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Bicycle Ride

Cycle Bonnieux to Roussillon (short route via Apt and Gargas)

Bicycle Ride · Vaucluse
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  • Ochre cliffs of Roussillon
    / Ochre cliffs of Roussillon
    Photo: Macs Adventure
  • / Bruoux Mines
    Photo: Macs Adventure
  • / Quiet country lanes
    Photo: Macs Adventure
m 350 300 250 200 25 20 15 10 5 km
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 27 km
2:15 h
214 m
244 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 shorter route, after leaving Apt you have an approx. 9km moderate ride to the hilltop town of Roussillon, famed for its ochre cliffs.

Author’s recommendation

Dont miss out on a visit to the Bruoux Mines, they're pretty impressive!
Highest point
353 m
Lowest point
208 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

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. 

 

Apt 

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

Start

The church in Bonnieux (344 m)
Coordinates:
DD
43.824477, 5.307468
DMS
43°49'28.1"N 5°18'26.9"E
UTM
31T 685545 4854966
w3w 
///overshot.thick.broom

Destination

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 - CONTINUE 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, and BEAR FURTHER RIGHT onto the cycle path, leaving the main road. This path is fairly new and will lead you through a tunnel under the main road.  Continue to the end of the cycle path.

15.30km - At the end of the cycle path TURN RIGHT then RIGHT AGAIN on the round about to follow the main road. Be careful as there is no cycle lane here.

16.00km - At the large roundabout take the 4th exit turning LEFT, passing the supermarket on your right side.

16.40km - BEAR RIGHT in the direction of a small green cycle sign to join Route de la Charite as you now take on a gradual uphill climb.

17.30km - TURN LEFT at the junction to join the main road.

17.80km - At the roundabout TURN RIGHT to take the 1st exit entering 'Gargas'. Continue on this road through the town until the next roundabout.

18.50km - TURN LEFT at the small roundabout following the sign for 'Les Lombards'.

19.40km = At the crossroads TURN RIGHT to follow the green cycle sign and another sign for 'Les Lombards'.

19.70km - On your right is the Mines des Bruoux, well worth a visit if you have the time.

20.90km - At the small roundabout in Les Lombards TURN RIGHT then in 100m TURN LEFT onto the main road following the sign for Roussillon.

23.00km - STRAIGHT ON at the junction, watch out for fast moving vehicles!

23.60km - TURN RIGHT at the junction.

25.40km - Continue for follow the road as it BEARS LEFT.

26.50km - Continue STRAIGHT ON at the roundabout.

27.20km - Your ride finishes in the centre of Roussillon at the lookout point with stunning views over the ochre cliffs and across the Luberon Valley.

 

Note


all notes on protected areas

Coordinates

DD
43.824477, 5.307468
DMS
43°49'28.1"N 5°18'26.9"E
UTM
31T 685545 4854966
w3w 
///overshot.thick.broom
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Equipment

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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Distance
27 km
Duration
2:15 h
Ascent
214 m
Descent
244 m

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