Highlights of Southern Provence

Haute Vaucluse and the Luberon

This holiday combined a leisurely exploration of the Dentelles area around Vaison la Romaine followed by two nights in the lavender growing area of Sault in the Vaucluse mountains. During the second week our party of four spent a relaxing week exploring the delights of the Luberon valley from their base in a

pretty villa with pool on the outskirts of the village of Roussillon. A holiday really combining the best of both worlds. We planned a full day by day itinerary and hotels for their first week, booked their villa and provided suggestions for visits and excursions during the second week of their stay.

Four of the highlights of this holiday combining two different areas of Provence
Iles sur la Sorgues
Day By Day Itinerary

The itinerary was planned as a first night of Saturday and a final night of Friday

Day 1

Our two couples flew to Nice and then drove to Rasteau for the first five nights of the holiday staying in the heart of the Cotes du Rhone area in a charming hotel situated near the village.

Day 2

Today a tour of the prettiest and most picturesque villages of the Dentelles including Séguret, a 'village classé' and Le Crestet with panoramic views across to the 'giant of Provence' Mont Ventoux. A visit also of the 12th century Chateau at Le Barroux and then the day ended in Vaison la Romaine for an exploration of the medieval Haute Ville.

Day 3

A day to sample the pleasures of Cotes du Rhone wine. A visit the Maison du Vin in Gigondas for a tasting of a selection of the famous Cotes du Rhone red wines followed by lunch at the charming restaurant L'Oustalet in the village square of then a picturesque drive to the Col de Cayron, a pass at the centre of the Dentelles principle peaks. Then returning to Gigondas and on to a Beaumes de Venise to explore the village and another vineyard for a visit to the cellars and a tasting of the famous sweet muscat wine.

Day 4

The day started with a visit to the market in Vaison where stalls wind their way through the whole town laden with provencal produce, pottery and fabrics. Then in the afternoon visits to the cathedral and to the extensive roman sites from which the town derives its name.

Day 5

A drive north to Nyons this morning, famous for its olive oil. After a fascinating guided visit of the Vieux Moulins, a tasting of olive oils. Just a short walk away, visit the shop and distillery Bleu Provence for an explanation of the distillation of lavender and other essential oils. Explore the old town with lunch at of one of the many cafes there then this afternoon a short drive to Orange to visit to the Roman sites including the spectacular Theatre, one of the best preserved in the world and believed to be the only one with the stage wall still standing and the magnificent Triumphal Arch and museum.

Day 6

Leaving the Dentelles, a spectacular drive up into the Vaucluse mountains and Mont Ventoux. The drive up Mont Ventoux gently climbs through oak and pine forest to the bare limestone summit. The views from the top are unsurpassed. The ascent via the northern slopes takes you through the ski village of Mont Serein where there is a botanical trail that introduces you to the flora of this protected area. From here follow the winding road down to the mountain town of Sault in the heart of the lavender growing area for a two-night stay.

Day 7

Explore the town of Sault with its interesting local shops including the Jardin des Lavandes with a lovely choice of lavender products and the shop of master nougatier André Boyer. This afternoon a driving tour along the spectacular Gorges de la Nesque. The River Nesque that rises on the east fact of Mont Ventoux has carved a spectacular wild gorge through the calcareous rock of the Vaucluse plateau. The river runs so deeply through the gorge that at times only the murmur of the water can be heard metres below you.

Day 8

Depart the Vaucluse mountains for the pretty drive into the Luberon valley and on to the self-catering house for the second week of the holiday.

Day 8 to Day 14

A week relaxing with some local excursions and the possibility of day trips to Avignon and Aix en Provence.
Suggested local visits were included in the Route Book
• The Antiques Market in Isle sur la Sorgue
• A tour of the perched villages of the Luberon
• Forcalquier, Lurs and the Priory of Ganagobie
• Gordes and the Abbaye de Senanque
• Lourmarin and its Chateau
• A walk in the valley of Buoux with lunch at a country restaurant

Mas Bernardo

Page updated: 03-Dec-2018