Venasque is a small but perfectly pretty village. You’ll find it in the centre of the Vaucluse department of Provence, to the south-east of Carpentras and not far from gorgeous Gordes. Perched high on a rocky promontory below the majestic Mont Ventoux, Venasque has far-reaching views across the Nesque valley and Vaucluse. The village is officially listed as one of the ‘most beautiful villages in France’.
What to see in Venasque
Venasque is quite a small village and doesn’t take long to explore. The centre is very picturesque with winding streets lined with pretty, ancient houses, and a few fountains. There are a few shops, arts and crafts and a handful of restaurants. It’s rarely busy here but it is full of charm and very tranquil. There’s a small weekly summer market from the last Friday in June to the last Friday in September. The main festival is the Cherry festival held in early June.
The baptistry, located behind the church includes pagan, Roman and Christian relics. According to tradition, the baptistry was founded in the Merovingian period by St. Siffrein, a monk of the abbey of Lerins, who became bishop of Venasque at the end of the 6th century. The building is set out like a four leaf clover and each ‘leaf’ has 5 arches inside with domed roofs.
The village is surrounded by vineyards, cherry orchards and the garrigue, the name given to the aromatic scrubland of southern France. If you’re visiting the more well known L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, Carpentras, Gordes or Fontaine de Vaucluse, it’s worth a detour to discover sleepy and picturesque Venasque.