It's a slower pace of life here in southern France. Amid the limestone Alpilles, where olive trees glisten in the breeze. And in the sunny Luberon, whose villages tempt you to relax over a pastis or a local rosé. Pedal leisurely to medieval towns. Soak up views of vineyards and windswept countryside. Slow down and find bliss on your bike in Provence.
1 Get ready for incredible biking through villages, vineyards, olive groves and orchards Warm up your cycling muscles and get to know the Alpilles, a world of windswept crags dotted with oak, pine and cypress trees Explore Les Baux, perched high above a limestone landscape dotted with caves and said to be frequented by witches and goblins.
2 Discover the vibrant artist community of St-Rémy, filled with fountains, gardens, cheery cafés and treelined boulevards Join a historian on a visit to the asylum where Vincent van Gogh spent his last days Drop in at an olive oil mill for a tour and tasting Play a friendly game of pétanque before sitting down to a fantastic traditional family-style meal.
3 Before bidding adieu to the dramatic scenery of the Alpilles, bike to Eygalières, a small terraced town with great cafés and a classic Provençal atmosphere Ride along the Route de Jean Moulin (leader of the French Resistance), a scenic road bordered by pine trees and vineyards Cycle to the picturesque perched villages in the Luberon mountains Oppède-le-Vieux and Ménerbes will seem delightfully familiar if you've read Peter Mayle's A Year in Provence.
4 Marvel at the beauty of Gordes, a striking village perché clinging to the craggy southern face of the high Vaucluse Plateau Quiet roads lead through rolling fields of lavender and wheat into the foothills of Mont Ventoux, the "Giant of Provence" How many shades of ocher can be found in Roussillon? Try 16—no wonder artists adore this place! At dinner, watch the sun set over the hills in Venasque, listed among Les Plus Beaux Villages de France (The Most Beautiful Villages of France).
5-6 Savor farm-fresh cuisine and noteworthy regional wines Ride the stunning Gorges de la Nesque below spectacular Mont Ventoux on your way to Sault or test your cycling prowess and tackle the climb up Mont Ventoux Meander through winding cobblestone streets for a taste of medieval Provence Surrounded by venerable Côtes du Ventoux vineyards, relish a final spin through the idyllic hamlets of the Vaucluse.