Touring between Avignon and Greoux les Bains, in Luberon Nat Park

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
hallensue
Posts: 3
Joined: 3 Feb 2020, 11:50am

Touring between Avignon and Greoux les Bains, in Luberon Nat Park

Postby hallensue » 3 Feb 2020, 12:06pm

Hi, we are planning to join friends for a walking holiday based in Greoux les Bains, Provence, by cycling on our Bromptons from Avignon to Greoux les Bains, in early September 2020. Train direct London to Avignon, then 7 days to cycle. We are in our mid seventies and my husband has had a stroke, but we have just completed the Lon Las Cymru, Bristol to Holyhead, which includes the Gospel Pass, also on our Bromptons. Needless to say we don't mind a bit of walking. There is a Voie Verte passing through various villages as far as Forcalquier, but I am wondering what the route is like between Forcalquier and Greoux les Bains via Manosque? It looks a bit steep, we don't mind that too much as long as the traffic isn't too hairy. Does anyone have experience of this area? Many thanks. Sue

Angstrom
Posts: 52
Joined: 21 Nov 2018, 6:57am

Re: Touring between Avignon and Greoux les Bains, in Luberon Nat Park

Postby Angstrom » 5 Feb 2020, 6:39am

The route isn't steep from Forcalquier. It is mostly downhill. Eurovelo 8 should be signposted from Forcalquier to Manosque. It does have a couple of small hills before it's downhill but they should be doable.
If you want to avoid them, you can go down the D13 from St Maime to Volx. It's a bigger road but since it is flat/descending, it should be quite bearable and wouldn't last very long.
After you cross the Durance river, you won't be able to avoid the hill on D82 to Gréoux though. That's the biggest. But it's not very long and traffic should not be "hairy". And a nice beer or pastis is almost within sight at that point ... :wink:
Last edited by Angstrom on 5 Feb 2020, 1:54pm, edited 1 time in total.

djb
Posts: 42
Joined: 24 Mar 2013, 9:27pm

Re: Touring between Avignon and Greoux les Bains, in Luberon Nat Park

Postby djb » 5 Feb 2020, 1:19pm

I wish I could give specific cycling route details, but I did spend a few weeks in this area over 10 years ago car camping with French friends, our two families with kids, and we car explored here and there throughout the time.
Its a pretty neat area and we were there in typical French vacation time, august, so it was a lot busier tourists and cars wise than I expect you will find in September.
As a long time tourer over 30 years, I tend to look at things from a cyclists pt of view, and from memory, the roads were not bad, although typical D roads in France, ie not overly wide etc---but on a positive note, having done a number of cycle touring tours in various parts of France since the early 90s, in general car drivers are rather respectful and patient with cyclists.

I am sure you have seen lots of photos of the area, but I found it to be a very beautiful region. I loved the rocky nature of the area and we did some very neat hikes here and there but I unfortunately dont recall the names.
I'm sure you will ride past and through some of those lovely hill top villages--although a heads up, they always have a rather steep up to get to them, so be prepared for that.
I'm a bike gearing nerd, but am not familiar with Bromptoms in terms of if its easy to change gearing with smaller chainring changes, but I guess just be realistic about how your bikes are as is for their lowest gear and how you think they will be with a certain amount of load.
I presume you'll be carrying only clothes etc, and staying in hotels etc, so no camping gear?

On that note, at least in sept accommodation availability will be a lot easier than in august

Oh, the august we were there, it was during a heatwave, low 40s, and was really something else. It was funny how we felt it fine when it got down to 30c...
it is a more dry heat, so at least there is that.
At least when you'll be there it won't be as hot, but it could still be hot, so be prepared and make sure you carry enough water to really keep on top of hydration, especially as Brits not used to the heat.

good luck getting more specific route info
cheers

hallensue
Posts: 3
Joined: 3 Feb 2020, 11:50am

Re: Touring between Avignon and Greoux les Bains, in Luberon Nat Park

Postby hallensue » 6 Feb 2020, 5:52pm

Thank you so much to Angstrom and djb for your replies, that is so reassuring. It's actually similar to other French cycling experiences we have had, but it's very good to know that the roads and gradients are OK. Can't wait for those beers and pastis, we will raise a glass to you!
If anyone else has more information to offer on this area, we would be very glad to hear from you.

djb
Posts: 42
Joined: 24 Mar 2013, 9:27pm

Re: Touring between Avignon and Greoux les Bains, in Luberon Nat Park

Postby djb » 9 Feb 2020, 2:56pm

you're welcome.
do you think the gearing will be ok on the Bromptoms for the weight you'll be carrying? Any idea of what the low gear is in "gear inches" and how many pounds you'll each be carrying?

hallensue
Posts: 3
Joined: 3 Feb 2020, 11:50am

Re: Touring between Avignon and Greoux les Bains, in Luberon Nat Park

Postby hallensue » 13 Feb 2020, 5:19pm

Thank you djb. Our Bromptons are pretty old but they have 6 gears and are lightweight (titanium). We have very light weight travelling off to a fine art, so hopefully that won't slow us down too much. We are more than happy anyway to use our legs when necessary!! Sue