The Luberon National Park in the Vaucluse region of Provence is a scenic area of forested slopes, mediaeval hilltop villages, castles, ancient ochre mines and Roman sites. Its narrow country lanes, and rocky, rugged terrain are a haven for cyclists. For the most dedicated amongst you the infamous Mt Ventoux is nearby, for those who are keen but not wanting to take on the challenges of the Tour de France, there are marked cycle trails throughout the Luberon hills, Les Alpilles and the nearby plateau de Vaucluse.
Families and social cyclists will love the new paved ‘velo route’ which has been built along the length of the Luberon valley on the site of the defunct railway line. This route already extends for about 40 kms. It currently starts in the east near Cereste, traverses the market town of Apt, takes you over the most perfect Roman bridge, ’Le Pont Julien”, passes lavender fields and vineyards and ends in Coustellet. Soon it will be extended to Cavaillon and on to the iconic papal city of Avignon. Not only is this route extremely scenic but it is safe from traffic and lacks the steep climbs of other local cycle routes.
Bikes can be rented with ease, from ‘off road’ bikes to e-bikes (electric bikes) which take the pain out of our steep hills! Most of our suppliers will deliver bikes to your rental property. During the years that we have lived in Provence a number of our guests have arrived with professional bikes packed in their luggage! Whichever way you prefer to go we are here and happy to help you …. but please reserve your bikes in advance during July and August.
If you prefer walking then Provence also offers you an abundance of marked trails of all levels. Many of our houses have walking routes starting virtually on their doorstep. A word of warning though … our summers are very hot so walking is most enjoyable outside the period mid June until the end of August. Also many routes through the forests are closed to walkers, during mid summer, due to fire risk.
Our local tourist offices have lots of information about walking trails and walking maps are readily available in local shops. We are keen walkers too so will be happy to advise you on suitable routes. Walking boots are strongly advised as many paths are rocky.
So you active types, Provence awaits you. Come and enjoy it’s lavender, poppy, and sunflower fields, its oak and pine clad hills covered with rosemary and wild thyme, its olive groves and extensive vineyards, its perched villages of honey-coloured stone and most of all its very special luminous light. Whether you prefer to explore on bike or on foot, the daily markets, the plentiful shady restaurants and wine domains are here in abundance. After a long lunch, with of course a glass of chilled Rose wine (Provence is Rose country!), you can retreat to your own pool and relax in the sun … let the hum of bees in the lavender and the warm scent of pine and rosemary envelope you …. can life get much better?
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