Distance: 51.5 km Elevation gain: 1,223 m Elevation loss: 1,515 m Starting point: car par in village centre
Setting off from Saint-Saturnin-les-Apt, you’ll quickly reach the rural valley of Font Jouval, cycling through vineyards and orchards. You’ll then embark upon a short but intense climb up the impressive Falaise de la Madeleine cliff, overlooking the village of Lioux. The chalky cliff top path, with a fabulous panoramic view, is a great place for mountain biking. After Lioux, it’s another long climb to the place known as Bezaure at the entrance to the Combe de Vaumale valley, and then a climb up a difficult, windy path to reach the village of Murs.
From Murs, you speed along to the very beautiful Combe de Véroncle valley, on a challenging trail. You come out at the village of Gordes, famous for its dry-stone buildings. After Gordes, the route brings you into the Sénancole valley, in the middle of a stunning mineral landscape. Then it’s a long uphill stretch lined with boxwood through the Grande Combe valley to the Rocher des Trois Luisants (alt. 661m), followed by a lengthy descent alternating between tracks and trails in a rough landscape of limestone and stones, as far as Saumane-de-Vaucluse and its castle. A final effort will bring you to the village of Fontaine de Vaucluse, from where you can enjoy one last, thrilling downhill stretch, with your sights set on the meandering river Sorgue and its source.