A gay group trip for those who like a challenge: take a beautiful biking tour with other gay men through Provence, France through winding country roads, past poppy fields, vineyards, old farmhouses, castle, quaint little villages and much more. Learn about the history of each location and discover the best scenery of this absolutely breathtaking part of France.
Today you will arrive in Avignon – the starting point for your trip! Avignon has a rich history linked to religion as this was the former seat of Western Christianity in the 14th Century. If you arrive early you can join the group for a walking tour, taking in one of the most important Gothic buildings in Europe; the ‘Palais des Papes’ which housed several Popes hundreds of years ago when much of Europe was in chaos. You’ll also get to visit the Pont d’Avignon – a famous bridge built in the 12th Century, only half of which remains standing today. In the evening you’ll enjoy a reception, drinks and orientation followed by dinner at a favourite restaurant.
Today you’ll start your biking adventure through France, cycling from Avignon to Arles. You’ll begin to see why cycling through Provencal is so special as you go through winding country roads past vineyards and orchards. You’ll head towards the Pont du Gard – a 2000-year-old ancient Roman aqueduct which is the highest and best preserved Roman aqueduct in the world. You’ll take in Tarascon, where you’ll find beautiful castle walls along the Rhone river, before making it to the busy city of Arles. The hotel you’ll be staying in has parts of its foundations dating all the way back to the 13th century! You’ll enjoy wine tasting on arrival before having dinner in the evening.
Arles is a prime location to learn about the Ancient Romans as you’ll find evidence of them almost everywhere you turn, despite the city being a lively arts hub. There are different options of things to do today depending on what you prefer to do. Enjoy a walking around Tour where your guide will take you to explore the narrow streets, taking you to the Roman arena, the Roman Baths and the Roman theatre, all of which offer a glimpse into the past.
In the afternoon you have the option to enjoy some more cycling through the Camargue (a beautiful wildlife preserve) which is famous for its cowboys that ride on white horses. Evening and dinner at own leisure.
On the way to St. Remy-de-Provence, you’ll cycle over 20 miles with plenty of history to take in along the way. On the journey, you’ll discover the remains of a unique double aqueduct which supplied both the city of Arles with their water but also powered a flour mill. You’ll also visit Les Baux which is one of the most visited historic sites in all of France. A towering fortress surrounded by cliffs, this historical site was built by military commanders who claimed descendants from one of the Three Wise Men and has a vast history of bloodshed and interesting stories to tell.
Those who want to cycle a little extra can choose to take a cycle along the base of the Little Alps, known as the ‘Alpilles’ locally. You’ll cycle through forests and olive groves towards the town of Eygalieres before you make your way to St. Remy-de-Provence. Once you have arrived you can enjoy a walking tour and learn about Van Gogh’s last years in asylum here before enjoying a hearty dinner at another local favourite restaurant.
You’ll cycle along the picturesque roads towards the vineyards of Terre Blanche where you’ll be able to see first-hand how wine is produced in the smaller, more traditional wineries as well as being able to try some of the very best wines made here. You’ll enjoy a picnic lunch on the ground of the Chapel of St. Sixte where you can sit amongst the beautiful grounds surrounded by olive trees and the panoramic views of the Alpilles peaks. You can even take a bike up to the Notre Dame de Beauregard for those wanting to get an even better look at the view.
You’ll cycle through more country lanes past old farmhouses and orchards before reaching the Sorgue river where you can relax and cool down in the crystal-clear waters. You’ll then continue on to L’Isle sur la Sorgue where you’ll stay in the middle of the River Sorgue on a small island which holds a village. This quaint little village is full of canals, making a beautiful place to explore.
Today you can choose whether to do more biking or to explore the many old buildings and antique shops of the town. For those who do want to cycle today, you can choose to cycle through the Luberon – a mountain range characterised by a series of gorgeous, hill-top villages which you will visit. The first village, Fontaine-de-Vaucluse, is a picture-perfect town where you’ll find plenty of pretty places to relax if you wish to stay here. You can choose to visit the museum here or even take a kayaking lesson on the Sorgue.
For those who wish to cycle further, there is a full day cycling 6 villages mapped out already, each with their own distinct personality and traditional feel. Places you’ll visit include Gordes, Rousillon, Bonnieux, Lacoste and Oppede-le-Vieux.
Today you’ll cycle back with the group to Avignon. Today is a much more relaxed day as the journey isn’t as long which gives you some free time in the morning to explore the village and get some last-minute sightseeing in. You’ll cycle past stunning red poppy fields before arriving in Avignon. Those who missed the sightseeing tour on the first night will have the opportunity to visit the sights they missed out on before enjoying a farewell dinner altogether at one of the best restaurants.
Your trip comes to an end today and, after saying goodbye to your fellow cyclists, you will be transported to the airport ready to catch your departing flight home.