Bicycling and Walking Vacations Since 1971 Call a VBT Tour Consultant: (800) 245-3868

Provence: The Alpilles

To touch Provence is to be inspired.

  • 10 Days
  • 91 Reviews Recommended by 90 of 91 travellers
  • Activity Level: Easy / Moderate
  • Daily Mileage: 18 - 45 mi
  • Daily Biking: 2 - 5 hr
  • Small Groups: 20
  • Biking
  • Easy / Moderate
  • Plane

Why You'll Love This Tour

Overview

Provence: The Alpilles

Rolling hills blanketed with vineyards date to ancient Rome … olive and almond groves reach into forever. Indeed, inspiration is never in short supply in this magical corner of France. We experience it for ourselves during delightful reels through an invigorating landscape. And we’ll witness even more Provençal passion when we meet a renowned pastry chef for dinner in her home, savor picnics amidst splendid settings, and explore St. Rémy and Avignon with local historians.

Cultural Highlights

  • Experience the Roman era amid ruins of its ancient settlements
  • Marvel at stunning views of the Camargue and the Alpilles from the village of Les Baux
  • Private walking tour of scenes that inspired van Gogh
  • Roll through the picturesque Provençal countryside
  • Savor a home-cooked dinner with a renowned pastry chef
  • Picnic in a field shaded by olive or almond trees
  • Mingle with the locals at bustling local markets
  • Visit the famous Roman aqueduct, the Pont du Gard, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Guided tours of St. Rémy and Avignon, the “City of Popes”

What to Expect

This tour offers a combination of easy terrain mixed with moderate hills. Our VBT van support shuttle is always available for those who need assistance with the hills. Suitable for novice cyclists and ideal for experienced cyclists.

What’s Included:

Bicycle Tour Only – without Air

  • 6 nights in 4-star French hotels
  • 10 meals – 6 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 3 dinners

Air Package Plus

  • Roundtrip international airfare
  • 8 nights in 3- and 4-star French hotels
  • 12 meals – 8 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 3 dinners
  • Transfers
  • AND the option to add our Low-Cost Trip Extensions: Pre-trip: Aix-en-Provence – 2 nights for only $245 • Post-trip: Paris – 2 nights for only $395

Both Vacation Options Include

  • FREE use of our custom VBT bicycle and helmet
  • Service of two bilingual VBT Trip Leaders
  • FULL VAN SUPPORT
  • Daily route directions and maps
  • Welcome reception with local wine
  • Sightseeing and cultural activities
  • 5% Frequent Traveler Credit to use on your next VBT vacation
  • Special Good Buy Discount
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Air Package Plus Single Supplement: $695 | Land Only Single Supplement: $495

Please note: Web Special savings cannot be combined with any other offer. Standard Terms & Conditions apply when purchasing this trip. 2015 Prices include all airline surcharges and Government taxes and fees. Ask our Tour Consultants for details. Every effort has been made to produce this information accurately. We reserve the right to correct errors. Prices are based on preferences selected above, including meals and sightseeing as specified in What's Included. All prices are subject to change. Departure dates and prices shown may be updated several times daily, and apply to new bookings only.

Itinerary & Map
Or, Expand All Days
DAY 1: Depart U.S. / Fly overnight to Marseilles

Depart the U.S. for France. The particulars of your arrival overseas are detailed with your flight itinerary.

DAY 2: Arrive in Marseilles and transfer to your Aix-en-Provence hotel

Upon arrival at Marseilles (MRS) Airport, claim your luggage and clear customs. If your luggage is lost, fill in a PIR form before leaving the customs area—VBT representatives are not allowed into the customs area. Make sure that your VBT luggage tags are attached to your bags. This helps the representative identify you.

After exiting customs, enter the arrival hall and look for your VBT representative or driver, who will be holding a VBT sign. Your representative will welcome you to France and arrange for your transfer via taxi or van to your Aix-en-Provence hotel (approximately 45 minutes, depending upon traffic). Important: If you are delayed in meeting your VBT representative at the Marseille Airport, please call 04 42 93 01 44 from within France. Outside of France, call +33 442 93 01 44.

VBT provides you with City Information in your Final Travel Booklet that includes information and recommendations on what to see and do in Aix-en-Provence. Use the rest of the day to relax or begin exploring the city. Dinner is on your own.

DAY 3: Transfer to Avignon / Meet Trip Leaders / Transfer to Saint-Rémy de Provence

VBT No-Air Package guests: Meet at the first hotel in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence by 2:30 pm. If you arrive by train into Avignon, take a taxi at your own expense (approximately €65 euros/$85 USD, approximately 25 minutes' traveling time). Please contact the hotel to advise the staff of any travel delays or changes, and they will pass your message to your VBT Trip Leaders.

VBT Air Package and Pre-Trip Extension guests: Meet your VBT representative in the hotel lobby at 11:00 am and transfer by bus to Saint-Rémy-de-Provence (approximately 1 hour).

Our inviting hotel here has magnificent views over the Alpilles Mountains. You have free time to stroll into town for lunch on your own and relax on the hotel grounds as you settle in. Please note that rooms may not be ready until 3:00 pm. At 2:30 pm, we meet our VBT Trip Leaders for a short introduction, followed by a safety and bike-fitting session and warm-up ride. Tonight, attend a welcome wine reception and dinner.

DAY 4: Cycle to Les Baux

Breathtaking scenery and excellent cycling await us after breakfast as we cycle into the heart of the Alpilles to Les Baux de Provence. We stop at some interesting sites along the way, such as the ancient fortress of Les Baux, which sits on an 800-foot rocky plateau.

The beautiful village of Les Baux has many lookouts with stunning views of Arles, the Camargue and the Alpilles. Its people are proud of their cultural heritage and the historic monuments throughout their village. Walking through Les Baux is like viewing an architectural museum: its church, château, town hall, hospital, chapels, houses and doorways all merit more than a passing glance.

