Tarascon - France
Grau du Roi , a resort on the coast of occitanie region in France
La tour Carbonnière en Camargue, France
Town of Sete - South of France
Salt production in a salt flats - Aigues-Mortes - France
France, Gard (30), Aigues-Mortes, la Tour Constance, les remparts et le canal
aerial view morning Papal Palace, Avignon, France
A 5-day cycling trek along the ViaRhôna
A trek with 3 highlights:
First the Rhone, which you follow along the right bank from Avignon to the Arles region: a stage of heritage and historical visits. Next is the Petit Rhône and the Camargue de Beaucaire in Aigues-Mortes: surrounded by exceptional nature, original flora, characteristic fauna, Camargue cattle and Flamingos. Finally, the Mediterranean to Sète: a stage of lagoons, marshes, sea, salt, bathing and holidays.
Throughout the route expect the sun and afternoon light and the mistral; it will be an ally, at your back, spurring you on, keeping you cool and ensuring good weather.
Short and flat stages (max 38 km)
Access : Train services run to Avignon and Sète. The return from Sète to Avignon takes around 1h30m
There are several bike hire shops in Avignon: a “gravel” bike, would make an ideal choice for this trek (a road bike with wider tyres than usual, ideal for dirt tracks). Alternatively, a touring or all terrain bike will do the job or, for the more seasoned cyclist, a road bike with 25mm tyres (or more).
Staying refreshed: be mindful of the heat and always have plenty of water with you. And a hat. Even better, a helmet!
Ref : 771
Set off from Avignon along the right bank of the Rhone, admiring the wonderful views reflected on the river to your left! Enjoy the pretty old village of Aramon that offers cool and welcome shade before you cross the plain to Montfrin. Here, after crossing the Gardon, once the scene of extreme floods, the Voie Verte (green way) takes you to Beaucaire. 5km before you arrive, there’s the option of a detour (2km each way) to the Troglodyte Abbey of St-Roman which offers magnificent views.
MyTripTailor Advice : in Beaucaire, cross the Rhone to visit the ancient centre of Tarascon and the château du Roi-René, so well preserved and one of the most beautiful medieval castles in France
Between Beaucaire and St-Gilles you’ll find only small, flat roads, lined with orchards, vineyards (Les Costières) and, at the end of this stage, Petit Rhône, the west arm of the river delta. Halfway through the stage, just before Fourques, take the detour (5km each way) to explore Arles, and ancient, Roman, Romanesque town listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You will have time as St-Gilles has only the 12th century Romanesque facade of the abbey to admire.
After leaving St-Gilles, here you are in the Camargue Gardoise. Stop off in the centre of Scamandre (14KM) and explore this are of marshes and reed beds: small cycle trails, one on stilts (1km), have been developed in the eponymous Nature Reserve. In Gallician, you can take the Canal du Rhône towpath to Sète where the Tour Carbonnière welcomes your arrival just before Aigues-Mortes. Take a tour of the Ramparts, climb the Tour de Constance and admire the panoramic views.
MyTripTailor tip: The fauna along the lagoons is clearly visible, but often too far away. Remember to bring a small pair of binoculas !
Leaving Aigues-Mortes, you will discover the camelles, the characteristic salt mountains of the Camargue. In just a few kilometres you will arrive in Grau-du-Roi on the shores of the Mediterranean – a world of sea, fishing, holidays and beaches. In La Grande-Motte, Carnon beach, overlooked by its Pyramids, is enjoyed by the neighboring montpelliérains, makes for a nice stop-off before you arrive at Palavas-les-Flots where you can enjoy a drink in one of the seafront bars.
MyTripTailor advice: you can learn all about salt cultivation and production in Camargue, from salt tables to crystallizers and fleur de sel, take a close up view of the fauna (flamingos) and extraordinary flora and be sure to take the little salt train (duration 1h15mins) to Aigues-Mortes.
The route from Palavas to Villeneuve-les-Maguelonne can be bikedh. But, go via the lido, opting for the Old Cathedral St-Pierre de Maguelonne and join Villeneuve via the mobile gangway. Pass on Frontignan, notable only for its muscat, for Sete, if you have the legs (it’s steep) climb to Mont St-Clair: the Pierres Blanches (White Stones), the marine cemetery, and the splendid panoramic views that inspired the poet, Brassens (“Plea to be buried at the beach of Sète”)
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