A spectacular mountain bike ride with varied scenery and a choice of routes for intermediate to advanced bikers. From the snow capped mountains of the Ecrins National Park to the lavender fields of Provence - it's a real journey.
Location: Southern French Alps to Provence
Months available: May, June, July, August, September, October, November
Start in the snow capped mountains of one of the most dramatic mountain ranges of the French Alps, the Ecrins, and end up in the lavender fields of Provence.
This varied route starts off in the Champoleon valley with the dramatic snowcapped mountains of the Ecrins massif all around you.
The golden eagles, marmots, chamois and ibex will be watching you with curiosity as you descend the mountains and traverse the magnificent Champsaur and Gapencais valleys.
All your hard work will be rewarded as you arrive in Le Buech as the scent of lavender wafts past your nose.
The final destination is the site of the Meouge gorge - a beautiful conservation area in the heart of Provence. The gorge is 7km long with dramatic limestone sides. The water is crystal clear and there are sand beaches, waterfalls and waterholes along its length.
You finish the tour in the beautiful, fortified, medieval town of Sisteron.
There are a variety of routes possible for this tour, but the true off road routes are better adapted to intermediate and advanced bikers with technical single tracks, spectacular mountain ridges with panoramic views mixed with some easy forest trails traversing beautiful alpine woods and meadows, river and lakeside paths, tracks and canal paths.
For less experienced riders, there are a reasonable amount of back road sections to avoid some of the harder single tracks.
When you enquire, we will ask you to tell us about your mountain biking experience and how much ascent, descent and number of kms you expect to do each day. We will then suggest an itinerary based on the one described below and subject to accommodation availability (which can change!!).
We work with a well respected, local mountain bike expert with in depth knowledge and experience of the routes and variations possible to ensure we provide you with the best route possible for your party.
Once the general route has been agreed and you have booked, we will then look after all the logistics for you, make the accommodation reservations, arrange your baggage transfers and give you the maps and GPS tracks you need for your trip.
This is a self guided trip, so you do need to be self sufficient and capable of doing your own basic repairs. You must be able to read a map and follow GPS tracks as the routes we use are not always way marked.
We are available throughout your trip for emergencies and can help you find bike shops, taxis or other things you may need. Please note any call outs, taxis, bike parts or other extra items arranged by us are not included in the price and are payable as extras.
If you are planning on travelling with your own bikes for this trip, we recommend that you avoid flying. You will need to take your bike apart for the flight and then put it back together again and there is always the risk of losing it on the plane (especially if there are a few people with bikes on the same plane). This leaves, either driving down or getting the train.
Driving down is straight forward and takes about 9 hrs non-stop from Calais so most people do it with an overnight stop. We can arrange for an end of trip transfer to collect your car. You can also hire a car, either at a nearby airport or directly in Gap, the main city in our area. Check out our partner's hire car rates.
The nearest train station is Gap which has rail links from Marseille, Grenoble, Valence and Paris (including an overnight sleeper). We can help you organise your train journey here and have local timetables available if you need them. Have a look at our train travel page for more information.
We can also arrange return transfers from Gap station to the starting point in Champoléon. From Sisteron, you can either get the train back to Gap or we can provide a transfer. Please ask us about this when you enquire.