Highest and isolated mountain in the mainland France, majestic pyramid whipped by the winds, the Mont-Ventoux (Windy Mount) can be friendly or detestable for the solitude of snow white in winter and of rocks in summer.
The "Giant of Provence" has the character traits of the Provence people, he also seduced and fascinated by his mystery: it is generous for the sun that bathes his hips during a large part of the year and for the extension and the beauty of the his top; it is excessive for the dryness of his top where reigns only the stone, in his slopes that leave no respite for the climbers, for his hot summers and his polar winter; it is talkative with his Mistral that blows his crest with the fragrance of the mediterranean vegetation; and finally, it is mystic for the altitude and the feelings of loneliness that inspires.

High spot of cycling, the Mont-Ventoux is the appointment for many cycle tourists that every year trying his ascension. Access to the summit of Mont-Ventoux from the north as well as by from Sault that ends at the Chalet Reynard is very picturesque. However, among the three main roads from the south side side is certainly the most famous, especially because the oldest and the most spectacular. Built in 1882, this road starts from Bédoin to 296 m above sea level to meet 21.6 km later at 1909 m the top of the Giant of Provence. Starting from Malaucène, 1559 m in altitude are spread over a distance almost identical.
After leaving by side the small and pretty village of Baux, the road crosses Sainte-Colombe, then Les Bruns. Starting from the famous Saint-Estève curve the slope increases a little and goes up the Rolland valley to its source. There, after the cedars, the oaks, the green pines and the beech trees, another world awaits us. Over the Chalet Reynard, the road branches off to the west and continues its climb through the desert expanses of rocks whitened by chemicals.
Trying his track, meander in meander, from valley to valley, the road opens a path to heaven. At the Col des Tempêtes, the clearing where the winds blow with big violence, the top is near. His accessing remains subject to a final effort, the last curve sums up all the intensity of the climb. That's more than 1600 m in altitude in less than 22 km. It had already understand...
This intense and long effort is rewarded by the sight of a dazzling landscape. From Mont-Blanc to the Mediterranean Sea, from the Mountains of Vaucluse to the Cévennes, the view extends over a unique landscape for his beauty, diversity and extension: the Comtat plain is at our feet, the Rhone become a long silver thread; farther, the Lubéron and the Alpilles ripple towards the sea; behind us, finally, all the great peaks of the Alps.

As in a exceptional place, the joy and beauty of the climb can become a true test if you encounter rain and fog. The difficult climb then becomes an exploit and a victory the reaching the top. That the reputation of the Mont Ventoux, the beauty and the difficulty of ascension will lead everyone, someday, to climb on his slope. Not matter how long it takes to reach the top because the essence is in the joy of the summit and in the emotion felt at the sight of vast horizons.

Bernard MONDON
Association Sportive de la Police Parisienne


1912 m
Vaucluse Mountains (Alps)
44° 10′ 00″ North
5° 16′ 60″ East
Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur

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