Villages of Provence

From the banks of the Sorgue to the hilltop villages, visit the Luberon's typical sites, with their impressive scenery and unrivalled conviviality.

From Fontaine-de-Vaucluse to Châteauneuf-de-Gadagne, by way of Saumane-de-Vaucluse, L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue and Le Thor, discover or rediscover this corner of Provence where life is good. Stroll or cycle amid orchards and vineyards, kayak down the Sorgue, immerse yourself in the past when you visit villages replete with antique and bric-a-brac shops, delight in markets with colourful and tasty products, see built and natural heritage and discover the traditions and know-how that forged the character of the territory and its inhabitants. The array of activities and outings is virtually endless.

The Pays des Sorgues between Luberon and Ventoux

Bounded to the north-east by the legendary silhouette of Mont Ventoux, to the north by the Vaucluse Mountains, cut through by impressive limestone gorges, to the south-east by the undulating contours of the Petit and Grand Luberon, and to the south by the Alpilles mountain range, standing guard over the access to the Crau and the Camargue, strictly speaking, the Pays des Sorgues lies at the crossroads of various cultures and landscapes. Together, they have forged the character of this corner of Provence eternally cherished by its inhabitants and prized by artists and writers.

To the west, twenty minutes by train from Châteauneuf-de-Gadagne, a renowned wine terroir and hilltop village with charming narrow alleyways, the Cité des Papes, offers visitors the incomparable beauty of its architecture and a cultural offering of international renown.

And to the east, less than twenty kilometres from L'Isle-sur-Sorgue, nicknamed the 'Venice of the Comtat', the stone rosaries of the villages of Gordes, Lourmarin, Ménerbes and Roussillon are strung out along the steep foothills of the Petit Luberon and Mourre Nègre. In the centre, the Sorgues Plain harbours natural treasures, such as the mysterious chasm of Fontaine-de-Vaucluse, the secret valleys surrounding the picturesque village of Saumane-de-Vaucluse and the underground wonders of the Caves of Thouzon.

This land replete with culture, celebrated by locally-born poet René Char, by Frédéric Mistral and the Félibrige Association, as well as by Petrarch, back in the day, is dotted with churches, chapels and castles, such as the one belonging to the Sade family in Saumane-de-Vaucluse. Cultural centres, foundations and museums provide a varied cultural offering, often international in scope.

However, it would be remiss of us to speak of Provence without making mention of the many markets that regularly bring our village streets to life: early fruits, honey, olive oil, wine, lavender and crystallised fruits offer up a whole range of flavours whose secrets are generously shared by the producers.

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