Day Four: Gordes to Sault via Mont Ventoux, 56 miles
Mont Ventoux is one of the most famous climbs in the Tour de France, and this is the day to try it if you're looking to test your legs. As you leave Gordes and head towards that small town of Sault you'll begin to see the formidable climb rising before you.
If you are planning to summit Mont Ventoux, leave Gordes early in the day and take a break once you get to Sault to explore a bit. "It is a lovely town with an incredible market that has been in operation since 1515," says Coates, adding that the area is known for pate and truffles — both prime fuel for climbing.
There are three routes up Mont Ventoux and the approach from Sault is probably the gentlest. You'll climb on smooth roads (they were just repaved in 2013) for 26 kilometers before finally reaching the summit 1,912 meters above sea level.
Stay the night at the bike friendly Hotel le Louvre, where the proprietor often breaks out the celebration drinks for riders that have just summited the famous climb.