Have lunch on your own here. Then we cycle toward Saint-Rémy-de-Provence through the gentle countryside that inspired van Gogh to create more than 150 paintings. A local historian, Mathilde Duvillier, meets us in Saint-Rémy and guides us to many of the places pictured in the artist's works. The village, closed to traffic, features ancient restored houses, Renaissance facades and impressive hotels that have been converted to museums and galleries. Stroll the narrow cobblestone streets, browse the craft shops, and dine in the town that was once the painter's muse.

Later, meet your Trip Leaders and walk to visit local VBT friend Odile Mifsud, a well-known pastry chef. Visit her home and enjoy her home-cooked dinner.

DAY 5: Discover the heart of Les Alpilles

After breakfast, prepare for what may be the most beautiful cycling of the entire week as we ride through pristine Provençal countryside, passing olive groves and the soaring Alpilles. A small chain extending from the Luberon, the Alpilles are not very wide but rise dramatically out of the Rhône Valley. Their foothills are flanked by the Durance and Rhône rivers. The region's most famous inhabitant, Vincent van Gogh, immortalized the landscape during his time in Saint-Rémy. As you cycle, stop to wander through timeless villages, such as Eygalières and experience its lovely stone build homes clinging together along the small winding streets. Maybe enjoy a picnic in a cool field, shaded by olive or almond trees. If you want more riding, our longer option offers even more gorgeous scenery. Tonight is free for you to have dinner on your own in town.

DAY 6: Explore Pont du Gard

After breakfast, we check out of the hotel and start our ride to the Abbaye St. Michel de Frigolet. Enjoy a visit of this revered site, which dates back to at least 1133.

After the visit you have the option to either shuttle to the Pont du Gard, or continue cycling to cross the Rhône River and arrive in the Languedoc region. Built by the Romans in the first century BC (and declared a UNSECO World Heritage Site in 1985), the Pont du Gard is just one segment of a 31-mile-long aqueduct created to transport water to the city of Nîmes. Much of the aqueduct has deteriorated over time, but this most impressive part still stands. Consisting of three levels, this bridge appears surprisingly delicate despite the massive stones used in its construction and credited for its enduring strength. Park your bikes and walk across this stunning architectural achievement. As you cross the lower level, you can see stones, some of which weigh up to six tons, held by iron clamps. Remarkably, the structure was built entirely without mortar. After exploring the Pont du Gard, shuttle to our next hotel. Once settled in, you have time to relax, before gathering with the group for dinner.

DAY 7: Loop through Tavel and Lirac wine country

Today's ride takes you into the Gard district on the right bank of the Rhône River. Our route follows the agricultural plain of the Rhône River, planted mainly with apples, melons, pumpkins, asparagus, and market garden produce. Leaving the river valley, we cycle through typical Provençal landscapes, vineyards and the charming village of Lirac (renowned for its red vineyards for more than 2,000 years). Here we visit an old château (farm) and enjoy a picnic prepared by your Trip Leaders and wine tasting in the farm's wine cellar tasting room.

Heading back to the hotel, we cycle through the village of Tavel (famous for its Rosé). Here you may wish to stop for an optional wine tasting in the Les Vignerons de Tavel cooperative wine cellar.

Tonight is free for you to explore the town of Villeneuve-les-Avignon and have dinner in one of the local restaurants.

DAY 8: Guided tour of Avignon

Sleep in this morning, then linger over breakfast before cycling southeast toward Avignon, fabled “City of the Popes.” Leave your bike outside the city walls and stroll the timeless cobblestone streets. We'll meet a local guide for a walking tour of this ancient city. Later, you may decide to explore some of highlights, such as the former papal residence or the immense Palais de Papes (Papal Palace). Now a museum, this Gothic building was fortified with walls up to 18 feet thick! Or perhaps you'll walk the surviving section of the Pont d'Avignon. Built in the 12th century, this bridge originally spanned the Rhône, but has suffered frequent collapses from floods. Only 4 of its original 22 arches remain.

The remainder of the day is yours to do with as you please. During your free time, you may wish to buy some local pottery or a handmade tablecloth. Try lunch at one of the local bistros, or enjoy a picnic by the river. In the afternoon, you can cycle or shuttle back to the hotel. Tonight, celebrate with your fellow travelers during a special farewell dinner.

DAY 9: Transfer to Avignon TGV railway station / VBT No-Air Package ends

VBT No-Air Package guests: After breakfast, transfer to the Avignon TGV train station, arriving at approximately 9:35 am. Your tour ends here. Important: Train departures from the Avignon TGV train station prior to 10:05 am are not recommended. If you depart earlier, you must make transfer arrangements from the last hotel to the train station at your own expense (approximately €35 euros/$52 USD, with a travel time of about 20 minutes).

VBT Air Package guests: After breakfast, transfer to the Avignon TGV train station via private , arriving at approximately 9:35 am, and continue by high-speed train to Paris. Please verify with your VBT Trip Leader the time of your transfer from your Paris hotel to the Paris Charles de Gaulle airport before leaving them. Upon arrival in the City of Light, you are met by a VBT representative and transferred to your centrally located hotel. VBT provides you with City Information in your Final Travel Booklet that includes information and recommendations on what to see and do in Paris.

DAY 10: Depart for U.S.

After breakfast*, transfer to the Paris Charles De Gaulle airport for your return flight. Please ensure you are ready in the hotel reception area at the designated time**.

*For guests with early-morning departures, breakfast at the hotel may not be available. Please check with the front desk to verify the times that breakfast is served.

**VBT transfer times and departure points are finalized in advance and cannot be modified for individual guests. If you extend your stay beyond the scheduled program dates, return transportation to the airport will be at your own expense.

