France walking and cycling holidays during the 4 seasons of Provence
Winter is upon us. Winter in Provence mostly rhymes with bright blue skies, a low-in-the-sky glowing sun and the occasional al fresco lunch on a sunny restaurant terrace. Some restaurants and guest houses will close for the winter months, but many remain open, especially in the larger towns and it is not uncommon to dine next to a cosy fire or enjoy a drink in the hotel bar next to a roaring fire. Never too hot on your winter Provence walking trip, the chilly morning air will put a spring in your step and by lunchtime, you’ll be taking off a layer! November is olive season, the emblem of Provence. The harvest is done end of November/early December before the first frosts.
Come end of March, early April, the blossoming cherry trees mark the start of spring in Provence. A Provence cycling holiday along the quiet backroads through the cherry orchards is simply stunning and the first strawberries of the season make their appearance on the market stalls. Although the evenings can still be a little chilly, the days really begin to warm up, and come May, it can get really hot. The local Provencal markets grow in size, and the streets and pavements are strewn with colourful food, cloths, pottery and other trinkets.
During the height of summer, there is a risk of forest fires on some of the hiking trails, although cycling in Provence is possible all year round. Many of our guest houses and hotels have a pool which is much appreciated by our guests! You start your hiking day early to avoid the hottest part of the day. Once the walk/ride is done, the rest of the day can be devoted to leisure! The evenings are long and warm and there is a huge choice of restaurants, bars and activities as well as plenty of local village festivals.
Late summer, in September, there is a hive of activity in the vineyards… it’s grape harvest time! You will see tractors on the roads and people dotted about in the rows of vines as harvest is still done by hand by many wine makers. The buzz of activity is from the locals, not the tourists so it adds another dimension to your self-guided walking holiday in Provence.
Once the vines are stripped of their grapes, the leaves begin to turn various shades of yellow, orange and red. The menus in restaurants begin to change and adapt, offering soup as a starter instead of a fresh salad. Autumn in Provence can be very agreeable depending on where you call home. Some parts of the world are entering winter mode whilst here in Provence, we still enjoy the warmth of the sun. Winter coats remain in the wardrobes and light jackets, or sweaters are put on in the early morning or of an evening, just to take the edge off. As the colder weather sets in, the cycle begins once more. Each season offers its own unique charm to your walking holiday in France or your Provence cycling trip and the Intura team are available throughout the seasons to assist you and help plan your trip.