Discover one of the most amazing cycling tour in South of France! Firstly, from Digne, the capital of the Haute Provence, you will cross the high plateau of Valensole, the land of the wheat and the lavander and one of the most beautiful region of the Haute Provence.
A small challenge is waiting for you in the gorges of the Verdon. This „Great Canyon of France“ is not only the deepest and most spectacular in Europe, but is also surmounted by plateaus at 1000 meters in altitude. There, the power system of your bikes will be an inestimable help!
To conclude, you will simply let the bike search its paths, which will bring you to the Mediterranean Sea, in the surroundings of Fréjus and Saint Raphaël. The way then leads along the most natural places of the French Riviera: the Massif des Maures and the Massif de l'Estérel. For the last stage to Nice, you will pass by the most famous places of the French Riviera: Cannes, Juan les Pins and Antibes.
Day 1: Nice – Digne les Bains
From Nice you will ride with the historic train Petit Train des Pignes to Digne-les-Bains. The ride lasts approx. 3 jours and follows one of the most beautiful and popular railways in France. The train leaves at the train station Gare des Chemins de fer de Provence in Nice and arrive in Digne les Bains.
Day 2: Digne les Bains – Oraison
The first stage goes down in the valley of the Durance. You may chose between 3 road options:
1st option – Easy: By small side roads you will cycle through the valleys Bléone and Durance. The way goes by the Pénitents des Mées, singular shaped rocks which look like monks with their hoods, and the romanic chapel Saint Honorat.
Distance: 45 km / 28 mi – Ascent: 225 m – Descent: 475 m
2nd option – Medium: After the descent in the valley Bléone the way goes up to the first lavender plateau and in the village Puimichel.
Distance: 48 km / 30 mi – Ascent: 340 m
3rd option – Difficult: You will continue through the lavender fields and cycle up to the mountain village Entrevennes. The return to Oraison goes by the valley Asse.
Distance: 72 km / 44.7 mi – Ascent: 825 m – Descent: 1080 m
The three options follow for 90 % small rarely travelled side roads and for 10 % moderated travelled country roads.
Day 3: Oraison – Riez (Lavender plateau)
This long or shorter stages today makes you cross the high plateau of Valensole with its endless lavender fields. You may chose between 2 road options:
1st option – Easy: In the morning, you make a long ascent to the village Valensole. Finally you cycle to a high plateau by the villages Puimoisson and Roumoules.
Distance: 40 km / 24.8 mi – Ascent: 620 m – Descent: 450 m
2nd option – Difficult: From Valensole you will go to Esparron and from there, along the Verdon by Quinson and Saint Laurent du Verdon. Then you cycle up to a high plateau and reach Riez and finally Montagnac-Montpezat.
Distance: 66 km / 41 mi – Ascent: 800 m
Both these options follow for 60 % small rarely travelled side roads and for 40 % moderated travelled country roads.
Da 4: Riez – Aiguines (High plateau of Valensole – Gorges of Verdon)
You will traverse the high plateau of Valensole and cross the Verdon on the dam of the lake Sainte-Croix. After having cycled on the bank of the lake, you will go up in the afternoon to the mountain village Aiguines, which overtop the lake and the entrance of the gorges of Verdon at an altitude of 800 metres.
Distance: 44 to 50 km / 27.3 to 31 mi – Ascent: 600 m
Today you will follow for 70 % small rarely travelled side roads and for 30 % moderated travelled country roads.
Day 5: Aiguines – Bargemon (The „Great Canyon“ of Verdon)
In the morning you will have the pleasure to cycle on a spectacular road over the Grand Canyon on the left side of the Verdon, which is named Corniche Sublime (sublime ledge). Then you will ride over the high plateau of Canjuers and over Comps sur Artuby. After you have overcome the pass Col du Bel Homme (915 m), from which we may see the Mediterranean Sea, you will go down to the village Bargemon.
Distance: 63 km / 39 mi – Ascent: 1200 m – Descent: 1500 m
This way follows for 90 % touristic and strongly travelled country roads, but on a slowly path, and for 10 % small rarely travelled side roads.
Day 6: Bargemon – Vidauban (Through the vineyards of the Côtes de Provence)
From the mountain villages of the Haut Var you will ride down to the nature reserve of the Plaine des Maures. This region offside the coast has kept its authentic atmosphere. You may chose between 2 road options:
1st option – Easy: Both options leads to the village Ampus, pasing by the picturesque mountain village Châteaudouble. The shot option brings you through the vineyards in the direction of the South to Taradeau and Vidauban.
Distance: 50 km / 31 mi – Ascent: 1070 m – Descent: 1300 m
2nd option – Difficult: From Ampus you do a long detour to the villages Tourtour, Villecroze, Salernes, Entrecasteaux and Le Thoronet, before the valley of the Argens leads you down to Vidauban.
