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Provence: Artists & The Ancient World

Tour: FPCA8
Hotel To Hotel Cycling Holiday

  This Tour is no longer available If you love art and architecture, you’ll love Provence. Pedal up to the vast Pont du Gard aqueduct. Take a break by the 13,000 seater arena at Nîmes. Wonder at the vividly lit landscapes which fired the imagination of Van Gogh and Gauguin or the natural, vibrant colours of the Camargue with its white horses, black bulls and pink flamingos. Provence is full of awesome surprises and the sheer scale of each one is even more impressive when you experience the region on two wheels. Let the sights not the cycling take your breath away on this gentle circular tour from Arles to the fortified ports of the Mediterranean and papal palace at Avignon, from delta plains to rich pine forests and rocky villages to the rolling vineyard slopes around Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Read More


Start Day

Mon, Tues, Weds, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun

Board Basis

Bed & Breakfast

Prices from



8 Days, 7 Nights


Apr - Oct

Tour Grade

Grade 3 (Moderate)

Read Overview
Home > Provence: Artists & The Ancient World


This gentle cycling tour around Provence is sure to make a big impression. Experience amazing Roman architecture and UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Ride across the rich Rhône valley landscapes which inspired Van Gogh to paint so prolifically. Push your pedals through the colourful natural world of the expansive Rhône delta known as the Camargue. Highlights include Roman Arles, Nimes and the Pont du Gard; the pirate port of Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer; the walled city of Aigues-Mortes and the lagoons and bird reserves of the Camargue; craggy Roquemaure and Les Baux-de-Provence; Van Gogh’s St Rémy-de-Provence plus the vineyards of Châteauneuf-du-Pape and the famous Palais des Papes in Avignon.

Tour Code:
Hotel To Hotel Cycling Holiday
8 Days, 7 Nights
Board Basis:
Bed & Breakfast
Apr - Oct


Day One – Arrive & explore
     Arrive in Arles, a one-time capital of the Roman Empire, to wonder at the sheer scale of the place and its vibrant array of attractions. You don’t have to wait until the evening to pop along to the Place du Forum to get the picture and find the spot where Van Gogh set up his easel to paint his famous ‘Terrasse du café le soir’. Paul Gauguin both worked alongside the great Dutch Master here and immortalised the landscapes of nearby villages with their traditional ‘mas’ farmhouses and cypress trees. Don’t miss Constantine’s Roman Baths or the mighty amphitheatre. Overnight in Arles. 

Day Two – The call of the wild – through the colourful Camargue to the coast & Aigues-Mortes
Make sure you have your binoculars in the top of the panniers when you leave Arles to cycle out along quiet country roads and discover the delights of the Rhone delta as you enter the Carmargue Regional Natural Park. Look out for white horses and black bulls grazing on the ‘sansouries’, the salt marshes where succulent salicorn grows, and for pink greater flamingos on the brine lagoons or ‘étangs’ which are surrounded by reedy marshes and cut off from the sea by sandbars. There are wide sandy beaches to enjoy at Les Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, but the one-time port where the church is fortified with a pirate look-out tower, is better known perhaps for its Romany pilgrimages which take place in late May. Be sure to stop off at the nearby Parc Ornithologique de Pont de Gau to hide up a while for some great views of just some of the Camargue’s 400 bird species before pedalling on to take the free ferry across the Petit Rhône as you head for Aigues-Mortes. Your hotel is situated in the historic centre of this magnificent walled city.
Miles  41  Kms  65

Day Three –  From Camargue canals to a place with real fighting spirit
Start the day with a look around the impressive city of Aigues-Mortes which takes its name from the surrounding ‘dead’ salt marshes. Don’t miss the massive 13th century Constance Tower, the great medieval military fortifications and the views of the vast salt pans. Tour the southern part of the Camargue along the Petit Rhône, pedalling along the ‘voies vertes’ canal paths to the pretty Provençal village of Vauvert as you head up to the magnificent city of Nîmes. Take time to explore some of the best-preserved Roman temples inexistence or the mighty 13,000 seater arena once the place of grand gladiatorial combat and which more latterly inspired the great painter, Pablo Picasso, with its bullfighting traditions. Overnight in Nîmes.
Miles  24  Kms  40

