The Vaucluse exudes a very cultured air. Its very rich past – Roman inheritance in Orange, papal legacy of Avignon is very amplified by summer festivals in both towns, while the perched villages of the Luberon are reserved to holiday homes. The villages are not perched by accident and Avignon’s ramparts were built for protection. Defense was the main reason for both.

Vaison La Romaine, one of the best preserved Roman towns of Provence.

Abbaye de Senanque, built in 1148, this is one of the primitive abbeys known as ” the Cistercian Sisters of Provence” to allow the monks to meditate undistracted, according to the rule of St -Benedict. The abbey is spectacular when it is surrounded by lavender fields.

Le Mont Ventoux, on a clear day you can see all 6,500 ft of the “giant of Provence“, with the observatory at the summit as it rises between the Rhone Valley, the Vaucluse plateau and the massifs of Barronies. The road to the top is one of striking contrasts, as it snakes past orchards, dense pinewoods and bare limestone. The summit is buffeted by strong winds all year round.

Roman theater, Orange,The might of the 1st-century Rome is revealed in all its glory in this amphitheater and one of the best  preserved relics from antiquity. The acoustics are exceptional. A marble  statue of Augustus is still there to welcome spectators.

Parc Naturel regional du Luberon, The Luberon has a wild natural mountain beauty. It is also the parks job to maintain tourists and the environment.

Fontaine-de-Vaucluse, is one of the most powerful waters in the world. The torrent suddenly emerged in the 7th-century, watering the fig trees and feeding the river Sorgue. Truly spectacular after heavy rain.

Les Dentelles de Montmirail, the prettiest mountain range in Provence. It has taken clay, salt , limestone and 200 million years to create the lace-like pattern of mountaintops against the sky. For people who like to hike :  the lacy path is longer than it looks!

Synagogue, Carpentras, until the 19th-century, Carpentras -capital of the Comtat  Venaissin, a former papal enclave inside France – had a large Jewish community. All that now survives is France’s oldest synagogue, founded in the 14th- century- its sanctuary and bread ovens intact.

Anne Suire

Travel Planner & coordinator