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tourism

Press

2013

EDITION

Provence-Alps-Cote d’Azur

On Your Bike!


On Your Bike! Provence-Alps-Cote d’Azur

Contents Press Release

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On Your Bike in Provence-Alps-Cote d’Azur!

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• Easy tours around the Mediterranean

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• Easy tours around Provence

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• Easy tours around the Alps

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In the wake of the world’s champion cyclists

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• Sporty tours around the Mediterranean

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• Sporty tours around Provence

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• Sporty tours around the Alps

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Provence-Alps-Cote d’Azur, a multi-faceted region for mountain biking

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• Mountain bike tours around the Mediterranean

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• Mountain bike tours around Provence

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• Mountain bike tours around the Alps

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Appendices

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• Regional Map

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• Events Calendar

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Regional Tourist Board Press Department: presse@crt-paca.fr Tel.: +33 (0)4 91 56 47 38 - www.pressetourismepaca.fr


On Your Bike! Provence-Alps-Cote d’Azur

Press Release If you love cycling, Provence-Alps-Cote d’Azur is definitely the place to be! The region overflows with exceptional locations ideal for practising your favourite sport. Whether your preference goes to the shores of the Med, inland Provence or the mountain passes of the Southern Alps, you’re sure to find a cycling holiday here that’s just right for you. On your bike in Provence-Alps-Cote d’Azur! Couples, families and friends can enjoy casual cycling and discovering the region’s scenery at their own pace throughout Provence-Alps-Cote d’Azur. A host of routes await cyclists of all levels from Camargue to Saint-Tropez, the Luberon, high plateaux of the Alpes Maritimes area and all the way up to Buech valley!

Or do you prefer mountain biking? That’s lucky, because this is where the world’s number one mountain biking event - the Roc d’Azur festival takes place every year! Our mountain bike routes lead you into the luxuriant vegetation of the Estérel hills and the heart of Caille plain, crossing the vineyards of the Var area and the mysterious Ubaye valley...

Is road cycling your favourite sport? No sweat! The Tour de France’s most emblematic mountain passes are right here in Provence-AlpsCote d’Azur. Le Galibier, Le Lautaret, L’Izoard and, of course, the mythical Mont Ventoux, invite you to take up the gauntlet and follow in the wake of the champions! Many other surprises await you in the Provence Verte area and on the high plateaux of Forcalquier too!

So let’s get pedalling in Provence-Alps-Cote d’Azur and take advantage of this year’s 100th edition of the Tour de France to follow your champions throughout the 7 stages taking place in our region this year! With Nice, Cagnes-sur-Mer, Marseille, Aix-en-Provence, Mont Ventoux, Vaison-la-Romaine, Gap and EmbrunChorges on the programme, July 2nd to 18th promises a great show!

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Regional Tourist Board Press Department: presse@crt-paca.fr Tel.: +33 (0)4 91 56 47 38 - www.pressetourismepaca.fr


On Your Bike in Provence-Alps-Cote d’Azur What could be more agreeable than discovering the diversity and beauty of Provence-AlpsCote d’Azur’s scenery at your own pace, with a two-wheel, slow travel companion? Whether you’re travelling as a couple, with family or with friends, our many cycling itineraries offer unlimited adventure and freedom for everyone. We invite you to pedal along the Mediterranean shores to the sound of chirping cicadas, through Provence’s lavender and olive fields, or into the Alps, along the banks of the river Durance, just a wheel turn away from the mythical mountain passes of the Tour de France.

Your sun-packed cycling voyage will be dotted with plenty of stop-offs for gourmets, with a host of local produce, for relaxation fans, with our many charming hotels and spas and for culture buffs, who will enjoy the region’s ancient monuments, exhibitions and numerous festivals. And for those who want to plan ahead, our travel professionals offer plenty of turnkey products. So don’t delay - Provence-Alps-Cote d’Azur is packed with cycling routes for every taste and level!

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Regional Tourist Board Press Department: presse@crt-paca.fr Tel.: +33 (0)4 91 56 47 38 - www.pressetourismepaca.fr


On Your Bike! Provence-Alps-Cote d’Azur

Easy tours around the Mediterranean Camargue

Discovering Etang de Vaccarès The landscapes of Camargue offer up a vibrant patchwork of salt water lagoons and this wide-reaching tour takes you along the banks of the most famous of them all: Etang de Vaccarès. Departing from Arles, the capital of Camargue history and culture, it heads straight down South, through market gardens and rice fields to Etang de Vaccarès and its succession of far-reaching vistas, where sky meets water. Distance: 46 km Duration: 3 hrs Departure and arrival: Arles Details on this tour are available from Bouches-du-Rhône Tourisme: www.visitprovence.com Or the Arles Tourist Office www.arlestourisme.com Go to ‘My Visit’ then ‘Download Brochures’. Press contact Francine Riou Tourist Office Assistant Director f.riou@arlestourisme.com

Address Book Where to sleep? Mas Saint-Germain

Mas Sainte-Cécile

Bienvenue à la Ferme - Gîtes de France - Chambre d´hôtes Nestling among rice fields, just a step away from Etang de Vaccarès, Mas Sainte Cécile offers three B&B rooms together with 3 furnished, self-catering gites set inside a tastefully-renovated 17th century monastery. Guests enjoy generous breakfasts and a peaceful atmosphere. If you’re travelling in summer, the rooms are air-conditioned and you can take a refreshing dip in the pool! www.domainesaintececile.com

Hôtel 2* de la Muette

Logis de France An ideal address for revelling in the charm and heritage of Arles. The Capital of Camargue, Arles is actually a Roman town, home to no less than 9 Unesco World Heritage Sites. It was also a major landmark in the life of Vincent Van Gogh. The lively “Rencontres Internationales de la Photographie” international photo festival is held throughout Arles every summer. The hotel is located right in the town centre, but nevertheless offers a small garage for bicycles. www.hotel-muette.com

Where to hire a bike? Europbike

Founded 30 years ago in Arles, Europbike offers 100 relay points for picking up and returning your bicycle throughout Provence! The choice is vast and includes mountain bikes, hybrid bikes, racing bikes, town bikes, tandems, electric bikes, children’s bikes, trailers, accessories and luggage. Europbike rents out over 300 bikes for individual travellers, with optional delivery to your door. You can book directly on the website. www.europbike-provence.net

Bienvenue à la ferme - Gîte de France - Chambre d’hôtes Located just a short hop from Etang de Vaccarès, this Gite de France establishment offers a dream setting for a timeless holiday… The typical gites accommodate 2 to 8 guests and are fitted out with all necessaries. Some even have a wood stove if you’re travelling outside peak season! Monique and Pierre host walking and riding tours of their farm, where they raise horses, bulls, rice, lentils, wheat and hay. www.massaintgermain.com

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Regional Tourist Board Press Department: presse@crt-paca.fr Tel.: +33 (0)4 91 56 47 38 - www.pressetourismepaca.fr


On Your Bike! Provence-Alps-Cote d’Azur

Côte d’Azur

Address Book

Around the Bay of Saint-Tropez

Where to sleep?

This pretty, round trip departs from the Grimaud Tourist Office. The itinerary crosses the waterside town of Port-Grimaud, now a “20th century Heritage” site, the Port of Cogolin, separated from Port-Grimaud by the river Giscle, the ideallyexposed “Plage de la Bouillabaisse” beach, stretching out opposite the Maures hills and offering magnificent sunsets, “Plage de Beauvallon” beach - a paradise for windsurfers with its easterly wind - and “Plage des Cigales”, with its very typical little private port. Last but not least, don’t miss a stop at “Virage du Treizain”, offering stunning views over Saint-Tropez. The route alternates sections of cycle path and secondary roads.