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Accommodations

Hotel De L' Image

Located in the center of Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, the Hotel De l’Image is one of Provence’s most charming hotels. Inspired by the theme of photography, it has a gallery, private collection, projection hall and fully equipped photo lab. It also offers a restaurant, swimming pool, beautiful garden and stunning views of the Alpilles. And enjoy the contemporary styling of your air-conditioned room.
Free WiFi Included
Photos

Provence France Bike Tour Traveler Photo Gallery

Reviews
  • Top notch tour company

    My wife and I were a bit skeptical of the 'tour group' trip. We prefer to travel more freely and establish our own itenerary and timeline. We are not sit on the beach people, so we enjoy a more active vacation. VBT did a great job keeping the time full of activities, but with plenty of free time to do our own thing. The hotels were all top notch and the provided food was just great! Everything VBT provided was top rate and we highly recommend them as a tour company. We really enjoyed some of the personal touches - dinner and wine at a pastry chef's house #food was to die for and the dessert was out of this world#, guided tours by relatives of the VBT guides that were very knowledgeable and informed, and of course the hands on attention from the guides! I highly recommend VBT tours for the young and old, you will not be dissappointed with the vacation and the value.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: August 05, 2014
    Posted by: Luke123
    From: Minneapolis, MN, USA
    Age: 35 to 44
    # Of Trips: 1

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  • It was a great trip.

    Both my wife and I had a wonderful trip. Very well done VBT!

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: July 31, 2014
    Posted by: RangerRick
    From: Cincinnati, OH, USA
    Age: 45 to 54
    # Of Trips: 1

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  • It really could not have been better

    The leaders and the fellow riders were so much fun and so enthusiastic that the tone was set for a great trip. Riding through fields of apricots, apples, sunflowers just peeking out, and streams running alongside the small country roads was gorgeous. The lodgings were just perfect and the food that was provided was outstanding!!! VBT organized such a great trip, but the leaders made it absolutely outstanding..

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: July 24, 2014
    Posted by: Happytraveler
    From: Auburn, CA
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 1

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  • France, the way it should be seen!

    My husband and I wanted a fun adventure without having to plan every detail ourselves. We preferred to experience France with guides who were familiar with the area so we could get the most genuine experience out of our visit. This trip was exactly what we were looking for. We chose to take the longer rides each day and enjoyed the various activities throughout our bike tour. Some activities were; visiting the local market, site-seeing through castle ruins, walking in the footsteps of Van Gogh, visiting local wineries and chatting with the winery owners about their wine-making process. We also had a wonderful meal prepared for us by the winery owner and his wife. This trip went beyond our expectations. We are very happy to have met so many wonderful people and will cherish the memories made.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: July 18, 2014
    Posted by: Tmac
    From: Colorado
    Age: 45 to 54
    # Of Trips: 1

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  • Good tour, but cannot compete with Italian tours

    Provence might be a great tour for someone doing their first VBT. Alas, we have become VBT snobs. We have so loved the many VBT tours that we have done. The Tuscany tour, which we have done twice,in paricular is so fantastic, other tours pale. Tuscany has hilltop towns, magnificent churches, gelato, great food, rolling hills. Our tour guides were great, as we have come to expect. However,we found the topography a little uninspiring when compared to all of the other tours that we have done. Pretty flat farmland. It is still an interesting tour, but we would rate the Italian tours and the New Zealand tour ahead of it. (Possibly we were affected by the fact that we missed our initial flight (that cost an extra $4400.) none of which had anything to do with VBT. Anyhow, great people on the trip, great guides,)

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: July 09, 2014
    Posted by: Gene
    From: Washington, USA
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 5 or more

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  • Tour was terrific!

    This was my second tour with VBT and my expectations were high. Our first was the River Dordogne and it was just heavenly. Our expectations were met. The tour guides were excellent and very knowledgeable. Stephane was the experienced pro who gave us some great tips for the best ice cream and where to get the best views. Arnauld was sweet and accommodating to make sure one of our tour group was taken care of when she needed some TLC. The hotels were great spa-like with pools to cool us when we came back from cycling. My favorite moment was the organized picnic and wine tasting at a local winery. We even got to purchase some wine! We're looking forward to our next bike tour.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: July 02, 2014
    Posted by: scootermadam
    From: El Cerrito, CA, USA
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • A PIECE OF HEAVEN IN FRANCE

    We have always been afraid of travel to France on our own due to the reputation of rude Frenchmen. We could not have been more wrong. This was a GREAT trip from our VBT leaders, Veronique and Pascal, travel companions, and friendly locals. Aix-en-Provence was beautiful in May. We enjoyed the open market with the wonderful fruits and flowers. It was peak season for cherries and strawberries. They would melt in your mouth! The shopping was fun in the small shops throughout the town. Our bike riding started in St.Remy . Everyone will remember the ride to Les Baux, a beautiful ancient city on top of a hill. What a HILL! In St. Remy we enjoyed the guided tour of the hospital where Vincent Van Gogh lived. We enjoyed learning more about him and his many paintings! The home cooked meal by a local pastry maker was a nice surprise, Did I mention the massive picnic with home made desserts we had in the olive orchard? Discovering Pont du Gard was a great experience. We cycled to Avignon, riding the ferry over the river. We had an exceptional tour guide showing us the city. The meals and wine were great! .We even had French lessons from Veronique.I could go on and on about this trip. It was wonderful! Just do it! You won't regret it. You only live ONCE!!!

