As you read through the itinerary, there are a few things to keep in mind.
- Trip 1, May 21 departure, starts in Avignon and ends in Aigues-Mortes. Trip 2, May 28 departure, starts in Aigues-Mortes and ends in Avignon.
- E-bikes are available for an extra fee.
- You don’t have to ride everyday…..or any day for that matter. And there may often be the opportunity for you to get a taxi to some of the sites you want to visit along the way.
- Routes can be shortened, if need be. And a shuttle van may be available to get us to the top of the one steep hill.
Day 1: Arrival in Avignon, boarding at 6 PM.
Day 2: Avignon, round tour, 18 mi. (30 km)
Day 3: Avignon – Aramon, 24 mi. (40 km)
Day 4: Aramon – Vallabrègues, 22 mi. (35 km)
Day 5: Vallabrègues – Arles, 33 mi. (55 km)
Day 6: Arles – Aigues Mortes, 15 mi. (25 km)
Day 7: Aigues-Mortes, round tour, 33 mi. (55 km)
Day 8: Departure from Aigues-Mortes
DAY 1: Individual arrival in Avignon
The barge will be moored in Quai de la Ligne, next to the famous Pont St. Bénezet in Avignon. We can board anytime after 6pm. Once on board we will meet our tour leader and the crew and kick off our evenings of ‘ukulele merriment.
DAY 2: Avignon, round tour
This is a simple circuit along peaceful country roads through the Île de la Barthelasse to the other side of the Rhone. There our ride will take us between vineyards and orchards and through the typical landscape of the area, covered with low-lying and fragrant shrubs. After a few short we reach Villeneuve Les Avignon, once known as the town of the cardinals. (The history of this area is just amazing…) In the afternoon we’ll have time to explore the historic center of Avignon, or retire to the lounge or sundeck, ukes in hand. (18 mi / 30 km)
DAY 3: Avignon – Aramon
Today the barge takes us to Aramon where we begin pedaling between rolling hills covered with fine vineyards and ancient villages to the front of the majestic Pont du Gard. This masterpiece of Roman engineering is an UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is the best preserved Roman aqueduct in all of Europe and was built around the year 50 to transport water from the Eure spring near Uzès to Nîmes, a distance of over 50 kilometers! We overnight back at Aramon, with a beautiful view over Mont Ventoux. (24 mi / 40 km)
DAY 4: Aramon – Vallabreguèse
This morning the barge takes us to Vallabrègues, a pretty Provençal village on the banks of the Rhône. Here we begin our ride along charming country roads to Barbentane with its castle at the confluence of the Rhone and Durance rivers. From here we cycle uphill to the magnificent Abbey of Saint Michel de Frigolet where we have some time to relax in the lovely quietness that surrounds the abbey before a welcome descent of 4 km and a pleasant country road leading to the medieval village of Boulbon, now just a few kilometers from Vallabrègues. (22 mi / 35 km)
DAY 5: Vallabreguès – Arles
This stage of our journey includes, among other things, a visit to the historic village of St. Rémy de Provence, where Vincent Van Gogh painted Starry Night, Nostradamus was born, and Dr. Albert Schweitzer was held prisoner. This is followed by the most challenging ascent of our tour: 4 km from St. Remy to Les-Baux-de-Provence, a town lodged into the rock itself and worth every stroke of the pedal! After Les Baux we have a beautiful 4 km downhill ride amid limestone cliffs and olive trees to the village of Paradou. And at the end of the day we are in Arles and will feel as though we have entered a painting by Van Gogh. (34 mi / 55 km)
DAY 6: Arles – Aigues Mortes
This is an easy day. In the morning we visit Arles, the ancient capital of Gaul. Here a local guide will point us to the beautiful Roman ruins, still very much in evidence here. After lunch we hop back on our bikes for a ride Tête de la Camargue, an area south-west of Arles and delimited by the Petit Rhône, as far as the the lock of St-Gilles where we rejoin the barge for a 3-hour ride to Aigues Mortes. (15 mi / 25 km)
DAY 7: Aigues-Mortes, round tour
Literally translated, Aigues Mortes means “dead waters” possibly referring to its location in the heart of the marshy Camargue region on France’s Mediterranean coast. But the wildlife here, including the famous pink flamingos, is astounding. And we’ll have ample opportunity to explore it more today. We begin by cycling to the charming fishing village of Le Grau-du-Roi, where we can enjoy a refreshing swim along the beach. We’ll also be cycling along small country roads between canals, lagoons, and small villages. (34 mi / 55 km)
DAY 8: Departure
After breakfast we say good bye to the crew and our new friends then depart and go on our merry ways. But that doesn’t mean the fun has to end. Aigues-Mortes is a delightful medieval town with a fascinating history. (Think Charlemagne, the Crusades, the Knights Templar, and so much more!) And it is famous for a baked delicacy called Fougasse Aigues-Mortes. It just might be worth your while to stick around for a day or two.
Please note this itinerary might change depending on weather and road conditions and water levels. But we will, in any case do our very best to make sure you have a ukein’ good time.