From historic hill top towns, to the banks of the River Sorgue, today completes your road cycle tour of Provnence. It maybe a cliché but it’s worth saving the best to last. A steady climb to sleepy Murs leads to a rolling descent into the chic, celebrity hilltop hangout of Gordes. Clinging to the rock face Gordes is worthy of a coffee stop on your journey west out of the Luberon Valley to Fontaine de Vaucluse and finally L’Isle sur la Sorgue.
The shortest ride of the week allows you to wind down and spend some time in our favourite Provencal villages.
Off the beaten track, your first encounter is Murs. A very well preserved and unspoilt Provencal village. It is said that the painters chose Gordes and Roussillon, the writers chose Lourmarin, and the wise chose Murs, and have kept quiet about it! Head further west, you'll reach the town of Gordes, dominated by its 10th Century chateau which was remodelled in the Renaissance. The buildings here are of white stone, built into the steep rock and on we'd suggest hopping off the bikes here to take time for coffee or a long lunch.
Further on from Gordes and only a few KM's from the L'Isle sur la Sorgue you'll reach Fontaine de Vaucluse. Here there is an impressive spring which flows out of the 230 m high cliff. This gigantic source is the most powerful in France and fifth in the world. 630 million cubic meters of water flow out every year. The village of Fontaine has a number of waterside cafes and bar where it worths saoking up the rays before heading onto the charmes of L'Isle sur la Sorgue.
I would definitely recommend that you take the time for a break in Fontaine de Vaucluse. It's a very pretty town on the River Sorgue, with waterwheels, weirs and restaurants overlooking the river.
Be very careful on the tight hairpin bends before Fontaine de Vaucluse.
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 hire 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.
Do 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. The road does narrow in parts so please take on bends and when descending, do so with caution.
Besides cycling in the kit you are used too, we'd also suggest taking the essentials of water bottle(s), nutrition, an extra layer, cash/credit cards and mobile together with emergency telephone numbers.
Always wear a helmet and pack a spare tube, puncture repair kit, tyre levers and handpump. You may also like to take a multi-tool.
There is is a small supermarket in Roussillon, where you can buy provisions for the day, and then many cafes and restaurants in the villages and towns that you pass through.
This ride is available on: SGRCMVP