South of France with Hand Luggage Only
23rd March 2018 by Nina Reynolds
Whether you have 3 weeks or 3 days, the French region of Provence is perfect for a getaway in the sunshine. We travelled an area of Provence centred around the Vaucluse- an area in the southeast named after the famous springs, the Fontaine de Vaucluse. You can explore these villages and towns in just a few days, the perfect way to spend a long weekend.
The name Vaucluse is derived from the Latin for ‘closed valley’ and Fontaine de Vaucluse is the source of the spring that feeds the River Sorgue. The village is one of the most visited in this area due to the impressive spring which flows out of a 230m high cliff, from which 630 million cubic meters of water flow out each year. Try to visit in the morning to enjoy a calm wander through this charming village along the river before the village gets very busy during the afternoons. Just a little way out of the village- you can rent a kayak to row downstream of the Sorgue river. The water is crystal clear but beware, it is cold due to being so close to the source. The water remains at a cool 13 degrees all year round.
L’Isle Sur La Sorgue, the ‘island city’, is a town on the Sorgue river famous for its vast array of antique shops and markets, there is plenty to see here and explore. Sunday is market day on which the streets are full to the brim of stalls selling anything from cheese and wine to textiles and clothing. If you visit during August you could visit the famous floating market where traditional boats float along the river selling vast arrays of colourful fruits, vegetables, flowers, cheese and wine.
Standing proudly on the edge of the plateau of Vaucluse, Gordes is a village well known for its stunning views and beautiful village setting. Built into the hills, the town has exceptional charm and typical architecture of the region. Located at the very top of the town is the church and the castle, facing out across the hills of the Luberon. Lunch at one of the many lovely restaurants in the town is the perfect way to spend an afternoon, explore the cobbled streets and discover the panoramic views across the valley and the mountains of Luberon.
Just a short drive from Gordes is the beautiful village of Roussillon. Famously known for its richly coloured buildings and stunning landscape. Ochre deposits in the clay surrounding the village range from bright yellows to rich orange and reds, hence the reason Roussillon is famous for its red cliffs. From the rich colours of the buildings each one offset with brightly painted shutters and doors, to the lush greenery and typical Provencal blue skies, this village really is full of colour. Take your time to stroll around the streets and town square, visit the small boutique shops and take in the beautifully scenery surrounding the town.