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Bicycle Ride

Gordes to Bedoin

Bicycle Ride
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    Photo: Iain Douglas, Macs Adventure
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    Photo: Iain Douglas, Macs Adventure
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    Photo: Iain Douglas, Macs Adventure
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A rewarding ride through the Provencal countryside; begin with the most undulating part of the ride as you leave Gordes, and after descending from the charming hilltop village of Venasque, roll through vineyards to pedal into Bedoin.
37.1 km
4:30 h
601 m
629 m
Today is the most challenging of the trip with approx. 600m of ascent, but it’s also the most scenic, and all of this uphill makes for some fun freewheeling on the downward side!  Leave the village of Gordes behind and begin climbing almost immediately on a relatively gentle gradient. Before you know it you’ll be descending to Abbaye Senanque with its rows of lavender planted out front.  From here begin a steady ascent to Col Des Trois Termes (574m).  If you’re cycling in the heat of the day make sure to take a break at the top before descending through a spectacular limestone gorge on winding roads towards the charming village of Venasque.  Now the going is relatively flat, aside from a couple of small remaining ascents, as you pedal past wineries, through vineyards and Provencal villages en route to Bedoin.  Bedoin is hallowed ground for the road cyclists who make their pilgrimage-like visits here to ascend Mont Ventoux (featured in the Tour de France) – the mountain that towers over the village, you can see it’s lunar-like top even from the village streets.  

Author’s recommendation

The route takes in a short section of walking your bike down a pedestrianised street in Venasque village – this is because the village is so lovely it would be a shame to simply cycle around it – stop here for an early lunch or coffee break!
Profile picture of Catherine Allan
Catherine Allan 
Updated: July 28, 2020

Highest point
575 m
Lowest point
141 m
Best time of year

Safety information

Today's ride is the most challenging of the trip - with the most ascent - take care to stay out of the sun where possible and stay hydrated.  Both of the largest hills have shady spots beside the road where you can rest, rehydrate and have a small snack if you wish.  

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.

Beware of traffic especially when entering and leaving towns where the traffic flow tends to be highest. Take care on the day’s descents; make the most of the downhill but don’t speed around corners where you can’t see what’s coming ahead of you on narrow single-track roads.  Always treat descents with respect!

Remember to ride on the right-hand side of the road and 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.

Tips, hints and links

Points of Interest

Abbaye Senanque

This 12th century Cistercian monastery has been home to monks following the rule of Saint Benedict for over 900 years.  Situated in a secluded spot deep in the valley and with fields of lavender and forest surrounding it’s not hard to see why the original settlers choose this spot.

You can take hour-long tours of the monastery almost daily, please note guided tours are only in French but you can take an unguided “Histopad” tour (a tour with a tablet) in various languages.  Morning tours are not available on Sundays due to mass and are also affected by some religious celebrations and opening times vary depending on the season.  Please check the below link if you would like to take a tour of the abbey (approx. €10 per adult). 


A medieval village, classed as a Beaux Villages, situated atop a limestone escarpment giving wonderful views over the surrounding countryside of vineyard, orchard and olive grove, and on a good day to Mont Ventoux in the distance.  The charming narrow streets are a popular spot for visitors to the area and the main street has a few small restaurants, cafes, shops and boutiques.  Signs of the town’s historic past can be seen in the ramparts, Notre-Dame church and 11th century Baptistry. 

Make sure to capture some images from the viewpoint on the route with the Notre-Dame church on your left overlooking the countryside. 


As you approach the village from Crillon le Brave you’ll be able to see the baroque church of Saint Pierre almost immediately, the rest of the village covers the slopes of St Antonin Hill below the church on the southern flank of Mont Ventoux.  Although popular with cyclists, road and leisure cyclists alike, the area is also popular with walkers making the most of the forest trails. 

The village is also known for its Monday market – stroll through the market to browse delicious deli foods, jams, preserves, leather goods, linens, clothes, woven bags and baskets, along with jewellery, art and much more!  If your visit lines up with the Monday market then make sure to sallow some time for browsing before leaving for your ride or after arriving. 


Food & Drink

There are a few small shops and stalls in Gordes where you can buy provisions for your day in the saddle – check opening times though as these can vary, Sundays in France are especially tricky. Make sure you have a snack for the top of Col des Trois Termes. En route you’ll pass through the villages of Venasque (approx. 15 km into the ride) with a restaurant and couple of cafes, a great spot for a break, alternatively you’ll also pass the villages of Mazan (25 km), and Saint-Pierre-De-Vassols (30 km).


