Why Is Cycling In Provence Great?

There’s an old saying which says that a picture is worth a thousand words. So here are 10,000 words on why you should go to Provence.

Throughout July there are fields and fields of beautiful sunflowers. Just as the TV crews go for the obligatory ‘Riding Past Sunflowers’ shots in the Tour de France, everyone has to have a photo of themselves in a field of sunflowers.

Then of course there’s the lavender. Same as the sunflowers, you didn’t really go to Provence unless you can show a picture of you smelling the lavender.



Then there are the astonishing Roman sites, such as the Triumphal Arch in Orange


and the famous aqueduct at Pont du Gard.


Provence has gorgeous food, perhaps the best of any region of France,


and as well as the sunflowers, the vineyards and the olive trees, Provence is the main fruit-producing region of France. That means lots of chances to scrump cherries, apricots, figs. There’s always something available from nature’s table in Provence!

Provence is beautiful. The unwary should note that beautiful views usually means hills or mountains are involved somewhere, and the culprits in Provence are the Alpilles and the Lubéron. But it’s worth cycling up hills to get views like this.

And in the Lubéron you can see why Peter Mayle raved about the region in ‘A Year In Provence’.


I’ve missed out the Roman theatre in Orange, and the ruined Roman town of Glanum. I’ve also missed out the grandiose Palais des Papes in Avignon and the stunning ochre-coloured cliffs surrounding Rousillon, but as a final thought, Provence was where Van Gogh lived. It’s where he painted his sunflowers and his lavender and his olive trees. It’s where he lived, and it’s where he went mad – Van Gogh’s asylum just outside St Rémy de Provence is fascinating and beautiful. Just one of hundreds of reasons to visit Provence.

And of course this all looks so much better by bike.  There.  I make that 10,000 words, with a few extras!

Click here to see a gallery of these photos, and more from The Chain Gang on the Chain Gang Flickr page

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