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Grande Traversée de Vaucluse

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 5.0 (1) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

Starting at 'The Giant of Provence,' passing through wildly varied terrain and some of the best singletrack in France.


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Map Key

211.1

Miles

339.7

KM

40%

Singletrack

4,992' 1,522 m

High

321' 98 m

Low

29,202' 8,901 m

Up

30,375' 9,258 m

Down

5%

Avg Grade (3°)

35%

Max Grade (19°)

Dogs Unknown

E-Bikes Unknown

Features Views

Fire danger can close the forest and shrub lands of the south of France in summer.

Overview

A technical, physical, and wandering route designated by the French Cycling Federation.

The route, including variations, is composed of 400 signposted kilometers with a total elevation gain of 10,000 meters. It travels for days over the beautiful trails of Mont Ventoux and the Luberon. You'll discover landscapes of vineyards, lavender, ochre, and climbing cliffs, historic villages, and exceptional panoramas on this crossing of the Vaucluse Department (French administrative area roughly equivalent to a US state).

Need to Know

You'll stay in villages along the route. There are hotels, gites and restaurants, or camping if you are determined to bikepack.

If a week of riding is not enough, there are many more trail options in the Mont Ventoux and Luberon areas.

Description

This magnificent multi-day route links together the following trails. The segments are generally done two per day for the shorter segments, yielding a 6-8 day ride. But doing the Traverse over more days allows for more relaxed riding and visits to natural and historic attractions in the Vaucluse and Luberon.

The stages:

1. Savoillans to St-Léger-du-Ventoux (8.5 miles)
2. Saint-Léger-du-Ventoux to Malaucène (13.1 miles). Stages 1 and 2 are typically combined.
3. Malaucène to Lafare (12.1 miles)
4. Lafare to Bèdoin (15.2 miles). Stages 3 and 4 are typically combined.
5. Bèdoin to Chalet Reynard (14.7 miles). Big climb day. Can be combined with Stage 6 if you are fit enough.
6. Chalet Reynard to Aurel (17.1 miles)
7. Aurel to Monieux (8.2 miles)
8. Monieux to Saint-Saturnin-les-Apt (26.5 miles). Stages 7 and 8 are typically combined. Or you can split them more evenly by breaking at Saint-Hubert instead of Monieux.
9. Saint-Saturnin-lès-Apt to Vitrolles-en-Luberon (29.6 miles). You can break at Vien for two shorter days.
10. Vitrolles-en-Luberon to Lauris (30.8 miles). You can break at Sivergues for two shorter days.
11. Lauris to Robion (16.9 miles). You can also break at Maubec, instead.
12. Robion to Mérindol (18.9 miles)

Reaching Saint-Saturnin-Lès-Apt after 8 stages, you can instead elect a CCW route variation to finish the ride as follows:

9. Saint-Saturnin-Lès-Apt to Murs (13.9 miles)
10. Murs to Fontaine-de-Vaucluse (19.4 miles)
11. Fontaine-de-Vaucluse to Robion (10.6 miles)
12. Robion to Mérindol (18.9 miles)

History & Background

You begin by circumnavigating Mont Ventoux, the highest and most prominent peak in Provence. Famously ascended as the first purely recreational mountain climb by Petrarch in 1336, the mountain now provides undoubtedly the most iconic stage of the Tour de France bike race.

The Vaucluse was the heart of the French Resistance in WWII. The Maquisard guerillas fled forced labor and concentration camps, hid out in the hills near Gordes, making trouble for the Nazis and earning themselves vicious reprisals.

Shared By:

F Felix

Trail Ratings

  5.0 from 1 vote

#1342

Overall
  5.0 from 1 vote
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Recommended Route Rankings

#1

in France

#1,342

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275 Since Jun 10, 2019
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Photos

Dentelles de Montmirail. Learn more at Office de Tourisme de Beaumes de Venise.
Jun 18, 2019 near Sablet, FR
'Colorado Provençal': colorful ochre mines near Rustrel.
Aug 13, 2019 near Saint-S…, FR
An armored section of trail at the start of the Aiguebrun.
Sep 14, 2019 near Saignon, FR
Walking a rooty bit in the Colorado Provençal.
Sep 14, 2019 near Saint-S…, FR
If you have serious objections to riding (or pushing) up or down this kind of steep, rough, and loose "trail," the Grande Traversee of Luberon or Vaucluse is probably not for you; there's a lot of this kind of thing.
Sep 15, 2019 near Bonnieux, FR
If you have serious objections to riding (or pushing) up or down this kind of steep, rough, and loose "trail," the Grande Traversees of Luberon and Vaucluse are probably not for you; there's a lot of this kind of thing.
Sep 15, 2019 near Bonnieux, FR

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