Discover the perfect French pairing of cheese and cycling with the Vélo & Fromages routes in Provence. This initiative takes advantage of France’s extensive cycling network to provide an eco-friendly way to explore artisanal food producers. Whether you’re a cycling enthusiast or a cheese lover, the Vélo & Fromages itineraries offer something for everyone.
The Scenic Alpilles Route
Begin your journey in the breathtaking Parc naturel régional des Alpilles and Les Baux-de-Provence. As you pedal through the picturesque landscape of the Alpilles mountains, you’ll encounter Provence’s famous garrigue herbal vegetation, olive groves, and charming villages. Make a stop at Les-Baux-de-Provence, a Plus Beau Village, to enjoy its narrow streets and panoramic views. Don’t miss the Boucabelle des Baux farm, where you can taste the unique Brousse du Rove cheese made from the milk of the ancient Rove goats.
Exploring La Plaine du Comtat
Experience the Terre des Vergers (Land of Orchards) as you cycle through the flat and fruitful La Plaine du Comtat. This route takes you past vegetable fields, fruit trees, and fragrant blossoms in spring. Make a visit to Le Jas des Lilas, a farm run by Marion Villard, who combines her passion for farming sheep with local fruits to create delicious cheeses, yogurt, and pastries.
La Chaîne des Côtes: Vineyards and Olive Groves
Embark on the La Chaîne des Côtes route, starting and finishing in the charming town of Rognes. This diverse itinerary takes you through vineyards, olive groves, and fruit farms, as well as offering stunning views of the Durance valley and the Luberon. Take a break at the Abbaye de Silvacane, a 12th-century Cistercian abbey, before visiting Les Roves de la Jacourelle farm, where you can meet Sandrine and François Borel and their herd of Rove goats.
Noteworthy Farms and Cheeses
Throughout your cycling adventure, you’ll encounter various farms and fromageries that showcase the region’s rich cheese-making traditions. Don’t miss the opportunity to taste the herb and pepper-encrusted Tomettes Aromatisées from La Fromagerie des Alpilles and the creamy offerings from La Ferme du Brégalon. These farms, along with many others, are open to visitors and provide a chance to learn about the cheese-making process and sample their delectable products.
Where to Stay and Eat in Provence
After a day of cycling and cheese-tasting, indulge in the culinary delights of Provence. L’Oustaloun, Chez Ju, and Restaurant Chapeau de Paille are just a few of the establishments that offer mouthwatering Provençal cuisine. For accommodation, Hôtel du Soleil et Spa and Le Clos des Merveilles provide comfortable stays with convenient access to the attractions of Saint-Rémy-de-Provence and Rognes, respectively.
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This article is based on a piece by Lara Dunn in Taste of France Issue 4. Explore the world of cycling and cheese in Provence by reading the full article. Purchase your copy here.