Hôtel-Restaurant Le coteau fleuri

Distance: 61 km Duration: 3 hrs Departure and arrival: Grimaud Details on this tour are available from the Tourist Offices of Saint-Tropez, Cogolin, Grimaud and Sainte-Maxime, or the Maison du Tourisme du Golfe de Saint-Tropez (central booking office) Carrefour de la Foux 83580 Gassin +33 (0)4 94 55 22 00 www.golfe-saint-tropez-information.com Press contact Emmanuel Bertrand Director direction@visitgolfe.com

This ancient silkworm farm, situated in quiet surroundings a stone’s throw from the historic quarter of Grimaud, offers plunging views over olive groves, vineyards and the more distant Maures hills. This is also a great address for food buffs. Master Restaurateur Jean-Claude Paillard cultivates authenticity and southern culinary heritage with his dishes concocted with produce from the Saint-Tropez peninsula and Provence. www.coteaufleuri.fr

Where to hire a bike? Chez Gibella

Situated at the gateway to Saint-Tropez, facing the Cogolin marina, Gibella is a bike hire specialist founded over 30 years ago. You can leave your vehicle in the car park too! www.location-scooter-st-tropez.com

Energy Bike

Power-assisted bikes from Energy Bike in Grimaud. www.energy-bike.fr

Do it the easy way with a travel professional! Pep’s Spirit

Adventure-lovers pay heed! Emmanuelle, Frédérique and Sébastien know everything there is to know about the Bay of Saint-Tropez and host guided mountain and road bike tours for all levels departing from Grimaud, for an optimal discovery experience. www.peps-spirit.fr

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Regional Tourist Board Press Department: presse@crt-paca.fr Tel.: +33 (0)4 91 56 47 38 - www.pressetourismepaca.fr


On Your Bike! Provence-Alps-Cote d’Azur

Easy tours around Provence LUBERON

Luberon Tour An ideal travel itinerary, covering 236 km around the Luberon mountains, signposted both ways, for an easygoing immersion in this unspoiled area! The route winds its way through 33 totally charming and authentic villages. The uphill sections are sometimes challenging, but always short! All roads are surfaced, with varied elevations. Distance: 236 km Recommended duration: 7 days (average 30 km/day) Departure: One of the 33 villages of the Luberon. Train services from Cavaillon, La Brillanne (near Forcalquier), Manosque and Pertuis Arrival: Round trip ending at departure point. Details on this tour are available from Vélo Loisir en Luberon 203, rue Oscar Roulet - 84440 Robion +33 (0)4 90 76 48 05 www.veloloisirluberon.com For more details on cycling routes in Vaucluse, check out www.provence-a-velo.fr Press contact Stéphanie Bailly Communication Manager info@veloloisirluberon.com

Address Book Where to sleep? Our selection of hotels for every budget See more hotels at www.veloloisirluberon.com

Hôtel de la Coquillade***** - Gargas

La Coquillade, a five-star Relais & Châteaux hotel and prestige Provencal establishment, set in the heart of the Luberon, has developed a unique concept called “Provence Cycling Paradise” in partnership with the famous Swiss BMC bike brand. In this exceptional setting, you can hire out a road bike, mountain bike or electric bike while revelling in the comfort of a luxury hotel, complete with vineyard and restaurants. www.lacoquillade.fr

Hôtel Le Mas des Grés*** - Lagnes

The ideal choice for environmentally-aware cyclists seeking a taste of Provence’s inimitable lifestyle. Owners Nina and Thierry have always been keenly committed to sustainable tourism, as reflected in the hotel’s “Hôtel au Naturel” label, guaranteeing eco-friendly practises and an active involvement in the Luberon National Nature Reserve. www.masdesgres.com

Camping Indigo*** - Forcalquier

This small, friendly and charming little campsite is set out in the country in over 10 acres of tree-filled grounds, less than 500 m from the centre of Forcalquier - a little, medieval town and ancient capital of Provence. The Camping Indigo campsite offers a bar, family-style catering, on-site bicycle hire, a heated pool and extensive recreation amenities. What’s more, the aperitif is free for cyclists! www.camping-indigo.com/fr/camping-indigo-forcalquierprovence.html

Where to hire a bike? All bicycle hire firms, hotels, taxi firms and travel agents are listed at www.veloloisirluberon.com

Luberon biking - Velleron

7/7 bicycle hire and a wide selection of models. Over 200 bikes. Repair service. Bikes delivered to your place of stay, tour departure point or to the following railway stations: Cavaillon, Avignon, L’Isle sur la Sorgue, Aix-en-Provence. www.luberon-biking.fr

Sun-e-bike - Bonnieux

A pool of over 200 power-assisted bikes available for hire from Bonnieux and Saint-Rémy-de-Provence. www.sun-e-bike.com

Do it the easy way with a travel professional! Sun-e-bike - Bonnieux

Travel agent specializing in cycling holidays in the Alpilles and Luberon areas. www.sun-e-bike.com

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Regional Tourist Board Press Department: presse@crt-paca.fr Tel.: +33 (0)4 91 56 47 38 - www.pressetourismepaca.fr


On Your Bike! Provence-Alps-Cote d’Azur

MONT-VENTOUX

Casual Cycling in the Ventoux area The “Terrasses du Ventoux” is a genuinely unforgettable bike route, packed with countrified pleasures. You will be enchanted by the oak forests, vineyards and fruit orchards along the way, with their ever-changing colours in tempo with the seasons. The old quarters of the villages of Méthamis, Malemort-du-Comtat, Mazan and Mormoiron harbour typical lanes, little squares and ancient fountains, where you can enjoy stopping off to fill your water bottle or savour a glass of rosé. The route crosses the typical “Terrasses du Ventoux” wine growing areas, home to vineyards such as Château Pesquié and Château Les Hautes Briguières in Mormoiron, Domaine Plein Pagnier and Domaine du Bon Remède in Mazan and Château Unang in Malemort-du-Comtat. If you fancy a spot of relaxation, just climb off at Salettes lake in Mormoiron for a swim or some family recreation. Distance: 25 km Duration: according to your pace Departure and arrival: Méthamis Details on this tour are available from the Mazan, Mormoiron and Villes-sur-Auzon Tourist Offices, or the Ventoux Comtat Venaissin area council. Press contact Lise COLLIN Cycle Tour Manager velotourisme@ventoux-comtat.com www.destination-ventoux.com For details on cycle routes in Vaucluse, check out www.provence-a-velo.com

Address Book

L’Auberge du Vin

Of English origin, Linda set up home among the vineyards of the Côtes du Rhône and Ventoux because, in her words, this is the perfect place for learning about wine! Let her tell you all about this unique terroir… L’Auberge du Vin B&B www.aubergeduvin.com

La Cigale Bleue

Gîte de France Tucked away at the foot of Mont Ventoux, “La Cigale Bleue” is a brand new, 55 sq. metre house with all modern comforts, along with a private garden and pool shared with the owners. The house can welcome 4 to 6 guests. Read more www.provence-a-velo.fr or email Anne-Laure and Fabrice ALTADILL nanouetfamily@aol.com

Where to hire a bike? Vélo Relax du Ventoux - Villes-sur-Auzon

Cycling specialists Delphine Maltaverne and Sébastien Ronteix offer sound advice on equipment hire, whether you’re looking for a comfortable, high-performance, lightweight road bike, want to mount a child trailer on your touring bicycle, or fancy trying out a power-assisted model. www.velorelaxduventoux.com

Do it the easy way with a travel professional! “Accueil Vélo Ventoux” is a professional network offering services for cycle tourers in the vicinity of 13 official cycle routes in the Ventoux area, including accommodation, restaurants, bike hire, guides, taxis, travel agents, wine cellars, vineyards and arts & crafts. Its 70 or so service providers have all signed the “Accueil Vélo” (Bicycle Welcome) quality charter accompanying the “Provence à Vélo” (Provence by Bike) initiative. www.destination-ventoux.com

Where to sleep? The following establishments are specially kitted out to welcome cycle tourers and are recommended by the Ventoux Comtat Venaissin area council.

Le Château de Mazan****

An elegant 18th-century building and former home of the Marquis de Sade, snuggling against the foot of Mont Ventoux, adorned with an elegant gastronomic restaurant - “L’Ingénue” (the naïve woman) - named in memory of the Marquis. www.chateaudemazan.com

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Regional Tourist Board Press Department: presse@crt-paca.fr Tel.: +33 (0)4 91 56 47 38 - www.pressetourismepaca.fr


On Your Bike! Provence-Alps-Cote d’Azur

Easy tours around the Alps SOUTHERN ALPS

Address Book

The High Plateaux of the Alpes-Maritimes

Where to sleep?

Hovering at an average altitude of 1,000 metres, this itinerary features a challenging first few kilometres, before flattening out on the high plateaux of the Pre-Alps and Grasse. This area’s unrivalled light quality lends a special brightness to the region’s typical chalky cliffs, fir trees and richly historic little villages. The route takes quiet, secondary roads and is perfect for road bike novices. Packed with atmosphere and new discoveries, and demanding only a reasonable physical effort, it promises riders a wonderful day out… Perched on a rocky foothill overlooking “Gorges du Loup” gorge, the village of Gréolières was founded here in ancient times. Thorenc lake, used for fishing and recreation, is perfect for picnicking. On the plateau, the stretch that runs along the Monts d’Azur biological reserve offers glimpses of Przewalski’s horses and European bison. Last but not least, the plain between Caille and Andon is home to a very curious geological phenomenon in the shape of a vast depression known as a “polje”. Distance: 42 km Duration: 1 day Departure and arrival: Gréolières public car park

Domaine du Haut-Thorenc

The best times of day for animal-watching in the Monts d’Azur Biological Reserve are at golden dawn and fiery-red dusk, when they gather at the water’s edge to drink. “Domaine du Haut-Thorenc” offers a range of Ecolodges hidden away inside the Reserve so you can appreciate its natural treasures to the full. Open from April 1st to November 12th and during Christmas holidays. You can also opt for one of the charming rooms set inside the manor house, complete with restaurant. www.haut-thorenc.com

Gîte Terre des Lacs

Able to welcome 41 guests, this gite offers a variety of holiday packages for groups, families, couples and individuals. www.terredeslacs.com

Where to hire a bike? Friends Rider’s Bikes

195, avenue Auguste Renoir 06520 Magagnosc +33 (0)4 93 66 24 14

Details on this tour are available from “Accueil Vélo” information points (travel professionals committed to the area’s cycle tour charter, offering information and services tailored to your itinerary).

