Bicycling in Provence: Can This Be Heaven?

Day 2 of my Sun-e-Bike adventure in Provence. We are on our way to the town of Saignon in the heart of the  Luberon along a route famed for its beautiful lavender fields.  We climb uphill for what seems like forever, but the climb is effortless on our electric bikes.  As we reach the top of the ridge, the scenery is breathtaking and you feel as if you are literally on top of the world.

On top of the world in the Luberon

On top of the world in the Luberon

Most days on this trip have been spectacular in one way or another, but I’d have to say that my ride today was close to, if not the best day of cycling on this trip. The experience was a picnic for the senses: scenery that was gorgeous beyond description, smells of lavender that you want to remember forever, and the warm Provence sun announcing that summer has finally arrived.  And let’s not forget a major contributor to the overall experience of bicycling in the hills of the Luberon, the Sun-e-Bike.

My Sun-e-Bike

My Sun-e-Bike

No matter how experienced of a cyclist you are, these electric bikes add a whole new dimension to bicycling in hilly terrain.  Make no mistake about it, you still get plenty of exercise, you just get a bit of a boost when you need it going up hills.  The experience is truly amazing.

Borie along the road

Borie along the road

On the road to Saignon we saw bories, a herd of 100+ goats out for their morning grass eating, miles of cherry trees laden with fruit, and lavender fields that seemingly never end.  The morning passes by much too quickly. Every scene that we pass is one that I want to freeze in my memory bank, but each one is followed by another that is more beautiful than the last. Unbelievable was a word that I said to myself over and over again all day.

Goats along the road!

Goats along the road!

The approach to the town of Saignon was breathtaking. The panorama was so incredible that it was impossible to capture it in a photo, as hard as I tried.  This land is truly God’s country.

Approaching Saignon

Approaching Saignon

My husband and I made our way into town where we exchanged our battery at Chez Christine, which I am happy to say is part tea shop and part patisserie shop. It’s easy to understand why Christine’s shop is the busiest place in town.  She has some of the best pastries and coffee in the Luberon, and I was happy to be a very good customer!

Incredible cerise tart from Christine's Tea Shop

Incredible cerise tart from Christine’s Tea Shop

With a fresh battery, we left Saignon and made our way to the town of Apt, and then to Gargas and Roussillon, the land of ochre.  The crowds in Roussillon were some of the biggest we had seen in more than 2 weeks of cycling, and one look at the spectacular red cliffs of the town and you understood why.  The day’s experience just kept getting better and better.

Ochre cliffs of Roussillon

Ochre cliffs of Roussillon

Unfortunately, the day came to a close much too quickly and there was still so much more that we wanted to see.  But our time in the Luberon was coming to a close and further adventures would have to wait for a future (hopefully soon) trip.

A favorite sight and smell of Provence

A favorite sight and smell of Provence

If you are interested in learning more about planning a bicycling adventure on the Sun-e-Bike electric bikes, watch for an upcoming post in a week or two.

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Posted by Maggie LaCoste

I love the adventure and unpredictability of experiencing France by bike. Cycling in France is the ultimate slow travel adventure, an opportunity to see it through the back door in a way few tourists experience. One week on a bike in France and life takes on a different meaning! I created Experience France By Bike to inspire recreational cyclists to visit France the slow way....by bike, and to be the best source of information for planning the perfect bicycling adventure. I encourage readers to embrace the uncertainty of the road ahead and to take the path less traveled, exploring roads, towns and villages that you would never experience traveling by car.