Provence, Adventure StyleThe tourist track is well-worn in Provence, a land of vineyards, medieval chateaus, and valleys blanketed in lavender. Its singletrack, hiking routes, and winding waterways, however, are ripe for discovery. Pure Adventures’ new self-guided trip into a France-less-traveled begins in Avignon and loops 31 miles to the town of Uzes. PA arranges equipment, customizes guidebooks, and transports your luggage from one luxury hotel to the next. You’re free to focus on biking from Villeneuve-lès-Avignon northwest through wine country to the Pont du Gard. While most visitors gawk from above at this 164-foot triple-decker Roman aqueduct—a feat of engineering from the first century a.d.—you’ll paddle a canoe below along the Gardon River en route to the village of Saint-Rémy-de-Provence. There, lace up your hiking boots for a 12.5-mile trek through olive and almond groves and up the limestone cliffs of the Alpilles Mountains (immortalized by Vincent van Gogh during his stay in Saint-Rémy in 1889). Traveling east to Gargas and the Lubéron Mountains, a rare experience awaits: mountain biking the red dirt and rocks of an area called Colorado, Provence’s answer to the Four Corners. "It’s otherworldly," says Loren Siekman of Pure Adventures. "And most people who go to the Lubéron never even see it."
Outfitter: Pure Adventures; discoverfrance.com
Length: 7 days
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