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Bicycle Ride

Loop Ride to Menerbes

Bicycle Ride · Vaucluse
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    Photo: Macs Adventure
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    Photo: Macs Adventure
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    Photo: Macs Adventure
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It’s easy to lose time in the charming lanes of Bonnieux but for those of you that wish to ride, today’s journey heads via the villages of Lacoste and Menerbes. A short downhill leads up into the sleepy village of Lacoste. From here, the route rises and falls to the artistic hangout of 12th century, Oppède Le Vieux. An afternoon of rolling cycling then leads back to Bonnieux.
Distance 32.2 km
2:30 h
507 m
501 m
The day begins with a sweeping downhill into the Luberon valley, before climbing into the small town of Lacoste, which offers excellent views into the Valley below. A fast downhill section takes you past Menerbes and through to Oppede, before looping back round with a slow and steady climb into Menerbes, returning to Bonnieux on the same road you left on. A good mix of fast downhills and proper bums off seat cycling, with hairpin bends aplenty!

Author’s recommendation

Keep an eye out for vineyards and olive oil producers offering tastings, there are a few on this route.
Highest point
362 m
Lowest point
131 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

Menerbes has some cafes at the top, to stop and refuel before returning to Bonnieux. Oppede also has a couple of cafes and a store. 


Points of interest


Although this town is small, as it is perched on the side of one of the Luberon hilltops, it offers incredible views across the valley. Not long after the start of today’s ride, you will find yourself winding your way up through this beautiful village, with architecture dating back to the 9th century. One of the residents of Lacoste, author Finnbar Mac Eoin, was the last person to cross Pont Julien prior to its traffic closure in 2005. A plaque on the bridge reads “We do not know who was the first person to cross, but an Irishman was the last.”



Another gorgeous hilltop village which offers views over the Luberon Valley, Menerbes is the second of 2 villages on your ride today. There are plenty of cafes to stop off for a quick pick me up before cycling back to Bonnieux, and if you’re feeling particularly historical, you can visit the Corkscrew Museum, which has more than 1000 different pieces on display!


Oppede le Vieux

An optional side trip in today’s cycle will take you to the village of Oppede le Vieux. Take a stroll through the 15th and 16th century houses and admire the views offered to you from the centre of the town.


Church in Bonnieux (342 m)
43.824518, 5.307298
43°49'28.3"N 5°18'26.3"E
31T 685532 4854970


Centre of Bonnieux

Turn-by-turn directions

0.00km -Begin the day with the church you stopped at yesterday on your right hand side, on the main road at the bottom of Bonnieux. At the roundabout, take the 3rd exit to GO STRAIGHT UPHILL, following the sign for Lacoste.

0.25km -At the junction, STRAIGHT ON AHEAD, heading downhill. Continue following this main road.

1.35km -STRAIGHT ON along the main road which turns down to the right, ignoring the gravel road straight ahead of you.

2.35km -TURN RIGHT at this junction, heading downhill and following the cycle directions to Cavaillon. Continue on this main road for the next few kilometres.

5.60km -After entering Lacoste, TAKE THE HAIRPIN TURN TO YOUR LEFT heading up to the top of the village.

5.80km -At the top of this road, TURN LEFT.

6.10km -TAKE THE HAIRPIN TURN UP TO YOUR RIGHT, following the road sign for Menerbes.

6.40km -TAKE THE HAIRPIN TURN UP TO YOUR LEFT, continuing up the hill.

6.80km -Ignore the turn off to your left and right, and STRAIGHT ON the main road downhill. Continue on this main road ignoring any turn offs.

11.60km -At this junction, TURN RIGHT, taking the lower of the 2 roads. This will lead you past the town of Menerbes. You will revisit this junction (from the opposite direction) later on.

13.20km -STRAIGHT ON at this crossroads, following the road sign for Oppede. Continue on this road for the next couple of kilometres.

15.70km -TURN LEFT, following the sign for Oppede then, after 200m, take the road BEARING RIGHT, continuing to follow the signs for Oppede.

17.10km -After cycling through the town of Oppede, you will reach a large roundabout. TURN LEFT here (3rd exit) and continue on this main road for the next couple of kilometres.

As an alternative at this roundabout, you can TURN RIGHT then head straight on for approx. 1.6km, until you reach the village of Oppede le Vieux. To return to the route, simply backtrack the 1.6km you cycled on the way there until you reach the roundabout again.

19.50km -At the fork in the road, TURN LEFT (which continues the road you are on) and follow the sign for Menerbes.

20.25km -CONTINUE DOWNHILL TO YOUR RIGHT, following the main road’s sharp turn. There is a sign directing you to Menerbes here.

20.40km -Ignore the turn off on your right and STRAIGHT ON downhill.

21.10km -At the T-bar junction at the end of the road, TURN RIGHT AND THEN STRAIGHT ON UPHILL. You will see a cycle sign for ‘Apt’ pointing you in the right direction here.

21.80km -TAKE THE HAIRPIN TURN TO YOUR LEFT, continuing uphill towards Menerbes centre. You will enter the town centre which is a brick paved section of road. Continue down this main street for 330m.

22.20km -At the end of the street, TURN RIGHT DOWNHILL, passing a car park on your left after approx. 50m. Follow this road downhill ignoring all turnoffs.

23.00km -At the junction, BEAR SLIGHTLY RIGHT, onto the main road, following the road sign to Bonnieux. Continue on this main road for some time, ignoring any turn offs. Bonnieux is clearly signed throughout.

30.30km -You will reach the junction you turned off at (Step 4) at the beginning of this route. STRAIGHT ON on, following the sign to Bonnieux. You are now back on the same road as Steps 1-3.

32.50km -CONTINUE THE START OF THIS ROUTE, BUT IN REVERSE, and you will reach the centre of Bonnieux and the Pharmacy. From here continue onwards to your accommodation.


all notes on protected areas


43.824518, 5.307298
43°49'28.3"N 5°18'26.3"E
31T 685532 4854970
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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32.2 km
2:30 h
507 m
501 m


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