Take an early morning stroll into Villedieu
to pick up some fresh croissants for breakfast and then enjoy a leisurely breakfast by the pool.
Or head into Villedieu for an aperitif
in the café in the square early evening. Listen to the trickle of the fountain, the sound of the cigales in the trees and relax in the evening warmth.
Go to the Italian Restaurant in the village square
But remember to book ahead because even in early September they were full most nights
Head into Vaison la Romaine on a Tuesday morning
for the open air market that fills the streets. Buy some fresh bread, goat's cheese, tomatoes and olives and maybe a cake from a pâtisserie. Take them back to Villa des Baronnies for an alfresco lunch on by the pool.
Vaison la Romaine is the closest town to Villa des Baronnies
and is a delight to visit, not just on a Tuesday morning. The problem is what to visit first - the Roman ruins and amphitheatre, the medieval part with its narrow cobbled streets, or the interesting shops and lovely cafes around the main square.
Head towards Entrechaux and then follow the Toulourenc River
that goes through a quite unspoilt and almost wild valley. Look up from the valley floor and you will see Brantes perched on the hillside above you. People still live in the village - have a wander around, visit the 'faience' studio or have a coffee in the café.
For a change in scenery, cross the River Rhône
and head into the northern parts of Languedoc Roussillon, to the Gard. Here you will find the beautiful and unspoilt medieval hilltop town of Uzès where you can happily spend a couple of hours wandering its streets and popping in and out of its cafes and shops.
Or stop at the Pont du Gard
- an impressive architectural and engineering masterpiece that was built over 2000 years ago to transport water to Nimes. Visit it early evening when the crowds have gone and the sun setting lights up the golden stone.
Cross over the Roman bridge in Vaison la Romaine
and walk up the cobbled streets into the medieval part of the town. On your way up, stop at the little 'Moroccan' style café with its outdoor terrace. They make lovely salads at lunchtime.
Wander the narrow streets in Villedieu.
At the end of Rue Mistral, you will find a bench conveniently placed to admire the surrounding countryside (although you will no doubt enjoy the view from Villa des Baronnies too).
A village not to be missed for the views it offers is Suzette,
the highest village in the heart of the Dentelles. In the car park, there is a map with walking routes detailed. After the walk, relax with a drink in the little café in the village, which boasts a panoramic terrace.
Attend one of the classical music concerts
that are can be heard mid July for about 3 weeks in various wine villages around Vaison la Romaine. The concerts are held in various places such as a chapel garden or a pretty village square and the evening finishes with a wine tasting.
Head off to the Gorges de l'Ardèche for the day
(just under 1 ½ hr drive). The magnificent natural landscape is now a designated 'Reserve Naturelle'. A scenic drive, plus canoeing and kayaking down the river are there to tempt you.
Visit Orange in July and August,
and go to one of the concerts that take place in its magnificent Roman Theatre. 'Les Chorégies d'Orange' is world famous and it is definitely worth making the effort to go to one of the concerts.
Take the children for an entertaining and informative day out
at 'La Ferme aux Crocodiles', in Pierrelatte (about 1 hr drive northwest). Over 500 crocodiles can be found at the farm which was formed to protect many of the species.
Try the olives (any market will have a stall selling them)
as the area north of Vaison la Romaine, towards Buis les Baronnies and up to Nyons is known for its olive production as you can see from the sheer number of olive trees that make up the landscape.
Stock up on the novels
you have always wanted to read, and spend the week reading them.
A must-do on any list is a trip to Avignon,
the capital of the Vaucluse. Head for the car park called 'Parking Palais des Papes'. This underground car park is underneath the Palais des Papes square and so when you surface, you greeted with an awe inspiring view of the Palais itself.
In one of the main squares in Avignon,
Place de l'Horloge, there are lots of open-air cafes and restaurants and the prettiest carousel we've seen to entertain the children.
Choose a clear day and drive to the top of Mont Ventoux
(you can cycle but it is so much easier driving!). It may be hot down in the valley but you will definitely feel the difference in temperature at the top! As you drive up, note the amazing changes in landscape. Picnic spots under the trees are dotted along the wayside and there are large information panels about the amazing and varied flora and fauna.
Explore the villages that circle the Dentelles de Montmirail
- Seguret, Gigondas, Vacqueyras, Beaumes de Venise, Suzette, Malaucène, and Le Crestet. A lovely way to spend a day but you may find they are all so pretty that you run out of time to explore them all in one day! Most of the villages also have wine 'caves' where you can taste the local wine.
If you fancy trying your hand at some of the local Provençal dishes, why not take part in a cookery lesson? The owner of one of our other properties in Provence runs a cookery school in the village of Crillon Le Brave (30mins from Villedieu) every Friday morning (subject to demand). Please ask us for further details.
Simply enjoy a glass of the local rosé
sitting by the pool and listen to the sound of the cigales - a lovely way to spend a summer's evening.
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