Road trip along the Doubs (France)
- Routes & Travel
Sometimes you don’t have to travel far to travel well! and proof that there are still regions not very frequented by bikers…Read More
We take you on a road-trip around the Mont-Ventoux in France, one of your devoted’s favorite place in France. Twisted roads, fine cuisine, great landscapes and year ‘round great weather. So buckle up and let’s ride out! roadtrip-france-mont-ventoux
[Roadbook at the end of the article]
We picked Sisteron (info) as the starting point, which is definitely a good place to start off. The city has a long history – all the way back to Prehistory – there is a citadel with a 360° view over the entire valley, which is definitely worth visiting, a few dining options, etc..
The view from the guard path, Sisteron citadel
It depends on your schedule, where you will start the road trip from, etc. You could definitely combine it with the Route des Grandes Alpes.
But generally, from Geneva, it will take you about 4h if you travel on highway up to 6h30 if you avoid motorways. roadtrip-france-mont-ventoux
Note that there are many camping options, even wild camping. But, if the practice is prohibited, it is tolerated in certain situations. But in any case, before settling near a home, ask the owner for permission. Avoid starting bonfires, especially because of the risk of wild fire, and especially repack all your waste when leaving the next morning. And this also applies to compostable waste. The rule of decorum is as follows: we leave the place as we found it.
Depending on your wishes, there are several dining options. Look up on Trid Advisor for instance. The Restaurant Le Tivoli is good. We also did try out an Asian/Vietnamese Restaurant which was also good and not expensive (Hong Phuoc, here), but you can also get a Pizza and eat on a public bench if you travel on a budget, for instance Chez Enzo (here).
Long and great day ahead. Try to wake up early. In the region, especially in Spring/Summer, it gets warm really fast. If you don’t have the breakfast included in your room, get to a bakery in the city center and have a coffee at Le Bar du Commerce for instance. They have a terrace in the shadow and it is good spot to plan the itinerary with your map or set up your GPS, view on the citadel included.
Ready to take off? Bag(s) safely stored on the bike? Let’s go!
Follow Noyers-sur-Jarbon (via D946), then St-Vincent sur Jarbon, Montfroc, Montbrun (via D542) and then Sault (D942). Sault is a nice village with a market (Wed & Sat). No need to stop for long but you can have a coffee on the central square. From Sault, you can spot the Mont-Ventoux (literally the Windy Summit in Old French), which will be the highlight of the day. From Sault, take the D1 towards Flassan/Bedoin, then D974 (Mont-Ventoux).
Ready to take off? Bag(s) securely stowed on the bike? Let’s ride!
Basically, you can ascend the Mt-Ventoux either starting in Bedoin or Malaucène. We personally favor the climb from Bedoin but it’s your choice. In all cases, we would advise you to have lunch after, so that your stomach doesn’t end up upside-down with all the twisties.
General warning: beware of the cyclists on the road. During sunny days, the Mt-Ventoux is taken by storms by cyclists, and some do not know how to behave properly on a public road (they stop in the middle of the road to take pictures, make u-turns, etc.). So better safe than sorry!
But otherwise, enjoy the ride up! The asphalt is overall in very good conditions, there are hundreds of twisties. The road is 26km long, with a positive elevation of 1000m+ (avg. slope 4.5%). You will start your ascent in dense vegetation to end up in a lunar landscape!
At the top, please be aware of the wind when you park your bike, which can blow well above 100km/h. Also, it can be quite chilly at the top, so you won’t probably stay long.
To ride down, you can either take the same road or drive on the other side (direction Malaucène). In both cases, we would advise you to come back to Bedoin for your lunch, as there are more options.
In Bedoin, we recommend you the Restaurant Le Grillon, the have a yummy flame-grilled burger with potatoes. They have a few vegetarian options too, but Vegan-eater will probably have to look somewhere else. They are closed on Monday (more info here).
After your lunch, you have several options to continue your journey, which are all worth considering.
