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Provence - Camargue

BIKE CRUISE FROM AIGUES-MORTES TO AVIGNON (OR VICE VERSA)

The beautiful and famous Provence region and Rhone river. A cycling cruise where you'll enjoy fresh air, colourful nature and scents, all while riding your bike.

€7,498.00
In stock
Travel Code
KR-87
Provence and Camargue with a riverboat and bike guide

Provence enchants all the senses. That's why we are pleased to offer you this cycling cruise between the mouth of the Rhône river by the Camargue delta and the old Pope City of Avignon. The riverboats Caprice and L'Estello sail on this tour.
Enjoy wonderful cycling between well-groomed vineyards, fragrant lavender fields and luminous sunflowers, shady olive groves and slender cypress trees. You'll come through atmospheric Provençal villages, where the plane trees provide shade on the villages' mandatory square with cheerful cafes. Listen to the cicadas' song, while you slowly move through the beautiful scenery. Le Camargue, where the many branches of the Rhône river mouth flows into the Mediterranean, is a paradise for the rich animal life there, with pink flamingos, buffalos and wild horses.

As both the Caprice and L'Estello are relatively small boats, it's advisable to book well in advance. 

Accommodation

Throughout the week, you live on board one of the charming riverboats: Caprice or MS L'Estello. 

Caprice has 11 cabins (1 single cabin, 2 double cabins and 8 twin cabins). All cabins have 3 portholes (including the bathroom), air conditioning and en-suite facilities with bathing area. There are 2 common rooms, a restaurant and a lounge bar with plenty of light.  

Caprice - lounge area: 

Caprice

Caprice twin cabin:

Caprice

Caprice double cabin: 

Caprice

MS L'Estello means ‘star’ in Provençal. The boat is 39 m long, 5.2 m wide and has 10 double cabins (1 with a double bed and 9 with two beds). All cabins have 2 portholes (cannot be opened).  

L'Estello restaurant: 

Estello

L'Estello twin cabin:

Estello

L'Estello double cabin: 

Estello

In addition, both boats have a nice common area with comfortable sofas, armchairs and a bar, as well as a separate dining area and a nice sun deck. Both the common room and the dining area have air conditioning and large windows, so they’re wonderful places to spend the afternoon and evening, overlooking the banks of the Rhône river, with a cool drink while exchanging and digesting the experiences from the day's stage.  


Free Wi-Fi in the restaurant/bar. 

On both boats, there are many different nationalities living together throughout the season. This provides a fun and enjoyable atmosphere on board, both during the various meals and at the bar, when the day's cycling experiences are exchanged in many languages between new and old cycling friends.  

From mid-morning to late afternoon, the boat is cleaned, the food is purchased and prepared, and the staff will have time for a rest. Therefore, it's not possible to stay on board the boat during this time. If you want to skip a day of cycling, on some days it’ll be possible to sign up for an excursion (at a fee) with the accompanying minibus, which also provides assistance to the cyclists if problems arise during the course of the cycling stages.

Itinerary: Aigues-Mortes to Avignon

Day 1. Arrival in Aigues-Mortes.  
Individual arrival in Aigues-Mortes, a medieval port town on the Rhône river where the river flows into the Mediterranean Sea. Boarding starts at 18.00h.

Day 2. Around Aigues-Mortes. Cycling distance approx. 55 km.
The boat stays in Aigues-Mortes. Today's cycling route goes through Camargue's unique nature area with lagoons, dams and canals, to the village of Le Grau-du-Roi. Formerly a small fishing village, today the town has grown into a charming seaside resort town with lovely white sandy beaches where you can take a dip.  

Day 3. Aigues-Mortes – Arles. Cycling distance approx. 25 km.
The day starts with a short boat trip up to Saint Gilles, where you'll jump on your bikes and head out on the day's stage to Arles, an exciting city with winding streets, beautiful squares and handsome old buildings. The Romans' early arrival in Arles has put an inevitable mark on the city, including with the little atmospheric arena, which no longer has feeding of lions on their summer programme, but now instead offers up the non-violent French style of bullfighting with bulls bred in the Camargue. This type of bullfighting, called Course Camarguaise, involves men trying to pull ribbons and rosettes off the bull's horns. The bull tires during the chases but is never killed, and the men are rarely injured.
Arles is also Van Gogh's city. He arrived here in 1888 and immortalized this beautiful region with his dramatic and expressive paintings. The region is beautiful with down-to-earth landscapes, soft colours, clear views and warm winds – and all naturally coloured by yellow sunflowers, green shading fruit gardens, flowering ditches and golden corn fields.
A short bike ride brings us to the old wooden bridge, which Van Gogh immortalized in one of his paintings. The boat moors on the banks of the Rhône river in the city centre of Arles.

Day 4. Arles – Vallabreguès. Cycling distance approx. 55 km.  
Today, we cycle to the small mountain range, Alpilles, and the fortified picturesque city of Baux-de-Provence, located on a hill-top. Later, we continue to Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, another delightful Provençal town with plane trees, winding streets, shaded squares and its own triumphal arch. Van Gogh lived in Saint-Remy for a period, and many of his colourful painting are inspired by the beautiful scenery with rugged and rocky landscapes, lavender fields and olive groves. The boat moors on the banks of the Rhône river in the small Provençal town of Vallabreguès.

