Along the French Riviera from Avignon to Cassis and Marseille.
A Cultural & Culinary voyage up to the highest standards that you've come to expect from France-Bike, proud to be a “Creator of Journeys”. This cycling holiday, added in 2013, will take you across the heart of Provence from historical Avignon, through stylish & academic Aix en Provence, on down to the gentle rocking of the boats, and lapping of the waves breaking on the beach of the French Riviera in Cassis. Once in Cassis you will have ample time to explore this fascinating stretch of coast, and it's very recently created National Park, of the “Calanques” - those sea inlets with their deep, turquoise blue waters that invite you for a refreshing swim, overhung by pine trees grabbing on to the limestone cliffs in the mistral wind. Later in the day a short train ride takes you on to Marseille.
Day 1: Arrival in Avignon
Come to Avignon, settle down in your stylish 4**** hotel and then take the time to visit the historical center with the famous 'Palais des Papes'.
Day 2: Avignon - Maussane les Alpilles, ~30 km/19 miles
At around 9:30am welcome meeting, handover of maps and documents, pick up your bike if rented. Then 'on your bike' and off towards the medieval village of Les Baux de Provence, passing through the Little Crau countryside. The view from this charming little village perched on the cliffs above the Alpilles hills is quite stunning: Lake Vaccarès glimmering in the Camargue to the south, and windswept Mont Ventoux in the distance to the north. From here it's a short & gentle downhill roll to your hotel in Maussane les Alpilles.
Day 3: Maussane les Alpilles - Aix-en-Provence, ~65 km/40 miles
Cycle along the southern side of the Alpilles through quaint Provençal villages, and their world famous olive groves, producing fine olive oils, and on through to Salon de Provence where Nostradamus lived and wrote for some time. From Salon you cycle on to stylish Aix-en-Provence.
Day 4: Aix-en-Provence - Saint Maximin-la-Sainte-Baume, ~40 km/25 miles
Today you will discover the artist Paul Cezanne's countryside around the chic university city of Aix en Provence, passing the Mont St Victoire Mountain which will accompany you on to Saint-Maximin-la-Sainte-Baume. This town has the largest Gothic basilica in Provence, in which you can admire one of the biggest baroque organs in France. Legend has it that Mary Magdalene is buried here, but it's quite a contested story!
Day 5: Saint Maximin - Le Castellet, ~55 km/33 miles
Today’s journey south, takes you on into different scenery, through heavenly scented Mediterranean pine forests.
Day 6: Le Castellet - Cassis - Marseille, ~25 km/15 miles
You'll ride in maybe the nicest scenery on a natural path in pine forest and have a breathtaking view of the whole Mediterranean coast (but you must push the bike on ~4 km) before you arrive in Cassis early in the afternoon. Enjoy the last day of your holiday in one of the prettiest towns of the Cote d'Azur, doing as you please. We recommend however a boat trip out to the unique 'Calanques' sea fjords, which actually run back west along the coast as far as Marseille. In the evening you then take the train to Marseille (not included, ~6 €/person). We recommend visiting France's second largest city.
Day 7: End of the tour or extra nights
Individual onward travel or return to Avignon by train or France-Bike bus.
6 nights in carefully chosen 3*** and 4**** hotels (some with swimming-pool)
6x tourist tax
luggage transport (1 piece per person)
carefully chosen roads and paths
detailed documentation, brochures, plans, maps, etc.
France-Bike signs along the route
GPS tracks on request
France-Bike security vest
self-guided tour - 7 days / 6 nights
arrival on Saturdays
season I (790 €/person in double)
16.03., 30.03., 20.04., 11.05. and 12.10.2019
season II (+100 €/person)
01.06., 22.06., 06.07., 24.08. and 14.09.2019
"arrival any day“
possible for 4 persons minimum without supplement
supplement of 80 €/person for 3 persons
supplement of 120 €/person for 2 persons
route (2): ~215 km/135 miles
mainly on quiet paths and smaller roads, often flat but also hilly, one climb of ~5 km to Les Baux and some uphill sections after Aix-en-Provence to Cassis
how to get there
by car: motorway A7, exit Avignon-Nord
by train: direct from London to Avignon with Eurostar, or direct from Paris to Avignon with TGV
by plane: airport Avignon, Montpellier, Marseille or Nîmes
free at the hotel
if you book half board the dinner in Marseille is not included
back to Avignon by train (~30 €/person) or by France-Bike bus (240 €/ride), or leave rental bike in Marseille & individual onward travel (30 €/bike), No France-Bike client transfers from Marseille on Saturdays from 29.06. to 24.08.2019.
from Montpellier, Marseille or Nîmes airports to Avignon with France-Bike bus for 200 €/trip
some of our bike tour suggestions