6 Quaint Villages In Provence, France You Must Visit

When it comes to quaint French towns and villages, Cucuron, Roussillon, Lourmarin, Lauris, Gordes, and Apt in the Luberon area of Provence do not disappoint.

The Luberon, part of the Vaucluse region of Provence in the south of France, is known for its historic and even ancient villages. Many are located on mountaintops with expansive views of the forests, fields, vineyards, and farms of the Luberon, and nearby are the famous lavender fields. The quaint villages usually consist of cafes, small town squares, medieval churches, art galleries, boutiques selling locally made products, and restaurants in addition to residents’ homes. Small hotels and bed and breakfasts are also available in each village. Here, we share the best villages to visit, plus recommended restaurants and hotels.

1. Cucuron

The town center of the village of Cucuron has a vast, rectangular pond with spring-fed water and 200-year-old plane trees towering over it. Cafes, restaurants, and a small hotel dot the square. Every Tuesday morning there’s a food and flea market at the pond, where locals get their produce and necessities. At the end of July is a flea market with antiques, tapestries, rugs, china, bric-a-brac, and artworks. Continue reading “6 Quaint Villages In Provence, France You Must Visit”

A Look at the Most Beautiful Villages in France

It’s universally known that rural France has some truly lovely small towns and villages. But did you know there’s actually an organization that dictates which of them are the ‘most beautiful’? This France 24 video will give you a mini tour of 3 out of 159 of Les Plus Beaux Villages de France.

The first is Usson in the Auvergne region, a 16th century fortress and now a charming village with steep roads and stone cottages straight out of a fairytale, made from volcanic rock.

Next, in Cantobre, in the region of Aveyron, a tiny cliffside village is home to only 15 people, and life is centered around the nearby church. Residents take much care and pride in maintaining their homes, including by dangerous cliff-hanging tasks.

The last village presented, the Provençal town of Cotignac, is “built from local stone” in a bit of a different way. The river that ran through it 500 years ago carved a spectacular rock that is the town’s most striking feature, an adventureland for children, with some surprises hidden inside.

Looking for more virtual vacations? Check out some of our favorite tiny French beach towns for getting away from the crowds.

Sources: Frenchly; France24

Jura, the French Wine Region You’ve (Probably) Never Heard of 

For a few years now, the wines of a small pocket of France have been the toast of the sommelier and wine shop owner community. But for most, Jura means very little (and no, we’re not talking about the Scotch whisky). It’s almost as though industry types have been trying to keep the secret, safeguarding a small but delicious supply of funky French wine just for themselves

Jura rests in the north of France, between the exalted vineyards of Burgundy and the Swiss border. Expectedly, it’s a bit chillier here, and there’s a nice mix of clay soils down low and sought-after limestone soils higher up. The “jura” name comes from a Celtic word for forest and there’s even a resident mountain range sporting the name. Continue reading “Jura, the French Wine Region You’ve (Probably) Never Heard of “

Hiking the Calanques: Port Pin and d’En-Vau 

This hike is probably the most popular and most accessible hike in the Calanques region, visiting the two closest inlets to Cassis. The first at Port Pin is relatively easy for non-hikers and families with small children. The second inlet at d’En-Vau is a bit more work with a slippery, rocky trail. Both very beautiful and give you a good taste of the region. This area is also very crowded, so expect full trails and lots of people crammed into the small beaches.Note: In summer, this area is often closed to hikers for fire risk. Check the trail status here the day before your visit. Sometimes they close the trail after a certain number of guests enter the park, so best to go early or visit in early spring or late fall. [ . . . ]

Source: Hiking the Calanques: Port Pin and d’En-Vau • Swiss Family Fun

France in focus – The other D-Day: 1944 Provence landings

This week, France in Focus heads to the southern port city of Toulon, which is home to the French Navy’s main base. It was here on August 15, 1944, that the Allied invasion of southern France began. We take a closer look at just what happened and explore the various efforts being made today, 75 years later, to ensure the memory of those events lives on.

Source: France in focus – The other D-Day: 1944 Provence landings