Day Four – Rocky gorges & Roman engineering
Who can resist a walk up Nîme’s small hill, the Tour Magne, for one last look out over this impressive city before you head out on your next day of discovery into the inspiring landscapes of the rocky Alpilles? Small roads lead along to Bezouce with its fascinating ‘noria’, a wheel which lifts water up from the river to a small Roman aqueduct, and on to meet the River Gardon near Remoulins. Here the Avenue du Pont du Gard brings you to the mighty Roman aqueduct itself(entrance included in tour price), just part of a 50km long ancient system built to supply Gallo-Roman Nîmes with fresh water and created entirely of dry stone excavated on site. There are more breath-taking views if you choose to cycle up through Collias to see the Gorges du Gardon canyon, or you can follow a gentler option onwards to medieval city of Uzès and stop off for some sweet relief at the Musée du Bonbon Haribo! Overnight Uzès.
Miles  27  Kms  45

Day Five – Vineyards & vistas – En route to Avignon
 Enjoy a gentle stroll around the squares lined with Plane trees in charming Uzès, a city made wealthy by the textile industry back in the 16th century. Visit its cathedral and Romanesque tower, the Tour Fenestrelle or pop along to the Musée du Bonbon Haribo to meet a golden jelly bear or two! The morning’s ride leads through vineyards and ancient villages past the Chapelle de St Amand to Aramon with its medieval castle perched up on the rocks. Finally reaching the Rhône, cycle along small roads to Villeneuve-les-Avignon for fine views right out across the bridges and fortifications of historic Avignon, a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site with Mont Ventoux as an equally impressive backdrop. Be sure not to miss a visit to the mighty Palais des Papes, once the centre of catholic Christianity and that tuneful bridge, the Pont d’Avignon – Pont St Bénézet. Overnight in Avignon.
Miles   31 Kms  50

Day Six – Avignon round tour
The delicious wines of the Côtes du Rhône have to be a highlight of any stay in Provence, so enjoy a gentle cycling sortie past Sorgues, along the banks of the Ouvèze and Lionne to the renowned vineyards of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. You then head across the River Rhône to the ruined castle towers of Roquemaure. The royal castle here was dismantled after the French Revolution, but the village with its maze of medieval streets is the perfect place to drink in more vineyard views. Villeneuve-les-Avignon is the final stop of the cycling day, home of the Chartreuse and St André fortress, before you follow the river back to Avignon. Overnight in Avignon.
Miles  27  Kms  45

Day Seven – Up & into the Alpilles  – The inspiration of Van Gogh
Leave Avignon’s bridges behind you and pedal out into the Alpilles, an outstanding area of rocky landscapes, olive and almond trees, towards St Rémy-de-Provence. Here you’ll find a fascinating insight into the area at the ‘Musée des Alpilles’, but this colourful Provençal town has other claims to fame. Not only the birthplace of Nostradamus, it was home of the entire Roman colony of Glanum (an excavated site), but perhaps most famously it was the place where Van Gogh painted prolifically during his period of recuperation from mental illness. Visit the Van Gogh Interpretation Centre or the ancient monastery of St Paul de Mausolée, recognised as the psychiatric hospital where the Dutch Master lived. The town has charming squares filled with cafés and art galleries – a great place to stop off and drink in the atmosphere whilst you decide whether to pedal the more challenging, but very worthwhile climb up to the Les Baux-de-Provence – one of the most picturesque villages in France, carved directly into the rock – or opt for a gentler route towards Fontvieille and the 3rd century Barbegal Aqueduct which supplied water into Arles. Finally follow the Route de Barbegal into Arles, arriving by the Roman burial ground, the Elysian Fields, the first place chosen by Van Gogh and Gauguin to paint side by side in 1888. Overnight in Arles.
Miles  37  Kms  60

Day Eight – Depart after breakfast
Or maybe just make time for one more look around the impressive Roman sights of Arles, the Provençal city whose special light and spirit captured the imagination of some of the world’s greatest artists.

Extra nights can be booked to allow more time to explore Arles at your leisure.

Programme of activities included in the price:
Entrance to Pont du Gard


Accommodation Options

In Arles (2 nights), Aigues-Mortes, Nîmes, Uzès and Avignon.

is in Arles (2 nights), Aigues-Mortes, Nîmes, Uzès and Avignon. Selected properties include two 4 star hotels, one superior 3 star hotel, one 3 star hotel and one 2 star hotel. We are pleased to discuss details on request.