LEFT along the small road, which points to Saint Saturnin les Apt on a small yellow sign.

Approx. 50m after you have turned left, there is a fork in the road. BEAR RIGHT here. The next section is a bit bumpy and gravelly, so be careful!

21.10km - At the end of the path, TURN RIGHT. At this turning, you will be able to see Saint Saturnin les Apt up the hill in front of you.

21.30km - At the give way sign (Cedez le Passage), TURN LEFT DOWNHILL onto the main road.

22.00km -BEFORE you reach the top of the road, TURN RIGHT, up Chemin Haut Sain-Maurin. Be careful as this is easy to miss.

22.20km - At the stop sign, TURN RIGHT. Continue up the main road into the town.

22.90km - Approx. 20m past the Pharmacie, TURN DOWN TO YOUR LEFT. This is a steep downhill section; you will pass an outdoor swimming pool on your right after approx. 50m.

23.40km - After the long straight section, there is a slight ‘kink’ in the road, going right then left. CONTINUE DOWNHILL at this point, which is the road bearing left.

23.80km - At the stop sign, TURN DOWN RIGHT, joining the main road.

24.00km - At the crossroads by the bus stops, TURN RIGHT.

24.40km - At the cross road, STRAIGHT ON, up a short hill.

24.80km - At the give way sign, STRAIGHT ON. Stay on this main road for the next 1.5km.

26.30km - At the fork in the road, take the road which BEARS DOWN TO YOUR RIGHT.

27.50km - At the stop sign, TURN LEFT, following the orange cycle sign. Immediately after you turn left, TURN RIGHT, taking the road off of the main road. An orange cycle sign will guide your way.

28.30km - When you reach the crossroads, TURN RIGHT, again following the orange cycle sign.

28.80km - At the give way sign at the next cross road, TURN LEFT. There will be a cycle sign for Roussillon directing you. Continue on the main road for 2.15km, where you will meet a main junction. Stay on the main road for the remainder of this route.

30.95km - At the main junction, where there is a stop sign, STRAIGHT ON. There is a road sign for Roussillon, 3km to go!

31.90km - STRAIGHT ON on the main road, ignoring the turn off to your left. There is an orange cycle sign on your left guiding you in the correct direction.

33.80km - After passing the sign for Roussillon the road bears steeply left, once at the next junction TURN LEFT UPHILL.

33.90km - At the small roundabout, HEAD STRAIGHT on. This hill is very steep, even the toughest of cyclists may need to step off and push!

34.20km - After the steep uphill, you will FOLLOW THE ROAD BEARING RIGHT and reach a main car park for Roussillon. There is an excellent viewpoint here for the Luberon Valley. Congratulations on taking the long way round!


all notes on protected areas


43.824120, 5.309310
43°49'26.8"N 5°18'33.5"E
31T 685695 4854930
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike


Always be prepared to cycle through a change of weather conditions and do check for any local weather warnings before cycling. Make sure to bring a waterproof jacket and a warm layer.  Most cyclists wear [fingerless] cycle gloves for some padding on the handlebars. Don't forget a spare battery pack for an emergency charge of any navigation unit you may decide to use.

Basic Equipment for Bike Riding

  • Cycling helmet
  • Cycling gloves
  • Sturdy, comfortable and preferably waterproof footwear
  • Layered, moisture wicking clothing
  • Rucksack (with rain cover)
  • Protection against sun, rain and wind (hat, sunscreen, water- and windproof jacket)
  • Sunglasses
  • Ample supply of drinking water and snacks
  • Cell phone
  • Cash
  • Navigation equipment / map and compass

Technical Equipment for Bike Riding

  • Air pump or CO2 pump including cartridges
  • Puncture repair kit
  • Replacement inner tube
  • Tire levers
  • Chain tool
  • Hex keys
  • Phone / device holder as required  
  • Bike lock as required
  • Where applicable, the bike must meet requirements for road use by having a bell, front and rear lamps and spoke reflectors
  • The 'basic' and 'technical' equipment lists are generated based on the selected activity. They are not exhaustive and only serve as suggestions for what you should consider packing.
  • For your safety, you should carefully read all instructions on how to properly use and maintain your equipment.
  • Please ensure that the equipment you bring complies with local laws and does not include restricted items.

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34.3 km
2:35 h
239 m
298 m


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