Avignon to Aigues Mortes

Provence France: (ZZ-BK-GL07)
URL: https://www.hiddentrails.com/tour/outdoor_bike_France_Avignon_to_Aigues_Mortes.aspx

Introduction
Provence France
A wonderful bike and boat tour in unspoiled nature: you start in Avignon and then reach the old Roman Pont du Gard, exploring Van Gogh’s Provencal landscape. Then you continue cycling through the Rhone Valley up to Arles and to the medieval fortress of Aigues Mortes, which will accompany you in your ride through bulls and horses of the Camargue. 

This tour offers the chance to choose if pedaling alone or with the whole group, following the tour leader. When booking the tour you need to specify which option you prefer.
If you want to cycle independently, you are free to do it by following the detailed roadbook and maps you have been given. In case of an emergency you can contact the tour leader over the phone. If you change your mind during the week and you want to join the guided tour, please inform the tour leader the evening before. If you choose the guided option, the tour leader will be always present during breakfast and dinner and will cycle every day with you.

Our tour leaders are carefully selected and rigorously trained. They are all multi-lingual, and speak at least English and German. Smart, entertaining, caring and endlessly enthusiastic, they have a true passion for sharing their love of the outdoors, people, culture and local food. Thanks to a deep knowledge of the territory, they can give you useful hints and help you appreciate the place you are visiting. Of course they love cycling and will be happy to give you some advice about how to correctly use the bicycle gears and whenever necessary they can fix your flat tyre. As we like to say, our tour leaders are CDO (Controlled Designation of Origin), a real traveler's ticket to discover the land with ease and to live an unforgettable active travel experience.

Accomodation

Accommodation
This is a bike and barge trip so you will be accommodated on a boat during the whole duration of the trip.

Description
You will be accommodated on either the Caprice or L’Estello boat. We remind you that the boat is not like a hotel, so during the journey you will always hear some sort of underground noise.

Caprice
The boat Caprice is equipped with 11 cabins (1 Single, 2 Doubles, 8 Twins) measuring 7-8 m2. Each cabin has three fixed portholes (one is in the bathroom), air conditioning and en-suite facilities with shower area; plus ample closet space, a power socket and a full-length mirror.
Bed sizes: 1.90 m x 0.80 m (Singles) and 1.90 m x 1.40 m (Doubles).
The living area measures 12.50 x 4.10 m, is air-conditioned and it is divided into two areas the Restaurant & the Lounge with an open bar. A total of 10 windows give plenty of natural light.

Extra features include a free hot drinks machine, free WiFi in the restaurant/bar area and a sundeck with seating accommodation and fixed awning.

L’Estello
The boat L’Estello is equipped with 10 double cabins (1 with a double bed and 9 with twin beds) measuring 7-8 m2. Each cabin has two portholes (one is in the bathroom), is air-conditioned and has en-suite facilities.
Bed sizes: 1.90/2 m x 0.75/0.80 m
The living area is an air-conditioned living room and is divided into two areas the Restaurant, with large picture windows & the Bar area with comfortable sofas and armchairs.
Extra features a free hot drinks machine, free WiFi in the restaurant/bar area and a sundeck with seating accommodation and fixed awning.

Life on board
It is strictly forbidden to smoke in the cabins (and in all common areas). It is possible to smoke on the deck outside.

The travel package includes a daily short cleaning, as well as a thorough cleaning of the cabins and fresh towels in the middle of the week. If you need another change of towels, please ask the staff. Please do not take the towels off the boat and use them as beach towels.

We invite you to spare water on board, avoiding waste and too long showers.
Please do not throw anything in the toilet apart from toilet paper provided on board. Any other type of paper (and also handkerchief Kleenex, dental floss or makeup remover cotton) does not dissolve and so ruins the depuration system and will cause a pollution effect on the water.

In every cabin you will find normal sockets. The French electrical net is 220V - 50Hz and you will find the same on the barge when the current generator is on.
The sockets are Schuko bipolar.

Every cabin has a centralized air conditioning system. The portholes must be always closed in order to avoid the water entrance caused by wave motion.

Free Wi-Fi is provided on board. Please note that the signal may be weak in places, especially while sailing. Consideration towards other passengers is always appreciated: since our Wi-Fi capacity is limited, please give others a chance and do not download large files or upgrade your software.


Meals
All meals are included in your trip.

