The best walks and hikes to do in Provence in spring!

With the aim of shaking off the winter cobwebs and getting back outdoors, the team at Isle sur la Sorgue Tourisme took to the trails to find the best springtime hikes for you.

When spring is in the air, everyone wants to get back outdoors and appreciate the good weather. So here are our top five favourite springtime walks and hikes, with something for all abilities.

The Waterwheel Route in L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue: 2 km, very easy. Recommended by the whole team as a way of exploring the town.

Discover one of L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue's unmissable features: the waterwheels. Starting at the Collegiate Church of Notre-Dame-des-Anges, this short 2 km walk takes you alongside the Sorgue and lets you see the town's various waterwheels. They bear witness to the area's industrial past.

If you want to walk a bit farther, we suggest doing a short 1.5 km detour to Partage des Eaux. At this preserved natural site, whose name means 'watershed', the waters of the River Sorgue fork into two arms for the first time. There is a lovely picnic area here for you to enjoy.

The team's opinion: 'This route is ideal for discovering the city easily, with your family or as a couple. Before you set off, stop in at the Tourist Office, where you can collect a map of the route to make sure you don't miss any of the waterwheels and also to learn a bit more about the town's industrial past.'

Around Saumane: 5 km, easy. Route recommended by Gwladys from the Tourist Office.

This very easy two-hour route lets you explore the authentic village of Saumane-de-Vaucluse and the surrounding area.

Along the way, you will notice the old paths lined with drystone retaining walls called 'restanques' that were used in bygone days on the terraced croplands. Pause to admire the magnificent view over the valleys around the village. Other interesting things you will see on your walk include the old drystone huts, the Château of Sade Saumane perched on a rocky crag and the narrow cobblestoned village streets.

Gwladys's opinion: 'I'm not much of a walker myself, but this is a nice easy route despite a steep climb at the start! It feels so good to be out in nature and enjoy the fabulous scenery and the view over the Luberon Valley.'

Wine route in Châteauneuf-de-Gadagne: from 5 km to 15 km, easy, recommended by Françoise.

The starting point for this route is on the Campbeau Plateau, and more precisely the Avenue Voltaire Garcin in Châteauneuf-de-Gadagne. It is an easy hike, suitable for the whole family. Head off through the woods and continue along the Chemin des Pierres ('Path of the Stones'). Feast your eyes on the wonderful view that takes in the Mont Ventoux, the Château of Thouzon, the Vaucluse Mountains, the Dentelles de Montmirail and, off in the distance, the Luberon.

Another treat on this hike is the Arbousière Park, a splendid pine grove that's the perfect place to pause for a rest while you admire the scenery. The youngsters will love it too since it has a great children's playground. What's more, the route brings you very close to the wine estates of Fonségugne and la Chapelle.

Françoise's opinion: 'This walk through the vineyards with a fabulous view over the Mont Ventoux really gives your energy a boost! If you have time, I suggest you do a detour and visit one of the wine estates. The fact that you can split the walk into sections of 5 km, 10 km or 15 km is an added bonus. Given that work is ongoing to improve the route markings, I'd recommend bringing along a GPS or an IGN map.'

The Mourre de la Belle Étoile: 13 km – moderate. Hike recommended by Enzo.

This moderate hike starts at the Place de la Colonne in Fontaine-de-Vaucluse, seven kilometres from L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, and takes around three and a half hours to complete.

Along the way, you will pass quite close to the unmissable Fontaine-de-Vaucluse chasm, where the source of the Sorgue bubbles up out of the ground. You will also be rewarded with magnificent scenery and a panoramic view at the Mourre de la Belle Étoile, one of the high points above the village. Other interesting places on this route include the François Petrarch Museum, the Oule Spring and the Museum of the Resistance.

Enzo's opinion: I'd recommend this route for people who hike occasionally. However, I wouldn't recommend it for families. I loved the viewpoints overlooking the rocky cliffs of Fontaine-de-Vaucluse! We had a picnic up by the Valescure Farm.'

Hike to Plague Wall: 16 km, difficult. Recommended by Clément.

Setting off from Cabrières-d'Avignon, this hike takes around six and a half hours to complete.
The itinerary takes you to the Mur de la Peste (Plague Wall) and you can learn about its history thanks to the various information panels at the site. Built in 1721, the wall was intended to protect the Comtat Venaissin from the plague, which had arrived in Marseille a year earlier.

Other attractions along this route include sweeping panoramic views and scenery, the Valley of the Oule Spring and the Château of Cabrières-d'Avignon.

Clément's opinion: 'I recommend this hike for seasoned walkers. Seeing Plague Wall, which has survived so well-preserved to the present-day, is striking.'

Opening periods

Looking for other walks to do in Vaucluse? Then don't waste any time in taking a look at Provence Guide's list, which features a number of the footpaths in the territory.

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Les meilleures randonnées à faire au printemps !

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