On the road to

The Tour de France

In Provence

On July 7 2021, the 11th stage of the Tour de France will go through the Vaucluse. This is going to be quite an event as, for the first time in the history of the Tour, the racers will climb Mont Ventoux twice. Here is our advice and musts to cover the stage at your own pace as if you were with them on the road and enjoy this cycle tourism escapade in your own way.

Published on 1 July 2021

Mont-Ventoux, a mythical ascent

We can’t get enough of the Giant of Provence

The 199-km stage will link the towns of Sorgues and Malaucène. Since 1951, Mont-Ventoux has already welcomed the racers of the Tour de France 16 times. The emblematic site with its lunar landscape and the steep road is a real challenge for the champions. A 360° route awaits the racers around Mont-Ventoux. The first ascent will start from Sault with a 5% gradient, then the cyclists will climb the 8.8% slope from Bédoin. On the road, glance at the famous Chalet Reynard, a former hut built in 1929 to provide food for skiers, and which became a restaurant on the South face of Mont-Ventoux. The view is breath-taking! Want to ride in the wheel tracks of the great racers? You too can try the experience of cycle touring and plan the programme of your stage according to your level: an athletic session or more of a soothing interlude in the middle of nature? Whether you have chosen to rise to the challenge of Mont Ventoux or not, take a break with one of the Accueil Vélo© service providers who offer suitable services for cycle tourists.


From Sorgues to Gordes

Following the Tour de France

The route of the Tour de France always has some good surprises in store, but this time, get away from your TV screen. Before or after the racers, take the same itinerary: an escapade in Provence with as a bonus some very pretty stages and unique panoramas. On the way, stop off at the town nicknamed the “Venise Comtadine”, L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, with its famous canals and antique dealers. Head next for Fontaine-de-Vaucluse , where a number of poets found their inspiration, including Pétrarque who has a column to commemorate him. It’s also the village where the River Sorgues rises, the biggest resurgence in Europe. The village of Gordes is also well worth a visit. On a hillside in the heart of the Monts du Vaucluse, this village is one of the Plus Beaux Villages de France with its castle which looks like an impregnable fortress and which now hosts exhibitions. Just as majestic and not far away, the Cistercian abbey of Sénanque welcomes you and the setting when the lavender around it is in bloom is absolutely enchanting.

From Roussillon to Sault

A festival of colours

Near Roussillon, the landscapes are ochre-coloured in the middle of the famous Provencal Colorado . Absolutely fascinating! Then we ride on to Saint-Saturnin-les-Apt for another fantastic sight. The village which is perched on a spur of rock offers a unique panorama of the Luberon, the Alpilles and the Monts de Vaucluse. The landscapes go by with cherry trees, olive trees and vines. As you wander around the little streets in the village you will see the most beautiful ornamental doors. We recommend visiting the former mill, one of the rare ones to still have its sails. And for a beautiful end to the visit, in June and July, the fields of lavender are in flower and the Plateau de Sault is covered in swathes of violet-blue flowers. Absolutely magical!

The end of the escapade in Malaucène

At the foot of Mont Ventoux

As you follow the route of the 2021 Tour de France, on your way you will come to the charming village of Malaucène. Located at the foot of Mont Ventoux, the village is a real cyclists’ haunt all year round. Take a seat and have a cup of coffee on a terrace and try and count them! Make the most of the pleasant alley in the shade of the plane trees, the Wednesday morning market and the beautiful fortified church. The unique architecture of the houses which were built partly due to the ramparts which go through the town will amaze you. And wander off to the Source du Groseau, a quiet, shady site which once fed as many as 17 mills. The ideal place for a picnic with the family or friends. Go up to the calvaire along a typical paved street and enjoy the exceptional panorama.

What you need to know to see the 2021 Tour de France live

Information and good practices

To enjoy the Tour de France to the full, here is some advice. If you are coming by car, camper or caravan, plan where to park beforehand because access to Mont Ventoux will be closed from July 6. On the other hand the access is authorised for pedestrians and cyclists. The southern sun is generous and it can be extremely hot on the Provencal slopes. Remember to bring something to drink, a suitable hat and a good dose of sun cream. From the point of view of good practices, you should keep at least 2 metres away from the racers, and forget selfies! Mont Ventoux is part of the Natural Regional Park : it is very important to respect the environment and there are recycling containers available for your waste. See details of the traffic and parking restrictions here