If you're looking for a base in Provence, you could do worse than to consider Isle-sur-la-Sorgue. Here's why.
Click the routes on the map above for information and GPX downloads for each.
L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue is a picturesque town steeped in fishing history, the Sorgue river over the yeras providing a plentiful natural resource for local fishermen. The town was also a hub for the French textile industry, and its surviving water wheels remain as a reminder of the importance that textiles once had on the local economy.
In more recent years, textiles and fishing have given way to tourism and antiques, with Isle-sur-la-Sorgue famous throughout Provence and farther afield for its antiques markets (there's a big flea market every Sunday), plus its atmospheric antique shops and galleries.
The town also hosts two big antiques fairs every year (among the largest in Europe) – usually at Easter weekend and again in August.
The history and character of makes Isle-sur-la-Sorgue a wonderful base for cycling, expecially as there's so much to do for cyclists and non-cyclists alike. The town is easy to navigate and close to out-of-town routes for anyone wanting to explore the landscaes of Provence.
There are several routes either passing throgh or near the town, including river rides along the Sorgue. For those wanting more of a challenge, the summit of Ventoux is also within reach.
Route suggestions and GPX downloads thanks to the Vaucluse Tourist Board – full downloadable route notes are available here in PDF format.