Day 5. Vallabreguès – Aramon. Cycling distance approx. 35 km.
On small roads, you cycle to Berbentane with the castle located close to where the Rhône and Durance rivers meet. You continue to the impressive Saint Michel de Frigulet Abbey and on to the medieval village of Boulbon. In the afternoon, you sail to Aramon, from where there is a beautiful view of "the bald mountain", Mont Ventoux.

Day 6. Aramon – Avignon. Cycling distance approx. 40 km.  
The destination of today's stage is the magnificent Pont du Gard Aqueduct, built by the Romans around the beginning of our Common Era. The bridge was part of a 48 km long water channel, which provided Nîmes with clean drinking water and water to the fountains. The Pont du Gard is 275 m long, 49 m high and 6 m wide, so that it could also be used as a bridge over the river. When Nîmes was struck by an earthquake in 1448, large parts of the city were destroyed, except for the Roman buildings and the aqueduct.
You return to the boat in Aramon and sail to Avignon, known as the City of Popes, where the boat moors by the Quai de la Ligne next to the famous bridge, Pont Saint-Bénézet, which has inspired the song "Sur le Pont d'Avignon". 

Day 7. Around Avignon. Cycling distance approx. 30 km.
The day starts on the other side of the River Rhône, and to get to the other bank, you cross the island, Île de la Barthelasse. From here, you'll start the day's stage, cycling through beautiful scenery, between vineyards and orchards. In the afternoon, there will be a guided tour of the historic city of Avignon.

Day 8. Checkout.
Departure after breakfast at 09.00h.

The week-long itinerary described here is with start from Aigues-Mortes. With start from Avignon, the itinerary is read in reverse order.

Reservations: High tide and low tide conditions as well as logistical obstacles may lead to changes in the day stages and mooring points described in the itinerary.

Travel info

Both boats depart on the following Saturdays from Avignon:
14th and 28th of April, 12th and 26th of May, 9th and 23rd of June, 7th and 21st of July, 4th and 18th of August, 1st, 15th and 29th of September, 13th of October 2018

Both boats depart on the following Saturdays from Aigues-Mortes:
21st of April, 5th and 19th of May, 2nd, 16th and 30th of June, 14th and 28th of July, 11th and 25th of August, 8th and 22nd of September, 6th and 20th of October 2018

Applies to both boats:

The tour price does not include gratuity (tips). On cruises, it's standard to tip the crew. The level is approx. 5% of the tour price, and in your cabin, you will usually find an envelope already prepared for tips, or the tips can be put in a glass at the bar.

High or low tide may make it necessary to make changes to the itinerary.

Degree of difficulty

The tour takes place in a gentle terrain with few climbs. The first two cycling days are almost entirely flat. Following this, the landscape will turn slightly hillier, but still manageable.  
The daily stages are between 25 and 56 km, following bike paths and country roads with little traffic. 95% of the route is on paved surfaces. 

There's an English-speaking bike guide on the whole tour, so every day you can choose between being part of a guided tour group, or you can cycle the route on your own, guided by the provided maps and tour descriptions. If you wish to cycle on your own on some of the stages, this needs to be indicated at the time of booking. 

* We note that the map is indicative and therefore does not contain precise route information.

Bikes and cycling equipment

The rental bikes are unisex bikes with 27 gears, equipped with rear seat bag, water bottle and lock. 
It's also possible to rent electric bikes.
If you choose to cycle on your own some of the days, the rental bikes will also be equipped with a bar bag or map holder and a small repair kit (therefore this needs to be indicated in advance at the time of booking). 

Bike helmet can be rented for 15 EUR. It must be booked from home in advance, but is to be paid on-site.

Due to limited space on board, it is only possible to bring your own bikes on this tour after prior confirmation. 

How to get there

You must make your own way to the starting point. By plane, it's easiest to fly to Marseilles, Montpellier or Lyon, and from there take the train to Avignon or via Nîmes to Aigues-Mortes.
If you travel by car, you yourself must arrange the 8 days of parking and the transfer back to the starting point by train. Possible parking places will be stated in the travel information, which will be sent to you approx. 3 weeks before departure

 

Links to flights and trains:

Momondo (flight search engine)

French Railway Service

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Practical information

The price includes / per person

  • 7 nights in shared double cabin
  • 7 x full board (self-made packed lunch)
  • Coffee and tea on board
  • Detailed route description and maps
  • English-speaking bike guide
  • Support vehicle for emergencies
  • Guided visit in Arles and Avignon
  • Entrance to the Pont du Gard
  • Wine tasting in Chateau-Neuf-du-Pape
  • Port Taxes

Supplements:

  • Bike rental: 91 EUR
  • Rental of electric bike: 207 EUR
  • Single cabin: 315 EUR (On some of the otherwise sold-out tours, there is still a single cabin available)
  • Gluten-free or vegan diet costs 53 EUR. To be paid from home in advance.  

Extra night incl. breakfast for double/single room, respectively, per person:

  • Avignon and Aigues-Mortes 69 / 105 EUR

NB: All cabins are on request. We therefore recommend that you book the tour with us before arranging flights/trains/buses to the destination.

Terms & Conditions:

Ruby is the agent and intermediary for this tour. The organizer is Giro Libero, and the tour takes place according to the organizer's terms & conditions.
See terms & conditions and read about Giro Libero here www.girolibero.com/en.

Your tour is still covered by Ruby's membership of the Danish Travel Guarantee Fund, member no. 206.

Ruby has a price match guarantee, so we'll match the price if it is cheaper with another provider at the time of booking.  

 

And remember - you can always take advantage of our expertise and guidance.

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