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A cyclist's paradise – the treasures of Sault in southern France

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A cyclist's paradise – the treasures of Sault in southern France

Road Cycling Collection by Vincent Reboul

5

Tours

27:52 h

259 mi

25,675 ft

The unmissable Mont Ventoux attracts about 500,000 cycling enthusiasts each year. An integral part of the history of the Tour de France, this mythical mountain enthuses every cyclist. However, the region’s other passes and neighbouring mountains remain relatively unknown.

The goal of this Collection is to showcase the other routes in the region. It guides you around five circulars that begin between Sault and the foot of Mont Ventoux. They are geared towards fit, experienced cyclists and are also accessible for e-bikers.

The village takes on the climatic and geographic characteristics of the three bordering departments: Vaucluse, Drôme and Alpes de Haute Provence. Each region is unique in its own way so each day guarantees plenty of changes of scenery. En route, you visit charming pre-Alpine valleys, such as the Jabron or the Méouge, and the Luberon Regional Natural Park with its scrubland of holm oaks, ochre quarries, perches villages, olive trees and canyons. The Albion Plateau and its vast expanses are also included, along with its chestnut forests and lavender fields interspersed with spelt fields. Drôme, the neighbouring region, will surprise you with its numerous passes – a little corner of paradise!

The extraordinary climate is ideal for road cycling – dry and fresh. They say that the region experiences 300 days of sunshine a year. Situated at 800 metres (2,620 ft) above sea level, the nights are pleasant. However, the weather in the mountains can change quickly and be quite windy but you won’t experience the mistral wind here.

This Collection allows you to explore the region without changing location. One accommodation option is the Nesk Hotel, which is entirely dedicated to cyclists and has luxurious rooms, a bike repair workshop and a spa. There’s a unique collection of champions’ bikes on display on the first floor of the hotel. It’s an excellent base camp.

The village offers the same services as a medium-sized town. You can also rent a wide selection of bikes at Albion Cycles.

The best time to visit is from the beginning of April to the end of October. You should pack warm clothing to protect you from the cold, even in the summer months. Temperatures can be freezing at the top of the Ventoux.

Access to Mont Ventoux usually opens in mid-April, but it is not uncommon to find snow still on the mountain then. It can be very busy with cyclists, so it’s important to take care on the descents.

You can easily get to Sault by car by leaving the A7 freeway at Orange, where the nearest train station to Sault is located. Various bus companies from the city of Carpentras serve the village, mostly in the morning and late afternoon for the reasonable sum of three euros per person. The bus is the most convenient way to reach the village.

Finally, if you have the opportunity, I recommend that you take advantage of the open-air market that takes place every Wednesday in the village centre, as well as including one or two days of recuperation and cultural escapades. The culmination of a great week of adventure.

On The Map

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Tours & Highlights

  • Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors
    Difficult
    03:48
    45.7 mi
    12.0 mph
    4,025 ft
    4,025 ft
    Expert road ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly well-paved surfaces and easy to ride.

    For this first day of exploration from Sault, I have chosen to show you the Luberon and its emblematic villages, namely: Gordes, Lioux and Murs.Gordes is a must see, perched on its rocky outcrop. I recommend a visit to its castle, which hosts contemporary art collections, as well as a break in the unique and historic café "le cercle …

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  • Difficult
    07:10
    63.5 mi
    8.9 mph
    6,425 ft
    6,425 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    This bike ride presents many more uneven and no less than four passes to cross: "Perty", "Saint Jean", "Macuègne", "L'Homme Mort", and this between three departments: Vaucluse, hence you then leave for the Drôme before returning to the Alpes de Haute Provence.The beginning of the route takes the small road which goes up the gorges of Aulan. From the …

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  • Difficult
    04:08
    38.1 mi
    9.2 mph
    3,375 ft
    3,375 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Besides Mont Ventoux, I recommend Les Gorges de la Nesque if you are staying in Sault.From Villes-sur-Auzon the climb is slow and gradual, almost easy as the percentage is low in certain sections. We are almost surprised to arrive at the Castellaras belvedere without a hitch.The loop first takes you through the Col de l'Abeille, then descends with …

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  • Difficult
    05:36
    51.9 mi
    9.3 mph
    4,625 ft
    4,625 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Cultural day for those who wish, with three almost compulsory stops on the program: the first in Banon, a very pretty hilltop village renowned for its goat cheese but above all for its famous bookshop: "Le Bleuet".Simiane-la-Rotonde, a hilltop village, is also worth a detour, with its splendid views and exceptional panorama.After a superb descent, you will arrive in Rustrel where ocher sands await you. It feels like Colorado.

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  • Difficult
    07:10
    60.1 mi
    8.4 mph
    7,250 ft
    7,250 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Three roads lead to the top of Mont Ventoux. Those starting from the villages of Bédoin and Malaucène are the most difficult. That of Sault is ideal for a first climb of the giant of Provence because the start is at an altitude of 800 meters. There are only 1,100 meters left to climb on 26 kilometers of road. In …

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Questions and Comments

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    5
  • Distance
    259 mi
  • Duration
    27:52 h
  • Elevation
    25,675 ft

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A cyclist's paradise – the treasures of Sault in southern France