Have a day in the city
Avignon, the capital of the Vaucluse is less than an hour away by car. Situated on the Rhône, it is a beautiful city with impressive buildings including the Palais des Papes.
The children will love the 'Petit Train', the little white train which will show you the sights of Avignon. Or take a boat trip along the River Rhône to give you a different view of this beautiful city.
If you don't mind winding, twisting roads and love impressive scenery,
then follow the D942 through the Gorges de la Nesque and see the 985 ft high Rocher du Cire. Carry on and you will end up at Sault, the home of lavender!
Visit the nearby village of Le Barroux
- you will spot its imposing chateau that dominates the skyline. You can look around the castle, and the village itself has a lovely auberge and a salon du thé for tea and coffee in the afternoon.
Visit the Luberon valley,
home to vineyards and very chic and pretty stone villages such as Gordes, Ménerbes, Roussillon, Lourmarin, -the setting for many of the chapters in that famous book by Peter Mayle, 'A Year in Provence'.
A trip to L'Isle sur la Sorgue is a must on a Sunday morning
Known as the 'Venice of Provence' for all the little canals that run through the town, it is also the largest antique centre after Paris with lots and lots of antique shops. Each Sunday morning there is a huge open air market with stalls of fruit, veg, Provencal goods, paintings, antiques, 'brocante', - a fantastic melting of sounds, scents and textures.
For a change in scenery,
go to St Rémy de Provence (about 1hr's drive), at the bottom of the Alpilles hills. A chic and pretty town, for a time it was home to Van Gogh. Follow the self-guided walking trail around the town - 21 signposts are dotted around the town, each with a reproduction of one of his paintings and an explanation in French and English.
Vaison la Romaine
Visit the Roman ruins and amphitheatre, and the medieval quarter with its narrow cobbled streets and interesting shops. Enjoy the relaxed pace of life and do some people watching from one of the lovely cafés around the main square.
Tuesday morning sees Vaison la Romaine fill with market stalls selling fresh local produce. Choose your ingredients for a delicious lunch on the terrace back at the house.
The Pont du Gard near Avignon
Built over 2000 years ago to transport water to Nîmes, this is one of the highest aqueduct bridges built by the Roman empire. Its wonderfully preserved three tiers of arches and precise descent are testimony to the engineering prowess of the Romans. Visit it early evening when the crowds have left and the setting sun lights up the golden stonework.
Drive up the Mont Ventoux
The protected mountain reserve Mont Ventoux is recognised by UNESCO for its biological diversity, including unique species of spiders and butterflies as well as the Short-toed Eagle. Superb views can be enjoyed from the summit, which is almost bare limestone following severe deforestation for ship building in Toulon from the 13th century, although some areas have since been reforested.
Within the Romans ruins there is a museum and also a Roman theatre which in July hosts the famous celebration of dance, the 'Festival de Vaison-la-Romaine', and plays host to various jazz and other music events throughout the year.
Dentelles de Montmirail
The house sits at the northern end of the Dentelles de Montmirail which is a distinctive range of hills with jagged limestone crags. Below are slopes covered in pine trees and vines. A perfect place for walkers, nature lovers and painters.
For wine lovers....
..... head to the southern Côtes du Rhône or the Côtes du Ventoux to tour around the renowned vineyards. A perfect delight for wine lovers.
Day out to Bedoin
A half hour drive will bring you to a bustling village of shops, cafes and bars along the main street. Take the trip on a Monday morning and you will be able to visit the Provencal market that is held in the village.
Have you visited Le Mas Ventoux?
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