For sale – Cycling business ideas in Provence

Published by Lyn on 11 July 2016

Ever dreamt of running your own bike business? Check out these ideas for possible cycling B&B and accommodation bases in Provence.

Tourtour in France

Touring outside the town of Tourtour in the Var. Photo: Quinn Comendant

I recently received an email from Philippa Leach, a real estate agent who's based in Provence. She says she often gets requests from people looking to buy properties that can turn into accommodation for cyclists. (See here for the types of facilities you might want to offer once you've found the perfect property). 

Philippa specialises in the department of the Var, and she sent the list of places below to me in the hope of finding cycling enthusiasts who appreciate what this area has to offer in terms of cycle tourism, and who'd be interested in calling the Var home.

Where is the Var?

The Var is roughly between Nice and Marseille. It stretches from the coastal towns of St Tropez, Sainte-Maxime and Frejus, through the Massif des Maures, and all the way up to the Parc National de Verdon, which is home to 'Europe’s Grand Canyon', the Gorges de Verdon.

The Var

This area is home to seemingly endless quiet roads linking the picturesque towns and villages, each with a little café or bistro, and beautiful scenery to enjoy along the way (think Villecroze with its 60m waterfall; Lorgues with its bustling market; Tourtour, an old stone village set on the hillside; Moustiers, set on the Lac de Ste Croix and a self-proclaimed 'capital of ceramics'; and many more).

Gorges du Verdon

The spectacular Gorges du Verdon. Photo: Doggettx

While road cycling is big here, with local club riders taking to the roads each weekend, there's also an ever-expanding leisure cycling market, thanks in no small part to a network of voies vertes and river rides that are completely car-free. That makes this area ideal for cyclists of all ages and abilities.

There are various cycling routes to recommend, from flat plains to tough hill climbs. For the mountain bikers, Frejus hosts the Roc d’Azur, an international MTB event that draws amateurs and professionals alike. If you want something completely different, then the island of Porquerolles, just off the coast of Hyères, is tranqil and car-free. And thanks to its lovely climate the area, you can cycle in the Var year-round.

For bike route suggestions in the Var, checkout this excellent local cycling guide link. (Here's one we have on our site too, plus here and here and here).

Here are some properties for sale in this area that would be ideal bases for cyclists or people wanting to run bike-based tourism businesses in this part of the world.
All enquiries via Philippa.

Stone-built 10-bedroom gites/B&B business

 Provence cycling for sale

This 18th century stone bastide is already operating as a successful B&B. It's a short walk from the village of Flayosc and near the parc naturel régional du Verdon. There are seven bedrooms in the main house, each with its own en suite bath or shower room. There are three further self-contained studio apartments that are already being used as self-catering gites. The garden has an outhouse that can easily be transformed into secure bike storage and/or a workshop. There's also a 11m x 5m swimming pool that also has a heating system – perfect for post-ride cooling off. This is all set in mature, manageable gardens with olive, pine and plain trees. Serious potential as a specialist cycling base.
More information and photos. 

Four independent gites set in a calm woodland

Provence cycling for sale

This house offers a lot of possibilities as a B&B/gite business and has been rented out successfully for over 10 years. The house itself has four independent sections, each with their own living room and open kitchen, bedrooms and bathroom and a private terrace. One section is actually a small stone house that is over 200 years old. The property has a large free form pool with terrace (there's also a sauna for tired muscles). Underneath the house is a large garage and workshop. The property is on the outskirts of the small town of Salernes (cafés, restaurants, shops and twice weekly Provençal market), ans is set among 10,000m² calm woodland (plus there's an olive grove). From this area, there is excellent access to the bike routes through the Verdon national park.
More information and photos. 

Refurbished house with B&B potential

Provence cycling for sale

This completely refurbished house is close to the village of Taradeau, and has around 250m² of guest accommodation and workshop space. The accommodation is set over three floors, offering lots of privacy. The house is already split up into various combinations of bedrooms – ideal for a B&B – as well as self-contained apartments. There's also a pool, plus large balconies offering views and privacy. All in all there are 1.6ha here (including a 11.5m x 5.5m salt water pool). The gardens have an enclosed section of around 3000m² with trees over a century old, fruit trees and its own wood. Ideal for families and large groups.
More information and photos.  

Successful B&B near the Gorges de Verdon

provence cycling for sale

This successful B&B business is in the small village of Fox Amphoux, a short cycle from the Gorges de Verdon. The property is south-facing with views over the village. There are currently 4 ensuite bedrooms used as the B&B, one of which has an old fireplace, another set in the original 17th century dovecote with a private terrace and its own stunning views. There's a cellar plus a garage – plenty of space for secure bike storage and a workshop. Outside on the terrace is a pergola for shaded al fresco dining. The owners' accommodation includes  2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a living room with fireplace, a kitchen and an outdoor terrace with BBQ and pizza oven. Fox Amphoux is around 10 minutes from the market town of Aups, on the edge of the Parc National de Verdon.
More information and photos. 

Large, quality family house that'd be an ideal bike base

 provence cycling for sale

This completely renovated house just one minute’s walk from the centre of Lorgues is in a very quiet residential space on a large plot of 4000m² (including mature palm trees, olive trees and cypresses). This is a proper Mediterranean gardener’s paradise. The house has been renovated to a high standard throughout, and would make a perfect B&B business thanks to the layout and size of the rooms.

The house has 5 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms, a kitchen, a large living room with double heighted ceiling and a mezzanine which is currently used as an office. There is a completely separate studio apartment with its own kitchenette and terrace. Depending on the configuration of the party staying, there's also the possibility of sectioning off the house to have a further 3 bedrooms with their own kitchens, showers and private terraces. There are lots of possibilities here to accommodate groups both large and small.

Outside is a large heated pool, perfect for year-round swimming. There is also a covered terrace with summer kitchen, a pool house and even a petanque pitch for whiling away the long Provencal evenings. This is a great property to move straight in to and to into a successful business.
More information and photos. 

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