Breakfast takes place every day from 8 a.m. to 8:45 a.m. It consists of an international buffet: bread, sliced salami and ham, cheese, butter, marmalade, yogurt, cereals, milk, tea, coffee.
During breakfast, you will find all that is necessary to prepare a packed lunch (bread, sliced salami and ham, cheese).
After the daily trip you will receive on board a snack/cake/fruit with coffee/tea.
Dinner is served around 7.00 p.m. At dinner you can enjoy typical dishes of the traditional French cuisine. Dinner usually consists of a starter, a main course and a dessert.

Beverages
On board there is a self-service bar (beer, soft drinks, sparkling water, wine, strong drinks). During the week you have to register on a sheet, provided by the crew, all the drinks and extra that you consume. Wine bottles can be labeled with your name or your cabin number and be consumed over a longer period. The prices of drinks are available in the price list at the bar.
Water on board is drinkable. It is not allowed to consume/bring beverages and food not directly purchased on board in the public areas of the boat (restaurant, bar, outdoor deck).
You can prepare coffee or tea for free from 7.30 a.m. to 10.30 p.m. using the free coffee machine on board.

Dietary Restrictions
If you are vegetarian, gluten-intolerant, allergic to some specific ingredients/substances or if you suffer from any other kind of allergies please indicate it at the moment of booking. Once on board, make sure that the kitchen staff is aware of your allergies, in order to avoid unpleasant situations.

This trip includes and can accommodate special dietary requests.

Riding

Activity Level
Easy cycling in mostly flat areas, with only few short climbs and descents. Little effort required, suitable for most people.

Bikes and Accessories
Our bikes are available in different sizes in unisex model:
- Touring bike 27-gear Shimano Deore
- E-bike 9-gear Shimano

The use of own bikes is not recommended in this tour because of the limited space on the boat and also because of the difficulty of reaching the starting point with public transportation. The possibility of bringing own bikes on board is anyway allowed only on request.
If you want to do the tour with your own bike, before you depart we suggest to check that all parts of the bike are functioning properly. A cycle computer is necessary to follow the road book. We also highly recommend you to bring a repair kit because the emergency number in case of breakdown cannot be used if you are using your own bike. Don’t forget to bring a padlock and always lock your bike.

Features:
•aluminium frame
•mudguard
•rear rack
•comfort gel saddle
•anti-puncture Schwalbe tyres
•ergonomic bicycle grips
•Speed Lifter system (only for City bikes)

 All rented adult bikes are equipped with:
•1 cycle computer 
•1 Ortlieb one-sided saddlebag
•1 water bottle (0.75 l)
•1 combination bike lock

Only for self-guided:
•1 front bar bag or 1 map holder
•1 repair kit per cabin: 1 spare inner tube, glue, patch, a pump, 2 allen keys and tyre levers

At the moment of booking you can also rent helmets suitable for head circumferences from 54 to 61. All our helmets have a certification mark according to the DIN EN 1078 (CE) European norm.

Mechanical problems
If you are riding unaccompanied, it is wise to know at least how to repair or change an inner tube before setting off on your bike. For this reason we provide you with a repair kit per cabin.
We remind you that we offer no assistance in case of flat tire.
In case of mechanical problems please:
1. Call the tour leader phone number (contact person also for self-guided)
2. Communicate your name
3. Tell your position (total distance of the stage) based on the description of the roadbook
4. Give your mobile phone number
Based on the damage and on the location, the emergency van will try to reach you as soon as possible.

In case of theft/damage to the rental bike
An insurance against theft and irreparable damage is included in the rental bike price. In case of careless or improper behavior the insurance will not cover the costs. The insurance covers only the rented bikes, while it is not valid for any bike accessories (lock, helmet, panniers, handlebar bag, map holder, child seat, child devices etc…) nor personal belongings left on the bike or in the panniers/handlebar bags. Furthermore, the insurance is not valid for e-bikes used by persons under the age of 18.
In case of theft the insurance may be activated only if the client presents:
- a police report made at the local police office
- the lock key in case of e-bike, or the damaged lock in case of standard bike (muscle bike).

Tour leader
Our tour leaders are carefully selected and rigourously trained by Girolibero. They are all multi-lingual, and speak at least English and German. They are experienced enthusiastic travelers who have a true passion for sharing their love of the outdoors, peoples, cultures and local food. Thanks to their knowledge of the territory, they can give you useful hints and help you appreciate the place you are visiting. Of course they love cycling and will be happy to give you some advice on how to correctly use the bicycle gears and whenever necessary they can fix a flat tire. As we like to say, our tour leaders are AOC (Controlled
Designation of Origin), and will help you explore the land and live an unforgettable experience.

