A town famous for its antique and flea markets (especially on week-ends). Located about 25 km from Avignon, L'Isle-Sur-La Sorgue is famous for having the largest antiques and flea market in France. It attracts international buyers and customers looking for authentic and rare pieces. Seven mini-villages of antiques with more than 350 dealers and shops can be visited all year round. On Easter day and August 15th, an additional antique market with a total of 500 vendors, plus a number of art galleries, accompany the antique market.
L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue includes various canals that make it a little Venice. Take a walk on the canal bridges to discover the gothic and baroque architecture.
A wonderful food market is held on Sunday mornings. Every year, on the first Sunday in August, don't miss the floating market, a long-standing tradition where vendors on small boats float on the canals and sell flowers, cheeses, local produce and wine. The sailors wear Provençal costumes and some play music.
Near l'Isle-Sur-La Sorgue, on the way down to Aix-En-Provence, there are some typical Provençal villages not to be missed:
Gordes, a small Provençal jewel in the heart of the Monts de Vaucluse and the Luberon Natural Park, is one of the most beautiful villages in France, famous for its bories. Gordes offers a breathtaking view of the famous Luberon mountain. Just before the entrance to the village, you have to visit the Notre-Dame of Sénanque Abbey, an important Romanesque abbey surrounded by fields of lavender which bloom at the end of June and July. A unique luxury setting in Provence.
OPPEDE LE VIEUX - “Remarkable heritage site”
Perched village in the Luberon and starting point of thrilling hikes. Certainly one of the most authentic and preserved villages of the Luberon.
East of Gordes you will visit Roussillon which is a small village famed for its ochre quarries. These stunning rock formations are unique to the area. If you are interested in potteries, you can visit the Fiedler workshop.
Discover the intensely coloured ochre deposits that stand out against the green forest of the high cliffs of Roussillon by following its official path, the Sentier des Ocres. This easily walkable path runs along an old ochre quarry surrounded by woods. Ochre is used to make paint pigments, and many local shops sell pots of pigments in a variety of colours.
After your walk, take a stroll through the village, admiring the 17th and 18th century buildings, which are covered in ochre. Have a coffee or a drink in an open-air café and buy local art and souvenirs in the art galleries and small shops.
Heading towards Bonnieux, you will arrive to the Pont Julien which was built by the Romans over 2000 years ago (for the best view, you should walk along a small side path). At the top of the village, you will discover an old church dating from the 12th century. From there, you will have a magnificent view of the Luberon valley.
Named one of the most beautiful villages in France, Lourmarin is the quintessential Provencal village.
One of the main attractions is the Château de Lourmarin, built in the 15th century for the royal family who owned land in the area. Be sure to visit the formal garden.
The Friday market is one of the largest in the Luberon, taking up a large part of the village.
The French writer Albert Camus, author of L'étranger, lived in Lourmarin for a time and is buried there.
FONTAINE DE VAUCLUSE
One of the most visited natural sites in the Vaucluse. This gigantic fountain is the most powerful in France (and fifth in the world) with an annual water flow of 630 million cubic metres.
This picturesque site is located in a deep valley with a landscape dotted with caves and valleys. The walks along the Sorgue and its green banks are enchanting.
Luberon region is also very famous for its vineyards as well as other villages not to be missed:
-Ménerbes, a renaissance village in Provence, labelled as one of the most beautiful villages in France.
-Goult, a Provencal village with a rich heritage.
-Lacoste, an old mountain village overlooking the village of Bonnieux and the Grand Luberon mountains to the east.
-Apt, classified as a "remarkable site of taste", is also the world capital of candied fruit.
The Plateau de Claparèdes with the Cedar forest in Bonnieux and its lavender fields between Bonnieux and Castellet are worth seeing.
The plateau of Valensole and its lavender fields are a remarkable site nestled between the Durance Valley and the Gorges du Verdon.
Some of the must-see markets in the Luberon :
-Isle-sur-la-Sorgue: Thursday and Sunday
-Carpentras: Friday (truffle market from November to March)
-Gordes - Lacoste: Tuesday
-Apt: Tuesday and Saturday morning (truffle market from November to March)