A field of Sunflowers.
Biker by a field of Sunflowers.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS: ANSWERS

OUR VILLA-BASED TOURS:

What do your self-guided tours include?

Please click here to go the page "What's included."

Isn't it a bit restrictive staying in just one place?

We don't think so. On the comfort front there is no daily packing, unpacking and logistics to move to a new hotel.
Of course there is also no luggage restriction, which is no mean thing when you need both cycling and normal holiday equipment.
You'll also hopefully benefit from the personal touch and our local knowledge when you stay at the villa.
On the cycling side we have 30 superb rides that start and end at the villa. We have 6 different zones and rides in all directions, so there is no need to do the same area more than once. And we can also design and load rides to the GPS especially for you.

My partner doesn't like to bike as much as me - how would that work with your tours?

Our self guided bike tours are designed to be flexible. You really can strike the balance between biking & relaxation that you want.
So for example, what about a ride in the morning for the both of you, taking in the beautiful river source village of Fontaine de Vaucluse.
Then in the afternoon - the pool and a short ride to Gordes for the more serious biker.
And a dip in the pool & a book for the less serious biker followed maybe by a car ride to meet up in Gordes for a coffee.
The options are endless.
And remember, we also have electric bikes available for hire (at €28 per person per night, including insurance) - please enquire at the time of booking.

Does your GPS tour mean I'm on my own?

Not at all.
First of all, it's pretty hard to get lost with one of our GPS systems. We haven't lost anyone yet...
But should that happen or should you suffer a mechanical problem then vehicle back up is just a call away.

Fitness - what level of fitness is needed?

You don't need to be super fit to do our tours, as you choose the rides to suit you (to make it easier our rides are rated by difficulty).
We would recommend, however, that you do not come to any bike tour being new to cycling and to exercise - you'll enjoy it a lot more that way!
Ideally preparation for a tour would involve 2 or more rides per week over different terrains (for 4 weeks prior) of at least an hour and a half each. This will get you used to riding and being comfortable on a bike, whilst used to providing a decent level of effort.
Note that our rides often take the least hilly option to get to a destination - but of course if you want hills we can do that too. If you have any doubts here - please just contact us.

I'm not a very strong rider - can I still do one of your tours?

You can choose the difficulty of your ride with the lowest kms and the easiest routes up any hills. But if this still seems too much we can provide you with an electrically assisted bike (@ 28 euros per night, including insurance - please enquire at the time of booking).
By selecting the amount of electrical assistance you require, you get to manage the level of effort you give. The bikes are easy to ride, highly autonomous with a minimum range of 60kms to a max of 100kms.

Tour size - how many bikers can the villa take?

Our villa based tours cater from a minimum of 2 guests up to 6. We have three rooms, two with double beds and 1 with 2 single beds, that can also easily be moved together to form a large double. There are two bathrooms.
Also when you book the villa, it is just yours for the entirety of your stay, we do not sell any unused rooms to other groups.

Where is the villa situated?

We are based in Provence, in the village of Taillades in the Luberon valley, in the south of France - 40 minutes from Avignon and 1 hour to the Med.
The vast majority of roads that we use are quiet countryside back roads. The terrain is best described as flat (an extension of the Rhône river delta) to rolling, low altitude hills (along the Luberon valley). There are, however, steeper, longer hills (les Monts de Vaucluse) to the north that we can take you to, if that's what you like.

Taillades is located on the flat near the entrance to the Luberon valley, between Avignon & Apt running West / East, and L'Isle sur la Sorgue & Cavaillon running North / South.

The villa is set in and alongside an attractive newly renovated development from the 1800s, just opposite the well-known St Pierre Mill and its 6m high water wheel. It is within easy striking distance of the vast majority of the famous Luberon stone villages. The villa is situated just 6km from Coustellet from where we run our B&B based bike tours, so we are never far away should we be needed.
Click here to access our Location page.

Weather - What's it like?

With its Mediterranean climate, the area enjoys some of the best weather in France, with up to 300 days of sunshine per year, and little rain. Overall its great weather for cycling.

Spring (from March) - usually means great cycling in Provence and you could be forgiven for thinking it's Summer with temperatures between 16 & 23c. It will probably be warm enough to wear short sleeves & shorts during the day.
Early mornings and late afternoons can be fresher, so long sleeves and leggings may be needed then.
You be unlucky and get the odd shower, so rain/wind jackets need to be brought just in case.

Summer - "la belle saison" with clear skies, sun and very little and often no rain. Average maximum afternoon temperatures are between 26 & 30c, so you need to be careful to; drink enough (we would recommend using a camelback style water carrying system), use sun block and wear the right gear.
You'll probably be wearing short sleeves & shorts.
Evenings are often nice and warm.

Autumn - Provence continues to see some great maximum temperatures - between 15 & 25c.
Evenings start to cool down so you will probably need warmer gear then.
You can also get the odd downpour in Autumn so wet weather gear needs to be bought just in case.
Don't be put off though, as Autumn is a great time to visit Provence, with good temperatures, the days that are still long and it's also less busy as France is back at work and school.

Provence is famous for the mistral wind, thankfully it's weaker in the Luberon valley than to the west of the Vaucluse.
A normal mistral wind speed is situated between 20 & 45 mph. It can make cycling harder but rarely is it a show stopper. Bring a wind jacket just in case.
It's a dry wind that chases the clouds away bringing nice bright sunshine, so it's not all bad - it's most frequent in Winter and early Spring.

Rain - you would be very unlucky if you got anything more than a shower - very rarely is it so heavy that cycling isn't possible.
If you do get a bit of rain, there are however lots of ideas for rainy-day activities: many museums, historic sights, interesting towns, lots of shopping etc.

Average Max Temp Celsius Fahrenheit
March 16 61
April 17 63
May 22 72
June 27 81
July 28 82
August 30 86
September 26 79
October 20 68
Can children do your self guided tours?

As a general rule, and as with most tours, our holidays are suitable for kids of 15 and over.
Our tours are flexibile so you can make the cycling as easy as possible for you and your family. With some guidance from us, you can choose the right rides, distances, amount of climbing & attractions.

Do I need to speak French?

No, is the quick answer, we are an English / French family so you are ok on that front.
As for the restaurants, cafes and shops etc they are used to seeing non French speakers, so many will have some level of English.
Though any effort to speak French - even the very basics will usually go down well.

Amenities - what amenities are there around the villa?

In Taillades village there is a good restaurant and a bakery. Then within a 5 minute ride or 2 minute car journey, you have Robion village, with lots of good restaurants and cafes, pizza take away, bakeries, 2 butchers, bio fruit and veg, a cash point, a mini supermarket, 2 pharmacies and an english speaking doctor. Then 5 minutes in the other direction we have the town of Cavaillon, with several supermarkets, and all the amenities and services you would expect.

Tour dates - What tour dates do you run?

We run our self guided bike tours from April to October inclusive. They are designed to be flexible, with tours starting any day of the week (depending on availability). Arrivals are from 12 Noon to 6pm - departures by 10am. Please contact us for any questions regarding tour dates.
Please click here to go to the page "Prices & Dates".

OK that's a lot about the bike tours - but who are you?

We are Natalene, Neil, Lucy & Jamie an Anglo French family who have been living and cycling in Provence since 2004.
We made the move from London after many excellent holidays cycling in the area. Following the success of our B&B business we created Provence Cycling Holidays, thus combining our B&B experience, with our long held passion for biking and the great back drop for cycling that is the Luberon!

If you can't find the question that you want to ask here - please email or call us.

Click HERE for answers on Our Rides Photo de fleche

Click HERE to return to the Frequently Asked Questions Photo de fleche