Itinerary

Sample Itinerary - subject to changes

Total length: 240 km
Total vertical up: 620 m
Terrain: 95% tarmac, 5% unpaved

The tour is totally in the lowlands during the two stages in Camargue, while the stages north of Arles present some ups and downs, which are however easy to overcome. There is just one more demanding slope towards Les Baux de Provence, but you will be fully repaid with an extraordinary landscape. The itinerary is mostly on secondary roads with low traffic; some short stretches on more busy roads are however inevitable. There will also be a couple of navigation stretches to make the stage more enjoyable.

Day 1: Avignon
Individual arrival and boarding after 6 p.m. in Avignon. Your mooring place is in Quai de la Ligne next to the famous Pont St. Bénezet. At your arrival on Saturday at 6.00 p.m. you will meet the tour leader and the crew. Every evening after dinner the guide will present you the cycling program of the following day.
Meals included: Dinner
Overnight on Caprice or L’Estello boat

 
Day 2: Avignon Round Tour
Today we’ll get to the other side of the river Rhone by crossing the island Île de la Barthelasse, and we’ll ride in the typical garrigue landscape, between vineyards and orchards. Before going back we’ll visit Villeneuve Les Avignon, once known to be the town of the cardinals. In the afternoon a guided visit will let us discover the historic centre of Avignon.
Going northward you will pass through the renowned vineyards that surround the medieval city of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, where you can taste a delicious glass of “Côtes du Rhône”. You will cycle back to Avignon along peaceful country roads through Villeneuve Les Avignon. Simple circuit with only one difficulty: a difficult climb of 800m to reach Chateauneuf-du-Pape.
Cycling approx. 30 km (elevation gain: 100 m)
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight on Caprice or L’Estello boat


Day 3: Cycle around Aramon
In the morning navigation till the town of Aramon, where you will start pedalling. The stage today will bring you to the best preserved Roman aqueduct in Europe: Pont du Gard, a very spectacular work. Overnight in Aramon with a beautiful view over the Mont Ventoux.
After leaving the village of Aramon the itinerary will bring you between rolling hills covered with fine vineyards and ancient villages before reaching the front of the majestic Pont du Gard, a masterpiece of Roman engineering. In the first part of the stage you will face short slopes.
Navigation: about 2 hours from Avignon to Aramon.
Cycling approx. 40 km (elevation gain: 110 m)
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight on Caprice or L’Estello boat


Day 4: Cycle around Vallabrègues
You start your day sailing to Vallabrègues, pretty Provençal village on the banks of the Rhône. Along country roads you will arrive to Barbentane with its castle at the confluence of the Rhone and Durance rivers. You will cycle to the magnificent Abbey of Saint Michel de Frigulet and afterwards down to the medieval village of Boulbon. Overnight in Vallabrègues.
After leaving Vallabrègues, you come up the course of the Rhone to the medieval village of Barbentane, from which you start the climb to reach the abbey of Saint Michel de Frigolet. After relaxing in the quietness of the place a descent of 4 km and a pleasant country road are waiting for you before arriving in Boulbon, now a few kilometers from Vallabrègues.
Navigation: about 1 hour from Aramon to Vallabrègues.
Cycling approx. 35 km (elevation gain: 90 m)
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight on Caprice or L’Estello boat


Day 5: Cycle around Arles
This stage brings you to Saint Remy de Provence, birthplace of Nostradamus. This village is also famous for having hosted Van Gogh in the days of his mental illness. In the end you move onto the Alpilles, with Les-Baux-de-Provence, a village lodged in the rock itself. A landscape of limestone cliffs and olive trees accompanies your journey.
When you have just left Vallabrègues, you will have to pay attention to the traffic along the wide road that runs to Tarascon. The rest of the stage goes along peaceful country roads. Today’s itinerary is the only one that has a real elevation up in ascent: 4 km ascent from St. Remy to Les Baux de Provence. But after Les Baux a beautiful 4 km downhill to the village of Paradou waits for you!
Cycling approx. 60 km (elevation gain: 300 m)
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight on Caprice or L’Estello boat


Day 6: Cycle around Aigues-Mortes
Today the whole morning is dedicated to visit Arles, the ancient capital of Gaul with beautiful Roman ruins. You will also have the opportunity to be welcomed by a professional guide, who will accompany you around the jewels of the town. After lunch you reach the lock of Saint Gilles and from there you will sail to Aigues Mortes for the overnight stay.
Today’s stage is a short “transfer” tour leading you through “Tête de la Camargue”, an area in the south-west of Arles delimited by the Petit Rhône. A cycle trip traversing cultivated fields, cane fields and bull farms as far as the the lock of St-Gilles.
Navigation: 3 hours from St-Gilles to Aigues Mortes.
Cycling approx. 25 km (elevation gain: 0 m)
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight on Caprice or L’Estello boat


