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Vélo En Provence CVP
1 reviews for this tour
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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.
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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.Read more
The local grub was excellent (especially at a small cafe in Chateauneuf du Pape), if a little expensive and bread-heavy, but the group managed to sample everything from horse to rabbit, veal and snails. We didn't manage the wine-tasting due to the weather but there are plenty of opportunities en route to detour into the wineries. Brian, our tour leader, was a true Francophile and this helped immensely. He was well organised, knowledgeable and always available to help out with tired bikes (and weary travellers) Some tips: Be sure to visit Seguret and Glanum as well as the chateau in Barbentane - and ask Brian to show you the llama farm and the bull-fighting arena. Mineral water is dirt cheap in local shops, or most bars will fill your water bottle if you ask nicely, so don't be lured by high-priced hydration. There are small grocery shops in most of the towns and villages visited so you can stock up on fruit once the carbs get too much. Bring a gel seat and your own bike helmet, and the aforementioned water bottle is a must. Don't forget to pack a mobile phone which works in France. The St Remy hotel has a swimming pool so if you want to cool off after a hard day's cycling, bring your cossie. And none of the hotels had tea-making facilities so bring your own travel kettle (and tea bags) if you like a cuppa before brekkie!
We do provide arrival transfers on this trip for customers who travel on the group flight and Brian would have been at the airport to welcome everyone on the group flight and take them to the hotel. I note that although you booked your flights through us, you were not on the group flight, and therefore arrived at a different time. However, the hotel is only 800 metres from the airport and our joining instructions do include directions for finding it.
I 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 so that future ‘non group flight customers’ understand this arrangement. We will also review the group meeting time and may bring this forward to before 8pm so our land only customers arrive before the door is locked.
I am glad to see that France’s reputation for excellent cuisine and wine was upheld and that you enjoyed the local dishes on offer. The French do not share our passion for a cup of tea therefore many customers going on this trip will appreciate your advice about a travel kettle.
Many thanks again for your feedback. We hope you and your partner came home with many happy memories of Provence and that you will travel with us again soon.