This is your chance to ride the Geant de Provence, the mythical climb made famous by the Tour de France and legendary riders, and stay in absolute luxury. To put it simply, if you consider yourself a cyclist but have never climbed Ventoux, it needs to go on your bucket list. Visit the shrine to Tom Simpson and leave a water bottle in memory, and ride up past Chalet Reynard where Chris Froome now famously ran up part of the mountain on the 2016 Tour. Spend 3 nights in a lovely little cyclist's hotel in Bedoin, climb Ventoux, cycle through Les Gorges de la Nesque and soak up your Provencal surroundings on this truly unforgettable holiday.
Choose from one of Love Velo's routes, available in GPX, and explore the surrounding areas of Gorges de la Nesque and discover the Val de Sault. Spend some time on the plains and then get ready for a truly wondrous climb.
The ascent of Ventoux from Bedoin is the classic route. 21,5km at 1912m of climbing, this is how you will conquer the legend.
The climb is split into 3 sections with the first, a gentle gradient of around 4.5%, getting the legs warmed up as you arrive at Saint. Esteve. You will then enter the forest with no air. Lined with trees, the outlook is straight up, at an average of an unrelenting 10%, until you reach Chalet Reynard. From there, it is out of the forest and onto the barren lunar landscape. Perched boldly atop the Provencal countryside, this is the area known for buffeting winds but will you be lucky and get a good tail wind, or will you be fighting the elements to the top? The Tom Simpson memorial is just 1.5km from the top and with a final switchback to the right, you will reach the top and will have joined the greats of cycling and be able to say, I CONQUERED VENTOUX.
With fields of lavender, rolling vineyards and quaint hilltop villages, Provence offers the ultimate escape from city life. Looming large over the countryside is Le Geant de Provence, Mont Ventoux.
With its own climate, Ventoux offers the ultimate challenge to any cyclist. The weather on the plains often bears no resemblance to what you will experience once you are on the last 10km of Ventoux. Be prepared for winds and extreme temperatures and make sure you have clothing for every eventuality.
Your stay will be at the foot of Ventoux in Bedoin. Surrounded by vineyards and olive groves, Bedoin is the perfect place to discover Ventoux and the Provencal countryside. We can organise everything from a simple guest house to 5* luxury accommodation so let us know what you are looking for.
You will be met and collected at Marseille airport on your arrival and be provided with a transfer back to the airport on your final day. There is also the possibility of being met at Avignon if you prefer to arrive in Provence via Eurostar.
The holiday is a self guided holiday allowing you to explore Ventoux and Gorges de la Nesque at your own pace. We know the area very well and have put together some recommended routes in GPX format which allows you to download these to most GPS enabled devices, and with certain software, to your smartphone. These will be sent to you once you have booked your holiday with Love Velo and each file will be titled with a short description of the ride and the distance. If you would like to see the profile of each route, we recommend that you download the files before your holiday and open them with a GPS viewer. If you would like guiding instead, please just ask our cycle experience team.
If you choose not to have a guide, you will want to know that your bike is in great condition and that you won’t have any mechanical problems during your ride. Our bikes are extremely well serviced and maintained but in the very unlikely event there is a mechanical issue with the bike (not including basic maintenance such as slipped chains or punctures), we will provide you with an emergency number for someone to come out and repair or replace your bike.
The bike we will provide you with is a Trek Domane 4.3 or similar quality bike. The bike has a carbon frame, fork and seatpost and is equipped with aluminium wheels and Shimano components. This includes 10 speed shifters, Tiagra cassette and Shimano 105 brakes with 105 STI levers. We will also provide you with a puncture repair kit, a cycling computer, Shimano or Look Pedals, 2 water bottles and cages.
We consider travel insurance to be essential. Accordingly, it is a condition of making a booking through us that you have suitable insurance cover for the booking you have made and any activities which you expect to take part in. This insurance as a minimum should cover cancellation, baggage loss, accidents and health issues while you are away. We also recommend that you take your policy details with you when you travel. Please ask our cycling experience team if you would like us to arrange travel insurance for you.