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  • Writer's pictureeleonorevanout

7 Villages to Visit in Provence, France

Ah, Provence in July... I can already smell the lavender, hear the crickets and feel the warmth! I love this region, as it's filled with charming villages, amazing French food, and endless smells. I recently had the pleasure of staying in La-Roque-sur-Pernes, an ideal location to explore this picturesque region. Let's talk about seven charming villages that should definitely be on your list when you're near La-Roque-sur-Pernes! Here's my itinerary for a week:

Day 1: Saint-Didier – A Taste of Provencal Market Magic

Our week began in Saint-Didier. The highlight? Its cute little market, where so many locals were enjoying their morning coffee and cigarette with lovely company. I felt like I was in a typical French movie, I loved the feeling!

If you're looking for a cute market with food stands as well as cute little jewellery and clothes, this is the place to be. From fragrant lavender to a plethora of sausages and olives to choose from, it was a sensory delight. The perfect spot for foodies.

We couldn't resist the charm of 'l’Autre Côté du Lavoir' for lunch. Run by a lovely couple, this gem served up scrumptious local fare that left our taste buds dancing. It's not just about the food; it's the warm, welcoming atmosphere that made this place truly special. It was recommended to us by locals and boy, did it not disappoint.

Day 2: Golf and Gastronomy in Pernes-les-Fontaines

As we love a good mix of visiting and chilling, it was time for a leisurely game of golf followed by poolside relaxation to set the pace for our Tuesday. Come evening, we headed to Pernes-les-Fontaines and dined at 'Dame l’Oie.' Their zucchini risotto with codfish was to die for, as well as their dessert (isn't every dessert?).

We didn't visit the village, but it looked like it was definitely worth a visit.

Day 3: A Colorful Odyssey – Roussillon and Gordes

Wednesday was a day of vibrant hues and breathtaking views. Our first stop, Roussillon, introduced us to the mesmerizing 'Sentier des Ocres,' a landscape reminiscent of the Grand Canyon. Walk on ocher-painted trails through the natural, beautiful rocks and trees shaped by time and the elements. Important note: do. not. wear. any. white. clothes. They will be yellow.

Gordes, a nearby village, offered a complete contrast with its charming streets. We spent 2 to 3 hours exploring its little streets and shops, followed by a pit-stop at the nearby Abbey Des Senanques, which brought us face to face with fields of lavender – a Provencal dream come true.

Day 4: Market Marvels in L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue and the Highs of Venasque

On Thursday we went to L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, a village famous for its sprawling markets. The sheer variety of foods and goods on display was amazing. From cheeses that melted in the mouth to handcrafted souvenirs, we couldn't resist taking a piece of Provence home.

Tip: be there early, as you will be searching for a parking spot for quite some time.

Venasque, perched high in the hills, was our next stop. You know those typical French movies, with some typical French music in the background? At this point, it really felt like that, while walking through the small streets. It embodied the quintessential French village.

When you're here, definitely go to the top of the village, where you will find a little shop owned by a 90 year old man who sells the best local grape and cherry products.

You can walk around as long as you like, but we took about 1 hour.

Day 5: Kayaking and Roman Dreams in Fontaine-de-Vaucluse and Vaison-la-Romaine

Adventures took a watery turn on Friday as we went on a kayaking adventure in Fontaine-de-Vaucluse. The crystal-clear waters of the Sorgue River and the green surroundings gave such a soothing feeling.

We booked this activity through Canoë Evasion and it cost us €26 per person for about 2 hours. This was actually a group activity, where you get a guide per group, because you need to know the right route, otherwise you might end up in the middle of nowhere.

I definitely recommend doing this if you're in the area, as you get to see so many beautiful, peaceful places. Halfway, they give you a 15-minute break, during which you can go for a swim or explore the currents a bit further and swim through them.

After lunch, our original plan was to explore Vaison-la-Romaine, a haven for Roman architecture enthusiasts. However, the scorching heat had other plans. Still, it's definitely on our list for a future visit.

So, if you ever find yourself near La-Roque-sur-Pernes, don't miss the chance to explore these seven villages in Provence: Saint-Didier, L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, Gordes, Roussillon, Pernes-les-Fontaines, Vaison-la-Romaine and Venasque.

Each village has its unique charm, and every time I get the feeling as if I were in a movie. Provence, je t'aime!


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