Provence

Provence was a former province of south-eastern France, on the Mediterranean coast east of the Rhône River. It is known to have been settled by the Greeks in the 6th century BC. The area around Marseilles became part of Gaul ( a Roman colony) in the 1st century BC. It was then united with France in 1481.

Provence encompasses the southeastern French départements of Bouches-du-Rhône, Vaucluse, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, and Var. It is roughly coextensive with the former province of Provence and with the present-day region of Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur.

There is so much to see in Provence on bike, in fact when you are there, you will develop this sense that the entire region was created for two wheels. It can be somewat uncanny that every mile you ride seems to be there on purpose, like it all fits together to make a jigsaw of the 'perfect cycling destination'

"When the Good Lord begins to doubt the world,
he remembers that he created Provence."

_____________________
Frederic Mistral
(French writer and lexicographer of the Occitan language)

Main Attractions

MONT VENTOUX (1912m) could well be called the 'epicentre' of the Provence for any cycling fan, its not called the 'Giant of Provence' for nothing. In fact when you are moving around Provence, you can often see it from a distance spiking up on it's own into the blue skies above, alone in all its glory. There are three ways to climb Ventoux, with the most popular being from the town of Bedoin, this is our favourite too! 21km in distance and a vertical gain of 1640m, this climb does't disappoint!
LAVENDAR could well be the major attraction of Provence, in fact I don't think we have ever had a client not ask 'are we going to see some Lavendar?". The answer is YES, it is pretty hard not to ride in Provence and not see this purple glory. Well before you see it, you will smell it, this candy-type fragrance lingering in the air, so strong it cancels out any other aroma. If you are very lucky, a truck carrying harvested lavendar will pass and thats when you will feel like you are floating in lavendar heaven!
WINE sits up there with Lavendar and Ventoux, mainly due to the fact that you need to have a wine in hand at dinner when reminiscing your day on the bike smelling lavendar!
Provence has eight major wine regions with AOC (Appelation d'Origine Contrôlée) designations, they are: Côtes de Provence; Coteaux d'Aix-en-Provence; Les Baux-de-Provence; Coteaux Varois en Provence; Coteaux de Pierrevert; Bandol; Cassis; Bellet and Palette

Riding

Be sure your camera and phone are well charged up when you head out each day. Provence is a photographers dream!
Provence can be similar to Tuscany, stunning towns on top of small hills with stunning valleys beneath. Some of the climbs can be steep but are relatively short,
The best time of the year is: April, May, June, July & August can be hot with high traffic, September and October with consistent weather throughout the summer period. Keep yourself hydrated as Provence can be dry.

Tour La Provence

Provence has it's own tour these days, it's intent is to build on the tradition of the former Tour du Vaucluse and the Tour du Sud-Est (races in the area that are no longer being run). It makes up a circuit of races held in Southern France including Étoile de Bessèges, La Méditerranéenne & the Tour du Haut Var and is seen as an early-season preparations for Paris-Nice. Tour La Provence is held in February and consists of three stages. The 2016 edition was won by the French Thomas Voeckler (FRA) and 2017 by Australian Rohan Dennis.

Tour de France

Mont Ventoux has appeared 10 times as a TdF Stage Finish being at 1909 m, but in 1965, 1967, 1972 and 1974 the finish was lower, at 1895 m. The stage winners are as follows:
1958 Charly Gaul (LUX)
1965 Raymond Poulidor (FRA)
1970 Eddy Merckx (BEL)
1972 Bernard Thévenet (FRA)
1987 Jean-François Bernard (FRA)
2000 Marco Pantani (ITA)
2002 Richard Virenque (FRA)
2009 Juan Manuel Gárate (ESP)
2013 Chris Froome (GBR)
2016 Thomas De Gendt (BEL)

Provencal Cuisine

Socca
Salade Niçoise
Beignets de Fleurs de Courgettes
Petits Farcis
Tapenade
Pissaladière
Soupe au Pistou
Pan Bagnat
Daube Provençale
Bouillabaisse
Omelette aux truffes
Ratatouille
Aïoli
Tarte Tropézienne
Fromage de chèvre
Historical Towns

Historical Provencal Laneways

Lavendar

Lush Lavendar Fields

Provence Town

Fine Provencal Restaurants

 

"Provence was a dream come true for us
The routes, accommodation, the food, the wine
! Amazing!
Thanks for making it all become reality"

_____________________
Adam and Jo
(Australia)

Official Partners

Contact

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  • MAGLIA NERA TOURS PTY LTD
    PO Box 207,
    Freshwater NSW 2096
    Australia
    ABN: 73 623 773 884