Le Comtat Venaissin

Cypres_VentouxThe soft countryside of the Comtat Venaissin is reminiscent of Tuscany with it's sunny warm climate, fields doted with isolated farms surrounded by irrigation canals and the remarkable perched villages of Le Beaucet, Venasque, Blauvac and Methamis.
Pernes-les-Fontaines is often called or described as " The Pearl of the Comtat".  Its rich past permeates the village. Its architectural treasures include 40 fountains, 3 fortified gates, the "Tour de l'Horloge", the Tour Ferrande, medieval fresques, "la croix couverte", chapelles, covered medieval market, the Church Notre-Dame from the 12th century and magnificent 17th century baroque organs.

Itineraries: Les Terrasses du Ventoux / Au fil du ComtatLes Villages perchés / Les Gorges de la Nesque

Le Val de Sault

couv_Sault_DThe Sault Valley is first seen from The Gorges de la Nesque or upon arrival at the Col de la Gabelle. The first glimpse of the patchwork scenery of bright blue lavender fields and yellow wheat is striking. One cannot determine where the sky ends and fields begin. The brilliant light and contrasting colors are extraordinary. Once in the valley, one can smell the particular combination of lavender and wheat. The famous truffle found here is just one of the specialties of the local cuisine.

The beautiful circuit from Monieux to Aurel by way of Sault, Saint Trinit and Ferrassieres is not to be missed !

Itinerary: Le Plateau d'Albion

Les Dentelles de Montmirail

site_dentmont3_D From the latin mons mirabilis = Admirable Mountain
This amazing mountain is composed of giant teeth like rocks coming out of the sky.  The rough relief of blue and orange; depending on the season, time of day and light dominate the Comtat Venaissisn. In the surrounding Mediterranean forest of green oak, cedar and different varieties of pine, one also sees vineyards, olive groves and fruit trees.

Climbers can take advantage of more than 700 equipped climbing routes on limestone cliffs exposed to the warm sun, even in Winter,  yet protected from the strong Mistral winds throughout the year. The area is extremely popular for hikers and cyclists alike. The Dentelles de Mont de Montmirail is appreciated by all thanks to its terraced vineyards, ancient chapels overtaken by vegetation and panoramic views of the Mont Ventoux and Rhone Valley.

Itineraries: Entre Ventoux et Dentelles, Au pied des Dentelles
 

The Mont Ventoux

Ventoux1_DThe Mont Ventoux, located about 50 kilometers North East of Avignon, is the 1912 meter high sentry and guard of Provence. This giant with two faces and white crown can be seen from the Mediterranean sea, Cevennes, Rhone Valley, Montagne de Lure and Alpes de Haute-Provence.
The mountain's Southern face enjoys a Mediterranean climate as compared to a more Alpine one on it's Northern side.
The incredibly diverse landscape and biological attributes of the region have earned it the classification as "Natural Reserve" from UNESCO. The agricultural and historical heritage of its foothills reinforce the character of the area.
Throughout the seasons of the year, the regions agricultural production, local artists and typical markets fill the tastes and smells of the village squares, restaurants and terraces.
 
The Mont Ventoux represents the Provence one imagines and adores.

All itineraries


 

The Nesque River Canyons

Couverture_Les_gorges_de_la_NesqueThe Nesque river Canyons - Gorges de la Nesque - is an awesome wild canyon full of amazing shaped rock formations jutting out over a footpath of viewing points looking out at the majestic "Rocher du Cire".  

At the bottom of the Canyon, built into the rock, is the "Chapelle Saint-Michel' dating back to the 12th century and completely restored in 1643. The chapel is accessible on foot only, so leave your bike in Monieux and find one of the paths leading to the site from the lake.

In 1886, well before the high road to the area was built, the famous writer Fredric Mistral discovered Les Gorges de la Nesque with its beehives and "The Rocher du Cire" as described in his epic poem "Calendal". His dangerous climb up the "The Rocher du Cire" to gather beehives laden with honey is one of the culminating points of his epic 12 verse poem and derived chants exalting maritime and mountain Provence.

A stone monument dedicated to Frederic Mistral can be found at the summit of Les Gorges de la Nesque with one of the most beautiful views dominating wild Provence.

Les Gorges de la Nesque is a hikers paradise and an ideal spot to observe rare and widlife, flower and bird species specific to the area. The royal eagle is just one of many examples. To protect the exceptional richness of the ecosystem found here, Les Gorges de la Nesque was classified in 1998 by UNESCO into the "Reserve de Biosphere du Mont Ventoux".

Itinerary: Gorges de la Nesque

The Plateau d'Albion

couv_platAlbion_DThe Plateau d'Albion - The Albion Highlands - is an immense area with villages typical of Haute Provence, churches and chapels from the Roman period, big farms, wandering flocks of sheep and historical landmarks. It's the universe of the famous French author Jean Giono who described with love and respect the landscape and character of the local people.

To discover the sites and villages of the area depart from Sault in the direction of Lagarde d'Apt, Saint-Christol, Simiane-la-Rotande, Banon, Revest-du-Bion. Hook around to Redortiers, Le Contadour to return by way of Ferrassieres, Saint-Trinit and Aurel

Itinerary: Le Plateau d'Albion

Toulourenc Valley


couv_StLeger_DAfter the re-emergence of the Fountaine de Vaucluse, the most important river source of the region is the Toulourenc. 
The river begins near the thermal baths of Montbrun-les-Bains and is further nourished from the Mont Ventoux.  It runs about 30 kilometers in a narrow valley with deep and wild gorges passing picturesque sites along the north face of the Mount Ventoux  until it meets the river Ouveze.

This side of the Mont Ventoux, in both the Vaucluse and Drome, is dotted by the beautiful villages of Montbrun-les-Bains, Reilhanette, Savoillans, Brantes and Saint-Leger-du-Ventoux. The Toulourenc Valley ends in Malaucene from where one begins the climb to the top of the Mont Ventoux.

Itinerary: La Vallée du Toulourenc