BargeCycle.com and BargesInFrance.com,
Divisions of Special Places Travel,
Hotel Barge Le Phenicien:
Sample Cycling Cruise Itinerary
Provence: Aigues Mortes to Avignon 2013
Transfer from a defined pick up point to Le Phénicien which is moored in Aigues-Mortes. Free time to visit this 14th century walled city rising from a flat landscape from which St Louis set sail on his Holy Crusades. Before dinner meet your cycling guide and get fitted to your bikes during an information meeting to go over the week ahead. Our first dinner on board gives an indication of the high standard of cuisine that will be served during the cruise with the accompanying wines specially chosen from top-notch local vineyards.
This morning we sail down to the Camargue as we head east on the Canal du Rhône à Sète that links the Petit Rhône with the étangs, those inland seas that nudge the Med to the south of Montpellier. We moor in Gallician, a quiet and typical village. What would you say about a trip into the heart of the wild Camargue? There we reach one of the most prestigious manade, a typical ranch, where the gardians à cheval, the local authentic cow-boys, show us how they tend the herds of bulls on their superb white horses. After a short transfer to Saintes Maries de la Mer, we start our ride back to the boat at Gallician by bike along small roads through rice fields dotted with wild birds, crossing the little Rhône river on a ferry boat. (50 km; 31 mi)
The most impressive navigation is for today! We cruise the petit Rhône and the Rhône river. We ride from Gallician this morning to discover the village and the Benedictine monastery in Saint-Gilles (12th century). The former abbey church was listed in 1998 among the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, as part of the Routes of Santiago de Compostela and its west portal is among the most beautiful of the great Romanesque portals. After we join back up with the boat at the Saint Gilles lock we cruise into the Roman city of Arles, the open-air museum of Provence. Our guided visit in Arles this afternoon will delve deep into antiquity and, at the same time, unravel the joys and despair of Van Gogh who painted 300 canvases during his year here in 1888. (30 km; 18.6 mi)
After some free time this morning to discover Arles large open air market we ride out from the boat through small picturesque villages on little traveled roads in an area where the olive tree reigns. Stop and taste olive oil on the way to visit the charming mediaeval village of Les Baux de Provence where we’ll enjoy our picnic lunch before heading back to Arles. Afternoon sail up the Rhône river, we pass through the huge 36 feet high lock of Beaucaire, arriving at Vallabrègues, a quiet and charming little port where it is good to rest or play pétanque under centuries old plane trees. (50 km; 31 mi)
Morning ride to the gigantic Roman aqueduct "Le Pont du Gard", its recently refurbished site and its modern museum are waiting for you. There we will have a lovely picnic at the base of the aqueduct. Why not go for a swim? After this intriguing guided visit we head back to the barge. Afternoon cruise to Villeneuve lès Avignon, a former residential city of the Popes where we will spend the night. (55 km; 34.2 mi)
History and wines are our centers of interest today. Ride from the boat to the vineyards surrounding Châteauneuf-du-Pape, to one of the best cellars in the heart of the village where we have a guided visit followed by a wine tasting. Then we ride back to the boat that is now moored just outside of town. Cruise back down the Rhône during lunch to our final destination, Avignon the walled city of the Popes. There we take a guided tour to learn about the religious and artistic importance of the city’s prestigious past with the Popes Palace visit. Great wines tasted in the morning are back on the table for our farewell dinner! (35 km; 21.7 mi)
After breakfast, morning departure to the defined transfer point.
Note: This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change. It may run in reverse depending on the cruise direction.
For further information or to book your cycling cruise week, call Special Places Travel at 1-877-64-BARGE (1-877-642-2743).
Outside US: 001.443.321.3614
, email: email@example.com
or click here for our contact form