My kids are used to bike lanes, traffic lights, and crosswalks, not to mention relatively flat terrain. It was difficult to imagine cycling with them in Provence, France. Especially the Provence I love, characterized by perched villages clinging to hillsides. These quaint towns are accessible by steep, narrow roads that may challenge foreign drivers, especially in larger vehicles. Two young boys cycling on these rural roads without the street smarts their European peers appear to possess at birth was feeling like more than I could handle.
I considered a supported cycling trip as an option to safeguard the children and reduce my anxiety, but I was worried that these trips might lack some of the spontaneity we enjoy. I was thinking that my dream of family cycling in Provence was going to have to wait until the boys were a few years older.
Near the end of a recent trip to France, we planned to stay at La Coquillade, a luxury resort near Gargas (Luberon – Provence). I had read that the resort offered rental bikes for the entire family through an on-site BMC Cycling Centre. A cycling centre at the resort seemed like a good omen, so I reserved four bikes and crossed my fingers. Although we were all excited by the prospect of family cycling in Provence, I wasn’t sure if the children would be able to ride anywhere beyond the large property at La Coquillade.
Family Cycling in Provence on La Véloroute du Calavon
We were thrilled to discover that La Véloroute du Calavon, a 28 km purpose-built bike path through the Luberon, was on our doorstep. Great quality rental bikes at a gorgeous resort and easy access to a family-friendly bike path in France – fantastic! The Véloroute du Calavon is the perfect family cycling option, at least until I am ready for the children to tackle the perched villages of Provence.
The area offers more advanced cycling options, including challenging climbs around Bonnieux, and there is always Mont Ventoux. You can read more about Mont Ventoux here.