Vaucluse is located in the middle of Provence. You will find cities like Avignon, Orange and Carpentas. This area is also known for its beautiful lavender fields and not to be missed the Luberon nature reserve. Vaucluse is surrounded by great nature reserves (which are located in the surrounding departments) and within an hour’s drive you can enjoy the Mediterranean sea! There is also plenty to see and do in this department.
Sûr le Pont d’Avignon, on y danse .. If you know this city it’s probably because of this famous song. The bridge from the song is nowadays a ruin, destroyed after a victory over the city and partly by the floods of the river. In addition to the bridge you will also find beautiful old city walls and the Palais des Papes: the largest Gothic building in Europe.
Orange is a very cool city with influences from Roman times. You will find, among other things, a huge Roman theater: the best preserved theater in Europe! In addition to this beautiful building, Orange has an impressive Roman triumphal arch. Both are on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Perhaps not that well known, Carpentras is a city with all kinds of influences. It used to be a real trading city from both the Greek and the Roman. You will find all sorts of sights, such as parts of the old fortress wall, the tower of the porte d’Orange, an old synagogue and a beautiful cathedral.
Gordes is one of the most beautiful villages in France. The village is beautifully situated on a hill and has old medieval streets. In the neighborhood you can visit the Village des Bories, a very old village with houses and workshops made of piled stones and cement. Very nice!
The Petit Colorado Provencal is an ocher quarry, the result of sand deposits from the withdrawal of the sea. It is a very impressive piece of nature with the beautiful red sand and the high peaks. You can climb up these peaks and get a very nice overview of the quarry.
Vaucluse has some beautiful lavender routes. The lavender in Vaucluse blooms from June 20 to August 10. The best time to visit is from July 1 to July 25, when most of the lavender will flourish! A beautiful route runs from Carpentras to Sault. But there are many more beautiful lavender routes.
The Mont Ventoux is a special ‘bare’ mountain. Are you on holiday in the area then you should definitely check it out! It’s also very popular among cyclists, reaching the top of the mountain is quite a challenge. The nature around Mont Ventoux is beautiful and there are also a number of nice villages to visit
Forêt des Cèdres
A beautiful piece of nature with different types of plants, trees and very beautiful views. In clear weather you can almost see the Mediterranean Sea! When it is very hot, some trails are closed due to a fire hazard. Tip: I switch on a GPS tracker like Strava to know how far I am from my car.
Fontaine de Vaucluse
Curious about the source of the Vaucluse river? From the village, where you can park, you walk up the river via restaurants and souvenir shops, with cascading waterfalls. A beautiful route! At the top of the mountain you”ll reach the beginning of the river that rises from the mountain.
Vaucluse has some good walking sports, walk through the lavender fields and vineyards. You can do your own research or find a guide that shows you the most beautiful places.
There are several companies that offer horseback riding for tourists. You can often choose between an hour, two hours or even entire day trips.
Gorges du Toulourenc
These Gorges are situated at the border of the Drôme department. They are shallow streams of water that run through the mountains. Climb and clamber over the rocks and through the river. Sometimes the water can reach until your waist, so take good shoes and a waterproof bag with you. (Tip: Buy an Oceanpack) The walk is really beautiful and also very easy to do, especially on hot days, as there is shade and refreshing water to cool down. The walk starts from the town of Veaux.
Tree climbing park
Go to an ‘Accrobranche’ park. You will find this a lot in France. It is a park in the forest where you can go from tree to tree by climbing, hanging and zip lining. There are different routes, from easy to difficult. I myself have been to such a park several times, it remains fun!
At Fontaine de Vaucluse you can enjoy kayaking. What is also nice: standup paddle or canoeing on the river of Avignon! This way you get a completely different picture of the city and the Pont d’Avignon.
Chateau de Lourmarin
In Lourmarin is a nice castle that’s open for visitors. The rooms have been reserved in their old style with corresponding furniture from the past. Although it is not a huge castle, they do have a fun activity for children: a puzzle tour in and around the castle.
Forteresse de Mornas
Take a trip to this old medieval fortress and enjoy the view. The nevertheless itself is fairly stiff, so if you have difficulty walking you might want to pass on this one. At the fort are some actors that will tell you some interesting stories.
An idyllic spot with an old abbey. The area is very quiet and at the abbey the viewpoint is amazing. Nice for a walking tour.