Cycling is a national pastime and a sport that is synonymous with France. It’s also a real treat in the Luberon, whether on the road or off-road. The region is gently hilly and many of the villages are at the top of a short, sharp hill, but as a consolation they are not far apart.
Official cycling route maps Provence bicycling in France Bonnieux
Official cycling route maps Provence bicycling Cycling in France is a national pastime and a real treat in Provence
Official cycling route maps Provence bicycling Cycling in France is a national pastime and a real treat in Provence

The Vaucluse department is well known to amateur cyclists because there are several that have been adapted for cycling – known as the ‘green roads’. For example, the Cavaillon-Apt route is an old railway line converted to cycling track.

There are 26 official circuits. Visit or lelubé or or for detailed route maps and info. Some of them also have a most useful resource for cyclists who are out all day: a listing of public toilets and potable (drinking) water fountains – please stay hydrated!

The more serious cyclist may want to visit for a list of almost 30,000 cycles routes across Provence that you can connect to your GPS device. You may even want to tackle the world-famous Mont Ventoux. Not for the faint-hearted, but a real treat for avid fans of the Tour de France.

If that’s not for you, then to have a fantastic day out, just plan a route that avoids the main roads. Soon you will find yourself cycling past vineyards, orchards, sunflowers and heading to your ports of call: the perched medieval villages, castles, wineries, ochre valleys, lavender trails, or even restaurants.

There are some signposted cycling routes in the Lubéron, but you are more likely to take a map, circle the things you want to see, and build your own route. The one busy road to avoid is the D900 between Avignon and Apt, the main east-west artery.

Route suggestions
  • Gentle ride (18km) – for those of us who can only manage a short ride with lots of lovely scenery and places to stop: Bonnieux – Lacoste – Ménerbes – Oppède de Vieux
  • Circle of d’aigues (28km) – explore the lesser known villages and pathways and finish with a lake swim: La Motte d’Aigues – Grambois – La Bastide des Jourdans – Peypin d’Aigues – Étang de la Bonde
  • Lourmarin loop (35km) – many of the bars and cafes around Lourmarin are very bike-friendly so you could make a day of it and stop for refreshments at each village along the way. Or, go early on a Sunday morning in time for the market in St Martin de la Brasque: Lourmarin – Ansouis – La Motte d’Aigues – St Martin de la Brasque – Cabrieres d’Aigues – Cucuron – Vaugines – Lourmarin
  • Perched villages – photogenic hilltop villages worth cycling to that also have a cafe or restaurant for a stop-off: Gordes, Roussillon, Bonnieux, Lacoste, Lagnes, Menerbes, Oppede-le-Vieux, Lacoste, Saignon, Goult, Joucas, Murs
  • Castles route – There is a selection of intriguing châteaux at Ansouis, Tour d’Aigues and Lourmarin, and the Abbaye Saint Eusèbe in Saignon.
  • Lavender trail (1) – This takes you by fields of lavender to beautiful villages (lavender flowers from mid-June to early August when it is harvested): St Saturnin les Apt – Sault – Lagarde d’Apt – Rustrel – Oppedette – Saignon
  • Lavender trail (2) – Same idea as above, but over towards the Lure mountain in the east: Simiane la Rotonde – Oppedette – Vacheres – St Michel l’Observatoire – Forcalquier – Banon
lazy cycling in provence
Bike hire in Provence

See this handy list of bike rental options across the region.

Further reading
  • Lonely Planet’s Cycling France is a good reference guide. 
  • Keep a copy of the No. 332 Michelin map in your pocket as backup.
  • We also love the  Vaucluse Dreamer blog – for the useful cycling-related info, personal anecdotes and fabulous photos (also great for armchair cyclists)!
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