Guided/Self-guided Bike and Boat

FR024

France / Provence and Camargue

Avignon to Aigues Mortes

A wonderful bike and boat tour through the wild Camargue nature with its bulls and horses: from the medieval fortress of Aigues Mortes you’ll cycle gradually towards Arles. After that you’ll visit the most typical Provence landscape, including the Rhone Valley, Van Gogh’s Provence and the Roman Pont du Gard.
  • Day by Day

    1. Avignon
    Individual arrival and boarding after 6 p.m. in Avignon. Your mooring place is in Quai de la Ligne next to the famous Pont St. Bénezet.
     
    2. Avignon, round tour (30 km)
    Today we’ll get to the other side of the river Rhone by crossing the island Île de la Barthelasse, and we’ll ride in the typical garrigue landscape, between vineyards and orchards. Before going back we’ll visit Villeneuve Les Avignon, once known to be the town of the cardinals. In the afternoon a guided visit will let us discover the historic centre of Avignon.
     
    3. Avignon – Aramon (40 km)
    In the morning navigation till the town of Aramon, where you will start pedalling. The stage today will bring you to the best preserved Roman aqueduct in Europe: Pont du Gard, a very spectacular work. Overnight in Aramon with a beautiful view over the Mont Ventoux.
     
    4. Aramon – Vallabrègues (35 km)
    You start your day sailing to Vallabrègues, pretty Provençal village on the banks of the Rhône. Along country roads you will arrive to Barbentane with its castle at the confluence of the Rhone and Durance rivers. You will cycle to the magnificent Abbey of Saint Michel de Frigulet and afterwards down to the medieval village of Boulbon. Overnight in Vallabrègues.
     
    5. Vallabrègues – Arles (60 km)
    This stage brings you to Saint Remy de Provence, birthplace of Nostradamus. This village is also famous for having hosted Van Gogh in the days of his mental illness. In the end you move onto the Alpilles, with Les-Baux-de-Provence, a village lodged in the rock itself. A landscape of limestone cliffs and olive trees accompanies your journey.
     
    6. Arles – Aigues-Mortes (25 km)
    Today the whole morning is dedicated to visit Arles, the ancient capital of Gaul with beautiful Roman ruins. You will also have the opportunity to be welcomed by a professional guide, who will accompany you around the jewels of the town. After lunch you reach the lock of Saint Gilles and from there you will sail to Aigues Mortes for the overnight stay.
     
    7. Aigues Mortes, round tour (55 km)
    Going through small country lanes of Camargue between canals, lagoons and small villages you will reach in the afternoon the charming fishermen’s village Le Grau-du-Roi. Possibility of a refreshing bath on the beach.
     
    8. Aigues Mortes
    After breakfast, end of services.


    The programme has been planned to feature navigation along the Rhone River and Rhone-Sète Canal. Due to organisational reasons, weather conditions or provisions issued by local authorities, the itinerary may be subject to some changes before and/or during the holiday. Issues with high and low water, as well as logistic obstacles such as officially ordered - previously not announced - repair work on locks or bridges can modify some of the daily stretches or overnight stays and may even request a transfer by bus. These decisions are only taken by the boat’s captain.

     

  • Route profile

    Total length: 260 km
    Total vertical up: 620 m
    Terrain: 95% asphalt, 5% unpaved

    The tour is totally in the lowlands in the two stages in Camargue, while the stages north of Arles present some ups and downs, which are however easy to overcome. There is just one more demanding slope towards Les Baux de Provence, but you will be fully repaid with an extraordinary landscape. The itinerary is mostly on secondary roads with low traffic; some short stretches on more busy roads are however inevitable. There will also be some navigation stretches to make the stages more enjoyable.

     

    Easy cycling in mostly flat areas, with only few short climbs and descents. Little effort required, suitable for most people.

     

  • How to get there

    Avignon is connected with the following airports:
    Avignon: 40 Km, Nimes: 40 Km, Montpellier: 80 Km, Marseille: 90 Km, Lyon: 280 Km.

     

    Trains
    For further information on timetables and prices you can consult the following website: www.sncf.com.

     

  • Accommodation and meals

    The boat Caprice is equipped with 11 cabins (3 Doubles, 8 Twins) measuring 7-8 m2.

     

    Each cabin has three fixed portholes (one is in the bathroom), air conditioning and en-suite facilities with shower area; plus ample closet space, a power socket and a full-length mirror.

    Bed sizes: 1.90 m x 0.80 m (Singles) and 1.90 m x 1.40 m (Doubles).

     

    The living area measures 12.50 x 4.10 m, is air-conditioned and it is divided into two areas:

    • the Restaurant (up to 22 seats)
    • the Lounge with an open bar 

    A total of 10 windows give plenty of natural light.

     

    Extra features:

    • Free WiFi in the restaurant/bar area
    • Sundeck with seating accommodation and fixed awning. 

