E-Bike from the Alps to Provence – Guided Cycling Tour

From $1,380 pp

  • Duration

    8 days
  • Departure Date

    Sep 21, 2024
  • Trip Style

    Small Group
  • Country

    France
  • Physical Rating

    Mildly Strenuous

Overview

Venture from the snow-covered Alps to the lush lavender fields of Provence via e-bike on this guided cycling tour.

Pedal across some of the region's best trails while soaking up stunning views and spotting wildlife along the way. After the day's cycle, you'll have time to explore and relax in the small towns of Gap, where we'll stay 4 nights, and Sisteron, where we'll stay 3 nights.

Highlights

  • Appreciate diverse landscapes: From snow-covered peaks in the Alps to Provençal valleys lined with fruit trees and lavender.
  • Cycle along exclusive routes: Off-the-beaten-path trails and tracks unique to this trip.
  • Benefit from an expert local guide: Deeply familiar with the area, akin to their own backyard.
  • Enjoy route flexibility: Adaptable to maximize enjoyment and optimize current conditions.
  • Travel responsibly: Carbon offsetting (and carbon removal contributions) included, plus eco-friendly picnics using reusable containers and avoiding single-use plastics.

On this trip, you'll be staying in Gap, the charming capital of the Hautes Alpes, and Sisteron, the picturesque gateway to Provence. These towns are strategically chosen for their access to some of the region's best electric mountain biking routes, leading from the alpine heights down to the scenic fields of Provence. 

Your daily rides, guided by an expert, will take you from the snowy fringes of Ecrins National Park to the lavender-scented fields of Provence, passing through the pristine Gorges de la Méouges, Ceuse, Devoluy, and Montagne de Lure. 

The journey prioritizes off-piste paths, utilizing an array of forest trails and mountain tracks, with a blend of easy and moderate technical stretches, ensuring both fun and challenge. The route unveils an array of natural wonders, from panoramic mountain vistas and dramatic gorges to tranquil forests, lakes, and orchards. There's even a historical monument to discover!

As you ride through these diverse landscapes, you'll be immersed in a world brimming with wildlife, including deer, foxes, eagles, and possibly wolves, making for a truly unforgettable experience.

In the evenings you will be able to explore the two towns of Sisteron and Gap and eat in the local restaurants, recommended by our local experts (restaurants payable in destination).

Departure Dates

  • Sep 21, 2024 - Sep 28, 2024
  • Oct 19, 2024 - Oct 26, 2024

6 required for departure.

Seasonal Notes

This electric mountain biking tour in the French Alps is best enjoyed during the transitional periods of late spring (May and June) and early autumn.

  • In spring, the landscape comes alive with fresh blossoms and vibrant new greenery, creating a picturesque backdrop for your adventure. The weather is comfortably mild, perfect for outdoor activities without the intensity of summer heat.
  • In autumn, the environment transforms into a palette of rich oranges, reds, and yellows. Cooler temperatures and clear skies provide ideal conditions for exploring the trails.

Both seasons offer unique natural beauty, with fewer tourists compared to summer, allowing for a more serene and immersive experience in the Alps. Each period captures the essence of the mountains in its own way, presenting an unforgettable journey through some of the most stunning terrains in Europe.

Itinerary

Day 1 Gap [France] (Arrival day)

Your journey starts in the town of Gap, where the initial part of your trip is centered. The hotel, conveniently located near the train station, is easy to reach on foot. If you need assistance planning your travel to Gap, feel free to contact us for advice – we're experienced in suggesting the best travel options.

Once you've settled in, we recommend joining your fellow group members in the hotel lobby at 6:30 pm to get acquainted and then head out to explore Gap's vibrant evening scene. For dining, we're happy to recommend local restaurants and can book a table for you in advance.

For those bringing their own bikes, the hotel provides a secure storage facility. This ensures peace of mind, knowing your bike is safe while you enjoy your stay.

Accommodation: 3* Hotel in Gap

Day 2 E-Bike through the Champsaur Valley & Ecrins National Park

In the morning, your guide will meet you to commence your biking adventure. Before setting off, he'll lead you to the park for a thorough check of everyone's bikes. Those renting bikes (at additional cost) will receive theirs at this time.

