In this part of southern France the high Alps rise away to our east while the still strenuous landscapes of Provence surround us to the south and west. To our north lie the mountains of Die and the Vercors.
This is not easy terrain; we are at 900 metres with the local valley floors at around 700 and dozens of cols to conquer, generally in the moderate 1000 to 1300 metre range.
Mountain Biking: starts at the front door!
Les Granges is the last house in the village at a point where the tarmac ends and a rocky track heads for the Col D’Adrechon and a heartwarming hurtle down the other side.
There are many miles of waymarked off-road routes, often really spectacular, but be aware that the French have a very different attitude to the English when it comes to risk. (In England we live by the High Peak Trail on which cyclists ‘are advised to dismount’ in order to descend inclines that steam locomotives used to climb.)
The riding is tough, challenging and includes some stretches that are quite seriously exposed.
Marvellous...but not for beginners and undertaken entirely at your own risk.
In August, the Orpierreoise Mountain Bike Challenge offers routes of graded difficulty to be tackled before a splendid outdoor feast is served to the survivors. It goes right past Les Granges.
Contact us for dates. (Olly did the ‘Black’ route in 2004 and was unusually evasive on the subject of his plans for the following year!)
Road cycling: will suit the energetic tourist and the racer looking for top class training terrain, particularly in the early season when the high Alps and Pyrenees will still be snowy.
Within eight miles of the front door you can be starting up one of four local cols in the 1000-1300 metre range. Traffic volumes are low (three to four cars per hour is not unusual) and small roads plentiful, so we can offer many circular routes with a minimum of repetition.
Expect forests, mountain passes, gorges, lavender fields, rivers, crumbling villages, curious chateaux and a good night’s sleep!
Mont Ventoux is the big challenge of Provence, no question. But when you've done it we think you'll prefer our local Eastern Baronnnies for the rest of your riding.
The roads are much quieter, more scenic and - great news - they're largely free of the Mistrale which prefers the wind tunnel of the Rhone Valley. Here the Tour de France tackles our local Col de Perty.
Weather: We would regard the cycling season as running from April to October inclusive. In June, July and August be prepared for the big heat! Either side of that, you can anticipate or prolong the English summer. The autumn is just exquisite as huge swathes of mixed woodland flash yellow, red and gold.
Straight from the Gite
Mont Ventoux north face seen from Brantes 546m
Tour de France country