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Provence Insider Bike Tour

A Place at the Table with Culinary Characters: Provençal Chefs, Artists, Mayors, Markets, and More

6 days / 5 nights Level: 3Price From: $5,695Collection: Classic, Specialty

Tour Highlights

  • Unpack once and make your home at La Maison Papillions, a lovingly renovated family-run farmhouse
  • Experience Provence as only an insider can, thanks to the personal connections of our local guide and host: visit the marché with a chef, ride with the mayor, glimpse behind the scenes at the production of olive oil and truffles, and more
  • Discover the region’s natural phenomena as you hike the Gorges de l’Ardèche—the “Grand Canyon of Europe”—and marvel at 36,000-year-old cave paintings
  • Take a deep dive into wines of the Côtes du Rhône at exclusive visits and playful tastings
  • Cook a Provençal dinner with our friend and vegetarian chef Sammy

Eat

Tapenade, brandade de morue (a Mediterranean spread of salt cod), saucisson de l’Ardeche, Pélardon goat cheese and Tomme de Brebis sheep cheese, roasted lamb, eggplant gratin, indulgent crème de marron (chestnut spread)

Drink

Local red Grenache and white Viognier from the Côtes du Vivarais appellation, AOC wines from Gigondas and Vacqueyras, pastis (a traditional anise-flavored apéritif), and Perrier from the source in Gard

As featured in:
Print Itinerary
  • Day 1

    Bienvenue à La Maison Papillons

    Your guides will meet you in Avignon for a transfer to Monteil, the town where our host and fellow guide Olivier operates La Maison Papillons. Surrounded by Provence’s verdant hills, this once-abandoned farmhouse was given a new life by Olivier and his wife Caroline. Together, they transformed the property into a rustic and intimate guesthouse of stone and rough hewn wood, with terraces, gardens, and a pool for enjoying the Provençal sun. After a bike fitting and a safety briefing, begin riding through the undulating countryside punctuated by villages dating as far back as the 12th century. We’ll reach Maison de Garniac, a family-run farm where we’ll indulge in a truffle lunch and our friend Yolaine shares her passion and knowledge over truffle ice cream. After, stop at an award-winning olive mill before spinning back to La Maison Papillons. Tonight, we head to a 300-year-old stone house surrounded by forest where we connect over a family-style dinner—complete with our favorite Gigondas and Vacqueyras wines from the Côtes du Rhône.

    Meals: Lunch / Dinner
    Destinations: Issirac, Malataverne, Orgnac l’Aven, Le Monteil
    Accomplished:  18 miles / 29 km, elevation gain: 461 meters / 1,512 feet
    Accommodations: La Maison Papillons

  • Day 2

    The Cèze Valley, Climbs, and Cooking Class

    For those who wish to start today with a bang, begin with an early climb up Mont Bouquet, the area’s answer to Mont Ventoux. At only 629 meters high, what Bouquet lacks in elevation it more than makes up for in grade—averaging 9.2% for nearly five kilometers. If you prefer, take a more leisurely route and pedal peacefully through farmlands, vineyards, lavender fields, and forests. We’ll reach Lussan, recognized as one of the most beautiful villages in France: admire its medieval ramparts, narrow lanes lined with fanciful homes, and three mills—a testament to the town’s silk-making past. Pop into the 15th-century château to catch a panoramic glimpse of the Cévennes mountains, followed by lunch at our friends Dominique and Francoise’s restaurant in Verfeuil. After, prepare for a tasting at Domaine de Gressac, an estate that has been presciently producing organic wines since 1970. Head back to Olivier’s farmhouse via the Cèze Valley, and roll up your sleeves for a vegetarian cooking class with Sammy, a local chef and cookbook author. You’ll also have the change to visit Olivier’s onsite studio, where the former book and magazine illustrator is often found painting contemporary landscapes.

    Meals: Breakfast/ Lunch / Dinner
    Destinations: Méjannes-les-Clap, Lussan, Verfeuil, Goudargues, Monteil
    Accomplished:  36 miles / 58 km, elevation gain: 753 meters / 2,470 feet
    Longer Option: 53 miles / 86 km, elevation gain: 1,227 meters /4,025 feet
    Accommodations: La Maison Papillons

  • Day 3

    Cliffs, Canyons, and Cave Paintings

    Today’s multi-sport adventure begins with a short ride to the starting point of our hike: the famous Ardèche Gorges Nature Reserve. Known as the “Grand Canyon of Europe,” the gorge is one of the greatest natural wonders in all of France. Our three-hour hike will reveal awe-inspiring views of the towering limestone cliffs, ultimately ending on a pristine beach of the Ardèche river (where the brave among us might venture a quick dip). On the return, enjoy the shade of oak trees and look up for Bonelli’s eagles as we loop back up the gorge. After a well-earned lunch, transfer to the Chauvet-Pont-d’Arc Cave, a 36,000-year-old dwelling where frescoes and prehistoric drawings will entice your imagination. After, transfer to the hotel or ride the rest of the way back. Spend the afternoon sprawled by the pool or mastering the Provençal art of the nap. Tonight, we’re treated to a wine tasting and dinner in the nearby town of Barjac.