Day 7: Aigues Mortes Round Tour
Going through small country lanes of Camargue between canals, lagoons and small villages you will reach in the afternoon the charming fishermen’s village Le Grau-du-Roi. Possibility of a refreshing bath on the beach.
This stage is dedicated to the exploration of the Camargue area, with its canals, villages and lagoons. In the afternoon you will reach the seaside town of Le Grau-du-Roi where you can have a bath in the Mediterranean Sea and relax on the sand. Do not miss the opportunity to observe small groups of pink flamingos along the Canal du Rhône à Sète and on its ponds at the edge of the Salins du Midi.
Cycling approx. 55 km (elevation gain: 20 m)
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight on Caprice or L’Estello boat


Day 8: Aigues Mortes
After breakfast, end of services.
Meals included: Breakfast

The program has been planned to feature navigation along the Rhone River and Rhone-Sète Canal. Due to organizational reasons, weather conditions or provisions issued by local authorities, the itinerary may be subject to some changes before and/or during the holiday. Issues with high and low water, as well as logistic obstacles such as officially ordered - previously not announced - repair work on locks or bridges can modify some of the daily stretches or overnight stays and may even request a transfer by bus. These decisions are only taken by the boat’s captain.


Rates and Dates for Avignon to Aigues Mortes

Rates include:

7 nights accommodations, full board, coffee and tea, sheets and towels, courtesy kit, daily short cleaning + mid-week cabin cleaning service and towel change, travel guide, maps, roadbook, English-speaking tour guide, guided visits of Arles, harbour charges, emergency van in area

Packages and Options




* prices are per person based on double/twin occupancy

Transfer and Other Charges:



 DescriptionEUR~US$
2019 Meet in Quai de la Ligne, Avignon for 6:00pm on Day 1 0 $0
2019 Single supplement 300 $360
2019 Special diet (gluten-free or vegan) 50 $60
2019 Girolibero bike rental 85 $105
2019 Electro-bike rental 195 $235
2019 Helmet rental 15 $20
2019 Extra nights- please inquire 0 $0

Dates Note:

Rates do not include:

Beverages on board, museums and extras in general, tips, everything not mention in 'included'

Other Info
Meeting: Avignon
Airport: Avignon
Transfer: --

Climate:
                                            Aigues-Mortes area


Month

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Average High Temperature (°F)

53

55

61

65

72

80

85

84

77

69

60

54

Average Low Temperature (°F)

37

38

42

47

54

61

65

65

59

52

44

38

Average High Temperature (°C)

12

13

16

18

22

26

29

29

25

20

15

12

Average Low Temperature (°C)

3

3

6

8

12

16

19

18

15

11

7

4

Average Precipitation (days of rain)

5

4

4

5

4

3

2

2

3

5

5

4

Source: NOAA


Seasons
This journey will cover two French regions: Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur and Languedoc-Roussillon.
Generally you will find fresh and mild temperatures in spring and autumn with low probability of rain, while in summer (July- August) the climate is definitely hotter and dry with high temperature range between day and night.

Summer (June to August)
The climate is definitely hot and dry with high temperature range between day and night.

Autumn (September to November)
Some storms can be expected from time to time. However, temperatures are usually mild and probability of rain is quite low.

Winter (December to February)
Winter’s frequent fine days are often marred by a strong, cold north wind called the mistral.

Spring (March to May)
Generally you will find fresh and mild temperatures in spring with low probability of rain.

Late spring and early summer is usually ideal with clear skies and warm days, lightly tempered by a pleasant breeze.

What To Bring:
Luggage transportation
When you prepare your luggage, please remember that the space on the boat is limited. It is also strongly recommended to use bags instead of suitcases because it is easier to put them away.
In case of early arrival, you can leave the luggage on board.
Luggage transportation is never included in case of extra nights before or after the standard tour.

The following personal equipment is recommended:
- basic first aid kit which includes adhesive bandages, gauze and low grade disinfectant
- sun glasses for eye protection
- protective suntan cream
- repellent spray for insects

We recommend to keep always with you (and not to forget in the boat):
- passport/identity card
- any medicines you could need during the day

The following recommended clothes are advisable:
- padded cycling shorts
- comfortable shoes with stiff soles
- light weight waterproof/windproof top
- leggings and long sleeved tops for cooler mornings or evenings
- small close-fitting daysack to carry certain items during the day while cycling
- swimsuit

During the tour you will have the chance to visit various religious institutions, such as churches and convents, where you must be appropriately dressed (covered shoulders, shoes or sandals, etc...).