1. Fairytale hilltown Gordes
Located between the green hills you will find Gordes, one of the most beautiful towns in the Provence. We got up early to watch the magical sunrise from a lookout just outside Gordes. From here you have a beautiful view over the town and the surrounding area. Spot the houses that lean against the hill and the old castle that served as a fortress in the Middle Ages. In Gordes you can visit the local market on Tuesdays and stroll among the stalls with spices, jewelry and fresh food, while enjoying the music of buskers. Walk through the steep alleys and occasionally take the side streets, they will surprise you again and again and you will end up with the most beautiful views over the valley.
2. The Red City Roussillon
Roussillon, also called the red city, is surrounded by orange / red ochre rocks. Ochre is a pigment that was extracted to give color to textiles or houses. That is why all the houses in Roussillon have an ochre glow. To discover the ochre landscape, you can walk through an ochre quarry. The quarry in Roussillon is very crowded. We have found a hidden gem in the area if you want to spot the ochre in a unique undiscovered way. You can read more about this spot in our blog ‘3 Extraordinary Places in the Provence‘.
Roussillon is a lively city with a lot of tourism, so be there early in the morning. Things to do in Roussillon include admiring the special architecture, buying lavender soaps, dried lavender and fine art at one of the many boutiques, tasting a freshly baked baguette at the local boulangerie and looking for the loyal guardian of the city; a super cute golden retriever, who roams the city hoping to get a pat from everyone.
3. The typical Provencal town Saignon
Saignon has everything to be a typical Provencal town; charming streets, a small cozy center with a fountain, an old library, art and nice cafes ☕. But something makes this town really special and you notice it immediately when you are on your way to Saignon. It is the gigantic rock – literally a ‘high’light – that dominates the town. You can climb the rock and enjoy a 360 ° view over Saignon and the vast valley of the Provence full of lavender fields and other charming villages in the area.
4. The Artsy Lacoste
Slightly further south is the cozy town of Lacoste. The city is bursting with art and creativity. This is partly due to the well-known fashion designer Pierre Cardin, who bought and restored the castle in Lacoste. Here he often organizes cultural events. For the photographers among us; this is really a great place to photograph. There are many Instagram spots in Lacoste; colored doors, plant-covered houses, ateliers, arches and gates.
5. The Characteristic Venasque
In the evenings we often toured around and came across the small characteristic town Venasque by chance. And it is definitely a hidden gem in the Provence. You will find a lot of creativity, nice streets, squares and rooftop restaurants with the most romantic view over the green valley. In Venasque you will find cats on every corner of the street, ready to be cuddled. A local told us that a woman owns 20 (!) cats. So if you’re a crazy cat mom, spend your evening in Venasque!
6. The Historic Carpentras
Carpentras was an important trading post in the time of the Greeks and Romans. The history is still visible in the city, through the city wall and gate, the architecture of the old synagogue, cathedral and also the balconies have a Roman style. In addition to the beautiful historical features, Carpentras also has a pleasant center with many shopping options. On Sundays (almost) all shops are closed, so it is best to go on Friday, when there is also a market.
Experience the Provencal vibes
Want to experience the vibes in these towns? Watch our travel video of our road trip through the South of France;