Once you're all set and satisfied with the equipment, your journey begins! The first day features an enchanting climb through picturesque fields and forests into the Champsaur Valley. This area, acting as a doorway to the Ecrins National Park, is a prelude to the grand Alpine summits. The Champsaur Valley is renowned for its 'bocage' landscape (pastured terrain interspersed with trees), and traditional Alpine farming culture, which your guide, Manu, will explain along the way.

After enjoying a pleasant descent, the route takes you along the Drac River. You'll have the opportunity to stop at a swimming lake for a refreshing dip. The day concludes with a final, awe-inspiring climb through the mountains, followed by a thrilling downhill ride back to the minibus.

Accommodation: 3* Hotel in Gap
Meals: Breakfast and picnic lunch

Day 3 E-Bike through the Dévoluy Mountains

This day's ride is a unique journey into the Dévoluy, a limestone massif known for its untouched natural beauty. The Dévoluy mountains are a sanctuary for wildlife, and your guide will lead you along less-traveled paths, away from tourist hotspots.

Prepare to be amazed by the striking limestone cliffs and colorful Alpine meadows bustling with butterflies. The area's rich biodiversity might allow you to spot mouflon, chamois, deer, boar, and even wolves, a species that has made a permanent home here.

A highlight of this range is the Pic du Bure, the largest mountain in the area. Atop this impressive peak is one of the world's three space observatory stations, a testament to the region's pure air and minimal light pollution.

The day's route includes two uphill challenges, each followed by delightful descents. The final part of the day involves a downward traverse around the Dévoluy mountains' basin, rounding off an exhilarating day of exploration.

Accommodation: 3* Hotel in Gap
Meals: Breakfast and picnic lunch

Day 4 E-Bike Tour of Céuse

While you won't be climbing the sheer cliffs of Céuse, famous among climbers worldwide, you will still enjoy the same awe-inspiring vistas. This mountain is not just a climbers' paradise; it also offers remarkable mountain biking trails. These routes provide stunning panoramic views of the valleys below.

Your journey will take you along forest trails that hug the mountain's contours before ascending to the plateau. Here, you'll find yourself in a spectacular, flower-rich Alpine pasture, alive with fluttering butterflies and diverse wildlife. This vibrant plateau presents a striking contrast to the dense Alpine woods and forests that lie beneath, enhancing the richness of your biking experience.

Accommodation: 3* Hotel in Gap
Meals: Breakfast and picnic lunch

Day 5 E-Bike Tour of the Gorges de La Méouge

This morning, after checking out from your hotel in Gap, you'll transfer all your luggage to the minibus. Today's journey connects the two accommodation bases and includes the mesmerizing Gorges de la Méouges, a 'Natura 2000' biological reserve. Here, the clear blue waters flow through rocks, creating beaches, waterfalls, and rapids.

As you ride, the scenery transforms dramatically, revealing vineyards, lavender fields, and fruit orchards abundant with apples, pears, apricots, and peaches. You'll also explore the charming medieval village of Serres, with an opportunity for a swim or sunbathing at a nearby lake.

Your destination for the day is Sisteron, the 'gateway to Provence', nestled between mountain ridges and rich in pre-Roman history. This town, with its striking citadel built into the rock, offers a fascinating place to explore. A visit to the citadel is highly recommended during your stay.

Accommodation 3* Hotel in Sisteron
Meals: Breakfast and picnic lunch

Day 6 E-Bike Tour of the Jubron Valley

The route briefly revisits the Buech Valley, setting the stage for the ascent of Col Saint Pierre. This climb takes you through the tranquil and untouched natural wilderness of Provence. After reaching the summit, you'll descend into the Jabron Valley. Named after the river flowing through it, this valley is a picturesque representation of rural charm, dotted with beekeepers, shepherds, goats, and, naturally, lavender fields. It offers a serene natural space, far from busy main roads, ideal for reconnecting with what's important in life.

Accommodation: 3* Hotel in Sisteron
Meals: Breakfast and picnic lunch

Day 7 E-Bike Tour of the Lure Mountain

Today's goal is to traverse the striking white limestone landscape of Montagne de Lure, standing at 1826 meters. Its pale hue might remind you of eternal snow, yet you'll find no skiers here – instead, keep an eye out for paragliders and hang-gliders taking to the skies. Following in the footsteps of Jean Giono, a celebrated French author and a devotee of Provence, you'll encounter a breathtaking landscape with distant views of Mont Ventoux. This route also offers a chance to witness an extraordinary diversity of wildlife and plant life, capturing the essence of Provence's natural beauty.