     


    The boat L’Estello is equipped with:

    • 10 double cabins (one with a double bed and nine with twin beds) measuring 7-8 m2.

    Each cabin has two portholes (one is in the bathroom), is air-conditioned and has en-suite facilities.
    Bed sizes: 1.90/2 m x 0.75/0.80 m

    The living area is an air-conditioned living room and is divided into two areas:

    • the Restaurant, with large picture windows
    • the Bar area with comfortable sofas and armchairs

    Extra features:

    • Sundeck with a fixed awning, tables and chairs
    • Free WiFi in the restaurant/bar area
    •  “Bring and Borrow” supply of travel books
    • Pétanque/Boules sets and board games available


    There is a wi-fi connection on board which normally works during the whole tour. You have free access to the network.

     

     

     

  • Bikes and accessories

    Girolibero’s City bikes are available in various sizes in unisex models. At the moment of booking, you can choose from the following bikes:

    • City bike 27-gear Shimano Deore
    • Electro-bike 8-gear Shimano Nexus


    Features:

    • aluminium frame
    • mudguard
    • rear rack
    • comfort gel saddle
    • anti-puncture Schwalbe tyres
    • ergonomic bicycle grips
    • Speed Lifter system (only for City bikes)

     

     All rented adult bikes are equipped with:

    • 1 cycle computer  
    • 1 Ortlieb one-sided saddlebag
    • 1 water bottle (0.75 l)
    • 1 combination bike lock


    Only for self-guided:

    • 1 front bar bag or 1 map holder
    • 1 repair kit per cabin: 1 spare inner tube, glue, patch, a pump, 2 allen keys and tyre levers

     

    At the moment of booking you can also rent helmets suitable for head circumferences from 54 to 61. All our helmets have a certification mark according to the DIN EN 1078 (CE) European norm.

     

  • By your side

    At your arrival on Saturday at 6.00 p.m. you will meet the tour leader and the crew. Every evening after dinner the guide will present you the cycling program of the following day.

     

    Our tour leaders are carefully selected and rigourously trained by Girolibero. They are all multi-lingual, and speak at least English and German. Smart, entertaining, caring and endlessly enthusiastic, they have a true passion for sharing their love of the outdoors, people, culture and local food. Thanks to a deep knowledge of the territory, they can give you useful hints and help you appreciate the place you are visiting. Of course they love cycling and will be happy to give you some advice about how to correctly use the bicycle gears and whenever necessary they can fix your flat tyre. As we like to say, our tour leaders are CDO (Controlled Designation of Origin), a real traveller’s ticket to discover the land with ease and to live an unforgettable active travel experience.

     

    For the whole duration of your bike tour, you can contact us:

    • office +39 0444 330724 from Monday to Friday 8:30-13:00 and 15:00-18:30
    • Soleo or L’Estello boat phone number every day 8:00-20:00. The number will be specified in the Final Tour Details.

     

    A minivan is available in the area for emergencies. The same van offers alternative excursions for those customers who don’t want to cycle on some days or can organize transfers to shorten the longest stages. These extra services are not included and must be paid on site. Programs and prices are available on board. On board you’ll find also some proposals to do free excursions on your own, with no tour leader and no minivan.

  • 5 Client reviews
    • Jill, UK

      Vacanza del 2017

      pubblicazione 27 April 2017

      Re my recent holiday to Avignon, I enjoyed this very much. I loved living on the barge, not having to pack up my stuff every day to change hotels, the tour leader was excellent, the sun was wonderful, the wind was terrible.
    • Amy

      Vacanza del 2016

      pubblicazione 17 October 2016

      Bike Barge Trip from Avignon to Aigues Mortes

      Myself and my husband, who are in our 70's, just completed this trip last week on the Soleo and had the time of our lives. I would say that having Hugo as our guide was one of the principal reasons for our having such a good time. He was so enthusiastic and wanting our group to imbibe the culture, ecology,political and economic, art and history of Provence. He was a remarkable guide in that he had a grasp of all these areas and was able to articulate the essence without drowning us in disembodied facts.
      He was very spontaneous and often stopped our rides to pick grapes or apples or have us see a light show of Marc Chagal's work in Baux. All of the participants that we spoke to, seemed to agree that Hugo was a phenomenon and that we were lucky to have him as our guide.

      The countryside was so beautiful and we loved riding on so many different sorts of roads and surfaces. The horses and flamingoes of Camargue were amazing and all the tours of the various towns, cities and monuments made the experience very rich.

      We had some worries about keeping up with the group, but he made it clear at the outset that the ride had to be geared to the slowest person. In fact this was not a problem because those who opted for the guided tour were pretty closely matched.

      The bikes were excellent! Usually we would feel sore after riding the whole day, but experienced none of that.
      The rest of the staff was very helpful and went out of their way to accommodate the needs of the participants. The food was wonderful and the cook , Rosa was charming. Marta, who served and did a million other jobs always went out of her way and attended to things quickly and efficiently . All of the staff had a great sense of humor and were very engaged with their work, so this made a very good atmosphere throughout. Our group was very international wh made for an opportunity for learning about people's lives in other countries.

