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Provence's most picturesque towns and villages

High-speed trains will take you to the heart of Provence in no time at all. Some of Provence's loveliest towns and villages are less than an hour away from Avignon, so if you rent a car there, you can set off to explore! Below, we'll happily give you some recommendations for your Provence trip.

Gordes - Provence, Luberon

Gordes

No trip to the Luberon would be complete without paying a visit to the town of Gordes. If possible, arrive during the afternoon via the D15 from the south. Park your car at the viewing point around a kilometre away from the town centre, and make sure that you remember to bring your camera: the view of the town from here is genuinely phenomenal. Gordes rises majestically above the landscape of Provence, and its sandstone houses take on a wonderful golden glow in the sun.
Spend a few minutes gazing at the glorious surroundings and lose yourself in the view of dozens of country houses with their tempting swimming pools. Then drive into town and digest what you have just seen on one of the cosy terraces.
If you still have a little time left over for some culture, make sure to visit the world-famous Sénanque Abbey or the Village des Bories with its characteristic stone huts, both of which are located close to Gordes.

Here's why to visit Gordes:

  • the phenomenal view of the town from the D15 viewing point
  • its luxurious country houses with pools
  • Sénanque Abbey
  • Village des Bories
Roussillon, Luberon - Provence

Roussillon

Together with Gordes, Roussillon is one of the most popular destinations in the Luberon Provençal. Its colourful 17th and 18th-century houses form a perfect garland for the ochre-coloured cliff on which the village is perched.
Climb past the colourful façades until you reach the highest point of Roussillon, where you can enjoy breathtaking views over the surrounding landscape. Make sure to drop in to one the many art galleries along the way, where you can view works by over 50 painters and sculptors.
Perhaps you would rather have a go yourself? If so, be sure to visit Usine Mathieu, where the Conservatoire des Ocres et de la Couleur is based. Here you can discover the wonderful world of ochre pigments and get stuck into countless creative activities.

We recommend Roussillon for its:

  • amazing ochre-coloured cliffs
  • colourful façades
  • numerous art galleries
  • Conservatoire des Ocres et de la Couleur
L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, Vaucluse - Provence

L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue

From the moment you arrive, you will see that L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue is bustling with life. The murmuring Sorgue is home to trout and ducks, and brings a refreshing coolness to the town, which is what makes it so wonderfully relaxing to sit on one of the countless terraces along the river.
Before you give into temptation and buy a generous portion of ice cream from Isabella, go for a wander through the many antique shops and flea markets that L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue is home to. In the Villages des Antiquaires, you can find furniture and artworks waiting to be discovered by wealthy landowners with a spare room to fill, while those on a more modest budget will definitely find something to their liking in Côté Parc, a veritable treasure trove packed with original household goods and other vintage decorations. We guarantee you won't leave empty-handed.
The weekly market here takes place on Sunday, meaning that it can be a little more difficult to find a parking space. However, those who make the extra effort will be amply rewarded by the cheerful bustle and countless stalls selling Provençal delicacies with which you can easily put together a delicious picnic.

What's happening in L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue?

  • Countless terraces along Sorgue River
  • The Village des Antiquaires
  • Quaint flea markets
  • The Sunday market

Saint-Rémy-de-Provence

Saint-Rémy-de-Provence is definitely worth going out of your way for if you love art and history. The town itself immediately wins over visitors with its elegant fountains and medieval walls.
Just outside the centre you can find the Plateau des Antiques, an archaeological site containing the remnants of a spa dating back to the 3rd century BC. The biggest attractions here are the triumphal arch and the mausoleum, which is one of the best preserved Roman remains of its kind.
In the more recent past, the town was once home to the world-famous artist Vincent van Gogh. During his stay at the monastery of Saint-Paul-de-Mausole, he painted some of his best-known works, such as The Starry Night, The Wheat Field series and countless paintings of roses and irises. Make sure to head into the monastery to see the reproductions of these painting and a reconstruction of the artist's room.
And while you are in the area, why not make a detour to Les Baux-de-Provence? Young and old alike will enjoy the medieval spectacle held on public holidays in the castle here, complete with a real-life jousting tournament, while the Carrières de Lumière brings famous artworks to life every year though projections in a disused limestone quarry.

Head to Saint-Rémy de-Provence and discover:

  • the Plateau des Antiques
  • the monastery which was once home to Vincent Van Gogh
  • les Baux-de-Provence
  • les Carrières de Lumière

Uzès

There are certain towns and villages here that can be visited time and time again, and Uzès definitely falls into this category. The town is situated in the oldest duchy in France, a fact that becomes immediately apparent from the many historic buildings and towers.
The 17th Duke of Uzès still lives in the imposing castle at the centre of the town, albeit mainly during the summer months. Make sure you sign up for a guided tour and climb the Bermonde tower for a magnificent view over the town, before getting to know Uzès from close-up by taking a stroll along the cobbled streets.
Walk past medieval houses, blossoming gardens and the famous Tour Fenestrelle. With its fountain and elegant arcades, the Place aux Herbes is the ideal place to stop for a quick shopping session or a relaxed lunch on one of the many terraces. Don't forget that Uzès is just a stone's throw away from one of the top five most popular attractions in France: the Pont du Gard. It goes without saying that this huge and perfectly preserved Roman aqueduct is well worth going out of your way for.

Uzès is worth a visit for:

  • its many historic buildings and towers
  • its quirky shops
  • its terraces at the Place aux Herbes
  • the Pont du Gard
Pont du Gard - Nîmes - Uzès