A 5-day tour of some of the most beautiful villages of France in Provence between the Luberon and Alpilles foothills. Gape at the abbey of Sénanque, wander around the Alpilles National Park, admire the views from Baux de Provence and explore Avignon and its palace. This provençal itinerary is depicted by the mild and inimitable way of life of Provence.
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Forty kilometres from Avignon, perched on a rock, Baux-de-Provence commands a fine panorama over the Alpilles, Luberon, Mont Ventoux and Cévennes. A former fortress and historic houses blend into the extraordinary rocky landscape. Nature lovers will be in seventh heaven in the heart of the Alpilles Regional Park (don’t miss La Caume plateau) before tacking back to spend the evening at Les Baux-de-Provence.
MyTripTailor advice : Book in advance for a show at the Carrières de Lumières.
Spend a second enjoyable day touring the surrounding towns, a combination of art, legend and history. The cafés along Avenue des Lices, Camargue bull races and ferias for the fans and Photography Encounters of Arles (25km) cannot fail but appeal. You could also wander around the medieval lanes of Tarascon (20km), indulge in shopping spree at the headquarters of the characteristic Souleiado fabric factory. Come back to Les Baux de Provence for the night.
One of the highlights of Luberon, Gordes is home to the historic Bories village (characteristic of the Mediterranean region) and Sénanque abbey. Keep going as far as the Ochre Trail on the ruddy soil of Roussillon. Spend the night in Gordes.
In the heart of the Alpilles foothills, Saint-Rémy paints a postcard picture of Provence with its boulevards shaded by plane trees, café terraces flooded in sunshine, maze of lanes and squares with tinkling fountains and scent of thyme and rosemary on market day. Glorious !
Then up to the Roman site of the Antiques plateau, in particular the city of Glanum, abandoned in the 3C. Before heading back, go to Ansouis and admire its 13C castle. Come back to Gordes for the night.
MyTripTailor advice : It would be a crime to miss the remarkable 15C castle of Lourmarin.
After visiting Venasque, now head to Avignon, capital of the popes in the 14C. In 1995, the Papal Palace and its emblematic Saint-Bénezet bridge became a UNESCO world heritage site. Running from north to south, the main street of Rue de la République is riddled with lively passages and lined in café terraces, restaurants and shops. Book yourself on a tour with commentary of the town on board a small tourist train or a boat trip down the Rhône, which will be a great hit with children.
MyTripTailor advice : North of Venasque, towards Mont Ventoux, don’t miss the impressive Castellaras viewpoint.
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