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Bicycle Ride

Roussillon Loop Ride (with optional ride to Abbaye de Sénanque)

Bicycle Ride · Vaucluse
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A beautiful loop ride passing two picturesque villages and a cistercian abbey, a real leg burner in places but the rewards are the views across the Luberon Valley and the swift downhills back into it.
Distance 35 km
2:45 h
621 m
614 m
Today’s loop ride will take you to the beautiful hilltop village of Gordes (up a very steep hill!) and the small village of Goult. You will be cycling mostly on fast main roads with a fair amount of steep upwards climbing. The climb into Gordes is a tough one today, so don’t worry about having to hop off your bike to make it all the way to the top! If that climb isn't enough for you then there's an option to add on an extra loop to Abbaye de Sénanque, an especially beautiful spot when the lavender is in bloom.

Author’s recommendation

Try some lavender ice cream from the one of the ice cream parlours in the centre of Gordes.
Highest point
464 m
Lowest point
151 m

Safety information

The route is largely on quiet country roads but 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

Roussillon has a small bakery to stock up on a croissant or two before your days ride. Both Gordes and Goult have a few cafes as well for a pit stop mid-ride. As always, please do carry plenty of water with you for the day.


Points of interest 


Named as one of the most beautiful villages in France, the entrance into Gordes is a very steep climb, but the view from the top is worth it. If you fancy taking a look from the very heights of the village, lock up your bike and continue upwards, taking in the full views of the Luberon Valley below you.



Small, picturesque villages may seem like a dime a dozen in this part of the world, but Goult really beautiful. Park up your bike and take a walk through the restored streets or stone and ochre and have a spot of lunch or bite to eat from the bakery before you head back to Roussillon.


Abbaye de Sénanque

Abbaye de Senanque is still a Cistercian monastery, and has been since 1148. It's not a museum or a tourist site but the community of monks here do allow you to walk around the valley and the abbey grounds. There is also the opportunity to follow a guided tour, in French only, inside the 12th century buildings: you can see the church, the cloister, the chapter-hall, the warming room and the ancient dormitory. They do ask that you wear respectful clothing if you enter the buildings so no cycling gear, sleevless tops or short skirts. Bare this in mind and pack some extra clothes if you do decide to visit.

When the lavender is in bloom the photo opportunities are amazing!


Roussillon (304 m)
43.896223, 5.297019
43°53'46.4"N 5°17'49.3"E
31T 684484 4862911



Turn-by-turn directions

0.00 km - As you exit the hotel car park, TURN LEFT onto the main road.

0.10 km - At the roundabout, STRAIGHT ON, heading uphill.

0.30 km - CONTINUE ONWARDS, ignoring the turn off on your left, as the main road BEARS RIGHT UPHILL. Continue on this road heading through the village past the viewpoint and downhill, until you reach the roundabout.

1.00 km - At the roundabout, TURN LEFT, following the road sign to Gordes. Follow this main road for the next 500m until you reach a car park in front of you.

1.50 km - With the car park in front of you, TURN RIGHT at this junction as the road begins to descend into the valley. Be careful as this road can get very fast, watch out for traffic.

2.80 km - After 2 hairpin turns (right then left), you will reach a fork in the road with signs for both Gordes and Goult. TAKE THE LEFT FORK, which directs you to Goult.

3.00 km - At the crossroads, STRAIGHT ON. Continue on this road for the next 3km until you reach a T-bar junction. Ignore any turn offs.

6.00 km - At the junction, TURN RIGHT, following the sign to Gordes.

6.70 km - Approx. 270m after you cross over a bridge, you will reach a junction with a triangle of grass in the centre. TURN LEFT. STRAIGHT ON until you reach an obvious fork.

N.B. If you’re used to cycling on the left of the road, don’t be tempted to turn too early here! The road you will be on for the next 1.45km is a back road with rougher terrain.

8.20 km - At the fork in the road, BEAR RIGHT.

8.30 km - At the give way sign, TURN RIGHT, joining back onto the road.

8.80 km - After 500m you will reach a small cross road. TURN LEFT HERE.

9.00 km - STRAIGHT ON, ignoring the turn on your left which is a dead end. Beware again of the terrain as it can be quite rough.

9.70 km - After 670m, TURN RIGHT, just as you reach the end of a row of this trees. As you turn, you will see the village of Gordes in front of you.

10.50 km - At the Stop sign, TURN LEFT heading uphill.

10.80 km - After 300m, TAKE THE FORK ON YOUR RIGHT, which heads sharply uphill. This turn off is on the corner as the main road curves round to the left.

11.10 km - STRAIGHT ON on uphill, ignoring the turn off on your right.

11.20 km - At this fork, CONTINUE UPHILL. There is a fork in front of you and another road to your right hand side, which is a dead end. TAKE THE RIGHT FORK (THE MIDDLE OF THE 3 ROADS).

N.B. This road gets very steep!

