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Customer Reviews

Average Rating: Red-stars

Total number of reviews: 2,720

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Vélo En Provence CVP

Visiting: France
Tour Duration 8 Days
Reviews for Vélo En Provence 4.5 out of 5 based on 9 ratings.

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Tour notes

Each departure date has it's own dedicated tour note, detailing all you need to know about that tour. Whether you've already booked, or weighing up your options, please choose carefully the relevant itinerary for you.

We have the following different versions of the Vélo En Provence tour available at present.

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4.5 Maxwell Kates, 05/10/15

Please review your overall experience and what your highlights were

I've taken three tours with Explore, all cycling holidays in France. Velo en Provence had the most variety of sightseeing options and of levels of difficulty on the routes. You spend two nights in Orange, two in Carpentras, and three in St-Remy. Scenery was incredible, not to mention the smells which varied from lavender to fruit to freshly baked baguettes. Being in France and bicycling in the sun every day was a highlight all unto itself. Andrew incorporated his knowledge of the region into the itinerary, including wine tastings, a Roman amphitheatre, a party in the carpark in Carpentras, the market in Gordes, a bullfighting festival, and an art gallery built into a cave. Climbing the Vaucluse to get to Gordes was an accomplishment for cyclists of any level.

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5 Carol Gray, 21/07/15

Please review your overall experience and what your highlights were

This was my first experience of Explore, an organised cycling holiday and as a solo traveller so I was very uncertain about what to expect. However, the experience was great from start to finish, from the warm welcome from Andrew at Avignon station to the end-of-holiday group meal. My particular highlights were the friendliness and diversity of my fellow travellers and the wonderful experience of cycling through the largely traffic-free and beautiful Provençal countryside with a warm breeze on your face, the buzz of cicadas and the scent of pine trees and wild herbs. Conquering Mont Ventoux was another personal highlight.

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4 Helen, 25/06/15

Please review your overall experience and what your highlights were

Great holiday - wonderful cycling, lovely group, beautiful scenery, excellent tour leader and nice wine! Highlight was cycling up the Luberon - didn't think I would be able to do that having previously been worried about whether I was up to a 'moderate; graded cycle tour.

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4 julie and tom whitefield, 31/05/15

Please review your overall experience and what your highlights were

Well organised and choreographed. Great scenery. Highlights Mount Ventoux and Gordes.

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4.5 David Trevor, 22/07/14

What was the highlight or most memorable moment of your tour?

We did the June trip and had plenty of welcome sunshine despite the warmer than usual weather threatening thunderstorms which luckily never troubled us. The Provence scenery is pretty with hillside villages, vineyards, fruit, poppy and sunflower fields galore. Orange , Carpentras and St Remy de Provence were perfect as bases to cycle from and the hotels there, although fairly basic were full of character with a warm and friendly welcome. The cycling is relaxed although there are some longer hill climbs that will test you if unfit or not used to riding. Some of the rides are self led which I thought would be a challenge, but the maps and instructions provided were comprehensive and easy to follow. Just riding at your own pace, stopping off for coffee, food or picnic items was encouraged and our tour leader kept in touch and often met us part way around in any case to guide us home. all in all a relaxing trip which I'd thoroughly recommend!

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5 Assad, 14/07/14

What was the highlight or most memorable moment of your tour?

The grandeur of the chateaux/ monuments and the amount of effort which has been made in restoring and preserving them caught me by surprise. As for this specific tour, the tour maps are so clear and detailed that I felt confident enough to navigate on my own and therefore also do some stretches of the cycle route on my own (which means- at my own pace), so there were some parts of the route (through forests or fields) where I enjoyed that total solitude of just having the wind of my face as company. On the other hand, it was also have fun to have other people's company at other times (particularly when taking route detours, and at meal times!) and the group spirit was pleasant.

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4.5 Jill Hobbs, 08/07/14

What was the highlight or most memorable moment of your tour?

Weather, scenery, company was terrific!

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5 Jeri Wade, 26/06/14

What was the highlight or most memorable moment of your tour?

The amazing detailed maps and route notes enabled us to cycle by ourselves or with the rest of the group but moreover at our own pace with confidence. We visited markets, sampled local produce and enjoyed the delights at daily picnics. Our senses exploded with delight as we cycled through the lavender and sunflowers. We tasted the wines from the vineyard we had cycled through we ate well and had to push our full bellies to our beds each evening. Each village was delighful to experience, for ice cream, coffee or a patisserie stop. We experienced people going about their normal lives without the interuption of tourism, and the photgraphs we had seen of Provence became a reality.

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4 Vicky Hawkes , 19/06/12

A very disappointing booking experience, with callbacks promised and never received, no transfer arrangements available, and a locked hotel when we arrived after a lengthy journey, left us wondering whether or not we would ever get into the hotel in Orange - the first stop on our trip.  Thankfully we did eventually join the rest of the group for six days of cycling, food and culture (read: wine).

The weather was disappointing for the first 3 days in Orange and Carpentras but the torrential rain eventually stopped and the sun came out, just in time for our ride to St Remy from which we both meandered and powered up hills to a variety of smashing villages during the latter half of the week.     The biking isn't strenuous if you have a reasonable level of fitness, but the climbs to and out of Les Baux does require nerves (and legs) of steel so be prepared! The views are worth it, though.  The maps were good enough for this self-guided tour but a little more detail around road names would have helped.   

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Our Response

Updated Response (June 2014) Thank you for your feedback. We do provide arrival transfers on this trip for customers who travel on the train booked through Explore, and the tour leader would have been at the station to welcome everyone on the group train and take them to the hotel. Although you booked your train tickets through us, you were not on the group train, and therefore arrived at a different time. However, the hotel is only 800 metres from the station, and there are directions on the Joining Instructions.

We agree that arriving at your hotel to find it locked would not have been very welcoming. Hotels in France very often close in the evening in this way. The Hotel Saint Jean does lock its door at 8pm and the hoteliers have a notice on the door asking customers who arrive after this time to knock on the door of the next door apartment where they live. They also leave their telephone number on the door. We are reviewing the joining information on our trip notes to make it clearer for future non group travel customers to understand this arrangement. We will also review the group meeting time and may bring this forward to before 8pm to make it more likely that land only customers will arrive before the door is locked.

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