Distance: 77 km / 47.8 mi – Ascent: 1070 m – Descent: 1300 m
Both options follow for 70 % small rarely travelled side roads and for 30 % moderated travelled country roads.
Day 7: Vidauban – Saint Raphael (Agay) (Mountain chain on the French Riviera)
This route section is certainly the most beatiful in the Massif des Maures. Fron the plateau of Maures it leads up to the sumnit of the massif, which overtop the sea at an altitude of 300 metres. The street are relatively few travelled and the motorcyclists are even forbidden. Please note: Between the 21st of Jue and the 30 th of September the way might be closed because of high risk of forest fires. This is why we have two options for this stage:
1st option – Recommended itinerary – Medium: A small country road goes up in the Maures massif, before reaching the sumnits of the chain. You follow those sumnits along forest roads, which can not be used by car, until Roquebrune sur Argens. On cycle ways, you cross Fréjus and Saint Raphaël and finally reach Agay.
Distance: 65 km / 40.3 mi – Ascent: 680 m – Descent: 740 m
This option follows for 80 % small rarely travelled side roads, for 10 % moderated travelled country roads and for 10 % cycle ways.
2nd option – Alternative itinerary – Easy: With this option, you will avoid the Massif des Maures (which is quite a shame) but also possible forest fires in Summer. You will pass by the villages Taradeau, les Arcs and le Muy and follow the road on the foot of the massif to Roquebrune sur Argens, where the two options converge.
Distance: 55 km / 34 mi – Ascent: 680 m – Descent: 740 m
This option follows for 30 % small rarely travelled side roads, for 60 % moderated travelled country roads and for 10 % cycle ways.
Day 8: Saint Raphael (Agay) – Nice (Along the French Riviera)
This stage goes along the bluff Corniche de l’Estérel, that goes through the red rocks between Agay and Théoule, and further to the bay of Cannes. In the afternoon, you will cycle to the Cap d’Antibes and approach your goal, Nice, on coastal cycle paths and by the Promenade des Anglais.
Distance: 70 km / 43.5 mi – Ascent: approx. 100 m
This way follows for 30 % moderated travelled country roads, for 20 % strongly travelled cities and for 50 % cycle ways.
Day 9: Nice
After the breakfast, this trip ends. If you arrived in Digne with your own car, you can ride back there with the historic regional train.
Departure at your convenience
Cotation: per person in double-room occupancy in 3 star-hotels (9 days) without transport of the lugagge
You may chose your dates of stay freely between the 1st of April and the 31st of October
Reductions are applied for families and groups of 4 persons at least
Our tour begins in Digne les Bains and ends in Nice.
Your organise the arrival and return by yourself and extend your trip on your option.
With your enquiry, please let us know the number of your party and the dates of your holiday.
Nights and breakfast, complete tour book (1-2 Michelin-road maps with the scale 1:100.000 (per 6 persons), 1 topografic guide (per 6 persons), 1 cultural guide per room, GPS-road datas on demand.
Travel to Digne les Bains & from Nice, rental of the bicycle, dinners, picnics, drinks, transport of the lugagge, entrance fees, ride with the Train des Pignes from Nice to Digne, personnal expenses, insurance in case of cancellation.
transport of the lugagge:
+ 370,- €/ Pers./9 days
Full equipped E-Bike: 430,- €/ 9 days
Full equipped touring bike: 340,- €/ 9 days
The bicycles will be delivered in the hotel in Digne les Bains and returned in Nice.
Transport of the bikes from Nice to Digne: on request
From 2 persons
Can be booked by individual traveller with a price surcharge!
Last possibility of cancellation from the tour operator: 21 days before the beginning of the trip
7 nights in 3 stars hotels or equivalent B&B and 1 night in 2 stars hotel in Aiguines.
The breakfast is inclusive in all the accommodations. Some of them will also prepare the dinner. When it is not available, there are always restaurants in the surroundings.
Average distance of the cycling hike: 40 to 70 km (25 to 43.5 mi) a day with some abrupt ascent and a maximum average difference in altitude of 1200 m a day.
Thanks to the E-bikes, feasible by anyone!
Some stages are variable through several itineraries.
The Côte d’Azur and the Provence are not an even land. The commune Aiguines at the entrance of the gorges of Verdon stands at an altitude of 850 metres. This is why we advice you to rent a bike with an electric power system. This does not mean that you will not pedal but it will help you during the long ascents (Provided that you did not empty the entire battery on flat roads!).
In short: Electric bikes are there for you to enjoy long descents, without being completely exhausted because of the ascents.
This bicycles that we rent are high quality branded bikes (Cannondale etc.), which are made for tours on the country side.
ADVICE: For the sportsperson, we may also rent touring bikes.
The bicycles will be delivered in the hotel in Digne les Bains and returned in Nice.
We recommend you an eco-friendly journey with the train to Digne-les-Bains (Hinterland of Nice). To get mor e information about your transportation please click here.
You can find more information on our detailed info sheet, that we send you gladly on enquiry!