Two couples of friends want to explore the Drôme Provençale by bike. Evasion à vélo built a tailor-made 8-day trip between vineyards, historical monuments and high-perched villages.
Here's how it could work...
At the appointed time, Thibaut called us and we built our circuit together in little over half an hour. He asked us the right questions while letting us express our desires, we already felt as if we were there!
We decided to leave at the end of June for a period of 8 days, with stages of around 50 to 60 km/day depending on the type of terrain: more or less hilly.
We asked Evasion à vélo to base our tour around two themes: historical monuments and wine discovery, culture and viticulture in short!
Thibaut recommended a loop circuit by staying two days in the same place twice to change the pace a little bit, which seemed like a very good idea.
For the accommodation, being very particular in that respect, we wanted top-of-the-range accommodation in guesthouses or charming hotels.
For dinner, all being pleasure-lovers who appreciate the local products, we gave priority to the quality and atmosphere of the tables d'hôtes while also imagining being able to dine in town on the recommendations of Évasion à vélo. And, as a bonus, we opted for an exceptional gourmet dinner at the end of the tour.
We also wanted a different, original day in the middle of the trip. So we let ourselves be tempted by half a day of via ferrata with a guide, something we had never done before!
The following week, we received the description with the price by e-mail. It matched our communication exchange and after checking a detail by email about parking our car, we validated the quote and paid the deposit... and we were ready to go!
Two weeks before departure we received all the useful elements for our trip by e-mail and post: the highlighted map and its protective cover, a smartphone holder, a very complete travel notebook and even four Evasion à vélo saddle covers to protect our bikes from the rain... although it’s rare in the Drôme! A link received by e-mail allowed each couple to have the route on our smartphone to complete the map.
We arrived at La Garde Adhémar in the afternoon. We went to the 4* guest room directly and immediately took advantage of the pool to relax after the trip. Two bicycles were waiting for us on arrival (since two of us brought their own bicycles) and we could leave our car at the spot all week. In the late afternoon, we visited this superb high-perched village located 2 km away.
We took advantage of the table d'hôtes very good menu to dine well in a beautiful atmosphere.
Day 2 45 km 620 m + (1)
For this first day by bike, we made a loop tour to discover several high-perched villages, the Château de Suze-la-Rousse and its University of Wine, Saint-Paul -Trois-Châteaux, Saint-Restitut and its superb church, Clansayes and its keep.
We spent the night in the same guesthouse and table d'hôtes as the previous day.
(1) This is the sum of the elevations of all the climbs of the course
Day 3 60 km 600 m +
We had a beautiful trip from La Garde Adhémar to Séguret, a day that combined historical visits with the pleasure of meeting winegrowers.
We appreciated the Tour de Chamaret, Valréas, Vinsobres, the ancient site of Vaison-la-Romaine and Séguret. Evasion à vélo organized a customized wine tasting session at a winegrower’s estate.
We spent the night and dined in a winery, in its very nice 3* hotel with swimming pool, with wine tasting on site to finish off a very busy day.
Day 4 63 km 640 m + (short variant: 55 km 600 m +)
This day took us to Buis-les-Baronnies crossing Gigondas, Vacqueyras, Beaumes-de-Venise, with the enchanting site of Notre-Dame d'Aubune, and Malaucène.
The route was very untamed, we were dazzled by the landscape!
We stayed in town in a sumptuous 4* guesthouse with a small swimming pool. We dined in town in a restaurant with local cuisine recommended by Evasion à vélo.
We stayed in Buis-les-Baronnies because we wanted to take a day mid-week to try out a new activity. Evasion à vélo organized a half-day of via ferrata for us, with a private guide: new sensations in a superb environment! We also strolled through the city following the historical circuit.
We stayed in the same guesthouse and tried out another restaurant.
Day 6 67 km 660 m +
Our goal on this day was to get to Dieulefit via Sainte-Jalle, Nyons, Venterol and Le Pègue. We still travelled along beautiful small roads, going through a pass (low 718 m). In Nyons, Évasion à vélo had organized a visit to a traditional brewery as well as a meeting with oil and vinegar producers.
We enjoyed our 4* guesthouse with a swimming pool and spa and dinner on site.
Day 7 61 km 630 m + (short variant: 45 km 580 m +)
We headed for Grignan and, as we felt good, we decided to stay on the "long road". We climbed up to the church of Comps in a very wild setting, then we went to La Bégude-de-Mazenc, Rochefort-en-Valdaine, l'Abbaye d'Aiguebelle to finally reach Grignan where we had a stroll to work up an appetite.
We had a sumptuous dinner in a Michelin-starred restaurant, and spent the night in a 3* hotel in the heart of the city.
We took a guided tour of the superb Château de Grignan.
Then we picked up the car at the guesthouse we had stayed at on the 1st day, the bicycles being picked up by the rental company. Evasion à vélo gave us two addresses of very different and very nice winegrowers and we took this opportunity to buy their wine since we had the car.
The duration of this trip allows you to discover several facets of the Drôme Provençale and to have a good balance between the "must-see" and the chosen themes; but of course the choice of a shorter trip also offers the possibility of focusing on a theme or a more targeted section of the region... and to come back later!
Price (excluding equipment rental): 930 €/person
Equipment rental price: €120 /bike