Do it the easy way with a travel professional!

Read more www.cg06.fr Go to “Découverte touristique - Les Alpes-Maritimes à vélo” or contact the Côte d’Azur Tourist Board www.cotedazur-tourisme.com

Specializing in mountain bike, road bike and hybrid bike holidays, Vélorizons offers over 50 mountain bike routes, 20 road bike routes and 20 hybrid bike routes covering France’s finest cycling areas, in particular the Southern Alps, Provence and the Cote d’Azur. www.france-bike-trips.com

VELORIZONS - France BIKE TRIPS

Press contact Manuel Harbreteau m.harbreteau@cotedazur-tourisme.com

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Regional Tourist Board Press Department: presse@crt-paca.fr Tel.: +33 (0)4 91 56 47 38 - www.pressetourismepaca.fr


On Your Bike! Provence-Alps-Cote d’Azur

LES BARONNIES DU BUËCH

Address Book

Cycling in the “Provence of Mountains”

Where to sleep?

Chabre mountain (a world-renowned hang-gliding site) jealously watches guard over the remarkable “Gorges de la Méouge” at its feet. This light-filled and welcoming gorge is a favourite haunt for both bathers and walkers. The three-arched medieval bridge flanked by the remains of an ancient windmill blends perfectly into this natural area, with its astonishing geological characteristics. Proudly set around a 17th century stately castle, the village of LaragneMontéglin is the departure point for this itinerary. The uphill section via Méouge gorge leads to Barret-sur-Méouge on the Lavender Route. Next, it’s all steam ahead for the 6-km climb up Col Saint-Jean (mountain pass with 7 and 8 % gradients and a 386-metre elevation) to the summit at an altitude of 1,159 metres, where a first-class view over Céans valley awaits you. You will then head back down to join the river at Laborel (one of the mythical sites on the Monte Carlo Rally) and follow it back down to Orpierre - an ancient village and stronghold of the Princes of Orange in the 11th century. After leaving the Lavender Route, an 8-km climb takes you to the hilltop village of Lagrand and its 12thcentury church. You will pass under the church to get back to Laragne-Montéglin, through the fruit plantations of Saléon. Distance: 65 km Duration: 1 day Departure and arrival: Laragne-Montéglin Details on this tour are available from the “Espace Vélo de Pays du Buëch” www.buech-rando.com or Hautes-Alpes Tourist Board www.hautes-alpes.net With the special “Vélo Hautes-Alpes” application Press contact Hinatea Perrier hinatea.perrier@hautes-alpes.net

La Ferme de la Montagne - Sigottier

Two self-catering gites and one chambre d’hôtes room. Nature lovers will simply adore this address, set at an altitude of 1,000 metres at the foot of the Alps. “La Ferme de la Montagne” hosts a plethora of activities, including rock climbing, tours of the phrehistoric caves and ancient lead and silver mines, walking, horse riding, swimming and aerial sports. Catherine and Bernard Lanteaume serve table d’hôtes meals on Saturday, Tuesday and Friday evenings and will happily whip up a picnic for you. www.gitedelamontagne.blogspot.fr

Hôtel Le Céans** - Orpierre

Logis de France Nestling in a genuine haven of greenery, this is where lavender meets mountain! Set on the Route des Princes d’Orange, in Buëch valley, “Hôtel le Céans” offers a relaxing setting for both active and cultural holidays. www.le-ceans.fr

Camping des Princes d’Orange - Orpierre

Snuggling against the hillside, this campsite overlooks the medieval village of Orpierre, renowned for its excellent climbing conditions. Open from April 1st to October 31st, the “Camping des Princes d’Orange” is a member of “Sites & Paysages de France” - a campsite chain committed to families and well-being, set in remarkable natural locations. The campsite will be offering 3 new features in 2013: a large new play and recreation area for children aged 0 to 18 years, a magnificent indoor climbing room with over 1,000 holds, and an agreeable room with kitchen and TV. www.campingorpierre.com

Where to hire a bike? La Grand’Roue - Orpierre

Classical and atypical bicycle hire, repair and sale. “La Grand’Roue hires out tandems, penny farthings, foldaway bikes, scooters, unicycles, mini bikes and hybrid bikes! Pierre Barbeau +33 (0)6 81 28 21 89 www.lagrandroue.fr

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Regional Tourist Board Press Department: presse@crt-paca.fr Tel.: +33 (0)4 91 56 47 38 - www.pressetourismepaca.fr


In the wake of the world’s champion cyclists The Provence-Alps-Cote d’Azur region boasts many routes brought to fame by the Tour de France. With a little training and courage, you too can set off in the wake of the world’s top champions, along the region’s most challenging roads. And the unique panoramic views that await you are a reward in themselves! Nicknamed “The Giant of Provence”, Mont Ventoux rises to a height of 1,909 metres and offering exceptional vistas over Provence, the Rhône valley and all the way to Mont Blanc. Crowned with a rocky dome reminiscent of a lunar landscape, this mountain is simply unmissable!

Richard Virenque, who was the Tour de France’s best climber for 7 years running, came to fame when he won the Lodève-Mont Ventoux stage in 2002. Col du Galibier rises to 2,645 metres and was first featured on the Tour de France on July 10th, 1911. Featured 59 times on the Tour, it is now one of the most feared stages of the race and has actually been listed as “uncategorized” since 1979. Col du Lautaret, Col d’Allos, Col de la Bonnette and Col de la Cayolle have also marked the history of the Tour de France. You will love our racing routes, spanning the Mediterranean, Provence and the Alps!

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Regional Tourist Board Press Department: presse@crt-paca.fr Tel.: +33 (0)4 91 56 47 38 - www.pressetourismepaca.fr


In the wake of the world’s champion cyclists

Sporty tours around the Mediterranean PAYS DE L’éTOILE

Address Book

Village Itinerary

Where to sleep?

These five little villages - Auriol, La Destrousse, La Bouilladisse, Peypin and Belcodène - have lost none of their former charm. Set off the beaten tourist track on the first foothills of the Etoile-Garlaban mountain chain and Régagnas mountain, to the North of Aubagne, they have maintained a genuine Provencal identity and atmosphere, in the shape of traditional houses, typical little squares adorned with plane trees and fountains and a few isolated, rural hamlets. Aubagne is the capital of the “santon” clay figurine and an earthenware mecca. You can discover the local potters and their time-honoured know-how in and around the town. Distance: 29 km Duration: 2 ¾ hrs Departure and arrival: Mairie d’Auriol (town hall) Details on this tour are available from Bouches-du-Rhône Tourisme www.visitprovence.com Press contact Thomas Kreiser Specialist Interest Tours tkreiser@visitprovence.com

Le Mas des Aludes - La Destrousse

Chambres d’hôtes Marie-Joe and Jean-Luc welcome guests in this idyllic setting in the middle of a pine forest. The rooms are large and open onto expansive countryside, the breakfasts are plentiful (sweet & savoury) and the jams are home-made naturellement! Located between Marseille, Aix-en-Provence and Aubagne, La Destrousse is well-placed for making the most of Provence and its array of shores, delightful old villages and hills. www.lemasdesaludes.com

Hôtel La Fenière** - La Bouilladisse

Logis de France A family welcomes awaits guests at this small and quiet Logis de France hotel, set away from the road. The generous breakfast is served indoors, on the terrace, or at the poolside. Cyclists will appreciate the private car park. www.hotelfeniere.com

Hôtel Le Commerce** - Auriol

Logis de France Featuring South-facing rooms and serving family meals, this typical Provencal establishment offers full amenities and the security of a private car park. +33 (0)4 42 04 70 25

Where to hire a bike? Holiday Bikes

Chemin de Bonnes Nouvelles 13400 Aubagne +33 (0)4 42 82 37 37 www.holiday-bikes.com

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Regional Tourist Board Press Department: presse@crt-paca.fr Tel.: +33 (0)4 91 56 47 38 - www.pressetourismepaca.fr


In the wake of the world’s champion cyclists

CôTE D’AZUR

Address Book

The Azur Balconies (belvedere of the Western Var)

Where to sleep?

