The Tour de Ventoux- One of the best bike rides in Provence!

Provence is home to the illustrious Mont Ventoux, a rugged 1,912 m mountain that’s appeared 15 times on the Tour de France since 1951. It’s one of our Provencal icons, and to put it mildly, we’re darn proud of our little mountain. Cyclists from all over the world come out to contour the beast from one of three ascents: Bédoin, Malaucène or Sault. If you love cycling and you’re in Provence, you have to ride Ventoux; it’s a right of passage. However, if you’re feeling lazy and not in the mood to tackle 1617 meters in about 22 k with grueling grades averaging around 9% for over two thirds of the climb, or dealing with the vicious head wind that can knock you and your little bike sideways, a wonderful alternative route is the Tour de Ventoux! From my home in Carpentras, I can make my way around the mountain in 125k. This year, I decided to try the route clockwise which presented me with three good climbs and about 2,100 meters of elevation gain (note that the elevation gain is greater than Ventoux, just over a lot more kilometers). Compared to the bustling, drier and more Mediterranean South side of Ventoux, the North side has some of the most magical and sleepy towns of Provence, plus spectacular views of the summit, lush vegetation, and a couple of lavender fields that are almost too pretty for words. Whether you go clockwise or counter-clockwise, stop in some of my favorite towns for a coffee, quick lunch or a cold beer (depending on the time of day): Malaucène, Savoillan, Montbruns-les-Bains, Sault, Monieux, and Villes-sur-Auzon. You’ll also get to bike through the gorgeous Gorges de la Nesque which is a lovely ride in it of itself. Shoot me a message if you would like more details about this ride or if you find yourself in the area and need a riding buddy…

Malaucène. The perfect coffee or beer stop!

Malaucène. The perfect coffee or beer stop!

Monbrun-les-Bains

Monbrun-les-Bains

Reilhanette

Reilhanette

Best lavender field on North side.

Best lavender field on North side.

Gorges de la Nesque

Gorges de la Nesque

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1 Comment

  1. Stacy… you are incredibly blessed to be doing what you are! I’m so happy for you and truly love reading your descriptions and the pictures you share. I agree with your comment about the Reds, but oh that lavender field. That looks spectacular!
    — Love from your cousin, Debbie

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