    Meals: Breakfast/ Lunch / Dinner
    Destinations: Labastide-de-Virac, Gorges de l’Ardèche, Vallon-Pont-d’Arc, Monteil
    Accomplished: 8 miles / 13 km, elevation gain: 223 meters / 732 feet; 5 miles / 8 km hiking
    Longer option: 16 miles/ 26 km, elevation gain: 350 meters/ 1,148 feet
    Accommodations: La Maison Papillons

  • Day 4

    The Mayor, the Chef, and the Shepherd

    Have you ever wondered what the duties of a village mayor in rural France might entail? Today, we meet Monsieur Benoit, the mayor of Monclus, and have the chance to ask as he joins us for a ride. Our first stop is Goudargues, a vibrant village known for its tree-lined canal. Stroll by cafés and through the weekly market where we’ll meet up with Jacob, our private chef for tonight. Join him in selecting the ripest, most aromatic ingredients for our dinner, then get back on the bike and ride to the postcard-perfect medieval village of La Roque-sur-Cèze. We’ll glimpse the Sautadet Falls, where the Cèze River tumbles over the naturally carved limestone in a spectacular series waterfalls and crevasses, and giant potholes. Lunch is a simple Provençal picnic in the setting of a 12th-century castle. For our last stop of the day, we’ll climb into the Valbonne forest to Lucie’s goat cheese farm in Issirac. After a hearty tasting, complete the loop back to La Maison Papillons and get ready to see how Jacob has transformed this afternoon’s market produce.

    Meals: Breakfast/ Lunch / Dinner
    Destinations: Goudargues, La Roque-sur-Cèze, Saint-Christol-de-Rodières, Issirac, Monteil
    Accomplished: 35 miles / 56 km, elevation gain: 780 meters / 2,559 feet
    Accommodations: La Maison Papillons

  • Day 5

    Bon Vin, Beaulieu, et Benoît

    Our last full day of riding takes us through the Ardèche and foothills of the Cévennes mountains. For your efforts in conquering the steep climbs, you’ll be rewarded with an exclusive visit to Olivier’s favorite winery, Château de la Selve. Originally a 13th-century fortress, the château became the hunting lodge of a wealthy family before its transformation into a prestigious domaine. The tasting of their organic wines is playful: sip from an opaque glass to determine if you’re drinking white or red; guess the cépage (variety) and millésime (vintage); see if you can determine whether wine is barrel- or amphora-aged. In the end, everyone wins with a wine-paired picnic on the estate grounds. Spin home through Mediterranean brushlands known as garrigues, passing through the villages of Beaulieu, Saint-Sauveur-de-Cruzières, and Barjac. Tonight, we meet a young chef who runs a restaurant on his family’s farm, serving only seasonal products from Provence. For our final dinner, it’s a truly unforgettable gastronomic experience complemented by an impressive wine list.

    Meals: Breakfast/ Lunch / Dinner
    Destinations: Grospierres, Beaulieu, Barjac
    Accomplished:  35 miles / 62 km, elevation gain: 911 meters / 2,989 feet
    Shorter Option: 16 miles / 26 km, elevation gain: 472 meters / 1,548 feet
    Accommodations: La Maison Papillons

  • Day 6

    Au Revoir!

    Before the journey home, take a morning stroll or devote some extra time to savoring Olivier’s beautiful breakfast at La Maison Papillons. Your guides transfer you to the Avignon train station and bid you à bientôt!

    Meals: Breakfast
    Destination: Avignon

DuVine itineraries may be subject to slight route changes, hotel substitutions, and other modifications.



Arrival Details

Airport City: Marseille or Paris, France Pick-Up Location: Avignon, France Pick-Up Time: 11:00 am
Departure Details

Airport City: Marseille or Paris, France Drop-Off Location: Avignon, France Drop-Off Time: 12:00 pm

Any scheduled tour can be made private. Your group, your dates. Go Private

2022Single Supplement From: $1,200

See our cancellation policy

Weather by Month
Average Temperature + Precipitation

Average Temperature + Precipitation

 
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
High (°F)
50°
54°
61°
64°
73°
81°
86°
86°
77°
68°
55°
50°
Low (°F)
36°
37°
43°
46°
54°
59°
64°
64°
57°
52°
43°
37°
Rain (in)
251
125
125
251
251
125
125
125
251
376
376
251

Accommodations

  • Thoughtfully selected accommodations that reveal the true character of the region
  • Luggage transfers

Meals

  • Daily breakfasts, all lunches, nutritious snacks, and après velo cocktails
  • 5 gourmet dinners at our favorite local restaurants and renowned culinary establishments
  • Carefully selected local wine, beer, or spirits with every meal

Activities

  • Wine tastings and activities as outlined in the tour itinerary
  • Entrance fees to historic sites, museums, parks, and all other exclusive events
  • Gratuities for baggage, porters, and hotel service

Gear

  • Top-of-the-line bicycle selection
  • Bike helmet
  • Complimentary DuVine gear, including a custom cycling jersey, DuVine t-shirt, water bottle, and drawstring bag
  • GPS in most destinations

Support

  • Expert bilingual guides with extensive local knowledge
  • Support vehicle that follows the day’s route, distributes refreshments, and offers lifts
  • Pick-up and drop-off before and after your tour from predetermined meeting points
  • Daily bike maintenance to ensure optimal performance
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Synapse Carbon Disc Ultegra Di2

Manufacturer: Cannondale

Type: Road

Quick 1 Disc

Manufacturer: Cannondale

Type: Hybrid

Quick Neo

Manufacturer: Cannondale

Type: E-Bike