This route winds its way from fishermen’s villages to hilltop villages, through fertile countryside where vines, olives and almond trees flourish. Here, little roads rise up from the sea to conquer the hills. But watch out, it’s steep! At the top, the tightly-clustered hilltop villages offer up their stone walls to the sun’s comforting rays. The route heads along the Corniche de Tamaris coast road (Fort de l’Eguillette, Fort Balaguier, Pavillon Roustan, mussel beds), La Sablettes beach and the Sicié panoramic coast road (expansive views over the Bay of Toulon). At the summit, known as the Pas des Masques, you will head down a magnificent mountain road offering panoramic views over the Bay of Bandol and Embiez island), then on to Le Brusc, Sanary-sur-Mer and the Bay of Bandol (magnificent viaduct) to Bandol. At Château des Baumelles (15th - 16th century), go past the Saint Côme oil mill, pedal up to La-Cadière-d’Azur, cross Gourganon valley, head up to the village of Le Castellet, then make your way back to Toulon via Le Beausset, through the picturesque Gorges du Cimaï, (climbing venue, magnificent cliffs) and Gorges du Destel, before climbing Col du Corps de Garde. To round off your tour, slide down the long descent with views over the Bay of Toulon and Mount Faron. Distance: 85,5 km Duration: 5 hrs 20 mins Departure and arrival: Toulon Details on this tour are available from the Tourist Offices of Toulon, Sanary-sur-Mer, Bandol, Six-Fours, La Cadière d’Azur, Le Beausset and Le Castellet or the Var Tourist Board (Var Tourisme) website www.visitvar.fr

Hostellerie Bérard**** - La Cadière

In addition to its charming rooms and history-packed environment, this establishment hosts various activities, such as cookery classes (held at La Bastide - a 19th-century country house situated just down the road), Spa treatments and introductions to wine appreciation in the gastronomic restaurant’s vaulted wine cellar. A chauffeur drives cookery class participants to La Bastide in a superb Renault Vivastella classic car from 1936! Hostellerie Bérard offers a special bicycle area inside the hotel’s locked and safe garage. www.hotel-berard.com

Domaine de la Tour du Bon - Le Brûlat du Castellet

Gîte de France This establishment has two lodgings for week or weekend hire - one located at the entrance to the vineyards, inside the ancient wine grower’s quarters and the other in the heart of the vines, in a little Provencal country house. A haven of peace, redolent with the scents of the sundrenched hills and bordered by steep, dry stone terraces, this is a wonderful vantage point for enjoying the sunset while savouring some produce from the domain… www.tourdubon.com

Camping La Malissonne**** - La Cadière

This campsite lies in the heart of the Bandol vineyards, just 4 km from the fine, sandy beaches of Les Lecques, in an exceptional setting lulled by chirping cicadas and the tranquillity of the South. The water amusement centre promises fun for all the family. www.domainemalissonne.com

Where to hire a bike? New Evasion

Hire a bike from Bandol or Entrecasteaux all year round. Jean Claude FICHERA +33 (0)4 94 29 52 48 www.new-evasion.fr

Do it the easy way with a travel professional! SPORT AZUR

637 chemin des Anémones - 83330 Le Beausset Dominique DEIBER +33 (0)6 32 18 79 45 www.sportazur.com

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In the wake of the world’s champion cyclists

Sporty tours around Provence PROVENCE VERTE

Address Book

The Bauxite Route

Where to sleep?

Set out to explore the Haut-Var (Upper Var) area, with its hilly landscapes and sun-drenched plains, where pine trees meet holm oaks. Bauxite was mined here for over a century and its characteristic red colour still tints our tarmac today. Set off in the footsteps of the Var’s “Red Faces” (the nickname of the ancient miners) and learn all about their trade at the new “Musée des Gueules Rouges” in Tourves. You can take advantage of your visit to discover Brignoles and its Palace of the Counts of Provence, along with Carcès, with its picturesque lake and rich heritage in the shape of Notre-Dame-de-Caramy Romanesque church and 11th-century fortified gate. Don’t miss Correns, France’s first all-organic village, where you can stop off at the organic wine cooperative, Vallon Sourn between Correns and Châteauvert, a protected natural area worldrenowned for rock climbing, and Barjols with its ancient tanneries, now converted into modern art studios. You can enjoy a village tour on the theme of ancient fountains and washtubs here. Distance: 80,5 km Duration: 4 ½ hrs Elevation: 475 m Departure and arrival: Brignoles Details on this tour are available from the Office Intercommunal de Tourisme de la Provence Verte Rond-Point de l’Europe 83170 Brignoles +33 (0)4 94 72 04 21 www.la-provence-verte.net and Var Tourist Board (Var Tourisme) website www.visitvar.fr

La Cabane des Amoureux - Barjols

This novel cabin on stilts opened in June 2012. It is set among holm oaks and pine woods near Barjols, one of the most typical villages of the Provence Verte area, with its 30 ancient fountains and washtubs. The interior is tastefully decorated and the terrace brings you even closer to nature. Sandrine and Cyrille welcome guests all year round - and you can shelter your bike under the stilts! +33 (0)6 09 34 22 34 www.cabanedesamoureux.jimdo.com

Hôtel Mercure Golf de Barbaroux - Brignoles

Located in the heart of the Provence Verte area, right on the golf course and bordered by vines, the Hôtel Mercure Brignoles Golf de Barbaroux invites guests to alternate sport and well-being thanks to its Spa, 2 tennis courts and pool. The estate also features 2 restaurants, a brasserie and gastronomic restaurant. The 18-hole international golf course signed by Pete & PB Dye is a must for purists! www.accorhotels.com/fr/hotel-8770-mercure-brignolesgolf-de-barbaroux

Where to hire a bike? New Evasion

Bicycle hire from Entrecasteaux all year round. RD 562 - Le Plan du Pardigon 83570 Entrecasteaux +33 (0)4 94 29 52 48 / +33 (0)6 82 57 17 34 www.new-evasion.fr

Do it the easy way with a travel professional! SPORT AZUR Dominique DEIBER 637 chemin des Anémones 83330 Le Beausset +33 (0)6 32 18 79 45 www.sportazur.com

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In the wake of the world’s champion cyclists

High Plains of Provence

Address Book

Forcalquier Area

Where to sleep?

This itinerary, signposted both ways, crosses 10 villages renowned for their lavender, olives, honey or truffles. From the high plains of Provence, you will cross a wide variety of rural landscapes of every colour, fragrance and atmosphere. A must for curiosity-seekers, each village has its own special flavour. Set out in the footsteps of authors Jean Giono and Pierre Magnan. And don’t miss a stop-off at Salagon Priory, whose gardens tell the story of Provence… Distance: 78 km Elevation: Altitude at highest point: 700 m Departure and arrival: Forcalquier or one of the other 10 villages: Saint Etienne les Orgues, Saint Michel l’Observatoire, Ongles, Sigonce, etc. Details on this route are available from Vélo Loisir en Luberon www.veloloisirluberon.com Press contact Stéphanie Bailly Communication Manager info@veloloisirluberon.com

Hôtel Charembeau *** - Forcalquier

Whether you’re seeking a traditional hotel or apartment hotel (room with kitchenette), Hôtel Charembeau is a must for sporty visitors! And once you’ve tried your hand at the on-site tennis, badminton, volleyball, swimming and table tennis, the “Vélo Loisir en Luberon” signposted cycling route (500 m from Charembeau) and the country lanes leading to Forcalquier, you’ll certainly appreciate the plentiful breakfast served in the shaded grounds from June to September... If you’re feeling peckish, just ask for the “Assiette du Pays” (country platter), served in your room or on your balcony. Sandra and André Berger and their team will also be delighted to point you to the best local eateries. www.charembeau.com

Hôtel-Restaurant l’Observatoire** Saint-Michel l’Observatoire

St Michel l’Observatoire is a reputed astronomical observatory. At night, come and star gaze in Europe’s clearest skies before enjoying a relaxing night in this magical setting. The restaurant serves classical French cuisine with Provencal touches served out on the terrace in the shade of a veteran lime tree in fine weather. You can use the cellar to park your bike.

