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.
Enjoy the first 10km of this day as you wind down into the Luberon Valley, taking in the sights. If you have opted for shorter route, after leaving Apt you have an approx. 9km moderate ride to the hilltop town of Roussillon, famed for its ochre cliffs.
Dont miss out on a visit to the Bruoux Mines, they're pretty impressive!
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.
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.
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
Les Mines des Bruoux
Not long after leaving Gargas you can't fail to notice the gigantic face of the Bruoux Mines. Take a guided tour and travel through the old mine tunnels stopping at various points for explanations of the geology, former mining procedures and some of the challenges facing the miners in those times. With 40km of tunnels (dont worry, you dont walk through all of them!) and vaulted ceilings of up to 15m in height it's an impressive tour, and the only remaining ochre mine in France which is open to the public.
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.
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