Golf & Cycling in the South of France

Denise on her Le Phenicien bicycle
Denise on her Le Phenicien bicycle

The best way to spend an afternoon and get some exercise…cycling from Gallician to Aigues-Mortes!  While onboard Le Phenicien on a trip to the South of France, I discovered that the 18-passenger luxury barge has a selection of bikes on board; whenever the barge is docked, you can take a bike and tour round the various towns and, of course, stop for a rose wine en route!  During the trip I was able to cycle ahead of the barge, leaving from Gallician and arriving in front of the Le Phenicien at Aigues-Mortes.  The cycle – with a stop for lunch – took me just around 1 hour and 45 minutes; such a pleasant way to spend an afternoon.  I travelled along the canal path, which was very easy to follow and the scenery was so picturesque.  On arrival at Aigues-Mortes, I could watch the arrival of Le Phenicien as I had left earlier than the barge and arrived in advance of its mooring.

The Thermae of Constantine, Arles
The Thermae of Constantine, Arles

One late afternoon on the trip I also cycled and explored the town of Arles; a fantastic small town with many exciting places to visit and delicious food to sample.  Arles has some impressive Roman monuments, of which the earliest – the arena, the Roman theatre and the cryptoporticus (subterranean galleries) – date back to the 1st century B.C.  I visited The Thermae of Constantine, the remains are part of a vast group of buildings dating from the 4th century.  Simply spectacular to visit and using the bikes onboard is the easiest way to see everything in these small historic towns – and allows you to burn off some of the calories consumed during your trip!

By Denise McKee.  Denise has been with PerryGolf for over 10 years and is one of our team members who handles our South Pacific programs.

Le Phenicien ~ French Barge Trip

France - Bull Herding
France - Bull Herding

Having never been to the south of France, I was delighted that I was able to travel on our Provence River Cruise program onboard the 18-passenger luxury barge Le Phenicien.  It is certainly THE way to travel; the food is outstanding and the service is second to none…a real home from home.

One of the highlights on the program was a trip to a local manade; a typical ranch, where the gardians à cheval (the local authentic cowboys) showed us how they tend the herds of bulls on their white horses.  The ranch is located in Camargue, a short distance from when Le Phenicien was docked.  On arrival we were greeted by the family who owned the range and the tour began with a display of bull herding out in the open – the weather was perfect and the display was not disappointing.  On returning to the ranch, it was of great interest to learn of the history of the horses, bulls and the ranch.  

Tasty snacks and excellent wine (amongst other delights) were supplied during the tour.  It was fascinating to discover that the family spend every day in the traditional gardians à cheval clothing – an excellent part of the program – and the family could not have been more welcoming to their visitors.  It was certainly a memorable and special experience.

By Denise McKee.  Denise has been with PerryGolf for over 10 years and is one of our team members responsible for the South Pacific programs.