Motorcycle road trip on the most beautiful roads of Provence
Provence is a magical territory for a motorbike road trip in the sunshine, rolling hills and the waters of the Grande Bleue. Travelling through this part of southern France means discovering beautiful landscapes that have inspired so many great painters, fascinated by the light, the natural elements and the architectural details. In this respect, Provence is also famous for its superb villages of character, always open to an exceptional nature. Then there is the Mediterranean, the one that one inevitably reaches at one time or another during a stay in the region for a walk along the coastline, to swim in translucent waters and then stop in its flagship cities. Nature, culture, gastronomy, blue sky, renting a motorcycle from Yamaha Rent in Aix-en-Provence is a great opportunity to discover Provence, which welcomes lovers of the land and the sea, and which never stops revealing its treasures
The motorcycle adventure in the south-east of France starts in Aix-en-Provence, where you pick up your motorcycle at the Yamaha Rent agency, which offers comfortable and perfectly safe motorcycle and scooter rentals. The opportunity is then too good not to stop for a day or two in the city of Bouches-du-Rhône with its remarkable heritage. You start by reaching the Place de l'Hôtel de Ville, whose architecture is inspired by the Italian Renaissance palaces, before walking through the old town, which reveals a multitude of old buildings, bars, restaurants and shops. When midday comes, you can go to the O'Gustus restaurant, which offers sunny dishes that evoke the Ariège. Then, a digestive stroll can take place in the Mazarin district, with its luxurious mansions and splendid fountains, or in the Parc Jourdan, perfect for a siesta in the shade of a tree. A night can be spent at the Hôtel Particulier le 28, an elegantly decorated bed and breakfast, before heading to the Granet Museum or the Vasarely Foundation the next day, then enjoying a few calissons before picking up the motorbike and heading off to the next destination
Themotorbike route to the village of Gordes is an experience in itself as it allows you to enjoy the beauty of the hilly Provencal hinterland. You stop at the foot of the village to park the motorbike safely at the Carcarille Hotel, then put your bags down in one of the rooms with a Provencal or contemporary atmosphere, as you wish. The place also has a restaurant, the C, which offers a cuisine of the earth and the sea based on fresh and tasty products. The location is ideal to enjoy the superb village perched on the hillside, whose many cobbled streets offer remarkable views of the Luberon Park. A stroll along the calades, the contemplation of the Romanesque church of Saint-Firmin, its fortress castle and the chapel of the Pénitents Blancs are other must-sees. Close to this Most Beautiful Village in France, two other places are to be discovered during a short motorbike trip: the village of Les Bories with its dry-stone huts, and the Abbey of Notre-Dame de Sénanque, a superb 12th-century building. The latter is particularly beautiful during the lavender flowering season
After a few nights, the Provencal roads lead to the thousand-year-old city of Manosque, at the junction of the Verdon and Luberon natural parks. A few days in the town can be spent at the Jean Giono Centre, following in the footsteps of this great writer, going to the market, but also marvelling at the monuments and fountains. The moments of rest can take place in one of the beautiful rooms of the Bastide de l'Adrech. This Provençal country house offers a soothing setting and a beautiful swimming pool to take a dip on sunny days. Staying around Manosque also means getting closer to the incredible Verdon gorges, this superb Provencal canyon that can be discovered by motorbike from the Route des Crêtes, on foot from the Martel path or directly from a canoe along the turquoise waters. On the road to the gorges, take advantage of a stop in Gréoux-les-Bains to enjoy a fillet of bass with courgette cream or a good entrecote-frites at the Brasserie du Soleil, with its always generous plates
From Manosque, a town located in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, you then cross the Var hinterland to reach Hyères along the coast. The road then takes place in the heart of hilly and green landscapes. A route that is sure to leave beautiful images in your mind. The few days in Hyères allow you to wander through a town where you can enjoy climbing up and down the narrow streets with their colourful facades and where the shopkeepers sell a wide range of local products. In the evening, it is in one of the comfortable rooms of the hotel de La Potinière, ideally located on the seaside and near the peninsula of Giens, that you will return to rest. It features a private car park and a public car park is also nearby. In addition to offering rooms with a view of the Mediterranean, this charming establishment has a private beach, where you can sunbathe in the morning or afternoon. During the day, you can also take advantage of Hyères to visit its castle, spend some time at the Villa Noailles art centre, and then take a boat to the Golden Islands. Porquerolles or Port-Cros are small preserved nuggets, where the hikes always lead to the edge of creeks and beaches with translucent waters. From Hyères, you can also reach the beautiful hilltop village of Bormes-les-Mimosas in no time by motorbike, where, after a stroll through the winding streets, you can enjoy the fresh Mediterranean cuisine of the restaurant La Maison Gil Renard sous la Tonnelle.
Last step of this sunny road trip in Provence with the unavoidable Marseille. The Phocaean city is a destination not to be missed, for its unique atmosphere, and for the discovery of its many faces. A first walk takes place in the typical district of the Panier, where the laundry dries on the windows and where the succulent plants decorate the streets. Numerous art shops and other bohemian gourmet addresses also await the walkers. For cultural moments, you must go to the MUCEM, with its always enticing program, and then to the Friche la Belle de Mai, a multi-purpose venue with a full program. The Vieux-Port is an unavoidable place to stroll, but also to stop for lunch at the Bouchon Provençal, a restaurant located nearby. The confit of lamb with creamy polenta is a speciality not to be missed under any circumstances. And then Marseille is the gateway to the Calanques National Park and to the discovery of its breathtakingly beautiful coves. Sugiton, Sormiou, are all places to go to marvel at and take beautiful photos, all after a sporty hike. In the evening, to rest your aching feet, there's nothing like a good shower at the bed and breakfast Un Mas en Ville, with its cosy rooms and beautiful patio with swimming pool. Marseille has several secure car parks to park your bike. This is how the motorcycle road trip can end, with a return to the agency in Aix-en-Provence to return the two-wheeler.
Motorcycle travelers can get information about tours and good deals in Provence by visiting the tourist offices in Aix-en-Provence, Pays Manosquin, Hyères, the tourist and convention office in Marseille and the tourist information office in Gordes. For more information on motorcycle rental in Aix-en-Provence, visit the Yamaha Rent website