A very picturesque little town with a canal, bars & restaurants, hand-crafted shops, a pedestrian city-center, etc.
Also, a great picturesque village. We loved it, and there are lots of accomodations/hotels/BnB’s, etc. However, Gordes, considered as one of the most beautiful French village, boasts a solid reputation miles and miles around. Thus, prices tend to be more in the high-end range. So, if you travel on a budget, you will maybe find cheaper option nearby. Though, we would recommend you to check for last-minute deals if you are not traveling during high-season. Need more info on Gordes? Check out this link (here).
A few km away from Gordes, you can and should also have a look at the Abbaye de Sénanque, a Cistercian abbey from the 12th century (more info here). No need to necessarily visit it, but a walk around the abbey is definitely worth it. And depending on the time you visit, basically from Mid-June to End-August, you will have a chance to spot the lavender fields with the abbey in the background. Soooo Instagram-able :- )
We decided on our side to spend the night in Saint-Remy de Provence, another very, very picturesque French village. Located south from Avignon, St-Remy offers also pedestrian narrow-streets, hotels, restaurants, hand-craft, etc.
We decided to pamper ourselves and booked a room at Hotel Villa Glanum (info here). We were travelling off-season and the hotel had just opened a few weeks ago. So, we got ourselves a pretty good deal. They have also a pool and a SPA so perfect to relax after a long day on the bike!
However, there are many other options (BnB, camping, etc.). Check the tourism office website to browse for accommodations: here
Again, kind of tough to pick amongst all the restaurant available. Personally, we were craving for Italian, so the lady at front desk recommended La Cantina (info here). But a rapid search on Trip Advisor for instance will show you all the possible candidates (you can filter by type of food, budget, etc.). roadtrip-france-mont-ventoux
Located about 10km away from Saint-Remy is a tiny village called Les Baux-de-Provence. Also considered as one of the Top choices in the area, Les Baux boasts a castle from the 11th century, that you can visit (ticket is 8€). Well you will visit the park and the ruins, as there is not much of the castle left. But the view from the esplanade over the valley is definitely worth it.
And you can also wander along the narrow streets and do some shopping (handicrafts).
For lunch, you will have several options (regional food). But if you feel adventurous, we recommend that you give it a try at Les Baux Jus (info here). It is a grocery and a restaurant where they serve organic rawfood and juices. We tried the vegan discovery menu and it was delicious. Definitely unusual compared to the other traditional restaurants but it felt good.
Though, if you fancy a more traditional cuisine, you will also have many options to choose from. roadtrip-france-mont-ventoux
This is where our road-trip ends. Of course, it doesn’t mean that you cannot continue your ride out. And there are several options to consider:
We hope this article gave you some options and inspiration. Don’t hesitate to hook up to us should you have any additional questions.
There are of course many different route options, depending e.g. if you want to avoid motorways at all costs or depending on the total of days you have at your disposal for this road-trip. Here is our suggestion, but do not hesitate to deviate. roadtrip-france-mont-ventoux
Time/distance approximate (without stop, coffee break, etc.). Please ride safely!
|Roadbook: Roadtrip around Mont-Ventoux (France)||Comments|
|Leg 1||Geneva to Sisteron via Lus-la-Croix-Haute
||A lot of highway, so depending on your bike, it can be annoying. Though, unless you really deviate from this Itinerary and go for the Route Napoléon or Route des Grandes Alpes, you will lose more time riding on departemental roads (marked D+number) than the highway. Yet you will save up the highway tolls. Up to you to decide!|
|Leg 2||Sisteron to Bedoin de Provence (via Sault and Mt-Ventoux)
||Great day ahead ! Don’t start your day too late, so that you can enjoy the fresh air in the morning!|
|Leg 3||Bedoin to Isle-sur la Sorgue and then St-Remy de Provence
||A bit flat so do not hesitate to calibrate your GPS so that it takes you on road with twisties.|