The Vaucluse contains the Giant of Provence, Mt Ventoux, la Gorge de la Nesque, the Roman ampitheatre of Orange...
The Ventoux is a land of flavours with the truffles, the cherries of Mont de Venasque and the strawberries from Carpentras.
The Vaucluse region lies in the northern part of Provence. It's main centres are the Avignon, Carpentras, Orange, Apt and Cavaillon.
The old houses and narrow streets of the medieval village rise up to the reddish sandstone cliffs with their many caves. Life in the village centers around an open central area with squares, weathered stone fountains, shops, outdoor terrace cafés, with plenty of shade from the plane trees.
Bédoin, at 300 metres altitude, is comfortably nestled in the southern foothills of the Mont Ventoux. Hugely popular as a starting point for cycling, Bédoin is famed for the challenge it presents to the cyclists of the Tour de France... Bedoin is also well known as a starting point for hill walking and other outdoor activities in the Giant of Provence, the Mont Ventoux. For serious cyclists there's a bicycle hire shop in Bedoin which has an excellent reputation for the high quality bikes it supplies, so it's possible to consider the Mont Ventoux ascent without the hassle of bringing bikes on holiday.
Cairanne's 'old' village is perched on a hilltop within spectacular ramparts.
When it comes to ‘where to stay in Provence’ – if you are looking for a quaint village full of charm and character then you’re simply going to love Caromb. Caromb is ideally located to explore and enjoy the department of Vaucluse. The Luberon National Park, with its picture postcard beauty and perched, hilltop villages is a 40 minute drive. Historic towns such as Avignon (with its amazing papal palace), Vaison la Romaine (with its Roman ruins) and Orange (with its complex history) are all within an easy drive. Staying in an Emotional Escapes, Provence luxury rental in Caromb means you will be in an independant cultural niche in the middle of Provence. The area is historically rich and offers fantastic hiking and cycling opportunities thanks to its natural features.
Carpentras rests in the heart of the fertile plains of Comtat Venaissin, Once the holiday home of the Popes of Avignon it is now one of Provence's largest towns with superb markets.
Crestet is an exquisitely preserved, stone constructed, medieval village, perched on a ridge in the Dentelles de Montmirail, overlooking the Ouveze River Valley. Built to defend the local population during the invasions of the Middle Ages, the village has declined from 700 at its peak to less than a hundred permanent residents. At one time, the Bishop of Vaison made his residence here. The center of the village is the Romanesque Church and a Renaissance fountain. Narrow, steep cobblestone streets wind through stone pathways lined by Renaissance houses, and unusual artifacts surprise visitors at different spots. The village is very quiet and has an almost spiritual feel to it. Pilgrims gather here at a local spring on August 15 and September 8, hoping that the waters will cure various eye diseases. The 12th century castle has had a spectacular renovation, though cannot see this from the outside. It is privately owned and not open for visits Do not expect streets filled with tourist shops and restaurants. There are no commercial establishments except for a tiny village café—Le Panoramic-- on top of the village (open only April 15-Sept 15.) You can enjoy the village much as it was in the Middle Ages. Be sure to visit the ancient church by the fountain inside the village, as well as the tiny, recently restored 16th century chapel, Notre-Dame de l'Annonciade. In past centuries the chapel was used to store firewood, since the school was right next door. (The school is now located at the bottom of the hill, across from the Mairie.)
