Provence by Vélorail

With the roads becoming more and more congested, exploring Provence has become more difficult over recent years. Now there is a great way to see more of the superb scenery of the area and take on some gentle excercise at the same time. Vélorail is a giant Bicycle which runs along a railway track, it is basically made up of two bicycles with a bench between them for passengers (although there a a variety of different designs) it ‘clicks’ along the rails sounding just like a real train. With the many miles of unused tracks in France this makes for a great way to get around. The Asociation de Vélorails de France was set up in 2004 today there are 50 of them around the country and two in Provence.

The Vélorail de la Sainte Baume is a 15km trip which runs from Pourcieux to Saint Maximin, this will take around 90 mins. The journey takes you through vineyards, past disused stations, across two dramatic viaducts and through a 180m long tunnel with a backdrop of the Baume Mountains. This vélorail is open all year but there may be specific days when the rail is used by freight trains or by the military.There is a picnic area at the Pourcieux departure area. Departures are every two hours through the day and each vehicle holds up to 5 people.Reservations can be made by phoning (+33) 6 33 81 50 87

The other Vélorail in Provence is at Plan d’Orgon. This track is a little shorter at 10km and takes around 75mins. This route passes through the fields and orchards between the Alpilles and the Luberon. This service is open from the middle of March until the end of October. Vehicles seat four people and departures are every 90mins. For reservations call (+33) 6 98 16 55 33

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