Walking and Cycling tours in France Bike tour on the Arles Way

Bike tour on the Arles Way

This self-guided bike tour crosses Provence in an uncommon way from East to West from inland to the Sea in Camargue and goes up inland again into the very famous region of Saint Guilhem le Desert that is a highlight on the Way of Saint James route.
The Via Tolosana, such as it was named by the enigmatic Picaud Aimery, the author of the first pilgrim s guide to the twelfth century,is now more commonly called  La voie d’ Arles.
The Arles route used to pass over the land of language OC who belonged to the Counts of Toulouse,from where comes the name of Via Tolosana.
This path was crossed in both directions: on one hand, Pilgrims from Southern Europe (Spain, Portugal) used it to travel to Rome, on the other hand, the pilgrims from Italy, Provence and Germany used to follow it to get to Saint James tomb.
It crosses the Pyrenees at the Somport Pass to reach the Camino Frances at Puente La Reina, where all the St James Routes converge.
This program proposes the stretch from Provence to Languedoc by bike in 5 stages.

Day 1

Arrival in Avignon. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Take your time to visit this town, a UNESCO World Heritage city. The capital of Christendom during the Middle Age is the first highlight of this trip. Do not miss the Palais des Papes,(Popes’Palace) the Cathedral, the Pont Saint Benezet. Overnight Charming hotel ** B&B.

Day 2

Avignon - St Rémy de Provence - Arles ( 55 km, 22 miles) ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Meet our local representative who will deliver and adjust your rental bikes at the hotel. From Avignon, the famous city of the Popes, you ride through Provence to visit the village of St Remy de Provence, ancient city and major step in Van Gogh‘s life.Then you head towards the Camargue direction by Arles, one of the major roads to Santiago, via Tolosana, also known as the Arles Route « La voie d’Arles ». This ancient city is like an open museum offering so many antique treasures : you can visit the « arenes », the Constantine baths and the Roman theater, dating back to Roman times, but also the Espace Van Gogh. For those who love history, an extra day here will be necessary to visit the fabulous museum Arles Antique, Alyscamps, Crypto or the cloister St. Trophime. Overnight Arles en Provence . Hotel *** HB

Day 3

Arles en Provence - Saintes Marie de la Mer (45 km, 18 miles) ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- By small country roads , you ride across the Camargue, the bulls and white horses land. This is the first wetland in France, formed by the Rhone delta, it is protected by a natural park. The route passes to Saintes Marie de la Mer, an important place of pilgrimage, particularly with the communities Gypsies, Rom and Manush Gypsies that gather annually for the pilgrimage to the holy Virgin Sara. Visit the crypt of the Black Madonna Sara. Overnight Saintes Marie de la Mer . Hotel ** HB

Day 4

Saintes Marie de la Mer - Montpellier 65 km, 25 miles ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- En route to Aigues Mortes, magnificent medieval city. This is one of the highlights of the history of France, especially since this city and its port were erected and fortified from 1244 by King St. Louis, for the purpose of the Crusades. Not less than 700 ships that depart from Aigues Mortes, with horses and knights, in the direction of Jerusalem and the Holy Land. This city Aigues Mortes received in 1908, the visit of Sr Thomas Lawrence, the famous Lawrence of Arabia. On the way you can have a stop at the vineyards Petit Chaumont, where you can taste the “vin des sables” (wine of the sands) Overnight Montpellier Charming hotel ** B&B

Day 5

Clapiers - Aniane (45 km, 18 miles) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Through the vineyards and olive groves you gradually approach the foothills of the Massif Central and the Causses. The small villages along the route are typical of Languedoc architecture and reflect the “art de vivre“ of Southern France. The road to Santiago de Compostela is well marked with shells and other distinctive signs. Your night will be in Aniane, a medieval city built around abbeys which origins date back from 782 and was founded by St. Benedict , a great reformer of the Benedictine order. But this village is also renown for its wines under the appellation Coteaux du Languedoc. Overnight Aniane. Charming chambre d’hôtes. HB

Day 6

Aniane - Lodève (43 km, 17 miles) --------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Early departure, to enjoy St Guilhem le Desert, the last highlight of your trip and a major stop on the Via Tolosana. The village is part of the Great Sites of France and is also included in the list of the most beautiful villages in France. Its origins dates from the middle Ages with the construction of the Abbey Gellone. By the Devil's Bridge, which spans the river Herault, you will continue your way by the Priory of Grandmont before you reach Lodève for the night , last stage on your way Santiago. Overnight Lodève. Charming hotel ** HB

Day 7

End of the trip after breakfast ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- You can add extra nights during the trip or at the end. You can also combine this program with another tour.

titre 1

Self guided BIKING-CYCLING
Level
ARLES ROUTE - VIA TOLOSANA
Duration :
7 Days
From :
785 €

Included : (see details in Dates and Prices section)

2 star hotels and guest houses - Half Board

Luggage transfer

An English road book and a map.

English speaking assistance

 

CONVERT INTO YOUR CURRENCY

 

Starts in : Avignon

Ends in: Lodève

 

 

 

 

 

 

More Information : click on "ask for more information"

cecile@icietlanature.com

Phone Cecile : +33 5 58 48 71 65

 

Customize your tour : add or remove one night or more, combine with another tour.

 

See also :

Cycling along the Canal du Midi

Cycling in Provence from Apt to Manosque

Cycling along the French Riviera

 

MORE PHOTOS ON OUR BLOG : CLICK HERE

Highlights

Provence : Avignon, St Rémy de Provence,

Camargue : Arles , Saintes Marie de la Mer,

Languedoc : Montpellier,St Guilhem le Désert