Where to hire a bike? Bachelas Cycles

Guy BACHELAS 5 boulevard de la République 04300 Forcalquier +33 (0)4 92 75 12 47 www.bachelas-cycles.com

Do it the easy way with a travel professional! Vélo Loisir en Luberon www.veloloisirluberon.com

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In the wake of the world’s champion cyclists

MONT-VENTOUX

Address Book

The Giant of Provence

Where to sleep?

The ascension of Mont Ventoux via Bédoin or Malaucène is worthy of France’s most challenging mountain passes. If you start out from Malaucène, the view over the mountains is clear and the road surface is smoother. You can stop off for refreshments at the Mont Serein ski resort before attacking the last 5 kilometres. If you’d rather take it easier, you’re better off starting out from Sault - the first 20 kilometres are flatter and run through forest. You can take a break at Chalet-Reynard before heading up the last 5 km, at an average gradient of 9 %. Fearless cyclists can opt for the summit of Bédoin – one for the pros! The road is narrower and more dangerous than via Malaucène. The 6-km final run is simply spectacular! If you want to make the most of the climb, make sure the summit is cloud-free and the wind is moderate before you set off (it can be so windy here you simply can’t reach the summit). The best time of year for tackling Mont Ventoux is May to October. But beware: temperatures can differ by up to 13°C between the valley and summit. Distance: 20 to 25 km Duration: 1 ½ - 2 ½ hrs Departure: Malaucène, Sault or Bédoin Details on this tour are available from the Ventoux Comtat Venaissin area council www.destination-ventoux.com Press contact Lise Collin Cycle Tour Manager velotourisme@ventoux-comtat.com For more details on cycling routes in Vaucluse, check out www.provence-a-velo.com Press contact Valérie Biset valerie-biset@provenceguide.com

Hôtel des Pins*** - Bédoin

All the character of an authentic Provencal home set in Mediterranean gardens, complete with swimming pool, pond, water lilies and a massage area. The rooms and suites are decorated with care on romantic or contemporary schemes. The restaurant - “L’Esprit Jardin” - specializes in flavourful Provencal market fare presented on pretty, colourful plates. Bicycle garage at your disposal. www.hoteldespins.net

Hôtel Domaine des Tilleuls*** - Malaucène

This charming hotel offers rooms decorated on individual schemes and is set in large, tree-filled grounds, with private car park. The rooms, ranging from vast to standard, are all different. Guests benefit from a large pool with sun deck, pool house, sun loungers and choice of sun or shade. Drinks are served by the pool. Tailored welcome and services for cyclists. “Provence à Vélo” partner hotel. www.hotel-domainedestilleuls.com

Hostellerie du Val de Sault**** - Sault

Built by Yves Gattechaut and offering breathtaking views over Mont Ventoux, this genuine little village of ten bungalows is spread around a pool. The rooms offer stunning views over lavender fields and Mont-Ventoux, or the garden. Yves is also at the helm of the on-site gastronomic restaurant - “Le Regain” serving seasonal cuisine. “Provence à Vélo” partner hotel. www.valdesault.com

Where to hire a bike? In Bédoin: www.bedoin-location.fr

Ventoux Bikes - Malaucène Bicycle hire and guided tours Jean-Christophe Cabot www.ventoux-bikes.com

In Sault: www.albioncycles.com

Do it the easy way with a travel professional! Accueil Vélo Ventoux

“Accueil Vélo Ventoux” is a professional network offering services for cycle tourers in the vicinity of 13 official cycle routes in the Ventoux area www.destination-ventoux.com 

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In the wake of the world’s champion cyclists

Sporty tours around the Alps SOUTHERN ALPS

Address Book

Where the Verdon River Springs the “Three Mountain Pass” Challenge

Where to sleep?

Ubaye valley’s legendary “Trois Cols” challenge has been taking place every year for the last 37 years. And although this itinerary is non-competitive and open to all, you really have to earn its favours! First and foremost because its 3,340 metre elevation means you have to be trained for it. Next, because it covers one of the Tour de France’s mythical stages, where Thévenet conquered Merckx at Pra-Loup in 1975. Spanning the Haute-Provence, Verdon and Var areas, this is the ideal playground for testing your prowess in the finest climbing conditions. The 38th edition of the “Trois Cols” event, organised by the “Cyclo Club de l’Ubaye”, will be bringing together over 400 cyclists from all over Europe on August 4th for a new angle on the Mercantour Nature Reserve! Distance: 124 km Elevation: 3,340 m Departure and arrival: Barcelonnette Details on this tour are available from the Tourist Offices of Barcelonnette, Jausiers, Larche, Praloup and Le Sauze, or the Vallée de l’Ubaye area council www.ubaye.com 4, av. des 3 Frères Arnaud 04400 Barcelonnette +33 (0)4 92 81 02 70 Press contact Florence Donnadieu Tourism Dept. fdonnadieu@ubaye.com

Centre sportif d’oxygénation Jean Chaix Barcelonnette

Michel Nicolao, the centre’s Director, is a high-altitude mountain guide, impassioned cyclist and eminent local figure, holding the title of Mayor of Saint-Pons and Vice-Chairman of the Ubaye area council. +33 (0)4 92 81 08 59 http://centre.chaix.monsite-orange.fr

Hôtel La Villa Morelia**** - Jausiers

This neo-Mexican folly erected in the 1900’s is one of Ubaye valley’s finest addresses, featuring two magnificent lounges extending onto a terrace set facing the mountains, light-filled rooms decorated in Directoire or Louis XVI style, grounds with a kitchen garden and heated pool, and reputed restaurant. The recent extension is built in the same style as the villa and offers 14 sumptuous rooms decorated on mountain and lounge themes. This delightful establishment also features a Spa with treatments by “Cinq Mondes”. www.villa-morelia.com

Le Château des Magnans - Jausiers Apartment hotel - Apartment rental This apartment hotel features 66 apartments, including 15 inside the Chateau, fully fitted out to welcome 2 to 6 guests. Amenities include an indoor pool, solarium, spa, steam rooms and locked garage. The restaurant - “La Table de Louis” - specializes in modern cuisine and offers good quality waiter service. www.chateaudesmagnans-jausiers.com

Where to hire a bike? Bouticycle AGNESE - Barcelonnette 51 av. des 3 frères Arnaud +33 (0)4 92 81 23 69 www.bouticycle.com

Le Technicien du Sport - Jausiers Rue Principale +33 (0)4 92 81 13 93 www.technicien-sport-jausiers.com

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In the wake of the world’s champion cyclists

VALLéE DE SERRE CHEVALIER

Address Book

Le Col du Galibier

Where to sleep?

The Briançon area offers an incredible choice of routes for cycling fans, with strikingly-contrasted scenery, winding lines and breathtaking corniches, topped with some of the most famous ascents and descents in cycling history. Le Galibier is the most highly-frequented Alpine mountain pass on the Tour de France, featuring an average 6 % slope over 8 km. The last 500 metres are extremely hard going... In the immediate vicinity, don’t miss a visit to Serre Chevalier Valley and its 13 villages and hamlets with varied scenery and atmospheres. “La Guisane” mountain river crosses this wide, South-opening valley set at the gateway to the Ecrins National Park. Marking the entrance to the valley to the South, Briançon is an official “Town of Art & History”, also classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its fortifications built by the military engineer Vauban. And after the effort it’s time for some relaxation at Monetierles-Bains, home to a 4,500 sq. metre recreational thermal spa unique in Provence-Alps-Cote d’Azur, comprising two 300 sq. metre pools, musical grottoes, massage corridors, whirlpool baths, a walking pool, rest room, steam room, sauna and spa ritual and beauty area. www.lesgrandsbains.fr In fine weather, take time out to visit the “Jardin Alpin du Lautaret” at an altitude of 2,100 metres, overflowing with typical plant varieties from the Hautes Alpes and mountainous areas throughout the world.

Hôtel Bonnabel****

This hotel offers 23 rooms with a view, topped with a sauna, steam room, jacuzzi, fitness room and relaxation pool. The on-site “Père Benzol” restaurant serves gourmet and good-quality dishes, along with special menus for cyclists! www.hotel-bonnabel.com

Where to hire a bike? Mountain Cycles

Av. 159 E RIA 05100 Briançon +33 (0)9 64 28 13 21 mountain.cycles@orange.fr www.mountain-cycles-briancon.fr

Do it the easy way with a travel professional! Serre Chevalier Réservation

Serre-Chevalier Central Booking Office www.serrechevalier-reservation.com

Distance: 8,7 Km Elevation: 584 m Altitude at summit: 2,645 m. Departure: Le col du Lautaret This tour is available from Serre-Chevalier Vallée www.serre-chevalier.com Press contact Gaëlle Moreau mgpresse@gmail.com

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In the wake of the world’s champion cyclists

SOUTHERN ALPS

Address Book

Gap Area

Where to sleep?

