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Provence, The Essential Vaucluse

Daily Schedule
Tour Dates & Cost


This very special part in the north of Provence, the Vaucluse is rich with
truffles, lavender, honey and wonderful wines. Even the food tastes and
smells of sunshine! 


We'll pique-nique in some of the most beautiful settings you can imagine.
Play pétanque, glass of pastis in hand, in the shadow of a 14th century
church. We'll learn about olive oil and nougat making, and shop for 
pique-nique fare in the colourful Vaucluse markets


Wander through medieval villages classified among the most beautiful in
France. Explore Roman ruins including the famed Theatre of Orange and
the Pont-du-Gard. Follow trails to visit some of the stoniest vineyards in the world – Gigondas, Beaumes-de-Venise, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Côtes-du-Rhône – we'll try them all


Our routes are cunningly planned to keep hill climbing to a minimum, unless, of course, you want the challenge


We'll even picnic high on Mont Ventoux, of Tour de France fame. But never fear, the majority of us will ascend by minibus before enjoying the descent.


Interested in this tour? Contact Gail for more information.

Provence, The Vaucluse – Daily Schedule

Day 1
Meal/s included: DINNER

Arriving in Avignon in the afternoon we journey to Pernes-les-Fontaines, a town boasting more than 36 fountains. Our accommodation for the first two nights is in an elegant former manor house, set in an exquisite park with a pool. On this, our first evening, we’ll stroll to a nearby local restaurant for an introductory Provençal feast


Day 2
Meal/s included: BREAKFAST / LUNCH

Today we travel by canal path to the splendid market of

Carpentras. We explore the tiny back lanes and character-packed

buildings of Carpentras, the truffle capital of France. For lunch, a

sybaritic pique-nique feast near the Auzon River, then a chance to

explore the countryside of the Comtat Venaissin. Look out for

truffières, the closely-guarded stands of oak trees which harbour

developing truffles.

We’ll visit Venasque, classified among the most beautiful villages in
France, before taking the chance to learn the sweet secrets of 
and visiting the local cave co-operative.

Return to Pernes, where you can make your own dining choice at your
own expense (some lovely cafes).


Day 3
Meal/s included: BREAKFAST / LUNCH / DINNER

Market day at Pernes, busy, bustling, and full of colourful local characters.

Mid-morning we take the scenic route to  Fontaine-de-Vaucluse, where

we’ll select a magnificent site near the source of the River Sorgue for

another pique-nique.

Return along the path beside the Canal de Carpentras


Day 4 
Meal/s included: BREAKFAST / DINNER

To Provence’s best-known antiques market, held in the picturesque town
of Ile-sur-la-Sorgue, with its canals and waterwheels. Then on to Caromb by canal path, farm tracks and small roads through fields of olives and grapes, with the bulk of Mont Ventoux always visible. Our dinner features local specialities and wines of the terroir


Day 5
Meal/s included: BREAKFAST / LUNCH / DINNER

To the best Provençal market at Bédoin, where the group selects picnic fare, then up le Mont Ventoux, the “giant of Provence”, for a pique-nique with wonderful views. This is the scene of many epic Tour de France stages, but the majority of us will make our ascent of Ventoux by

bus. However, some may like to pit themselves against the upward slope…

After lunch, you’ll find the 21 km downhill ride to the lavender capital,

Sault very satisfying!

The descent of the famed Gorges of the Nesque follows... 


Day 6
Meal/s included: BREAKFAST 

Today to Vaison-la-Romaine, founded during the Roman Empire. We
travel there by a choice of routes: we can visit the famous wine town of
Gigondas, then continue through the Dentelles to the beautiful village
of Séguret; or follow countryside pathways to Vaison-la-Romaine.
You’re at leisure to explore this fascinating town which boasts extensive
Roman remains, a large medieval quarter, and an excellent shopping centre.


Day 7
Meal/s included: BREAKFAST / DINNER

A day at leisure to explore the Caromb area – the tracks around the tiny
Lac du Paty, the perched villages of Le Barroux and Crillon-le-Brave,
or make a return visit to Carpentras. Cyclists wanting a challenge can
Mont Ventoux.  

In the late afternoon you have the option of visiting the very large cave
co-operative, with its museum of viticulture

Tonight, a delicious seasonal feast prepared under the guidance of

long-time local, Valerie.


