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Mont Ventoux

Mont Ventoux, Provence, France

Mont Ventoux, the "Giant of Provence"

Mont Ventoux, at 1912m, is the highest mountain in Provence and due to its isolation from other mountains of similar size, it's by far the most prominent geographical feature in northern Provence. Mont Ventoux is an east-west oriented ridge located about 20 km north of Carpentras in the Vaucluse. The top of Mont Ventoux is accessible by road and there are spectacular views from the top of Provence and the Rhône valley, the southern Alps and, when the air's particularly clear, you can even see the Pyrenees. Visibility is usually best in the early morning or around sunset when the haze from the heat of the day has dispersed.

The Mistral winds blow especially strong on the mountain, gusting over 50 mph 200 days a year, and giving Mont Ventoux its name - vent being the French for wind. The top of the mountain appears to glitter from a distance, giving the illusion that it is snow capped even in summer. Actually, Mont Ventoux is only snow-covered above 1300 m from December to April, and for the rest of the year the summit is just bare limestone, free of any vegetation. The winds and the barren landscape make Mont Ventoux an especially challenging climb for cyclists.

Mont Ventoux can become cloud covered with little warning and icy blasts of Mistral winds are not uncommon, so it's a good idea to bring along warm clothes and rain gear even in summer.

Hiking Mont Ventoux

The GR4 long distance walking trail runs up Mont Ventoux's nothern face before joining the GR9, and both trails follow the same bare white ridge before splitting, with the GR4 winding eastward to the Gorges du Verdon. The GR9, which takes in most of the areas ranges, including the Monts du Vaucluse and the Lubéron, is considered to be the most spectacular trail in northern Provence.

Cycling Mont Ventoux

You need to have a good level of fitness to tackle Mont Ventoux. The climb is legendary among cyclists and is frequently included in the Tour de France. Infamously, on a blazing hot day in July 1967, Tommy Simpson died of exhaustion on the Mont Ventoux climb. Despite the grim tales, from the end of April to November, you'll still find plenty of cyclists willing to test their mettle on the Mont Ventoux climb.
Read more about cycling the Mont Ventoux.

Skiing Mont Ventoux

There's one ski resort on Mont Ventoux - Mont Serein. Mont Serein has 12km of alpine runs from 1400 to 1800m and 7km of nordic ski trails. In summer, Mont Serein is a good base for mountain biking, hiking and paragliding. On the south side of Mont Ventoux, Chalet Reynard (1440 m) is open all year and offers accommodation for skiers in winter and cyclists and walkers in summer.

Mont Ventoux Travel Info

If you've got a car, you can drive to the summit of Mont Ventoux from either Malaucène or Saint Estève via the D974, or from Sault via the D164. For information on bus services in the area visit the Carpentras Tourist Office (referenced below).

Mont Ventoux hotels

Book a hotel near Mont Ventoux We recommend Le Mas des Tilleuls

Mont Ventoux Tourist Office

Visit the tourist office in Carpentras for Mont Ventoux information.

Office de Tourisme de Carpentras
97 Place du 25 Août 1944
84200 Carpentras