The climate, scenery and mountains of the Hautes-Alpes and Gap areas offer an ideal playground for cyclists. The fun starts with Col de Manse. The summit unveils views over the Gap basin, Champsaur and the mountain rising over Romette, nicknamed “Napoleon’s Hat” due to its shape. The downhill section on the Bâtie-Neuve road via La Rochette offers a high-quality surface. The next section of the itinerary climbs up to the “Notre Dame du Laus” sanctuary, then the wooded mountain pass of Tourond to Jarjayes. A final effort will take you up to Col de la Sentinelle, brought to fame by the Tour de France. The return to Gap allows you to admire Charance mountain, Ceüse cliff and the lunar landscapes of Dévoluy, set against the backdrop of Pic de Bure. Distance: 41 km Departure and arrival: Gap Details on this route are available from the Hautes-Alpes Tourist Board website at www.hautes-alpes.net/fr/ete/bouger/cyclotourisme.html Gap Tourist Office contacts Pierre Kovacic Director pierre.kovacic@gap-tourisme.fr The Gap Tourist Office provides free leaflets on 25 cycling routes in the Gap area, including 4 departing from the Tourist Office. www.gap-tourisme.fr

Hôtel Restaurant Pavillon Carina** - Gap

Logis de France This hotel is set on the heights of Gap, in large, green grounds. Amenities include a tennis court, crazy golf, children’s play area, heated indoor pool, fitness equipment and a sauna. Cyclists benefit from a special menu concocted by the chef for athletes, including full, energypacked breakfasts. A bicycle area is available with water supply and cycling kit (repair and first aid kit), clothes drying service, road books and tourist guides. You can also request a picnic complete with spring water. Half board available throughout your stay. www.carina-hotel.com

Chambres d’hôtes Château Serigues - Gap

4 Gîtes de France ears of corn Located near the Gap-Bayard golf course, this quiet little establishment, set right out in the country, boasts picturesque views over the Gap area, topped with 3 rooms and a relaxation area with spa and steam room. http://chateau.serigues.pagesperso-orange.fr

Chambres d’hôtes Les Granges de la Roannette - Gap

This ancient stone farmhouse built in the 18th century and standing in meadows offers 4 exceptionally scenic rooms. You can also opt for a friendly table d’hôte meal at dinner time. www.lesgrangesdelaroannette.com

Where to hire a bike? Vertige - Gap

www.vertigelocation.com For mountain bikes…

Espace Vélo des vallées du Gapençais - Tallard

Rémy FABREGUE Director +33 (0)4 92 54 16 66 / +33 (0)6 80 93 09 26 info@linathis.com www.valleesdugapencais.info For hybrid and electric bikes…

Bike loan at Tourist Office

Service available from April to October. You will need identity and a deposit of 200 €. www.gap-tourisme.fr

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In the wake of the world’s champion cyclists

SOUTHERN ALPS

Address Book

Route des Puys (Serre-Ponçon lake)

Where to sleep?

This route, set against the southern slopes of Mont Guillaume and Les Aiguilles de Chabrières, twists and winds its way along the right bank of Serre-Ponçon lake. Just after setting out from Embrun, nicknamed “the Nice of the Alps” due to its dry and sunny climate, the road rises rapidly in stages to the hamlets forming the towns of PuySanières and Puy-Saint-Eusèbe. From then on, the corniche offers numerous viewpoints over the lake and summits on the opposite bank. As you go along, Mont Guillaume, Le Mourre Froid, Les Aiguilles de Chabrières and Pointe de Serres draw your eyes to the right. Then comes SaintApollinaire - an exceptional belvedere over Serre-Ponçon lake and the bay of Saint-Michel (the little chapel just poking out of the water is a remain of the ancient village of Prunières), where you can enjoy a plethora of water sports. Not to be missed along the way: Serre-Ponçon, the chapel of the bay of Saint-Michel and the village and lake of Saint-Apollinaire. Difficulty: average Departure and arrival: Embrun Distance : 46 km Elevation: 1068 m. Details on this tour are available from the Comité de Promotion de Serre-Ponçon in Embrun. www.serreponcon-tourisme.com For more details on Hautes-Alpes cycling routes, check out the Hautes-Alpes Tourist Board website at www.hautes-alpes.net/fr/ete/bouger/cyclotourisme.html

Hôtel-Restaurant Les Peupliers - Baratiers

This delicious, chalet-style establishment offers 25 rooms, a gastronomic restaurant, relaxation area with sauna, steam room and spa, a heated outdoor pool open from May to September, private car park and locked bicycle garage. Power-assisted bikes are also available for guests wishing to explore the region casually. www.hotel-les-peupliers.com

Le village de vacances le Chadenas - Embrun

Nestling on the banks of Serre-Ponçon lake, “Le Chadenas” is a holiday village set in 22 acres of grounds at the foot of the Ecrins National Park. All of the major mountain passes are just a wheel-turn away: Vars, Isoard, BonnetteRestefond, Allos, La Cayolle and, if you push on a bit further, Montgenèvre, Granon, Les Echelles and his majesty Le Galibier. Cyclists and sports fans also benefit from optional help with tour organisation and accompaniment by official cycling monitors. Summer guests enjoy guided nature walks and an on-site sailing club (windsurfing, catamaran, etc.). The indoor pool, jacuzzi, sauna and steam room offer excellent recuperation for cyclists. www.chadenas-vacances.com

Where to hire a bike? Alpes 2 roues - Embrun

This Hautes-Alpes cycling specialist was founded 12 years ago. Cyclists benefit from a choice of road bikes, mountain bikes and power-assisted bikes, topped with advice according to your level, so you can enjoy discovering the beautiful surrounding routes in optimal conditions. www.alpes2roues.com

Alpes loisirs - Savines-le-Lac

Road bike, mountain bike, power-assisted bike and quad hire. +33 (0)6 85 70 57 21 alpesloisirs@live.fr

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Provence-Alps-Cote d’Azur, a multi-faceted region for mountain biking Add some spice to your holiday by exploring the region on a mountain bike! In winter or summer, set out to discover our extraordinary scenery with added adrenaline as you climb on board a mountain bike, just like the world champions competing in the Praloup Mountain Bike Trial or the Roc d’Azur festival – the world’s biggest mountain bike meeting held every year in Roquebrune-sur-Argens.

Whether you’re touring alone or with a group, our strikingly-contrasted landscapes, ranging from Mediterranean to Alps, delight professional and amateur cyclists alike. The region is also home to a large network of impassioned professional service providers, committed to making sure your stay is fun, safe and, of course, sunny!

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Provence-Alps-Cote d’Azur, a multi-faceted region for mountain biking

Mountain bike tours around the Mediterranean ESTEREL

Address Book

Estérel Valley at the Water’s Edge

Where to sleep?

This valley route winds its way through luxuriant vegetation and unspoiled natural scenery. On the way, don’t miss the view over the ancient village of Roquebrune, with its 25-bridge aqueduct built in the 18th century, formerly used to supply the village with water, Notre-Dame-de-Pitié monastery and its 17th-century chapel and the ancient Maurette windmill, which supplied flour to the inhabitants of Roquebrune. Distance: 10,6 km Elevation: 335 m. Duration: 1 ¼ hrs Departure: Chapelle Sainte-Anne Free car park at cemetery. Recommended seasons: spring and autumn.

Hôtels-clubs Vacanciel

Roquebrune-sur-Argens and La Garde-Freinet

Offering self-catering rentals or half board accommodation, these two hotel clubs benefit from exceptional locations at the foot of the Maures hills and at the gateway to the Estérel hills. Cyclists will appreciate the detailed road books on the 60 to 130-km cycle routes departing from each establishment, one-week training courses and go-asyou-please itineraries on the Côte d’Azur and in Camargue. Sweet and savoury breakfasts are served from 7.30 a.m.; you can also opt for the generous buffet lunch served from noon to 3 p.m. On option: meals outside normal hours, picnics and snacks. Bicycle washing and repair area. www.vacanciel.com

Village-Camping Les Pêcheurs Details on this tour are available from the Estérel-Côte d’Azur Tourist Office www.paysmeresterel.com Press contact Marie Garcin Zaiter Director tourisme@paysmeresterel.com

Tucked at the foot of the impressive “Rocher de Roquebrune” rock, just 500 metres from the village and adjacent to the Côte d’Azur vast beaches of white sand, this campsite offers quality tent pitches, heated pools, a balneotherapy centre and poolside restaurant. But it is first and foremost reputed for its excellent entertainment programme for both adults and children. www.camping-les-pecheurs.com

