Accueil » The hidden climb of Mont Ventoux : 61km +1910m

The hidden climb of Mont Ventoux : 61km +1910m

by Kim Gintrand




Elevation gain




Best seasons

fall, spring & summer



Physical & technical

The departure is from Malaucène with an ascent from the Bédoin side, known to be the most difficult side of Mont Ventoux. If you think the ascent by the road is challenging, just wait until you do it in gravel!

You start by taking the road to warm up. You climb the small Col de la Madeleine, a first ascent with a moderate slope that goes smoothly. Then, you descend towards Bédoin, and after a few turns, you catch sight of your goal for the day: the summit of Mont Ventoux.

After these few kilometers on the road, you arrive at the most important part of the itinerary: the gravel section. It lasts about 24 kilometers for an ascent of over 1000 meters. This elevation is only on the gravel part, and there are still about 400 meters left to climb on the road.

This gradient, combined with gravel that sometimes transforms into rocks, will challenge your balance, strength, and endurance. Make sure to maintain a steady pedaling rhythm to avoid sinking or dismounting. You will have little rest during the first 1200 meters of positive elevation.

Despite these challenges, the landscapes are magnificent, and the view is clear throughout, offering a completely different and, in my opinion, much more enjoyable way to experience the climb of Mont Ventoux compared to the road!

A few shaded sections provide some relief during hot weather; you can stop for a few seconds to catch your breath and refuel, as it can be challenging to eat or even drink on this route.

Your nutrition and hydration are crucial during this part of the ascent; make sure to manage your water well, as there are no refueling points until the summit of Mont Ventoux. In hot weather, I recommend equipping yourself with a third water bottle or trail flasks that can be easily tucked into your back pockets.

The most beautiful part of this gravel route is at kilometer 32. You will ride on a white gravel path with the Mont Ventoux antenna as a backdrop, making it one of the most stunning gravel passages, especially on a flat terrain!

Find a sneak peek in the video at the end of the article!

You will continue for a few more kilometers before leaving the paths and returning to the road that will take you to the summit.

This first part was long and challenging, and fatigue is starting to set in, but you still have the last 3 kilometers of Mont Ventoux ahead, which are mentally and physically the most difficult. When you reach the marker indicating 2 kilometers to the summit, the slope rises before you, and your morale may take a hit, but at that moment, it’s all in your mind – you are so close!

Take your time, find your rhythm, pedal stroke after pedal stroke, and slowly approach the summit.

By the way, an important point: don’t trust the sign at 2 kilometers. If you look at your gps at the 2-kilometer sign, you will actually have 2.5 kilometers left to reach the summit (those sneaky ones). This might make you smile or make the task even more challenging, but at least you’re warned!

As you arrive at the last turn that takes you to the highest point, you’ll finally see the Mont Ventoux sign; the slope is a bit steep, but you made it. You can catch your breath, you did it!

Enjoy the view overlooking the road you just climbed and don’t forget to take a photo with the col sign! Remember to bring something to change, as the summit of Mont Ventoux is known for its low temperatures; keep in mind that you lose about 6.5°C every 1000 meters of elevation gain.

You can eat something at Brasserie Le Vendran before descending to Malaucène.

The descent is beautiful throughout, with stunning mountain landscapes along the upper part. Halfway down, you’ll find the warm Provençal air that will warm you up and allow you to fully enjoy this magical descent.

Near the itinerary
Best Addresses



Sommet du Mont Ventoux

Brasserie Le Vendran*



Boulangerie Cabanette

cuisine française 


Thé Chez Toi

coffee / homemade


Léone Artisan Glacier



La Fleur de Sel



Le Petit Paul

rôtisserie bistronomique


Pont de l'Orme

cuisine provençale


Foody Café

coffee / healthy french cuisine


Lily et Paul



Restaurant Le Vassal

french cuisine


Restaurant La Loupiote

french/italian cuisine



Les Oliviers du Taulisson

Bed & breakfast


Hôtel Ventoux Provence "Domaine des Tilleuls*



Maison Ventoux 2 Luxe



Le Petit Ventoux

Bed & Breakfast


Le Clos Saint Michel & Spa



Pont de l'Orme

Bed & Breakfast


Mont Ventoux

Ventoux Natural Park

Discover the Ventoux Natural Park through hiking or trail running!

Mont Ventoux

Wine tasting workshop in a wine cellar

Discover Ventoux through its wines!

Culinary Specialties / Local Products

  • Candied fruits d'Apt
  • Nougat from Sault
  • Papalines from Avignon
  • Berlingot from Carpentras
  • Quince paste
  • Oreillettes
  • The macarons of Sault
  • Provence honey
  • La fougasse (a type of French bread, similar to focaccia)
  • Le melon de Cavaillon
  • The strawberries from Carpentras
  • Thyme from Provence
  • The Nyons olive

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