84.255 | Holiday house Saint-Martin-de-Castillon, France
84.4140 | Holiday house Gargas, France
84.4230 | Holiday house St-Saturnin-lès-Apt, France
Provence’s old royal city, which has since 1409 been home for one of France’s finest universities. Aix-en-Provence is an elegant city with a rich cultural past. In the 17th an 18th century Aix was the capital of the Bouches-du-Rhône department, and a great many of the elegant buildings in the city date back to this period. Aix is an extremely pleasant city with a long broad boulevard, lined with plane trees. Here, there are numerous cafés and restaurants. Finally, Aix is Paul Cézanne’s city. Cézanne was born, worked and died in Aix. At the outskirts of the city one can find the mighty Montagne Sainte Victoire, which owes its fame to Cézanne.
Apt is a very exciting medieval town, beautifully set in the heart of the Parc Naturel Régional du Lubéron between the two massifs Plateau de Vaucluse and Montagne de Lubéron. Apt is well known for its truffles, lavender essence and pottery. Apt claims to be the world’s capital for candied fruit. The town is very well known for its market on Saturday morning. The old part of town is typically Provencal with narrow streets and small shady squares. In the town one can find an old fortification tower, the medieval cathedral, Cathédrale Ste-Anne with its chapel from 1669-70, a bell tower from the 16th century, an archaeological museum and Musée de paléontologie with computerized models of prehistoric animals.
Cassis is a charming fishing port, situated between two large protected nature reserves: Cap Canaille, Europe’s biggest cliff (going directly into the sea) with its 416 metres and les Calanques, the protected rocky coast from Cassis to Marseille. There are twelve narrow deep inlets with crystal clear water. At the bottom of these inlets there are nice little beaches. From the harbour there are tour boats several times a day. Les Calanques is an absolute must. It is strongly recommended to take the Route des Crètes, which winds up and down, ending in la Ciotat. One fantastic view after the other – just fabulous.
A little mountain village lying at the foot hills of the Lubéron massif between Forcalquier and Apt in the department of Alpes-de-Haute-Provence. Céreste is a charming medieval village with narrow streets, pretty houses from the 15th and 18th century, beautiful fountains, Eglise St. Michel from the 18th century and the priory church, Prieuré de Carluc, with its archaeological curiosities and its Roman chapel from the 13th century. The valley, Vallon du ”Nid d’Amour”, a little out of town, offers some very nice walking tours.
The capital of the department of Alpes-de-Haute Provence. Digne-les-Bains has been a thermal town since Roman Times because of its seven hot springs. Actually, it was here, Victor Hugo wrote the first chapters of Les Misérables. The town is also known as the capital of the lavender and every year in August there is a lavender festival with processions in the streets. The town’s greatest sight can without doubt be found at the outskirts of town. It is a cultural centre and museum, the Alexandra David-Néel-Fondation. The lady, who gave name to the place, spent most of her life on travelling around in Asia and from her many expeditions she brought home with her costly and rare objects which are now displayed in this very unusual museum. Digne-les-Bains also has a cathedral from the 13th century and a botanical garden.
Situated between Alpes-de-Haute-Provence and Var. The breathtaking canyon, Gorges du Verdon, is one of Europe’s greatest nature wonders - an outstanding nature experience that one must experience. At the Verdon river, which is cutting 700 metres down into the cliff, one can go hiking, climbing, canoeing and rafting.
Manosque is a busy industrial town which houses the national French nuclear research centre, Cadarache. For this reason lots of scientists and their families have settled in the town, giving it a dynamic and modern touch. Luckily, it has not destroyed the town’s medieval character. Two gates from the 12th century lead into the very interesting old town (pedestrian area). The old town has narrow, covered streets, small pleasant squares, and old stone houses as well as a beautiful old church with its usual Provencal wrought iron campanile. It is in this town the important Provencal author Jean Giono lived all his life while writing his books about the laborious life in Haute Provence. In Centre Jean Giono his life story is told.
Marseille is France’s third largest and oldest city and today the country’s most important port. Despite what many people think, Marseille is a most fascinating town. The old port, Vieux port, is an exciting sight with lots of life and numerous restaurants. Here you can eat Marseille’s world famous fish soup, la Bouillabaisse, which is served with all its fish and variety of prawns.
Is by name well known of most bicycle enthusiasts and has several times been included in the Tour de France. Mont Ventoux is with its 1912 metres the highest mountain in Provence. Due to its always white top – in the winter of snow and in the summer of white limestone – the mountain is also denominated the bald-headed mountain. It is always windy at the top of Mont Ventoux, and one must be aware that the average temperature is 11 degrees lower than in the valley below.
The Lubéron Mountains consist of two massifs, Grand et Petit Lubéron, separated by a narrow canyon Combe de Lourmarin. The whole area was laid out as National Park in 1977. It covers 120.000 hectares and stretches from Cavaillon in the west to Manosque in the east and from Gordes in the north to Pertuis in the south. It is a fantastic region with unspoiled nature, perfect for hiking or bicycle tours.
Reillanne lies beautifully on a hillside at 550 metres altitude between Lubéron and Forcalquier in the department of Alpes-de-Haute-Provence. It is a typical, medieval Provencal village with narrow streets, covered passages, atmosphere filled houses, small shady squares and beautiful gates. In the town one can, among other things, find a church from the 11th century, an ancient abbey, a tower from the 11th century and the remains from the ancient fortification walls.