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: July 01, 2014
    Posted by: Georgiatraveler
    From: Milledgeville, GA, USA
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • VBT continues to offer consistent, superior, well priced tours

    Having joined VBT last year for The Tuscan Coast bike tour that was superb and exceeded all expectations, I was pleased to experience yet another superior vacation on the the Provence tour in late May. VBT has the ability to provide excellent cycling routes while sourcing out the highlights of each area/village. Whether it is an evening at a local chef's home or a fascinating tour, each day is met with excitement and adventure. The tour guides bring an indepth level of local knowledge that is welcomed as winding through the lovely villages. Whether one wants to ride 20 or 40 plus miles each day, the South of France is a must see as it's beauty is not duplicated elsewhere. Whether cycling through the Alpilles or en route to Avignon the views are breathtaking. The accommodations at each hotel were first rate! Don't miss dinner at Moulin de. La Chartruese while in Les Avignon or the amazing luminaries art show performed on the limestone in the Alpilles! Just spectacular. Don't worry about going solo as for the second time I met so many lovely individuals who made one feel welcome!

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: June 27, 2014
    Posted by: Bikeit
    From: Essex, CT, USA
    Age: 45 to 54
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • Beautiful scenery, great food, super leaders!

    This was an excellent trip in every way. The leaders, Stephane and Arnaud, were super. They assisted when needed but let us have freedom to explore and stop when we wished. We always knew we would not be lost or left behind. Even with Le Mistral winds blowing the bicycling was great, though challenging at times. The lodgings were well chosen regarding location to the local sights and restaurants. Truly enjoyable.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: June 13, 2014
    Posted by: Jackie16
    From: Alexandria, VA, USA
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • This tour has it all!

    Just a great, life experience. Special to be outside in the sunshine biking and learning about a country. Nice balance of activity with support and cultural education offering all participants flexibility and fulfillment of individual needs. Provence offers great food, weather and ambience; biking there offers an exceptional way to absorb the best Provence has to offer.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: June 10, 2014
    Posted by: Flipper
    From: Palermo, ME, USA
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 1

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  • Great first trip to France!!

    "Wow!! This trip was excellent. I had the opportunity to cycle the Provence region with my friend at the end of May. This was my first vacation in France and was wonderful. Our leaders were incredible. The itinerary couldn’t be any more spectacular than it was. The best way to see France is by cycling. It was beautiful! We stayed in the nicest hotels, ate delicious food, rode through the most stunning countryside and quaint little towns I have ever seen. Definitely the way to travel and I plan on doing another trip next summer. Thanks VBT for a great memory. -- Recent VBT Traveler

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: June 03, 2014
    Posted by: jim3440
    From: Bend, Oregon
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 1

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  • Best Yet

    We have been on three VBT bike tours-Tuscany by the Sea, Czech Republic-Austria-Germany, and now Provence. Our luck with weather continues, having completed our Czech Republic etc trip just prior to last year's historic floods. Particularly enjoyed cycling and seeing the chateau (medieval hilltop fortress and village) and the Luminere multi-media show in Les Baux. Capped by the Paris extension which was wonderful- stopped at Jim Morrison's grave- beautiful cemetery . We had no rain (excepting a 15 minute shower one day) and mostly sunny days. The accommodations in Provence and in Paris were quite nice and well located. Our fellow travelers were a fun group - planning next year's trip !!!

    Posted on: May 30, 2014
    Posted by: Rhumboogie
    From: Rhode Island, USA
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • BIke for HIm; Art for You. It's a Win Win

    Provence is painfully beautiful, and lesiurely cycling along back country roads let's you drink in the splendor. Leisurely was ideal for me with side trips to street markets, boutiques, coffee shops, art galleries and oh yes, biking. Optional longer rides were the appeal for my husband. What's good for the goose, on a VBT Tour, works for the gander. What could be better than a trip that offers optional levels of difficulty? You can have your cake and eat it, and if the cake is baked in Provence … that's just another plus for the trip!

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: April 25, 2014
    Posted by: Happy4now
    From: Philadelphia, PA, USA
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • This tour made us devotees to VBT.

    After saying goodbye to our college-bound daughter, my husband and I were ready for some adventure. We did extensive research and finally found what we were yearning for - VBT's bike tour of Provence: The Alpilles. Simply put, there is no better way to immerse oneself in an area's countryside, people, history, climate and cuisine. Our guides were outstanding - knowledgeable, entertaining and attentive. The cycling routes were scenic and well-calculated with just the right amount of challenge. We enjoyed a typical French repast and homemade Napoleon at a local baker's home, cycled through small towns which echoed the names of Van Gogh and Nostradamus, and witnessed the astounding engineering feats of early Romans. After our experience, we agreed we would try to go on a VBT vacation every year..

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: April 24, 2014
    Posted by: Lainie
    From: Colchester, VT, USA
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • A great way to experience the uniqueness of Provence was from the seat of a bike along with our amazing guides

    I can not say enough great things about the VBT trip to Provence. It was a unique experience for all of us. I think part of the fun for us was we shared it with a group of 12 great friends along with 8 new friends. Our guides were amazing. I loved that I did not have to take care of anything except getting myself up, to breakfast and on my bike to ride the beautiful countryside of Provence, come back and eat a great meal and have a nice glass of wine (or two) and then retire to a pleasant room. I would say that a GPS would be great on the bikes as we got ourselves lost a few times. Our van was always near by to set us straight. It was just hard to ride and read the map at the same time. Even getting lost turned into an adventure.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: November 27, 2013
    Posted by: Lee20
    From: Charlotte, VT, USA
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 1

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  • Walking in the footsteps of Cezanne and Van Gogh was just one of the highlights.

    If you are looking for a trip that combines amazing scenery, incredible art history, and fine French food, then Cycling in Provence and the Alpilles is a great choice. There was something of a surreal beauty walking through Aix en Provence right in the footsteps of Cezanne, and standing in St. Remy de Provence in the very place Van Gogh painted many of his famous works. Cycling through the rolling Provencal countryside, to ancient hilltop villages and on serene country roads was almost unbeatable. To top it off, every day was a culinary awakening, more than enough to satisfy all the senses!

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: November 17, 2013
    Posted by: Dixie13
    From: Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Age: 45 to 54
    # Of Trips: 5 or more

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  • Provence

    Wonderful trip with great group leaders and group karma. Can't say enough good things about the lovely environs and fun group. The only "criticism" is that the pre-trip could have been a day longer!