Chambres et gîtes Les Mayombes

Ideally situated between Saint-Raphaël and Saint-Tropez, just a stone’s throw from the picturesque medieval village of Roquebrune-sur-Argens in the Var area and in the heart of an enchanting wood of umbrella pines, this establishment, run by Béatrice and Luc, offers a choice of 2 B&B rooms and 6 self-catering gites, each welcoming 2 to 4 guests. You will love the heated pool, spa and shaded terraces too… www.lesmayombes.fr

Where to hire a bike? Cap Kaya

+33 (0)6 61 41 75 75 www.basedurocher.fr

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Provence-Alps-Cote d’Azur, a multi-faceted region for mountain biking

ALPES-MARITIMES

Family Tours in Caille plain Perfect for small kids, this 1 ½-hour itinerary allows all the family to discover the exceptional “Plaine de Caille” - a little paradise scattered with flowers of every colour in spring. The plain harbours a thousand sights and a thousand stories. The virtually-flat route alternates quiet, tarmacked lanes and forest tracks. Located 30 minutes’ drive from Grasse, “Plaine de Caille” is set in protected countryside at the heart of the Préalpes d’Azur Regional Nature Reserve. Distance: 6,5 km Duration: 1 ½ hrs Departure and arrival: Caille (municipal car park near the auberge) Details on this tour are available from Accueil Vélo 06 information points (travel professionals committed to the area’s cycle tour charter, offering information and services tailored to your itinerary). Read more www.cg06.fr “Découverte touristique Les Alpes-Maritimes à vélo” or the Côte d’Azur Tourist Board www.cotedazur-tourisme.com Details from the Côte d’Azur Tourist Board Manuel Harbreteau Promotion Manager, Nature & Mountain m.harbreteau@cotedazur-tourisme.com

Address Book Where to sleep? Chalet L’Ermitage

Perched at an altitude of 1,400 metres in the heart of the mountains, this chalet boasts exceptional views over both the ski slopes and Côte d’Azur coast! Bordered by a pine forest, the 20 sq. metre lodge offers a delicious cocoon for your sporting holiday, with activities such as walking, mountain biking, treetop adventure parks, summer fishing, and skiing and snowshoeing in winter. The “Chalet L’Ermitage” also features an Ayurvedic centre where you treat yourself to Ayurvedic and Tibetan massages. www.chalet-lermitage.jimdo.com

Le Domaine de la Beccassière - Thorenc

Gîtes de France Thorenc was a health resort much-appreciated by the Russian Imperial aristocracy in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This gite is set on a 1.5-acre estate overflowing with greenery, built in the 19th-century. In additional to the continental breakfast, you will appreciate the gastronomic cuisine served in the winter garden or out on the terrace in summer. Decorated on Moroccan, African or Russian themes, the rooms offer views over the gardens and mountains. www.becassiere-thorenc.fr

La Maison des Oliviers - Pierrefeu Gîtes de France Franck and Jean offer guests a 100% natural holiday at their charming Gite de France situated in Estéron valley, at the heart of the Préalpes d’Azur Regional Nature Reserve. Far from the hustle and bustle of the coast, this magnificent Provencal-style house stands among greenery and olive trees. You can savour Jean’s local culinary creations outside on the terrace on summer evenings. In addition to mountain biking, this is an ideal base for walking or canyoning in the adjacent rivers. www.lesgrangesdelaroannette.com

Where to hire a bike? Friends Rider’s Bikes

195 avenue Auguste Renoir 06520 Magagnosc +33 (0)4 93 66 24 14

Do it the easy way with a travel professional! VELORIZONS - France BIKE TRIPS

Specializing in mountain bike, road bike and hybrid bike holidays, Vélorizons offers over 50 mountain bike routes, 20 road bike routes and 20 hybrid bike routes covering France’s finest cycling areas, in particular the Southern Alps, Provence and the Cote d’Azur. www.france-bike-trips.com

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Provence-Alps-Cote d’Azur, a multi-faceted region for mountain biking

Mountain bike tours around Provence var

Escapade at a Var Vineyard Château des Demoiselles Between Pennafort Gorge and Roquebrune Rock in the Var area lies a little paradise, tucked away among the vines of Provence... At the end of the long alleyway lined with vintage plane trees, you will come to a magnificent bastide and wine cellar, built in 1830. The domain is home to two mountain bike routes: one for all-comers and the other – steeper, hillier and bumpier - for confirmed mountain bikers (the route includes a river passage!). Château des Demoiselles offers 5 rooms and is an ideal base for exploring the Verdon Canyon to the North, Côte d’Azur to the West and hilltop villages of the Var to the East and South. The rooms feature typical ancient “tomette” floor tiles and antique furniture polished by the passage of time, and offer superb views over the Chateau vineyard, pool and pool house. You can also book friendly “table d’hôtes” meals for up to 12 guests, order midday and evening dishes, or ask for a picnic hamper.

Distance: 2 itineraries, one 6 km and the other 12 km Duration: 1 ½ hrs (longest route) Departure and arrival: Château des Demoiselles For details, check out the Château des Demoiselles website www.chateaudesdemoiselles.com

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Provence-Alps-Cote d’Azur, a multi-faceted region for mountain biking

Mountain bike tours around the Alps ALPES-PROVENCE

Address Book

Section 4 of the Transubayenne Mountain Bike Trail

Where to sleep?

This mountain bike trail is reserved for regular cyclists. It runs along part of the 100 km Transubayenne trail, crossing Ubaye valley and passing along an ancient railway track and through tunnels. This section is also part of the Alpes-Provence Mountain Bike Trail. Starting out from Barcelonnette, the trail features two very different sections: the first recreational section, running to Les Thuiles, runs along the right bank of Ubaye river, mainly through underwoods. The second leads to the village of Méolans via a hilly forest track on the left bank and offers pretty views over Ubaye river - one of the last remaining undammed wild rivers. Distance: 15 km Duration: 1 ½ hrs Departure: Barcelonnette Arrival: Méolans Details on this tour are available from the Tourism Dept. of the Vallée de l’Ubaye area council www.ubaye.com Press contact Florence Donnadieu fdonnadieu@ubaye.com or on the mountain biking blog of the Alpes de Haute-Provence Tourist Board www.vtt.alpes-haute-provence.fr

Gîte-Auberge l’Eterlou Faucon de Barcelonnette

Located in quiet surroundings away from the road, this recent, fully-renovated gite-auberge is set inside an ancient mountain farmhouse packed with personality. It can welcome up to 44 guests. Half and full board available in all seasons. The views over the surrounding mountains from the balconies are splendid. www.gite-auberge-eterlou.com

Gîte Les Terres Blanches - Méolans-Revel

Les Terres Blanches is a gite-auberge set in a fully-restored 17th-century house in the village of Méolans, at an altitude of 1,100 metres. The establishment is committed to a sustainable development policy and has been awarded the national “Clef Verte” label. www.les-terres-blanches.com

Hôtel La Villa Mexicaine - Jausiers

This B&B and gite (3 ears of corn) is set inside a “Mexican villa” typical of the colonial constructions built by settlers returning from Mexico in the early 20th century, now bedecked with an outdoor pool and children’s games. The establishment offers comprehensive services. Cyclists are welcome and benefit from a special room for their bikes. www.lamexicaine.com

Where to hire a bike? Verdier Sport Twinner - Pra Loup

Ideally situated near the car parks and bottom of the slopes of Praloup, Verdier Sport rents out mountain bikes of all kinds, including downhill, Freeride and junior, along with protections. +33 (0)4 92 84 11 56 www.twinner-praloup.fr

Do it the easy way with a travel professional! Rando Passion - Barcelonnette

Chantal Bonaglia hosts guided mountain biking tours and downhill runs for all levels. She also organises mountain bike hire and delivery to the top of the slopes! +33 (0)4 92 81 43 34 www.rando-passion.com

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Provence-Alps-Cote d’Azur, a multi-faceted region for mountain biking

SOUTHERN ALPS

Address Book

Col du Lautaret Descent (mountain bike)

Where to sleep?