Gordes (354 m)
43.911376, 5.199517
43°54'41.0"N 5°11'58.3"E
31T 676608 4864381



Turn-by-turn directions

0.00 km – Begin in the centre of Gordes at the roundabout, and with the castle behind you continue STRAIGHT ON the D15 signposted for Cavaillon (17 km).

0.35 km – At the junction on the bend in the road follow the road as it corves left.

0.60 km – At the next junction TURN RIGHT to follow the signpost for Venasque (16 km) on the D177 and begin ascending gradually for 1.9 km.

2.50 km – Arrive at the top of the climb and enjoy the views over the countryside and down onto Abbaye Senanque on your left before continuing STRAIGHT ON to descend. Take care of traffic at the entrance to the abbey as it can get busy.

4.00 km – Reach the turn off to the left signposted for the abbey – you can take an optional detour down to the abbey for a visit – the route continues STRAIGHT ON the road here following the signpost for Venasque on the D177.

Soon you’ll begin ascending gradually for 2.4 km to the top of Col des Trois Termes (574m).

6.40 km – Arrive at the crossroads at the top of Col des Trois Termes (574m).  There is a shady parking spot to the right-hand side before the junction where you can pause for a rest before continuing STRAIGHT ON at the crossroads following the signpost for Venasque.

Take care on the descent, there are some tight corners, beware of vehicles and pull well off the road while signalling if you wish to take pictures of this spectacular limestone gorge.

11.10 km – At the T-junction TURN LEFT following the signpost for Venasque (4 km) on the D4 with an old way-marker on your right.

12.70 km – At the junction take care and signal before you TURN LEFT onto a smaller road, the C9, signposted for Venasque. Begin a gradual ascent to the village.

14.60 km – After descending into Venasque village at a junction with a cross on your left BEAR RIGHT to keep the round stone tower on your right. Then TURN LEFT and walk your bike down the narrow street, at the fountain continue STRAIGHT ON to descend passing a restaurant, cafes and shops.

14.90 km – Hop back into the saddle as you pass a fantastic viewpoint over the countryside with the Notre-Dame church ahead of you and at the junction in front f the church TURN RIGHT to descend.

15.00 km – At the junction continue on the road following it to the right, then at the T-junction TURN LEFT sharply following the D4 to Carpentras.

17.90 km – At the junction (after the passing some houses) TURN RIGHT to follow the winery signpost onto the D77 for Malemot.

19.60 km – At the T-junction with the D5 TURN RIGHT for Malemot then at the roundabout take the third exit for Mazan on the D158.  At the next junction TURN LEFT.

21.30 km – When the road splits BEAR LEFT following the green cycle path signpost onto the D163 for Mazan (4 km).

23.50 km – Follow the Rue de Malemot to TURN LEFT (ignore the cycle path signpost to the right).

24.00 km – At the crossroads TURN RIGHT then at the roundabout continue STRAIGHT ON for Sault on the D1.

24.60 km – Cross the bridge in the village, then at the small roundabout TURN LEFT to follow the river on your left-hand side.

25.00 km – Pass the Chateau Mazan entrance on your right and continue STRAIGHT ON at the small roundabout. There are public WCs ahead on your left and you’ll soon pass some shops.  In 100m TURN LEFT to follow the D70 towards Modene (5 km).

25.80 km – At the crossroads TURN RIGHT signposted for Moulin a Huile, then at the next crossroads TURN LEFT and cycle between vineyards.

30.10 km – At the roundabout outside Saint-Pierre-de-Vassols take the second exit to continue STRAIGHT ON following the signpost for Bedoin on the D974.  There a supermarket on your left.

31.10 km – TURN LEFT, taking care and signalling, to follow the D55 to Crillon le Brave over the bridge. At the roundabout continue STRAIGHT ON follow Crillon le Brave (2 km).

33.10 km – After ascending at the roundabout TURN LEFT following the signpost on the D13 for Bedoin.

35.40 km – Continue STRAIGHT ON at the junction on the D138 signposted for Bedoin.

36.80 km – At the junction in the village with the Auto Centre shop on your left TURN RIGHT to finish in the village beside a fountain with a small roundabout ahead.  Please see you accommodation sheet for your specific accommodation (if you turn left at this roundabout and continue along the street you’ll find cafes and restaurants for refreshments).


all notes on protected areas


43.911376, 5.199517
43°54'41.0"N 5°11'58.3"E
31T 676608 4864381
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike


Always wear a helmet when cycling. Most (but not all) hire bikes come with a helmet, but taking your own can be more hygienic and is likely to be a better fit.

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, as well as a small set of bike lights in case of poor visibility.  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, and pack your suncream!

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37.1 km
601 m
629 m


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