A Travellerspoint blog

Thursday we headed for the hills

and found quaint villages to explore

sunny 31 °C

Today was about exploring the region east of Avignon, renowned for hilltop villages, lavender, vineyards and olive groves.

We were in the car and on the road by 10.00 am. Lunch and grapes packed up for the day ahead.

We headed for Gordes, but our first stop was sitting in a traffic jam just as we headed out of the Avignon town proper. (That is the Avignon outside the town walls) We presume there had been an accident. As we sat at a road junction with traffic going no where, police and ambulances navigated the jam down one of the cross roads.

Once we got going we drove through an area almost like Earnscleugh. Stone fruit orchards, vineyards and dry barren looking hills in the background.


We stopped off at Abbaye de Senanque. An abbey near the village of Gordes.

We wandered around and took a few photos. To the general tourist, it is iconic for being a spot to photograph fields of lavender. For the Cistercian or Bernardine monks it is their life, home and a place of worship.The Abbey was foundered in 1148, but I have to say the buildings looked remarkably new.

Sadly for us tourists, the blooming lavender of the spring had long since been harvested.

Below are our photos on the day and a photo flogged from the internet of the lavender in bloom.


We then headed over the hill to Gordes. By the time we got to Gordes, it was knocking on lunch time. We parked up, and found the village square, resplendent with a beautiful tree for shade and some steps to sit on. It was a gloriously hot day, and sitting in the shade with our lunch was great.


We then set out to explore the village. It really was quite picturesque. Great views over the surrounding regions, and the village itself was very quaint. Step narrow streets, and cafes sprawling out onto the narrow streets.


We then headed for Roussillon, another hilltop village, but renowned for its red soil, and Ochre coloured buildings. As I said a hilltop village, and equally as stunning as Gordes, but so different.

We spent a very pleasant but very hot couple of hours there as well, including the obligatory ice cream, and then headed to Menerbes. You guessed it, another hilltop village. Beautiful as well, but not as spectacular as the other two.


There were other villages to be seen, such as Saint Remy de Provence and Les Beaux. But you can only see so many hilltop villages in a one day, so it was back to Avignon. It was such a glorious evening, and the thought of retreating to our dark apartment was too much to bear, so we headed for the town square, to one of the many cafes for a de-brief of the day’s activities, aided by a couple of the sponsors products, then home for tea.


Posted by Touringteamf 11:43 Archived in France

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Shame about the accommodation but looking on the bright side it means you get to sit out and watch the world go by - a great pass time. Accommodation is for retreating to when you are tired and ready for sleep.

by Erin

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