When you’re in the Vaucluse area of Provence, you’ll be discovering loads of villages to fall in love with. On hill tops, in valleys, by rivers and streams, surrounded by vineyards, orchards, fields of sunflowers and lavender, there’s no shortage of gorgeous places to stop here.
Five Villages in Provence that are must-sees
Roussillon –a quintessential Provence village, officially classified as one of the prettiest towns in France. Famous for its incredible ochre deposits. (More on Roussillon)
Avignon – don’t miss the Palais des Papes, the Palace of the Popes (top photo). A gothic legacy of an extraordinary episode in history when French ordained Pope refused to go to Italy and moved the Papal Court to Avignon in 1309 where it remained for 67 years and 7 Popes before returning to Rome. If you’re lucky enough to be there in from August to early October, you’ll be able to see the extraordinary Sound and Light show at the Palace – it’s a magical evening which brings to life this ancient place in a palette of colour and sound.
Apt – mellow, yellow coloured buildings and lovely little shops. Famous for its crystallised fruit which has been made here since the days when the Popes lived in Avignon and brought the technique for making it with them from Italy. (Read our feature: What to do in Apt)
Sault – chocolate-box pretty with gorgeous views over the surrounding countryside which in summer months looks like a purple and gold quilt as sunflowers and lavender bloom side by side. There’s also a lavender distillery where you’ll learn all about the “blue gold” that’s grown here.
Carpentras – exotic, colourful and charismatic. Don’t forget to check out the amazing cheese shop Fromagerie Vigier run by Claudine Vigier, master cheese-maker!
Markets of Provence – where to find a lush French market every day of the week!
Petite Guide to Provence – the departments and the main towns, what to see and do
Want to see the lavender in bloom? – read our top tips for when and when…