Accommodation: 3* Hotel in Sisteron
Meals Breakfast and picnic lunch

Day 8 Sisteron (departure day)

On your final day, it's time to begin your journey home from Sisteron. The town has a train station, and we're here to assist you in planning your return trip, whether it's to a major TGV train station or an airport.

We hope your holiday has been a fantastic experience, filled with encounters of wonderful people and moments. May you return home with a treasure trove of beautiful memories from your adventure!

Meals: Breakfast

Customization

This is a Small-Group itinerary (min. 6 guests, max. 16 guests) with a few fixed departure dates throughout the year.

Contact us if you want to customize this itinerary, privatize this trip and choose your own departure date, or have any questions about this experience.

We can also help you plan your journey to and from Gap and Sisteron, if needed.

Inclusions & Exclusions

  • 7 nights' accommodation in bed and breakfasts in Gap (4 nights) and Sisteron (3 nights)

  • 6 picnic lunches

  • 6 days of guided electric mountain biking with a fully qualified local guide

  • Baggage transfers between accommodation bases

  • Transport to and from all biking days where required

  • An App for your smartphone with the itinerary, weather, detailed information, and more

  • A tree planted on your behalf to help with your carbon offsetting

  • Your journey to Gap and from Sisteron (we can help you organize this)

  • Electric mountain bike

  • Evening meals and drinks (there are a variety of bars and restaurants to explore in both towns)

  • Spending money

  • Tips for the guide

Pricing

Prices exclude flights to/from the destination.

Prices are for double room occupancy unless indicated otherwise.

  • Deposit per person

    25% of the trip price

  • Group of 2 Travelers - price per person

    $1,435 pp (June & September departures) $1,380 pp (October departure)

  • Single Supplement

    $300 pp

Optional Add-ons

If you don't have your own e-bike, we can arrange for you to rent an e-bike at our special discounted rates:

  • Full suspension e-bike: 360 €
  • Semi-rigid e-bike: 260 €

Sustainability

We are Travelife Certified and we plant a tree with our partner, Mossy Earth, for all our travelers as part of their rewilding program in Europe.

We operate a paperless office and all our communication with you and all your trip details will be given to you digitally via a smartphone app.

If you are traveling from Europe, we offer a 3% discount if you travel here by train rather than plane. To claim this please ask at booking. It is not accumulable with other discounts and the train journey needs to be international, eg Eurostar to France and then onward on local French TGV or trains.

Environmental Initiatives

We have chosen to use two bases for this tour instead of changing accommodations each night. This reduces the amount of water and energy waste from unnecessary washing and cleaning.

We respect the trails and tracks designated for mountain biking usage in the area to avoid unnecessary erosion or wildlife disturbance.

We request that you bring a reusable lunch box and a refillable water bottle for this trip to avoid the provision of single-use plastic.

Economic Initiatives

All the accommodations and guides are local to the area and your host agency is too ensuring there is zero economic leakage. Your money is going straight back into the local economy.

Sociocultural Initiatives

We encourage you to explore the towns of Gap and Sisteron in the evenings after biking and will recommend locally run restaurants using fresh Alpine produce and sightseeing opportunities, including the magnificent citadel in Sisteron, so you can immerse yourself in local culture and cuisine.

Health & Safety

Be sure you have traveler's insurance.

This is an active holiday so you do need a moderate to high level of cardiovascular fitness to enjoy it.

FAQs

What does the physical rating of "Mildly Strenuous" mean?

Even though the bikes are electric, you still need to pedal and keep yourself balanced - they are not motorbikes. We will be riding between 30km and 60km per day with between 400m and 800m of ascent.

This would be quite tough on a muscular mountain bike for most people of average fitness but is much easier on an electric bike, making this trip accessible for people of average fitness.

The technical level is low to medium so you don't need to be an expert mountain biker, but do need some experience of riding a mountain bike on tracks and trails.

What are the accommodations like?

The bed and breakfast hotels propose a wide range of local products for breakfast including bread and pastries from a local baker and jams, juices, and milk products from Haut Alpine farmers.

They also will have a water re-fill station.

You will need to request cleaning and towel changes - they are not automatic.

Inquire Now

Departure Dates

  • Sep 21, 2024 - Sep 28, 2024
  • Oct 19, 2024 - Oct 26, 2024

6 required for departure.

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