Mont Ventoux gets all the headlines, but this region has so much more! We have just returned from Sault, Vaucluse and are reflecting on an extraordinary trip where we saw the very best of the region.
Over the millennia, erosion has played a significant role in shaping Mont Ventoux into its current form. Glaciers, wind, and water gradually wore away the surrounding rocks, carving out valleys and exposing the harder rocks that form the mountain's summit.
The gradual wearing away that nature has imposed on the landscape reflects what the mountain now does on cyclists. Cyclists leave their base full of freshness and optimism, but by the last km they appear weathered and beaten as the mountain has made them work for every pedal stroke. However, the euphoria felt as you reach the summit means that all the peaks and troughs you have gone through are quickly forgotten and you begin to wonder whether to try a 2nd or 3rd ascent ;)
Where else should i cycle?
When visiting the Mont Ventoux region we stay in the beautiful hilltop town of Sault. from there we are able to skirt the mountain to make the most of all the cycling in the region.
To the west of Sault is the extraordinary Gorges de la Nesque. Formed from a combination of geological factors, tectonic uplift, and the erosional power of the Nesque River, the gorge is now a 'must do' for cyclists with gentle inclines and spine tingling views.
To the North, you can skirt the mountain via Aurel and head towards Brantes - this area can be very cold in the winter, but in the summer the mountain affords some shade and we definitely recommend a visit to 'Cafe Suzette' which would be in our top 3 cafe's we have visited - based upon its location, coffee and the fabulous crepes they serve up.
Heading North/West we really enjoy the sault ascent of Ventoux and then heading into Bedoin before taking the climb out of Flassan to the Col des Abeilles - this is a lovely climb, but best done in the morning as it can get extraordinarily hot!
When choosing locations for our trips we have a number of criteria, this includes giving our guests a chance to experience the area as the locals might.
Sault is a charming town with a rich historical heritage, surrounded by beautiful natural scenery. It continues to be an essential centre for lavender cultivation and an attractive tourist destination in the Vaucluse department of France.
It is also a quiet haven for cyclists, with an excellent local bike shop and a fabulous cycling themed hotel. The town has numerous options for dinner and the many small restaurants are well stocked with wines produced in the region.
We recently stayed over Bastille day and the town celebrated in a typically understated and community focused manner with a disco in the town square and a fabulous weekend-long art installation celebrating the work of local creatives.
What we offer?
We can offer both self led and hosted trips to ride on and around Mont Ventoux. We can also package flights to Marseilles or Eurotunnel crossings if you prefer to drive. We stay on a bed and breakfast basis at the Le Nesk hotel. It is a charming hotel and suitable for groups of up to 24 - we do not think their is a bar or bike workshop with a more stunning view than the one from the hotel.