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: November 16, 2013
    Posted by: Shelly
    From: Atlanta, GA, USA
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • Fantastic Trip

    We loved our fist trip to Provence! The VBT tour was great and the scenery was amazing. Our guides, Nicole and Pascal were fantastic and made the trip top notch. Our bikes were ready every morning with fresh water and snacks were plentiful, along our ride. We became fast friends with the people on our trip and hope to plan another one soon with them! I highly recommend this trip.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: November 12, 2013
    Posted by: Carol
    From: Memphis, TN, USA
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 1

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  • Why did we wait so long?

    We have lived in Vermont for 35 years, and have often seen the VBT tours as we cycled around the state, but never signed up for one. We would we need to? we said to ourselves. We can do better on our own. And we felt quite smug about it. Silly geese, we. On a whim, we signed up for the Provence Alpilles tour this September. And discovered just how wrong we were. Because it's not just about the cycling. Which is not to say that wasn't lovely. It was. And most remarkable was the way VBT had designed routes that were impeccable in their ability to let us see the best of the countryside without the bother of traffic! But what really made the trip worthwhile was the chance to share with our native guides their love for their homeland. Whether it was the luncheon picnic feast they prepared for us under the shadow of the Pont du Gard, the exquisite dinner at the home of one of their friends, the unflagging cheerfulness with which they attended to our every need, or the infinite patience with which they tolerated our pathetic attempts to speak their language, even going so far as to give us lessons in the hopes of improving us, they managed to make us all feel that it was they and not we who were privileged to be sharing the experience. We learn from our mistakes. And fortunately, even though we are old and gray, VBT has plenty of tours that we can still enjoy. We are hooked.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: October 11, 2013
    Posted by: Beach
    From: Burlington, VT, USA
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 1

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  • Everything about this trip was wonderfully above our expectations

    We expected nice rides in southern France, and staying in good hotels. We got beautiful countryside on each day. Each day had a unique flavor, and each was special. The bikes were wonderful. The hotels and meals were all outstanding. By the end of the trip our tour guides were like old friends. Those that we toured all became new friends. The final trip on the TGV to Paris provided a final special experience that would have been difficult to replicate any another way.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: October 09, 2013
    Posted by: JeffP
    From: Minnetonka, MN, USA
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 1

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  • The tour was a wonderful combination of biking, art and history.

    Wonderful weather made this trip as good as it could be. The four night stay in St. Remy gave us plenty of time to get to know a delightful town and to fully enjoy the many nearby towns. Scenery was excellent, roads delightfully ours and the towns visited historically interesting as well as challenging to ride to. The pace of the trip made this truly a vacation.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: October 09, 2013
    Posted by: bikergirl
    From: Concord, MA
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • Once in your lifetime.

    My first VBT experience. It started with pre-trip in Aux en Provence. The Hotel had many amenities and was located within walking distance to many attractions & restaurants. The biking was progressively more challenging each day which you didn't notice due to the sights, sounds and smells that surround you. The briefing in the morning gave you an overview of your days ride and you couldn't wait to start riding each time. Riding up The Alpilles felt so exhilarating when you made it to the top and just as exciting going down. The tour guides were informative, helpful and very fun with their own personal touches visiting the historical sites, attractions and people of France, which made this a memorable trip, which made me think that everyone should have this wonderful experience at least once in their life.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: August 10, 2013
    Posted by: SUELOVESFRANCE
    From: Toronto, ON, Canada
    Age: 45 to 54
    # Of Trips: 1

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  • Cycling in the footsteps of Van Gogh was amazing!

    Traveling through Provence by bike was incredible. We journeyed among centuries old olive trees, some of the best roman ruins outside of Rome (in Arles & the Pont du Gard), and were led by tour guides whose passion for all things french and provencal was infectious. The ancient city of Les Baux de Provence provided us with beautiful scenery of the Alpilles and a history lesson of the region's violent past. We followed in Van Gogh's footsteps as we walked the narrow, winding streets of Arles and, after eating a home cooked meal in St. Remy, visited the asylum where he produced some of his most famous works. And then there was the incredible food and wine of Provence: sample the numerous cheeses from the region, the herb-seasoned meals, and the wonderful provencal wines and you will understand how the sun, land, and the passion & knowledge of the locals combine to give the traveller the unique essence of this magical region.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: August 03, 2013
    Posted by: Bob1960
    From: Philadelphia, PA, USA
    Age: 45 to 54
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • France at its Best!

    The” Provence : The Alpilles” trip was my 6th excursion with VBT and as usual it was well planned and absence of any of the nuisances one might encounter with travel to a foreign country. This trip was arranged so that we stayed multiple nights at the same hotels eliminating the hassles of unpacking/repacking and checking in and out. While most tourists visiting this area would most likely stay in Aix en Provence, Nimes, or Avignon, VBT chose the charming town of St Remy with it’s quaint tree lined streets and relaxing atmosphere. The town offered many great restaurants as well as shops to buy chocolate and olive oil plus an awesome Wednesday market to create a picnic lunch. This is a town that would be on few travelers’ radar, but one that I was glad VBT introduced me to and I hope to visit again someday. All the hotels on this trip were excellent and provided great breakfasts (I especially enjoyed the Apricot Jams flavored with Vanilla or Lavender). The bike rides were great and offered just enough challenge of some hills to obtain spectacular views. We lucked out on the timing for this trip as we hit peak season (early May) for the blooming of the poppy flowers. Especially enjoyable were the small towns we passed through each day on our rides each with their typical Provencal charm and style. The gastronomical highlight of the trip turned out to be the tiny olive oil shop in Arles that made the best sandwiches ever. Other highlights included visiting the sanitarium where Van Gogh was a resident and seeing the actual locations of many of the scenes he painted. Also, discovering the relatively unknown Carrieres de Lumieres in Les Baux was a truly unique experience and is not to be missed.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: July 31, 2013
    Posted by: HaroldR
    From: Seattle, WA
    Age: 45 to 54
    # Of Trips: 5 or more

