Life is good in Provence. The rolling landscape filled with orchards, vineyards and lavender fields, the quiet villages with narrow streets, restaurants and bars – all this equals a slice of paradise. It’s picturesque and that’s what Vincent van Gogh thought too, who, after cutting his ear off, left his darkest period behind and moved to Provence. Here, he came to rest and recorded the quiet life.
We went there in the spring of 2022 for a cycling holiday and were wowed by the seemingly quiet and good life. We found a new treasure around every corner. Those who love castle villages, good restaurants and lively markets with delicacies will feel at home in Luberon. Nature lovers will be happy too; often you can gaze for miles over the sloping landscape, filled with vineyards and lavender fields. In many regions, these give the country a pastoral feel, while the surrounding wilderness of pine forests, rock formations and fields full of wildflowers lend it an unspoilt ambience too.
The Tour du Luberon is a 230 kilometre (143 mi) cycle tour around the Luberon massif in the heart of Provence. The massif is 60 kilometres (37 mi) long, 5 kilometres (3 mi) wide and you can easily cycle around it in a couple of days. We were well-trained and made relatively long days of 100 kilometres (60 mi). We completed the route in three days, but you can also shorten the days and take a mid- or full week. The ride can be done all year round, but beware of the heat in the summer months.
The roads are very well constructed and signposted in both directions. Along the way, you will often find information boards with fun facts and trivia about the region.
The roads are asphalted and quiet, ideal for a touring bike. Although we dutifully followed the route, the lover of unpaved paths can also succeed with this route. There’s a network of gravel tracks in the region, so with a little creativity, you can also complete this adventure with an unpaved approach.
There are plenty of places to eat and sleep along the route. Every 10-15 kilometres (6–9 mi) you pass a village. You can sleep in a tent, chambre d'hote or hotel.
The Tour de Luberon is a cycling adventure full of the flavours of Provence. And to ride here, you don’t have to cut off your ear like Van Gogh. Because whatever spirit you have when cycling here, Provence with all its splendour will simply make your life more beautiful and colourful.
From our accommodation in Saint Didier we cycle about 25 kilometers to Cavaillon, the official starting point of the route. After you leave this city, you will soon cycle in the silence. With the rocky and distinctive Luberon Mountains to your left, you head west. It is spring, we cycle through coniferous…
The next morning we wake up along the water and return to the route. Less than two kilometers later we get our breakfast in the village of La Motte-d'Aigues. Getting food and drinks on this route is not difficult, every hour you pass a village where you can find a simple bakery or market.
Today we cycle…
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The next morning we wake up under a tree with our tent surrounded by tall grass. Somewhat intoxicated from our dinner, we rolled into a random dirt road last night and pitched our tent in the dark. Now that we are awake, it appears that we have found a good hiding place. That is not difficult at all…
Bike Touring Collection by Tobias
Bike Touring Collection by Tobias
Hiking Collection by VISITWallonia
Bike Touring Collection by SalzburgerLand Tourismus