The Vaucluse is a department in the southeast of France (Provence Alpes Cote d’Azur region).
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Vaucluse is bordered by the Rhone to the west and the River Durance to the south. Mountains occupy a significant proportion of the eastern half of the department, with Mont Ventoux (1,912 m), also known as “the Giant of Provence”, dominating the landscape. Other important mountain ranges include the Dentelles de Montmirail, the Monts de Vaucluse, and the Luberon.
Fruit and vegetables are cultivated in great quantities in the lower-lying parts of the department, on one of the most fertile plains in southern France.
The Vaucluse departement has a rather large exclave within the Drome department, the canton of Valreas (Enclave des Papes).
Landlocked Vaucluse includes the Parc Naturel Régional du Luberon whose limestone range pops up as steep cliffs.
Important urban centres include Avignon, Orange, Carpentras, Cavaillon, and Apt.
The climate is Mediterranean. Summers are warm and dry, especially in the plains, with average temperatures of 30° C. Winter temperatures are fairly cold, with temperatures of 5°C. The Mistral wind is another distinctive characteristic of climate in Vaucluse. The Mistral blows an average of 120 days per year in the Rhone valley and 70 days in the Comtadin plains. This beneficial wind clears and dries the atmosphere and leaves the sun to shine some 2800 hours per year.
Towns and villages
Avignon is a jewel of the area, situated on the left bank of the Rhone with the famous “Pont d’Avigon) crossing by. It’s ancient, full of history, life, youth, art, music and activity. It’s a great city of the Popes with the Palais des Papes, which stands tall behind the ramparts that ring the old city and is a part of the World Heritage. Apart from that there are many places not to be missed including: Angladon museum, The Lambert Collection, Les Halles-covered matket and it’s necessary to take a boat trip on the Rhone.
Seguret is built into the hillside, on the last foothills of the Alps, overlooking the Comtat Plains and the Rhône Valley, with their vineyards. It has retained its strong medieval character, with its cobblestone streets, its old homes, the fountain “Fontaine des Mascarrons”, a historical monument, the ruins of its feudal castle which affords a breathtaking view. Also the see “must” are: the 17th century belfry with a single hand, 10th century Saint-Denis Church, and Notre-Dame-des-Graces Chapel.
Venasque is a hilltop village overlooking the plains. Saracen towers, an old baptistery whose origins are the subject of controversy, the church and the Crucifixion scene dating nfrom 1498. Mystery and architectural beauty in its winding streets are pleasant to visit winter and summer alike.
Orange is the warmest city in France, regarding the average temperature. It has two great Roman monuments: an extremely well preserved theatre (which makes a dramatic setting for concerts) and a triumphal arch. The area around the 17th century hôtel de ville is the most attractive for wandering, with shady squares and slumbering streets.
Carpentras is a small village between the Rhone river and the Durance. It has the oldest synagogue in France, and from November to March, a market that specialises in the gourmet treasure of truffles.
In Ansouis, the Castle, built in the 12th century and restored in the 18th century, overlooks the village, where the houses are built in a semi-circle on the hilltop. Inside the castle is a magnificent collection of 17th and 18thc. furniture as well as splendid tapestries. This charming village has beautifully picturesque winding streets and squares shaded by the indigenous plane trees.
The most popular activities in this area are: mountain biking, hiking, horse riding, rock climbing, treetop walks, swimming, canoeing, kayaking, rowing, golfing (4 gold courses), fishing, skiing, spelunking and fishing.
There are also many aviation and gliding clubs and even a paragliding club and hot air balloons possibility.
This department also benefits from many cultural events in every season of the year.
In the winter there is a “ Festival du rire”in Apt- 3days of humorists and comics shows, “Cheval Passion” in Avignon- horse show, “Les Hivernales de la danse”in Avignon- contemporary dance festival. In the spring there is for example “Printemps Baroque”- the Baroque Spring Festival in Vaison la Romaine, Jazz Festival in Luberon or Antiques market in l’Isle sur La Sorgue.
In the autumn, between the most popular, there is a cinema festival- “Cinambule” in Avignon, “October in Avignon”- painting, sculpture and photo event and “Music and Regional Savors” in Mondragon.
However, the summer season is the most attractive regarding cultural events. There are various festivals of music, dance and theater including the oldest and most famous theater festival in the world in July in Avignon, called The “in” and “off” Festival.
This department has plenty to offer on the gastronomic level.
Vaucluse overflows with quality-labelled local products: the purple Muscat grape from Mont Ventoux, the Nyons olive, Cavaillon melon, Carpentras strawberries and Monts de Venasque cherries.
There is also delicious gat’s milk cheese, lavender honey, nougats and garlic.
Vaucluse is the number one producer of the so-called “Perigord” Truffle. Its vintages from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Gigondas, Vacqueyras, Beaumes-de-Venise have convinced the world.
The appellation “Herbes de Provence” has often been overused. However, there is only one label with a choice of plants top quality thyme, rosemary, savory, oregano and basil.
Tourism office in Vaucluse
Travel from the UK
By air: British Airways flies to Montpellier and Nice
Ryanair flies to Marseille, Toulon and Nice
Easyjet flies to Marseille and Nice
By rail: TGVs from Paris to Marseille and Aix-en-Provence.
Our team of sale advisers at Sextant Properties will be happy to help you to find a property in Vaucluse. We have a large network of estate agents in Vaucluse. All of them are registered French estate agents and speak both French and English. Whatever kind of property you are looking for: farmhouse, longere, barn, gite, B&B, country house, mill, castle or chateau, we will do our best to find a property in Vaucluse matching your requirements.