Cycle loops in Provence


For a total of 1,160 km (721 miles), the 12 loops in the French region of Provence include 115 cols, plus 9 optional passes, for a total ascent of about 20300 m (66601ft).

You will be able to do 10 loops all year round. In winter, the access to the loops of Le Ventoux and the Mountain of Lure can be restricted because of heavy snow. Be aware that all the loops are located in Provence submitted to forest fires that can be violent and whose access will be restricted, especially the last one in the list, which is on forest tracks in the Esterel Mountain Range. You should get information on the weather forecast before embarking on these loops.

The 12 loops are to be started from 6 different places where you’ll find plenty of accommodations (hotels, camp sites, guesthouses, bed and breakfast…) : Malaucène (84, French department number), Gordes (84), Forcalquier (04), Auriol (13), Grimaud (83) et Agay (83). You’ll ride back to the departure place each day. So no need to take all your equipment for autonomous travel. You’ll ride « light ».

This route is accessible to all cyclist with a minimum of training and whatever his physical abilities. The longest loop is 122 km long (76 miles) with an elevation gain of only 1170 m (3839 ft). The most difficult loop is 114 km long (71 miles) with an elevation gain of 2100 m (6890 ft). As an average, the loops are something like 95 km long (59 miles) with a gain of 1700 m (5578 ft).

This permanent long-distance touring route has been drawn by Denis Chouquet-Stringer, a member of Cent Cols Club.


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The Provence? It’s an area full of contrasts.

Its climate is mediterranean with about 300 sunny days per year. Winters are mild. Summers are hot and dry but, sometimes the cold mistral wind may make up for the sun heat.

You’ll enjoy a deep blue sky, the fragrance from the fields of lavander and aromatic plants, the garrigue, the vineyards, the olive and chestnut groves, cork and pine trees. They are the supreme symbols of the Provence. But sometimes you’ll be deafened by the cicadas’sound whose mating calls can be ear-splitting.

Our Provence loops will open beautiful traditional vistas you’ll have the pleasure to discover while riding across the most popular mountain ranges of the region :

  • Montmirail’s lace (les dentelles de Montmirail)
    Mount Ventoux (Le Mont-Ventoux)
    The Alpilles
    The Mountain of Lure
    The Luberon
    The mountain range of Sainte-Victory
    The Sainte-Baume Mountain ridge
    the rocky inlets (Les Calanques)
    The massif of the Maures
    The Esterel forest massif


The participant has to obtain 12 stamps on the route at places they are left free to choose. These places are control points certifying they have done the itinerary required. Nevertheless, they must choose one control point along each loop. Please write the loop number on your road map.

The 12 loops are as follows :

  1. Malaucène 1 (84) : 86 km, 13 cols, D+ : 1780 m
  2. Malaucène 2 (84) : 65 km, 5 cols, D+ : 2000 m
  3. Gordes 1 (84) : 122 km, 8 cols, D+ : 1170 m
  4. Gordes 2 (84) : 95 km, 9 cols, D+ : 1950 m
  5. Forcalquier 1 (04) : 106 km, 3 cols, D+ : 1930 m
  6. Forcalquier 2 (04) : 113 km, 5 cols, D+ : 1780 m
  7. Auriol 1 (13) : 112 km, 7 cols, D+ : 2100 m
  8. Auriol 2 (13) : 110 km, 12 cols, D+ : 2050 m
  9. Grimaud 1 (83) : 93 km, 10 cols, D+ : 1300 m
  10. Grimaud 2 (83) : 83 km, 10 cols, D+ : 1500 m
  11. Grimaud 3 (83) : 91 km, 6 cols, D+ : 1215 m
  12. Agay (83) : 85 km, 27 cols, D+ : 1530 m

Some passes

  • Col de Suzette
  • Col des Tempêtes
  • Col de la Vayède
  • Col de Murs
  • Col de la Ligne
  • Col de N-D des Abeilles
  • Pas de la Couelle (Petit-Galibier)
  • Col du Grand Sambuc
  • Col de l’Espigoulier
  • Col de la Gineste
  • Col du Canadel
  • Col de Babaou
  • Col de Gratteloup

BCN and BPF sites along the route

  • Vaison La Romaine
  • Mont Ventoux
  • Gordes
  • Les Baux de Provence
  • Forcalquier
  • Plan d’Aups – Ste Baume
  • Cassis
  • Collobrières
  • La Garde Freinet

Rules of the game for permanent touring routes

Each participant must respect the rules of the game

For further information

Contact the organizer of the rendonnees permanents

10 rue de Normandie
31120 Portet sur Garonne

Tél : +33 (0)5 61 76 30 12
E-mail :

IMPORTANT : please send your road map for Cent Cols Club approval, plus your postcards and travel book only to the member responsible for permanent long-distance touring routes (« randonnées permanentes ») in activity when you send these documents. You’ll find their name on the website of the Club.