The giant of Provence is the highlight of many a journey through this beautiful region in the South of France. Its isolated location gives the mountain something gigantic and dominant and when the weather is clear you can see from the top the Alps in the east, the Cevennes in the west and the Mediterranean Sea in the south.
The Mont Ventoux is usually pronounced in the same breath as Bédoin. Bédoin is indeed by far the most popular side to climb the Ventoux, not in the least because of the fact that the Tour usually visits this side and most cycling history is written here. Also the location of Bédoin, in the bowl of the Mont Ventoux might be more interesting from a tourist point of view. But ignoring the Malaucène side when you're in the neighborhood would be a shame. Via the Madeleine, a short and easily digestible climb, you reach Malaucène from Bédoin in half an hour.
Although Malaucène also has a few restaurants, it is less crowded than in Bédoin. But also in Malaucène you can rent a bike for your climb in the local bike shop. However, most cyclists who cycle up here are on average a lot better trained than those on the other side, cycle up faster and have brought their own bike.
It is said that the Bédoin side is heavier than the Malaucène side. The climbbybike index proves that this is indeed the case (155.86 versus 171.24). Yet the difference is minimal. While the Bédoin side has a heavy long section in the forest, the Malaucène side has an even heavier, although half as long, section in the middle of the climb.
Fortunately, this side offers more interesting views because the view is less obstructed by forest and trees.
The Malaucène side also knows her chalet, the Chalet Liotard. This is at about the same altitude as the Chalet Renard (1427 meters). From here you can cycle on to Mont Serein. Keep to the right in front of the Chalet, then you get a short heavy piece for the choice. Once you pass it, you climb to the top at about 8% on average. The landscape here reminds you less of the moon. Only in the last kilometers you get above the tree line, which is a lot higher here than on the southern side. First you see the "Le Radome Mont Ventoux" air navigation station. Only at the end the characteristic tower of the weather station becomes visible. Just a little while longer, and you notice that you are not alone on the mountain.