11.60 km - At the peak of this hill, you will reach a very good viewpoint of the valley below, with the town of Gordes to your right. STRAIGHT ON AND BEGIN HEADING DOWNHILL.

N.B. If you wish to explore Gordes further, find somewhere nearby to safely chain your bike and climb to the top of the village. You will be unable to take your bike further as it is very steep and only accessible via steps.


 (Optional loop ride from here to Abbaye de Senanque, bare in mind that if you choose to do this there are significant climbs in both directions and it adds approx. 9km to the days total distance. Please skip forward to 11.80km if you dont wish to do the loop.)

11.60 km - At the peak of this hill TURN RIGHT to continue on up.

12.00 km - TURN LEFT at the junction then continue to follow this road as it bear right around the castle in the centre of Gordes.

12.30 km - TURN LEFT at the roundabout with a statue of a soldier in the middle of it then head downhill following signs for Abbaye de Senanque.

13.00 km - TURN RIGHT at the junction again following the sign for Abbaye de Senanque. You're now on a steady climb for approx. 2km.

14.90 km - As the road now begins to head downhill it becomes quite narrow so beware of traffic. There are passing places which also provide a good opportunity for an aerial view of the Abbey below you in the valley.

16.40 km - TURN LEFT to enter the parking in the grounds of the abbey.

Please remember, no cycling clothes are permitted if going inside the abbey itself.

Once you have finished with your visit to the abbey and it's grounds just retrace the route from this point. 

21.20 km - You are now back at the point where you left the original route (11.60km) TURN RIGHT then continue to follow the route notes below. Distances following on from this loop will now be marked with (  )



11.80 km ( 21.40) - TURN LEFT, continuing downhill. Beware of potholes.

12.10 km (21.70) - At the stop sign at the bottom of the hill, TURN LEFT, back onto the main road.

12.30 km (21.90) - At this next junction, TURN RIGHT, following the sign for St Pantaleon.

12.90 km (22.50) - STRAIGHT ON, ignoring the turn off to your right.

14.10 km (23.70) - At this fork, CONTINUE ON THE MAIN ROAD, which bears right and continues slightly uphill. There is a house on your right hand side as you pass by the turn off on your left. Continue on this main road until you reach a definitive fork in the road, ignoring all other turn offs.

15.70 km (25.30) - At this large fork in the road, TAKE THE TURNING DOWN TO YOUR LEFT, as it signposts to Goult.

15.90 km (25.50) - CONTINUE DOWNHILL, ignore the turn off to your left.

16.30 km (25.90) - You will reach a fork in the road, with a triangular piece of grass and tree in the centre of 3 intersecting roads. BEAR DOWN LEFT HERE ONTO A PATH ROAD and continue until a cross road with the main road.

16.80 km (26.40) - After a small bridge you will reach a cross road. TURN LEFT at this junction.

If there are still dogs living at the house you pass on the right, beware as they may chase you!

17.10 km (26.70) - STRAIGHT ON over the road as it passes over a small river path with metal barriers on each side, and continue on slightly uphill.

17.40 km (27.00) - At the end of the road there is a Give Way sign. TURN LEFT here, following the road sign to Goult.

17.50 km (27.10) - Very soon after your left turn, there is a fork in the road. TURN RIGHT here, following the road sign to Goult.

18.40 km (28.00) - When you reach the roundabout, TURN RIGHT, again you will see a road sign for Goult. Continue on this main road until your reach the town in 1km.

19.00 km (28.60) - CONTINUE BEARING RIGHT on the main road, past houses on your left, ignoring the hairpin turn off to your left.

19.30 km (28.90) - TURN UP LEFT here, at the viewpoint which is on your right. This will take you up into the village of Goult. There is a car park on your left. You can stop here and chain your bike up, spending some time in this picturesque village.

19.40 km (29.00) - Once you are ready to head back to Roussillon, TURN BACK AROUND AND HEAD DOWN THE ROAD YOU CAME.

20.40 km - (30.00) At the roundabout (which you originally turned up to Goult at), STRAIGHT ON, following the signpost for Roussillon. You will stay on this main road until you reach Roussillon, for the next 6km.

22.80 km - (32.40) CONTINUE ON THE MAIN ROAD, ignoring the turn off to your right and continue as the road slowly descends.

23.20 km - (32.80) At the cross roads, STRAIGHT ON on as the road ascends.

24.10 km - (33.70) STRAIGHT ON along the main road, you will pass a camping site on your right.

24.70 km - (34.30) STRAIGHT ON along the main road, ignoring the turn off to your left.

25.30 km - (34.80) Ignore the road to your right and STRAIGHT ON along the main road.

26.00 km - (35.50) You will now have reached the junction at the entrance to Roussillon village and the end of your ride. STRAIGHT ON here if you wish to head into the village, or if you're staying at Hotel Sables D’Ocre, TURN RIGHT.



all notes on protected areas


43.896223, 5.297019
43°53'46.4"N 5°17'49.3"E
31T 684484 4862911
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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35 km
2:45 h
621 m
614 m


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