One of the challenging climbs in the Alps
Mont Ventoux is a mountain in the Provence region of southern France, just 55 minutes' helicopter ride from Monaco. At 1,912m, it is the highest mountain in the region and has been nicknamed the 'Beast of Provence', the 'Giant of Provence' or the 'Bald Mountain'. It has gained fame through its inclusion in the Tour de France cycling race.
As the name might suggest (venteux means windy in French), it can get windy at the summit, especially with the mistral; wind speeds as high as 320 km/h (200 mph) have been recorded. The wind blows at more than 90 km/h (56+ mph) 240 days a year.
Mont Ventoux has become legendary as one of the most grueling climbs of the Tour de France. The race has been here fifteen times since 1951 and finished at the summit (1,909m) ten times.
Mont Ventoux is not only for the more experienced road riders but also for less experienced riders too, as we can provide you with electric road bikes that can help you ride the climbs with confidence.
There are 3 possible routes to the summit, one a little easier than the other two. However our favorite route is south from Bédoin which is probably the most famous but also most difficult.
An Idyllic Setting
The top of the mountain is bare limestone without any vegetation or trees, which from a distance makes it look like it is snow covered all year around however the snow cover lasts here from December to April.
40km from Bédoin is the idyllic village of Coquillade and this is where we stay if you would like more than a day in the area.
The village totally seduces those people that love the Provence region, as well as wine lovers and those with a passion for nature. As well as, for the likes of us, a centre for all open-air sports.
The best time to cycle Mt. Ventoux is between May and November when the snows have melted away.
La Coquillade is a luxury 5-star hotel located on its own 100-acre estate overlooking the beautiful Luberon Valley and Mont Ventoux itself.
Set in the heart of a wine-tourism vineyard, the property appears as a Provençal hamlet converted into sumptuous rooms and suites. It also offers gourmet and theme dining, as well as a wine tasting cellar that will charm your taste buds.
It also boasts a magnificent 1500m² spa, perfect after a day’s cycling and a place to relax and let the aching muscles recover.
Great for Health and Fitness
Velo Monaco actively promotes and creates awareness of the benefits of cycling not just from a health and fitness perspective but also for the green environment.
Our electric road bikes provide the best of all worlds: Use the battery wisely by managing the different power modes and resist the temptation to fly off into the distance with turbo mode too often. Eco mode gives a gentle push while lasting much longer.
But don’t think it will be that easy, if you don’t manage your battery use sensibly, you could run out of steam or indeed in this case battery power.
All in all you will feel better for it at the end of the day, healthier and very content with life.
Make Mont Ventoux Your Next Cycling Adventure
Hopefully we have given you a flavour of cycling the mountain and the surrounding area but please contact us to help us put the right package together for you and your friends.
Below is a suggested itinerary of a trip that we could put together for you, however we will tailor everything according to your budget and time available.
We usually like to include the Mont Ventoux ride as part of our Monaco package but it however can be part of a longer holiday in the area.
We start the day with a helicopter service provided by Monacair to and from Mt. Ventoux. If you prefer to stay longer in the area we would suggest a stay at the beautiful Provence Coquillade Village. The hotel itself is five star and is situated less then 40 km from Bédoin, and is owned by the cycling pioneer Andy Rihs, owner of BMC Switzerland Performance Bikes and benefactor of the BMC Racing Team.
We can arrange road bikes and all necessary equipment if required and arrange for all your transport. All that is needed to create an unforgettable day for you and your friends.
The mountain can be climbed by three routes, and as mentioned in the introduction our favorite to ride is the south from Bédoin.
- South from Bédoin: 1,617 m over 21,8 km. This is the most famous and difficult ascent. The road to the summit has an average gradient of 7.43%. Up to Saint-Estève, the climb is easy: 3.9% over 5,8 km, but then the 16 remaining kilometres has an average gradient of 8.9%. To serve as a comparison the climb of L’Alpe d’Huez is about 13.8 km at an average gradient of 7.9%. Also the last few kilometres may have strong, and quite violent winds so not easy!
- Northwest from Malaucène: 1,570 m over 21,5 km. About equal in difficulty as the Bédoin ascent, but this route is better sheltered from the wind.
- East from Sault: 1,210 m over 26 km. The easiest route. After Chalet Reynard (where the “lunar landscape” of the summit starts), the climb is the same as the Bédoin ascent with an average gradient of 4.4%.
This is just a sample of the things that we could put together for you, but please talk to us about your preferences and we can put an experience together for you and your friends that you will never forget.