Cycling through the Vaucluse mountains

Vaucluse is a mountain range that is found in the southeast corner of France and known as the home of the impressive Mont Ventoux which stands at a stunning 1,912 metres. Mountain bikers and hikers will both enjoy the many challenging trails of the region while those who are serious road cyclers are likely to recognise the area as the home of the Tour de France.

Visitors tend to flock towards Avignon, the main town of the region, due to the fact that the historical city offers plenty of churches and museums to visit while the neighboring town of Orange has plenty of Roman architecture of its own.

While in Avignon it is impossible to miss the main attraction of the city: a bridge made famous a nursery rhyme for children. While there are only a few pillars of the structure still standing, the bridge makes for a great photo opportunity. Worth visiting is the Palais des Papes which is was the home of Popes during the 14th and 15th centuries and still has a large collection of furniture and art collected by the church. For Renaissance paintings the Musee du Petit Palais is a great stop.

Those who follow the world of cycling will recognise Mont Ventoux as stages of the race often end at the peak of the mountain after a long ascent starting at Bedoin. This covers a distance of 21km and is a steep grade of 7.5% making it a true challenge to cyclists. Amateur cyclists often try the hill taking about three hours to make the climb and get to the top of the summit.