The classy, tiny village of Crillon-le-Brave is located in the Ventoux region of Haute Provence (Northern Provence), an area rich in culture and history. The small village has an illustrious past. Founded by Romans on a hilltop--to better defend itself--the village “fell off the map” until the 14th century, when the Crillon family in Avignon gained feudal rights to it. One of the Crillon family dukes, who was also one of King Henri IV’s bravest generals, became known as the “Le Brave Crillon” and soon the village took his name. (The same family acquired a famous Parisian palace in 1788 and it’s been known as the Hôtel de Crillon ever since.) For travellers weary of crowded tourist villages and sites, Crillon-le-Brave is a sublime location. Somewhat removed geographically from the rest of Provence, it retains its unspoiled country feel and ancient charms. Nearby, you’ll find other preserved medieval hilltop villages, lined (like Crillon-le-Brave is) with narrow cobblestone streets, beautifully maintained stone houses with flowers tumbling from window boxes and tiny mom-and-pop bistros. Yet all the classic pleasures of Provence are close at hand: history, markets, Michelin-starred restaurants, world-class vineyards. The best and most-popular sites in Provence are easily within reach. Mont Ventoux, topping out at 1912 meters, is the highest mountain in Provence and imposes itself endlessly on the views for miles around. It claims the most famous stage on the Tour de France. However Lance Armstrong wasn’t the first to bring the mountain to the world’s attention. Italian poet Petrarch made the first documented climb of the mountain in the 14th century, when living in the Papal city of Avignon. Since then, the mountain itself and the surrounding region have become a paradise for hikers, bikers, mountain climbers and photographers. Oenophiles love tasting and touring here, thanks to the area’s many highly acclaimed boutique wineries that brush up against the famous vineyards of the Southern Côtes du Rhône. Though the village of Crillon-le-Brave is small, it has an épicerie (small grocery) for basics, plus several good-to-excellent restaurants, all with panoramic views of Mont Ventoux. One of them is in the center of the village with "to die for" views. The centrepiece of the village is the five-star Relais & Châteaux hotel and restaurant Crillon-le-Brave, where you’ll certainly want to dine at least once during your stay. Nearby Bedoin, known by cyclists as the start of the toughest ascent of Mont Ventoux, is only five km away: a five-minute drive or 30-minute walk. Here you will find lots of shops, bakeries, groceries and restaurants. Bedoin has a well-known and popular Monday morning market. Caromb, also close by, has a bakery, excellent butcher, grocers...as well as a stunning 14th- century Romanesque church and steeple towering over the village. The medieval village within the ramparts is definitely worth a visit. Vaison-la-Romaine--a much larger town 25 minutes away-- is unique in that it claims the largest archeological site in all of France, with Roman ruins, a beautifully preserved medieval village and a bustling, modern center. Vaison has a very popular Tuesday morning market, dating to the 15th century, and an excellent July International Dance Festival held in the ancient Roman theatre. A little farther away, Orange has the best-preserved Roman theatre in Europe. Other exquisitely preserved villages—such as pedestrian-only Séguret, Crestet with its 16th-century chapel and 11th-century château and Le Barroux, the former haunt of British royalty--are perched on nearby hillsides. Take a drive around Mont Ventoux and stop at the wood-burning bakery in tiny Savoillans before moving on to Brantes; enjoy a wildflower hike and have lunch at the Auberge de Brantes. Sault, near Brantes, has some of Provence’s best-known lavender fields and distilleries. A visit to the lavender fields is a must if you’re in the area between mid-June and mid-July. The trendy Luberon, home to the perched villages of Gordes, Roussillon, Bonnieux and others, is only a 40-minute drive through superb countryside. The famous antique mecca of L’Isle sur la Sorgue is only a 35-minute drive. St-Rémy-de-Provence is a one-hour drive. You are close to the neighboring Côtes-du-Rhône wine region. For wine lovers, Châteauneuf-du-Pape is 40 minutes away, and Gigondas, Vacqueryas and Beaumes-de-Venise are 20-30 minutes. History enthusiasts will find lots to discover in the area, beginning with the history of the Crillon le Brave itself. The village, along with all of northern Provence and the Luberon, is part of the Comtat Venaissin, the territory that belonged entirely to the Pope for 500 years...until after the French revolution, in 1792. When Pope Clement V moved to France, Avignon was not deemed “appropriate” for the Papal retinue so the Pope spent his first five years in nearby Carpentras, which already belonged to the Papacy. Jews who were driven from their homes elsewhere were permitted to live in the Comtat Venaissin and in the 17th-century Carpentras was named one of the 4 “Holy Cities” where Jews were required to live. Carpentras now has the oldest active synagogue in France, which can be visited, and a very lively Friday market, including a black truffle market in winter.
