Approaching from the south, the medieval hilltop village of Vaison La-Romaine feels significant before you even reach it. The quiet, twisting road, perfectly smooth, streams through the spectacular Dentelles de Montmirail, limestone pinnacles pointing skywards, sheltering vineyards and cherry orchards. Then Vaison appears, huddled around a craggy hill, castle ruins atop, with houses tumbling down to the rushing River Ouveze. This is one of France’s prettiest villages, a medieval warren of elegant mansions and fountains, narrow atmospheric streets and leafy little squares to linger over a drop of the local wine. To cap that, by the river are fine Roman remains – the largest in France – including a 6,000-seat theatre that still plays host to performances. A day’s cycling may just have reached the perfect end point.