Serre Chevalier valley is criss-crossed with mountain biking itineraries, leading up the mountain tracks through larch forests or scooting down green mountain pastures, with a total of 181 km of official French Cycling Federation routes. These routes offer something for everyone - families, friends, or bona fide cycling fanatics keen to improve their uphill track record. The Col du Lautaret descent is an averagely-difficult route, offering spectacular panoramic views. Starting out from the summit of Col du Lautaret, the itinerary runs through the valley to the village of Monêtierles-Bains, where you can join various other official routes. Take time out to relax at the “Grands Bains du Monetier”. This 4,500 sq. metre recreational thermal spa is unique in Provence-Alps-Cote d’Azur and comprises two 300 sq. metre pools, musical grottoes, massage corridors, whirlpool baths, a walking pool, rest room, steam room, sauna and spa ritual and beauty area. www.lesgrandsbains.fr In fine weather, take time out to visit the “Jardin Alpin du Lautaret” at an altitude of 2,100 metres, overflowing with typical plant varieties from the Hautes Alpes and mountainous areas throughout the world. Distance: 12 km Departure: Col du Lautaret / Hôtel Bonnabel Arrival: Monêtier-les- bains Elevation: 590 metres Details on this circuit are available from Serre-Chevalier Vallée www.serre-chevalier.com Press contact Gaëlle Moreau mgpresse@gmail.com

Hôtel Alliey*** - Serre Chevalier

This authentic and cosy “hotel de charme” in the village of Monetier-les-Bains features 21 rooms divided into 2 traditional houses built in dry stone and polished larch. The motto here is Hospitality and Well-Being! Boasting breathtaking views over the Ecrins National Park and Serre Chevalier valley, this is an intimate address, handy for the pistes, small shops and sports retailers. www.alliey.com

Chalet le Serre des oiseaux - Chantemerle

This magnificent individual chalet built for 16 guests is set in the heart of the Serre Chevalier 1350 ski resort. Measuring a very spacious 220 sq. metres, it combines a mountain atmosphere with high-level comfort. The top-of-the-range appointments marry perfectly with the wood and stone decor. The chalet is South-facing and very peaceful. The outdoor spa goes to complete this exceptional venue. Available for weekly rental. www.chalet-serre-chevalier.com

Where to hire a mountain bike? Centre VTT de Serre Chevalier Base de loisirs du Gros Moutas

Xavier Buffet Le Monêtier les Bains +33 (0)4 92 24 56 83 / +33 (0)6 07 86 69 26 vtt@velonature.com www.velonature.com

VTT Expérience L’Orpin

Edouard Doligez 05330 Saint-Chaffrey +33 (0)6 24 68 57 58 edouard@ski-experience.org www.vtt-experience.com

Do it the easy way! Serre Chevalier Central Booking Office www.serrechevalier-reservation.com

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Appendices Map

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Regional Tourist Board Press Department: presse@crt-paca.fr Tel.: +33 (0)4 91 56 47 38 - www.pressetourismepaca.fr


Appendices

Key Easy Tours

Mountain Bike Tours

1 2

Discovering Etang de Vaccarès - Camargue Around the Bay of Saint-Tropez - Côte d’Azur

3

Luberon Tour

4

Casual Cycling in the Ventoux area

5

The High Plateaux of the Alpes-Maritimes - Alpes du Sud

6

Cycling in the “Provence of Mountains” Les Baronnies du Buëch

1 2 3 4 5

Estérel Valley at the Water’s Edge Family Tours in Caille plain Alpes-Maritimes Escapade at a Var Vineyard le Château des Demoiselles Section 4 of the Transubayenne Mountain Bike Trail Mountain biking in the Alps-Provence area Col du Lautaret Descent (mountain bike) - Southern Alps

Sporty Tours 1 2 3 4 5

Village Itinerary - Pays de l’Etoile The Azur Balconies (belvedere of the Western Var) Côte d’Azur The Bauxite Route - Provence Verte Forcalquier Area - Hautes Plaines de Provence The Giant of Provence - Mont-Ventoux

6

Where the Verdon River Springs The “Three Mountain Pass” Challenge

7

Col du Galibier - Vallée de Serre Chevalier

8 9

Gap Area - Alpes du Sud Route des Puys (Serre-Ponçon lake) Southern Alps

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Appendices

Events Calendar If you’re seeking to discover or rediscover Provence’s beautiful natural sites, take a break and get away from it all, here is a list of the many cycling events taking place in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region. This diary provides an overview of the region’s

cycling events and festivals, from classical to totally offbeat. Whether you’re a confirmed athlete or amateur cyclist, our selection has something for everyone, in all seasons and areas of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur.

Tour de France 2013: 7 stages in Provence-Alps-Cote d’Azur

2013 Cycling Calendar

Provence-Alps-Cote d’Azur is the star of this year’s Tour de France (June 29th - July 21st), with nearly a quarter of the world’s most prestigious cycling race taking place in the region. Stages will include Marseille, Aix-en-Provence, Vaisonla-Romaine and Gap, plus two challenging stages that have brought the region to fame among cyclists the world over: • Mont Ventoux: The 15th and longest stage of the 2013 Tour (242 km) ends with an interminable climb up the Giant of Provence. • Embrun-Chorges: The 17th stage, with an individual time trial. Overlooking Serre-Ponçon lake, these two acrobatic ascents and descents promise a tight race against the clock.

May 19th “Les Boucles du Verdon” - Gréoux les Bains www.bouclesduverdon.fr

The 7 Tour de France stages in Provence-Alps-Cote d’Azur:

Saturday June 1st “Granfondo Mont-Ventoux / Beaumes-de-Venise” www.sportcommunication.info

Tuesday July 2nd: Nice - Nice (Team time trial) Wednesday July 3rd: Cagnes-sur-Mer - Marseille Thursday July 4th: Aix-en-Provence - Montpellier Sunday July 14th: Givors - Mont Ventoux Tuesday July 16th: Vaison-la-Romaine - Gap Wednesday July 17th: Embrun - Chorges (individual time trial) Thursday July 18th: Gap - Alpe d’Huez

MAY

Every Friday in May, June and September “Challenge Cycliste de Lure - Pays de Forcalquier/Montagne de Lure”. Lure Mountain ascent on power-assisted bikes. Registration obligatory. www.veloloisirluberon.com

JUNE

Saturday June 1st “La Bike Pride” (Grimaud - Cogolin - Gassin - Saint-Tropez) www.peps-spirit.fr Sunday June 2nd “La Garlaban” (Aubagne) www.cyclodugarlaban.com

For more details, go to www.letour.fr

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Appendices

Saturday June 8th “Les cimes du Mercantour” (Breil-sur-Roya) www.vcbreil.com “Grandes Alpes Ubaye Classic” - Le Défi des fondus www.ubaye.com www.valdallos.com http://grandesalpes-ubayeclassic.com June 22nd “Trilogie des Alpes” in Praloup www.latrilogiedesalpes.fr

Sunday July 28th “La Risoul Queyras” www.risoul.com Friday August 16th “Les 1000 mètres du Galibier” Between Villar d’Arêne and Col du Galibier, 1000 metre vertical run. http://villardarene.free.fr

SEPTEMBER

Every Friday in May, June and September “Challenge Cycliste de Lure - Pays de Forcalquier/Montagne de Lure”. Lure Mountain ascent on power-assisted bikes. Registration obligatory. www.veloloisirluberon.com

Every Thursday from 9.30 to 12 a.m. in July, September and October. Guided hybrid or mountain bike tours with an official monitor in the Vaucluse and Alpes-de-Haute-Provence areas. Registration obligatory. www.veloloisirluberon.com

JULY - AUGUST

Sunday September 8th “Alpigap”, the Gap cycling race http://alpigap.free.fr

Every Friday from 8 to 11 a.m. “Montée de la Bonette” Col d’Allos is reserved for cyclists. www.ubaye.com www.valdallos.com “Circuit des 3 cols” www.ubaye.com www.valdallos.com Every Thursday from 9.30 to 12 a.m. in July, September and October Guided hybrid or mountain bike tours with an official monitor in the Vaucluse and Alpes de Haute Provence areas. Registration obligatory. www.veloloisirluberon.com Thursday July 4th “Les Cols Réservés ACTE 1” Col du Galibier will be closed to cars and open to cyclists from 9-12 a.m. The mythical Hautes-Alpes mountain passes - Galibier, Granon, Echelle, Izoard and Agnel - take centre stage from July 1st to 5th. www.hautes-alpes.net Sunday July 7th “La Serre Che Luc Alphand” (Serre Chevalier - Chantemerle) www.cyclo-lucalphand.com

September 14th - 15th “Les Bosses du 13” (Marseille, Bouches-du-Rhône) www.bossesdu13.fr Every Friday in May, June and September “Challenge Cycliste de Lure - Pays de Forcalquier/ Montagne de Lure”. Lure Mountain ascent on powerassisted bikes. Registration obligatory. www.veloloisirluberon.com

OCTOBER Every Thursday from 9.30 to 12 a.m. in July, September and October Guided hybrid or mountain bike tours with an official monitor in the Vaucluse and Alpes-de-Haute-Provence areas. Registration obligatory. www.veloloisirluberon.com October 9th - 13th “Roc d’Azur” www.rocazur.com

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Press Kit “Provence-Alps-Cote d’Azur on your bike!”