Is it your dream to tackle the mont Ventoux, legendary 1,912m summit of the Tour de France? Well there are tens of thousands of cyclists from all over the world who have the same idea. So, before you go, here are our top suggestions for places to stay before – and after – this very big adventure.
Hôtel Crillon le Brave
The height of luxury at the foot of Mount Ventoux, 3km from Bédouin with views over the challenge that awaits you. High-end Provencale style, with terraces, patios and a pool. It offers a special late-summer “Ventoux by bike” weekend package at around €1,500 if you want to really spoil yourself.
Domaine Spa Ventoux Provence
Situated at Malaucène, at the foot of the west face of Ventoux, this residential estate has an XL-size spa that’s perfect for the recovery phase. It’s a pretty place, both chic and cosy. You can reserve the Eddy Merckx suite for three at €270!
Hôtel La Garance
At Bédouin, the base camp of Ventoux’s legendary south face, this large, Provencale style house has a pretty garden where you can dine. They seem to have thought of everything that cyclists might need. Less than €100 a night.
Restaurant Les Lavandes
At Monieux, 20km south of Ventoux, Emmanuel Lopez will spoil you with his local and regional products. His 12-hour shoulder of lamb is to die for, and his truffle dishes are enough to make you sell your soul. A suitable reward for your ascent. Between €25 and €40.
Restaurant La Chevalerie
At Malaucène, Ventoux man Philippe Galas, who learnt his trade from Michelin-starred chefs offers simple, clever dishes. Figs and truffles top the menu in season. Between €25 and €35.
Situated at the Mount Serein ski resort, 5km from the Ventoux summit on the Malaucène side. Recommended above the better-known Chalet Reynard, it’s on the south face, gateway to Ventoux’s famous moon landscapes. The Liotard also specialises in country-style cooking and offers a delicious Ventoux gratin of minced lamb. Under €25.
Domaine Clos de Trias
Vineyard at Barroux, between Carpentras and Mount Ventoux. It’s been run for 10 years by a 6ft 6in Viking, Even Bakke, Colorado born, of Norwegian parents. His passionate, biodynamic approach produces beautiful reds of finesse and freshness. His grenache and syrah vines are grown on Triassic, one of the oldest soils in the world.
At Caromb, near Bédouin, former Tour de France TV commentator Patrick Chêne (above), and Laurence, offer an AOC Ventoux red that combines the smoothness of Grenache with the freshness of carignan, the deep notes of syrah and the finesse of cinsault and counoise. They’ve only been operating since 2014 but their wine is already on the menu at Guy Savoy in Paris.
L’Étape du Ventoux bikes
After a career in the Cycleurope group, amiable bike merchant Olivier Rivoilen opened an excellent store at Beaume-de-Venise, while his wife Valérie set up her own pretty shop in Bédouin. Flagship brand: Bianchi. They rent road, mountain and electric bikes at competitive prices.
At Malaucène, this road bike specialist sells Pinarello, BMC and Lapierre, and also hires out road, mountain and electric bikes. The shop is a hangout for members of the Cinglés du Ventoux club for daredevils who tackle all three tarmac faces of the monster in 24 hours! The club has some 3,000 members and has been going for 30 years…
Photos Creative Hub Paris, Domaine Spa Ventoux, Domaine Dambrun.