Day 8 
Meal/s included: BREAKFAST / LUNCH / DINNER

A day out kayaking on the Gardon River to the awe-inspiring
Pont du Gard. For our final evening together, enjoy our famous
au revoir feast of Provençal delights. 


Day 9
Meal/s included: BREAKFAST

A farewell breakfast, and filled with joie de vivre (and not a kilo heavier?) we go our separate ways having savoured a wealth of new experiences, wonderful food, great wine and made new friends.


A two-night optional extension in Avignon is available, click here for details.


The Active Gourmet at a market in Provence
Cyclings under the Triumphal Arch, Orange, Vaucluse, Provence
The Active Gourmet in Cote de Rhone vineyards near Mont Ventoux
The Active Gourmet group refreshing after cycling in Provence

Cyclists at the Triumphal Arch in Orange

Mt Ventoux through the vineyards

Shopping at the markets in Provence

Enjoying a local aperitif before dinner 

Feeling the breeze on top of Mont Ventoux with The Active Gourmet Travel

Feeling the breeze on top of Mont Ventoux

The Active Gourmet cycling in Provence (Vaucluse)

Soaking up the sun in Caromb


Tour Dates & Cost

Dates on application
NZ$5850 pp twin share or double basis 

A single supplement applies (if you prefer an individual room)

Included in each 9-day tour: 
  • Daily support vehicle (no panniers or backpacks needed).

  • Luggage transfer between localities.

  • Any purchases you make in the markets and antique shops can easily be transferred.

  • Hire of quality mountain bikes.

  • Quality accommodation in properties of character, for the most part with private facilities. We stay two to three nights on average in each place, using the base to explore the environs.

Food and wine
  • Six gourmet dinners featuring the best of regional specialties – including the special au revoir feast on our final night.

  • Four lunches including spectacular picnics. Several times you’ll get the chance to ‘follow-your-own-nose’ for midday and evening meals.

  • All breakfasts, including exquisite homemade preserves.

  • Tutored wine tasting and special events.

  • An experienced facilitator with knowledge of the attractions, the people, and the history of the area.

  • Our active gourmet tours offer a range of routes from undemanding to taxing, through the very heart of stunning countryside. High fitness levels aren’t essential though reasonable fitness is preferable.

  • Pre-trip guidance (and cycle instruction is available if required).

  • Daily briefing and guidance.

  • Rest days and independent exploration possible (we supply very detailed maps which allow a choice of routes).

  • Literature, including a detailed itinerary, clothing guide, use of large-scale maps of the area, and general advice on travelling in Europe.


A sense of adventure is compulsory!


  • Travel insurance (mandatory)

  • Transfers

  • Chateau and museum entry fees (you choose!)

  • Gratuities and drinks

  • Golf club hire and green fees, kayak hire where applicable

  • Fishing tackle hire and lessons where applicable

  • Visas and passports (as necessary)

  • Personal items, eg, laundry, telephone etc

  • Optional extras


A two-night optional extension in Avignon 

Dates on application
NZ$645 per person twin share
  • Two nights bed and breakfast in quality accommodation on the Isle of the Barthelasse, Avignon
    (twin share basis).

  • Transfer of luggage.

  • Continuation of mountain bike hire.

  • Suggestions for exploring Avignon and surrounds.

  • Suggestions for evening meals (bookings can be made if required).


A limited number of days available?

You can join in for a shorter time. We also offer associated walking or car itineraries for non-cycling partners.


Footnote: Please note that there may possibly be changes outside the organiser's control, such as fluctuations between the NZ dollar and the overseas supplier's currency, or changes in prices or services. Prices shown are correct as at  July 2019. The organiser reserves the right to change any details in this outline, should this prove necessary, at any time until full payment is received.

See our FAQ page for more information or email Gail to book.

The Active Gourmet picnic site in Provence (Vaucluse)
The Active Gourmet cycling in Provence (Vaucluse)

Relaxing near Fountaine-de-Vaucluse

Descending Mt Ventoux

Keen on a personalised tour?


We will design an itinerary for you, tailormade to suit your needs, interests and time frame. You decide when and how long you wish to tour for, who with and on what mode of transport.


Or we can help you select the most suitable tour from our extensive portfolio of the very best of worldwide activity holidays.

Daily Schedule
Tour Dates & Cost
Avignon option
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