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Saddle up!

Brrr, it stings! Winter is here!

As always, I start the year with a whole host of good resolutions, one of which is to exercise. As it happens, I’m the mother of a 4-year-old stuntman who loves to ride his bike, even when the Mistral is blowing hard, so I have no excuses….

Chloe ExpertChloe Expert
©Chloe Expert

Tourist advisor at Avignon Tourist Office

  • Expert advice

Cycling in winter? Of course you can!

If, like me, you’re more of a sofa/TV/plaid person than a two-wheeler rider, you should know that the winter season and bike outings are not incompatible! There are, however, a few good practices to adopt, including prioritizing short outings at the best times of the day and being perfectly well equipped. After all, nothing can make a bike outing more detestable than the cold. So it’s vital to know how to dress properly by following a few simple rules: multiply your underlays, protect yourself from damp and choose good gloves. For the little ones, bring along an ear muff to avoid ear infections.

Once you’ve found the motivation, know that Avignon is the ideal destination for discovering Provence by bike: just an hour from the mythical Giant of Provence – Mont Ventoux and at the crossroads of two international cycle routes. The town also offers a number of cycling routes for discovering heritage and natural sites close to the town center. I’d like to share with you a “quiet” itinerary for a ride in the winter sunshine.

Barthelasse Island

Avignon’s green lung! Europe’s largest river island features a 13 km (1h30) itinerary in a privileged setting, in the heart of nature, close to the historic center. It’s the ideal place for a breath of fresh air and greenery. We often go there for family outings. My little boy really likes to go on the free river shuttle (from mid-February), it’s great fun!

We stroll along the towpath and enjoy the exceptional view of the Avignon bridge. And if the sun is shining, we can enjoy a snack on one of the many lawns. Along the way, you may be lucky enough to come across hedgehogs, shrews, weasels and badgers, dormice and beavers… The island is an exceptional biodiversity reserve for many protected species. For gourmets, you can buy local produce at La Reboule farm, visit the Manguin distillery.

Another idea for a stroll is the Chemin des canaux, an 8 km (round trip) walk linking the city center to the city’s largest park, Parc Chico Mendes. This car-free route is ideal for families.

Le chemin des caneaux

Bike ride

A fun, family-friendly stroll to the Parc Chico Mendès from the city center in complete safety!

The Chemin des canaux, a greenway linking the inner city to Montfavet, is the realization of a soft-travel link along the banks of the Canal de Vaucluse.

Water, canals and roubines are founding elements of Avignon’s heritage. The canal system has forged the landscape and economic identity as well as the prosperity of the area.
The Canal de Vaucluse was used to drain the marshy areas of the Sorgue plain, encouraging the creation of new land for agriculture. It runs from Le Thor to the Rhône via Avignon.
Canals have thus brought wealth and prosperity to our territory for 10 centuries and forged its identity over time.

Distance: approx. 8 km (round trip)
Start: Avignon Tourist Office
Duration: 30 min
Difficulty: Very easy – wide cycle path along the ramparts, greenway following the provisional Via Rhôna route from Chemin de l’Epi.

Expert opinion

Trust the locals!