Emotional Escapes presents Gigondas, a spectacular wine producing village perched in the foothills of the Dentelles de Montmirail in the Upper Vaucluse region of Provence, South of France.
The village of Grignan, in the South of France, sits on a low hill and is dominated by the superb renaissance castle for which it is famous.
Grillon is a small village, with the 12th-century ramparts and walls nicely restored without losing the Medieval flavour. The narrow streets on the hill of the old village are interesting, with a particularly nice tripple-arched vaulted section. With its main square of the village is shaded with the typical plane trees. Provence Emotional Escapes promotes luxury villa rentals near the historical village of Grillon.
L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, often referred to as the 'Venice of Provence' due to its abundance of waterways. The famous antiques market is the second largest in France.
Le Barroux is a village and commune in the Vaucluse department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region in southeastern France. It had a population of 615 in 2006. Le Barroux is a medieval village perched atop a hill at the foot of the majestic Mont Ventoux. Not only will you discover welcoming restaurants in its typically Provençal winding streets but you will also be charmed by the whole magical atmosphere this traditional village and its castle carefully maintain.
Malaucène is approached through a remarkable avenue of ancient plane trees. The village dates from the tenth century and contains medieval, gallic and roman structures - and even some prehistoric vestiges. Sixteenth century ramparts surround the old town. Strolling through the streets of Malaucène, you will be able to admire the beautiful residences dating from the 16th to 18th centuries, ancient fountains and the wash-houses. On the Cours Isnards you will find restaurants, café terraces and hotels as well as numerous shops.
Mazan, despite its recent growth since the 1950s has kept its traditional provençal village features. It is a market town nowadays but was for a long time a minor agricultural village.
Méthamis is a rural high perched village, with a small grocery, cafe and post office.Méthamis is the starting point of the Gorges de la Nesque which is an impressive and rough canyon, with improbable rock formations that can be viewed from the route. The road passes through tunnels and by viewpoints, such as the Castelleras.
Mormoiron is a small charming village nestled between the Mont Ventoux and the Vaucluse plateau, just a stone's throw from the La Nesque Gorge.
Pernes-les-Fontaines is a lovely medieval fortified town. The remaining fortifications include defensive walls dating back to the 16th century, and several defensive "portes" dating to the 16th and 14th centuries. The Tour Ferrande is a 13th-century donjon tower with frescos. The old castle of the Counts of Toulouse, with its 13th-century donjon, 1484 clock and 1764 campanile, is one of the oldest in the "Comtat".
Robion was once a fortified hilltop village, further protected by the cliffs behind. Today, a walk around the back and over the top will take you along ancient cobblestone lanes and through arched gateways. The top of the ancient village is still protected by parts of the ancient defensive walls. In the center is an old fountain with a covered column that was once a well, surrounded by a tight circle of plane trees and a ring of stone benches. The old village has retained its charm and although its a tiny village with few commodities other than a café, it does possess an outdoor theater during the summertime.
As its name suggests, La Roque-sur-Pernes is perched on a rock and finds itself surrounded by the most beautiful countryside. A few minutes drive from the charming village of Saint Didier in Provence, a little further through the beautiful countryside to l'Isle sur la Morgue, and not far from the South of France Luberon National Park.
Renting a holiday villa in Séguret places you in the heart of one of Provence's most culturally rich wine producing regions.
Straddling the Ouveze River, Vaison-la-Romaine is the largest archaeological site in Europe. Stroll through a vast Roman village. And it's also a lovely busy town with some superb restaurants and great shops.
Situated on the left bank of the Coronne river, Valréas is surrounded by renowned vineyards.Valréas is world famous for its wine production as it is part of the côtes-du Rhône appellation.
Perched at the summit of a rocky outcrop, Venasque is a picturesque fortified village classed amongst one of the 126 "Most Beautiful Villages in France."
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