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  • Not a cyclist

    I'm not a cyclist... I like commuting a couple miles to work and back when the weather is nice. Also, I'm more interested in architecture and art than countryside. However, my husband loves outdoor sports, so this tour seemed like a good compromise. It was amazing and we both loved it! It allowed us a lot of freedom to do what we wanted, and still provided enough structure so we felt like we accomplished a lot. We are looking forward to our next VBT tour.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: July 31, 2013
    Posted by: Roses
    From: Newark, Delaware
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 1

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  • The guides on this trip were extremely knowledgable of the region and lots of fun to be with while riding and/or in the van.

    Provence was beautiful. For the majority of the trip we rode on back roads that were easy and enjoyable to ride and view the wonderful scenery of the Alpes and wheat fields. There were some challenging hills but if one put their head down and just keep pedaling they were all very doable. The guides were the best. They were very professional in their knowledge of the region....their knowledge of the culture.....of the bikes. They took the time to listen and discover the needs of everyone...whether you were an experienced cyclist or it was your first trip. They were both very charming....great sense of humor....obviously loved their jobs. The tours and the guides were very interesting. I enjoyed both of them. I really enjoyed spending an evening at the pastry chef's home, eating her wonderful vegetarian recipes. I would love some of the recipes. I also enjoyed the nights and some afternoons that we had on our own to explore St. Remy/Avignon.....and to try different restaurants. I would definitely recommend this trip.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: July 24, 2013
    Posted by: Allyn34
    From: St. Louis, MO, USA
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 5 or more

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  • History and Beauty

    I think this trip has a little bit of everything for you. If you like smaller towns you will love St. Remy. The market day was so much fun to walk around. It covers many blocks of the city and the sights sounds and smells are something you will not forget.. If you are a history buff there is the Pont du Gard that makes you wonder how the Romans were able to engineer and build the aqueduct. Also in Arles the Roman Coliseum is so well preserved that you will enjoy climbing up to the top to see a view of the city. For those art lovers I found the information about Vincent van Gogh interesting. You get to actually see the mountains he painted in his famous Starry Night. Of course the cycling is beautiful. It was interesting to view the irrigation system that they have in the area. You will see vineyards, olive trees and beautiful mountains in the background. The cycling is not too difficult. There are a few hills that would only be hard if you were totally out of shape. You can always get in the van if it is too much for you. If you like the big city I did the extension in Paris and walked everywhere. Of course you will love the food and wine and I could go on and on. I can see why this trip is so popular. You can't lose on this one.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: July 12, 2013
    Posted by: Jim46
    From: Grandview Heights, Oh
    Age: 45 to 54
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • This was our 9th VBT trip...

    and we can't wait for our 10th! We have already reserved for 2014 to go to Normandy and Brittany. VBT is the BEST!!! The tour leaders are always phenomenal, as is the food and the hotels. What we love about these trips (haven't I mentioned enough?), is that it is not necessarily about the cycling, so much as being in the moment and truly enjoying where you are, the people that you meet, etc., etc., etc.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: July 11, 2013
    Posted by:
    From: Philadelphia, Pa
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 5 or more

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  • Great riding, beautiful hotels, fantastic guides

    We have just returned and it was fabulous! The rides, the hotels, the food - all fantastic! Our guides were Pascual and Stephane and they were wonderful - they shared their country with us and made our trip a true vacation.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: July 11, 2013
    Posted by: kiddsrus2u
    From: Florida, USA
    Age: 45 to 54
    # Of Trips: 5 or more

    • Value:
    • Trip Leaders:
  • Provence trip

    This was our first VBT trip so we had no idea what to expect. It far exceeded our expectations. The two guides we had were amazing - we felt as though they were our best friends by the end of the trip! Everything was well organized and we felt the accommodations, rides and excursions gave us a complete tour of the Provence area. I would highly recommend this trip.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: June 11, 2013
    Posted by: Cynthia
    From: Ocean City, NJ
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 1

    • Value:
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  • This trip was unforgettable.

    My wife and I had a fun filled, enjoyable and exciting trip through Provence with VBT. With VBT taking care of travel, transportation and luggage, our responsibility was to have a good time, which we did. The bikes were excellent but what really helped make the trip was the experience, helpfulness and knowledge of our guides,Veronique and Pascal. Provence was beautiful and even when we rode in the rain we laughed and felt like teenagers. Our fellow tour members were fun to be with, engaging and helped to make group meetings and dinners very pleasurable. We would recommend this trip to anyone wanting to bike the South of France.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: May 29, 2013
    Posted by: Kenny
    From: Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 2-4

    • Value:
    • Trip Leaders:
  • Van Gogh, Popes, Roman Ruins, Wine, Poppies

    And I didn't even mention the food. This tour has everything, covering Van Gogh in Arles and San Remy, the Roman Aqueduct in Pont du Gard, history of the period with two Popes in Avignon and beautiful poppy fields, scenic riding and great guides. The Provence trip was my first with VBT. We have gone on four other trips since then and have already booked another for 2013. I loved this tour and highly recommend it.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: December 21, 2012
    Posted by: mguralni
    From: Brooklyn, NY, USA
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 5 or more

    • Value:
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  • Father and daughter bonding excellence

    Problem: take a trip with my 30 yr old daughter that would appeal to both and embarrass neither. Solution: VBT bike tour in France with a nice pre and post trip. We found fellow travelers who were easy to be with and a trip that covered both our physical abilities without limiting our fun. Culturally we were both interested in French cuisine and found the daily side trips informative and enriching. There was plenty of historically interesting sites that brought the countryside to life for us both. The guides were able to make the trip interesting and pleasant for us both with care and attention to specific needs and interests. Yes, I used the van one morning for a particularly tough climb. And, yes, we have signed up for another trip.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: December 18, 2012
    Posted by: Victor3
    From: Toronto, ON, Canada
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 2-4

    • Value:
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  • The best way to take in Provence

    This was my first trip with VBT and it was such a wonderful experience that I've taken three more trips since! The itinerary was a terrific combination of cycling, history, art and gorgeous scenery. Or guides were great and went beyond the scheduled itinerary to arrange for us to visit a winery in Chateauneuf du Pape. One really has to experience this part of the country by bicycle!

