Under the protective silhouette of Mont-Ventoux, the Vaucluse is a land for cyclists. It is crossed by a multitude of short marked round itineraries, but also by two Eurovelo routes: the ViaRhôna from north to south along the Rhône river, and the Mediterranean by Bike from east to west, both finally connected by the Via Venaissia. A quick overview of what’s new on the cycling front!
The Via Venaissia
Built along the disused railway track that used to link Orange to Isle-sur-la-Sorgue through the fertile farming land of Comtat Venaissin, this greenway is connected to the ViaRhôna south of Orange and allows cyclists to reach Carpentras, at the foot of Mont Ventoux.
It was recently extended as an independent path between Pernes-les-Fontaines and Velleron and really provides the link between the Rhône Valley, the Ventoux and the Luberon as it connects the ViaRhôna (EV17) and Mediterranean by Bike (EV8).
To see en route
Along the way you can discover villages, the vineyards of the Rhône Valley, the agricultural land of Comtat Venaissin and the refurbished train stations, such as those of Loriol-du-Comtat and Jonquières, the latter having been converted into a restaurant in 2022.
At the end of 2022 the greenway was extended by 10 kilometres between Carpentras (south of the railway station) and Velleron.
The section between Orange and Jonquières, in the process of being developed, should welcome the first cyclists in spring 2023.
However, a full “Via Venaissia” marking already connects Piolenc, near Orange, with Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, partly along the cycling lane, partly along small shared country roads. The final section which allows the Mediterranean by Bike route to be reached, between Isle-sur-la-Sorgue and Robion, although not fully developed, has been marked along small roads.
The Viarhôna (EV17)
With a border to the west that follows the Rhône River, the Vaucluse is part of the territories crossed by the ViaRhôna, from Switzerland to the Mediterranean. Alternating between its own route and small marked roads, the Vaucluse section of the ViaRhôna has a number of improvements each year.
The final version of the route, which has been provisional until now, should be unveiled at the end of 2023, with the creation of a Himalayan bridge over the Rhône between the end of the island of Oiselay.
Towards Sorgues-Châteauneuf-du-Pape, and the Ile aux Papes, to the north of the river island of Barthelasse, the bridge thus allowing access to Avignon via the Gard. It is therefore ultimately the promise of a glorious arrival with unobstructed views of Villeneuve-lès-Avignon and the Philippe the Fair tower, and then of the most beautiful panorama of the papal city when crossing the Rhône, with the St Bénézet Bridge and the Popes’ Palace in the background.
From Lausanne to Sète, you will find more information on the complete route at www.viarhona.com
Around the ViaRhôna
Good to know
Further upstream along the Rhône, the brand new Chartreux bicycle route, in the completion phase, allows the Villeneuve-lès-Avignon city centre to be safely reached from the papal city.
Around the ViaRhôna, new cyclable links are being developed in order to connect the surrounding villages.
Thus, from the island of Oiselay, it is now possible to reach the station and city centre of Sorgues thanks to the bridge over the Ouvèze river, completed in December 2022 and extended by a cycling and pedestrian lane.
©C.Martelet ©A.Hocquel ©Julien-Abellan