      The rooms were small as you would expect and the one problem we encountered was that the shower did not drain, so I would suggest avoiding cabin #1. We ended up having to ask for a squeegee wh we had to use in order to dry the floor. Other participants did not seem to have this problem.

      The office staff was very helpful in answering questions about the trip and having a toll free # was a great plus. The only weakness in this perfect trip was that there was seemingly not communication between the central office in I'm guessing Italy, and the staff in Provence, so for ex , they offered to have people stay after the tour, but did not know that there was a festival in Aigues Mortes wh included a chance to see a bull fight the Saturday the tour ended. Had we had any idea of that, we would have opted to stay an extra day. We also would have loved more information about traveling to and from the tour provided by the staff who knew exactly what was going on.

      I have already recommended Girolibero and this trip to friends and will continue to do so! I would say that this was the best trip we have ever taken and we travel a fair amount.
      Thanks to you all!
    • Angela, Australia

      Vacanza del 2015

      pubblicazione 26 October 2015

      Hello Giulio

      We are back from France and our one weeks Bike and Barge on the Soleo!

      What a week it was – we had a fabulous captain and crew to look after us and a great Tour Guide Wiro. As I said the week was fabulous- the barge comfortable and the crew super. Our group of 17 blended in very well with 4 other passengers and everyone got on really well. We had great weather, Wiro was able to accommodate the needs of our group and was professional and friendly about it. We saw some great places and thoroughly enjoyed the week.

      I have attached some highlight photos of the week. If you are wondering about the shirts some of us have on in the pictures - many of us do a 1000km charity bike ride each year which is sponsored by Macsim (an Aussie company) so we rode a couple of days with our Macsim shirts on. We also had an ‘Aussie’ day where we all wore an Aussie Tee-shirt of some type.

      Also the bus pick up from Aigues Mortes went smoothly thanks.
      Regards and thanks again the trip was great.
    • Helen, Australia

      Vacanza del 2015

      pubblicazione 17 September 2015

      Hi,
      This was the Avignon to Aigues-Mortes tour on 25thbJuly.
      Some Lovely shots of the water from the barge, but I expect you want shots of people and bikes so for what it's worth here are my better photos. Most down on an old iPhone so not very good quality.

      Thanks for another awesome tour with Amerio and all the staff on the barge. They were all fantastic, great cooking from Rosa, and Marta is such a credit to the company! Not to mention our two leaders, Amerio and Lecia. (Sorry about spelling.).
      Thanks
    • Ingrid, San Diego, Usa

      Vacanza del 2015

      pubblicazione 06 July 2015

      We just returned from our bike/boat trip from Avignon starting June 13, 2015.
      I wanted to tell you what a magnificent guide Tamara, Tamy was. That woman is cheerful, very organized, inspiring, caring, and so hard working. At the end of the day after she lifted the bikes in the boat she grabbed her guitar and sang with us. Amazing. During the bike rides she was always thinking of safety, gave very clear instructions and had our group happily assist with corners and being a sweep. She is a treasure. We were on the Soleo and that crew, from the captain to Stefanie were also capable and relaxed at the same time.
      I will recommend this trip.

Tour details

 

from 990 €

8 days / 7 nights, boats Caprice and Estello

Tour type:

Guided + self-guided

 

Seasons:

Value season: 14.04 and from 4.08 to 18.08.18
Standard season: from 28.04 to 21.07.18
High season: from 1.09 to 13.10.18

 

Price per person:

990 € standard cabin value season 

 

Departures from Avignon:

SA 14.04, 28.04, 12.05, 26.05, 9.06, 23.06, 7.07, 21.07, 4.08, 18.08, 1.09, 15.09, 29.09, 13.10.18

 

Included:

  • 7 nights accommodation
  • Full board (breakfast, dinner and a self-made packed lunch)
  • Sheets and towels
  • Detailed route description + Maps + Girolibero Greens Cycling Guide
  • Tour leader on bike
  • Emergency van in the area (also available for daily excursions)
  • Guided visit of Arles
  • Entrance to Pont du Gard
  • Guided visit of Avignon
  • Harbour charges
  • Coffee and tea on board


Not included:

  • Beverages on board
  • Tips and extras in general
  • Museums
  • Everything not mentioned in the section “included in the price”

 

Supplements:

300 € single cabin

130 € standard season
200 € high season
85 € Girolibero bike
195 € Electro-bike
15 € helmet
 
Extra nights in double/single room with breakfast:
65/100 € in 2/3* hotels in Aigues-Mortes and Avignon

 

Good to know:

This tour offers the chance to choose if pedalling alone (taking advantage of a very detailed route description) or with the whole group, following the tour leader. When booking the tour please specify which option you prefer.

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