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: December 14, 2012
    Posted by:
    From: St Louis, MO, USA
    Age: 45 to 54
    # Of Trips: 2-4

    • Value:
    • Trip Leaders:
  • Pricey, but the value is there.

    I notice that only value was not a five star in some of the reviews, and yes, it's a bit pricey but the food and accomodations were something we would not have done on our own but were well worth the cost. Gourmet French meals some days and simple but great tasting food on other days. Accomodations were deluxe all the way; very nice. Oh, the cycling. Interesting routes with many opportunities to explore on your own. Our guides Sophie and Stephan were beyond helpful, personable and friendly; I'd travel with them again anywhere.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: December 10, 2012
    Posted by: WillM
    From: WA
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 1

    • Value:
    • Trip Leaders:
  • Beautiful scenery, wonderful companions and excellent tour guides

    This is the way to visit France. I had never been to Europe. I was very pleased with the exceptional tour guides we had who were focused on making our experience. We were extremely fortunate to have traveling companions who enhanced the experience. Provence is beautiful. We not only experienced the charm of the small towns, beautiful Alpilles but also the history of this area. Our tour guides were very informative and planned special events. The pictures really do not show how beautiful it was. We went on the last tour of the season in October. We also purchased the extended trip to Paris. It was worth it! The contrast between the beautiful countrysides to the city helped us to experience all that France has to offer. If you are not an experienced bicyclist please do not hesitate to take these trips. It is good to have some time on a bike before you go, but I am not experienced. The routes for every day offer options as to how long you would like to ride. Also there is a support van which rides the route so you can ride in it at any time. Our tour guides were ready for anything! I believe anything did happen! This is the way to experience France!

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: December 07, 2012
    Posted by: tsb1218
    From: Madison, WI, USA
    Age: 45 to 54
    # Of Trips: 1

    • Value:
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  • Loved it!

    Our trip was just terrific. This area of France is stunning with great riding. We especially loved our 4 day stay in St. Remy- a charming town from the front door of our hotel with respite in the beautiful gardens and pool in the back. Our trip was in June and there was so much to see and do at night related to the Solstice. Our guides Veronique and Stephan were always magically there to help when needed. Perhaps my favorite thing to eat were the amazingly delicious apricots put out as part of the snacks as we rode- so different from what we get in the USA. The French people we met were all a pleasure: friendly and helpful. This is a great trip. We really enjoyed our VBT trip (The Tuscan Coast) a few years ago which is why we were eager to do another trip. My one concern with returning to VBT was that I prefer riding a road bike and the road bikes that were offered on our Tuscan trip didn't fit a female my size (5'3"). VBT has improved the bikes at least at this location, and I happily rode a well fit road bike this time:) Additionally, we preferred the accommodations in Provence to the ones on the Tuscan trip both in hotel features as well as being more centrally located to access the area and go to the open air markets.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: December 06, 2012
    Posted by: brooksval
    From: Niskayuna, NY, USA
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 2-4

    • Value:
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  • Experience of a lifetime!

    I loved every minute, and I will do it again after I've done Germany's Moselle River and maybe Italy? Be warned that "Rolling Topography" in French means "Mountains" in English, and get in the van! The ride down the mountain is fabulous. Seriously, it was the best bike ride of my life!

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: December 06, 2012
    Posted by: TeamBoris
    From: Orlando, Florida
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 1

    • Value:
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  • Provence lived up to all I had heard about it and more.

    I knew Provence only from the book, "A Year in Provence," but this tour really made come to life--the beautiful scenery, the famous artists who lived and painted there, and most of all the great food.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: November 18, 2012
    Posted by: Retired48
    From: Springfield, Il
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 5 or more

    • Value:
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  • Simplify Your Life. Take A VBT Vacation

    Any vacation requires a thousand concerns, a thousand inquiries, and a thousand decisions. Big and small. Simple and complex. I suggest signing up for a VBT vacation and entering an experience where almost all of the difficult things are taken care of and you just have fun. A measure of a good vacation is all the great moments - the scenery, the air, the light, the history, the companionship. Another measure is all the things you didn't do - research the route, find reliable guides, choose lodging, make all the travel plans. We've taken six European VBT trips now and each one has been a marvel of efficiency and management. The Alpilles trip was a perfect example. We biked through lovely fertile valleys full of vegetables, higher ground among the olive trees and further up to the whitewashed limestone cliffs topped with the beautifully kept buildings and churches reaching to the sky. Then along the heavy slow waters of the Rhone, headed for the Mediterranean. We saw and felt the influence of the old Provence tribes in some of the language, the strong hand of the Roman Empire in the roads and bridges, the long line of the Catholic churches big and small, and the steady presence of the present day heirs to all this as they look up from their walks, their markets, their shop windows as the funny line of brightly coloured bicyclists flies past. Excellent lodging, great meals, a remarkable value considering what you would pay retail. We leave with great memories and a warm, sure sense of having being very well planned for and very well looked after.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: November 15, 2012
    Posted by: Bernard
    From: Texas
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 5 or more

    • Value:
    • Trip Leaders:
  • Diversity, but not at the expense of intimacy.

