Having been caught out by the weather last year, the next time we took an activity holiday abroad we headed south for the Provence cycling tour, starting at Nîmes (an easy journey by Eurostar and TGV). From a base south of Nîmes, we headed south to St Gilles which lies on the fringes of the Camargue. I would heartily recommend the Hôtel Le Cours there, for its cheap, filling, and authentic local meals - the 5 course meal for 92fr defeated me every time, even after long side-trips, such as south all the way to the Med at Stes. Maries de la Mer and back.
From St Gilles to Beaucaire, an unremarkable (indeed mildly squalid) little town, enlivened by falconry displays at the castle. They fly traditional hunting birds, owls (as shown here), eagles and even a vulture.
From there I also made a side trip to Avignon (that's the famous pont d'Avignon), and thence to St. Rémy de Provence, just north of the Alpilles, and van Gogh's retirement place. I would recommend a little crêperie there, but I can't recall its name.
The final stay was at the Pont du Gard, the famous Roman aqueduct, at the Hôtel Le Colombier (complete with dovecote) just half a mile away from the bridge on the outskirts of the town of Remoulins; and whose exquisite menu I would recommend.
Around the Pont itself, the river runs wide and shallow with sandy beaches suitable for swimming and sunbathing (it doesn't seem to matter to the locals even if you've not got a costume).
While swimming, Karen spotted a watersnake here.