Mont Ventoux 1909m
This mountain, the highest in Provence, is famous as a cyclists mountain although it can also be reached on foot and, unfortunately, by car. The long distance footpath GR4 traverses the east ridge to the top but we chose to take the more popular approach on bikes. There are 3 roads to the top and we chose the easiest from Sault to the east, a decision only partially decreed by the fact that our bikes were rented from Forcalquier well to the east of the mountain. The ride starts with a sharp drop but very soon after crossing an agricultural valley we were riding slowly uphill through the forest as far as the roadside bar Chalet Reynard where the steeper route from Bedoin joins in. This is the road used by the Tour de France when it comes this way. The change from forest to bare stony hillside is startlingly abrupt and the gradient steepens. Even so we managed to ride most of the way to the rather surreal summit, whose candy stalls and souvenir shops would have seemed more appropriate on Blackpool promenade. A few steps lead up to a viewing platform which is on the natural top of the mountain but is totally dwarfed by the giant meteorological towers. Needless to say the 26 kilometre ride down to Sault was superb.
[pictures of this walk]
The best site in English for Mont Ventoux information is probably Mont Ventoux, géant provençal
We visited Provence with Susi Madron's Cycling for Softies
Walking the World Index