    VBT tours are just large enough to provide enough diversity, without sacrficing the intimacy of a small group experience.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: November 10, 2012
    Posted by: Beau
    From: New York, NY, USA
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 2-4

    • Value:
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  • VBT made the trip easuy and more fun

    We normally travel on our own(not with a group) so it was really nice to have all of the air and ground transportation taken care of. Walking out of the airport in Marseille and seeing the VBT representative holding up a sign was great and set the tone for the entire vacation. VBT made the trip hassle free and relaxing leaving more time to enjoy and have fun. The itineries were set, food, transportation, hotels, guides, etc. allowed us to spend all of our time and energy having fun instead of being concerned about what needed to be done. Anyone can enjoy Provence, but the guides and support that VBT provided made the experience much more enjoyable.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: November 09, 2012
    Posted by: RickStevesWannabe
    From: Morristown, NJ, USA
    Age: 45 to 54
    # Of Trips: 1

    • Value:
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  • I enjoyed the active vacation, learning about Provence, but the unexpected pleasure was how well the 18 people on this trip socialized together.

    My expectations for the week were fine food and drink, and I was not disappointed. Not only was it a week-long party, but we learned more than a little about the history and culture of Provence, and, of course, we biked to work off the extra calories. Biking is the best way to see an area close up, slow enough to see the colors and smell the flowers but not so fast that you can't get anywhere in a reasonable time. And there are always the helpful guides to change a tire or give a lift, or a lesson in restaurant etiquette or how to play piton. The trip seems to attract like-minded people, so you will enjoy the company.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: November 01, 2012
    Posted by: Amishman
    From: Lancaster, PA, USA
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 1

    • Value:
    • Trip Leaders:
  • Scenic biking and great culture.

    This was our fourth VBT trip and,as always, exploring on bikes was our favorite part. Provence is a great place to ride safely and even though we missed the lavender and poppies in bloom, it was beautiful. The cultural opportunities were especially enjoyable on this trip - during the per-trip in Aix we visited Cezane's studio; in St. Remy VBT provided a great guide to educate us about Van Gough and show us the places he painted; when we visited Paris' Museums we had a better appreciation of their work. A hallmark of all our VBT trips has been the tour leaders and Veronique and Pascal exceeded our high expectations. They were knowledgeable, always anticipated our needs, and clearly enjoyed their role. One example - during our four days in St. Remy we had passed a gallery several times and wanted to buy one of the paintings in the window but the shop was always closed and we casually mentioned this to our leaders over dinner. The next morning (a transfer day) our leaders said they had gone to the shop, copied the artist's number, called her, and she was opening the shop at 8:30 AM just for us. We got the painting to commemorate our trip to Provence, and we will always re-tell the story of our thoughtful VBT guides.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: October 25, 2012
    Posted by: AJR3
    From: Wyckoff, NJ, USA
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 2-4

    • Value:
    • Trip Leaders:
  • We loved every minute

    This was our first trip so we did not know what to expect. It could not have been better!

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: October 25, 2012
    Posted by: Chris57
    From: Buffalo, NY, USA
    Age: 45 to 54
    # Of Trips: 1

    • Value:
    • Trip Leaders:
  • This tour was good

    the actual bike tour was very good, the guides were excellent, the pre trip was lousy, the post trip was fair. I would recommend the actual land package. The hotels were typical European, small.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: October 23, 2012
    Posted by: joe163
    From: Sarasota, FL, USA
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 1

    • Value:
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  • this tour is a great way to learn about the people and places in southern France (and Paris)

    From start to finish, VBT takes care of everything (as usual)! This is one of the many reasons my wife and I go with VBT. We can relax and know that the tour leaders have all our logistics and transport details covered. When my kids were young, this was always my job, and at times it was not always seamless. With VBT,it is! The trip leaders,Pascal and Veronique, were so helpful and friendly and knowledgeable. The fact that they spoke multiple languages was great, and you could also see and feel the love of their country (France). This was our second trip with VBT (we did Czech Republic;Austria;Germany last year), and both were fabulous! We will definitely return to VBT for another trip (perhaps Italy)!

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: October 23, 2012
    Posted by: FiremanMike
    From: suburbs of New York
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 2-4

    • Value:
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  • Excellent trip overall

    Our trip leaders Bruno and Sophie were excellent, very informative and enthusiatic about their country. The towns and accomodations were excellent and so was the food. We like the small villages, olive trees and scenery. Everything was very good organized.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: October 12, 2012
    Posted by: CC101
    From: Pennsylvania
    Age: 45 to 54
    # Of Trips: 1

    • Value:
    • Trip Leaders:
  • This tour has just the right amount of assistance and independence!

    Awesome trip. Just the right amount of rest up time with the pre trip. The bike tour was paced just right. Warm up rides and bike fit was spot on. Great guides that know just when to step up and offer help and advice. I felt sopiled and pampered the whole trip. The culinary features were well suited to the area and gave all the inside track on the cusine of Provence. I felt like a local! The post trip in Paris was just right! Great hotel and super location.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: October 12, 2012
    Posted by: CCNapa
    From: Napa, CA, USA
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 1

    • Value:
    • Trip Leaders:
  • The bike support van did an exceptional job. Leaders could not have been more helpful.

    The transportation transfers and air travel was excellent as were the leaders, hotels, and on route bike support. The road bicycles need granny gears for the hills. Breakfasts were complete and full of good choices.Dinners were only okay. Leaders were very attentive and every day they both did a super job taking care of us. The Paris hotel was remarkable due to location and helpfulness of its staff. On the whole, a very good trip that I would recommend to anyone.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: October 05, 2012
    Posted by: zumbagranny
    From: Bloomington MN
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 2-4

    • Value:
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Enjoy Your Vacation Longer With LOw-Cost Trip Extensions

Pre-Trip Extension - Aix-en-Provence

2 nights for only $245

Post-Trip Extension - Paris

2 nights for only $395

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