What is it about this fabled region, or even the word Provence, that is so compelling? The rugged beauty? The vestiges of Roman architecture?
Its Impressionist artistic heritage or the great wine and food?
Discover more about one of the best locations in Provence by taking a scroll down this page. And, afterwards ...
Gide's observation is correct for after many years, our wonderful village in Provence has been quietly discovered as the gem it always was: a little miracle town rich in art and history, hidden away in the Western part of the region. In 1962 it was selected as one of France's 500 villes d'art, and since then much money has been lavished on restoring and repairing the then tumbling façades. Not so long ago, it provided the perfect stage backdrop for the Gerard Depardieu film "Cyrano de Bergerac".
The legacy of the Greeks and Romans is particularly obvious with many ancient temples, coliseums, monuments and other buildings still standing today. The most famous monument is of course the Pont du Gard, located only 15 km away, one of the most visited sites in France after Paris.
Its oldest section, the rectangular dungeon called the Tour Bermonde, dates from the 11th century. You can climb the steep spiral escalier d'honneur to the top for views over the shimmering tiled rooftops.
The interior is well stocked with period furnishings, complemented by wax dukes and duchesses in their 16th-century finery. Unique in France, the 12th-century Tour Fenestrelle is a cylindrical six-storey gem, named after the rows of double-lit windows that encircle it, inspired by the towers of Ravenna and Lombardy in Italy.
Inside the Cathédrale St.Théodorit, is a splendid organ from 1670, the only one in France to have retained its original painted shutters. Recently restored, it is the centrepiece of the end-of-July music festival, the 'Nuits Musicales'. .
Hidden away in the forests of truffle oaks growing in the region, this prized fungus can only be found with the aid of a pig or truffle dog. You can discover this rare delicacy at the market held weekly in the central square.
But beware; the price can give you a shock!
The countryside around the village- where fields of asparagus, cherry orchards, forests of truffle oaks and vineyards alternate with scrublands - is dotted with attractive old towns. Stark geological features contrasting with cosy little villages nestling amongst them make outings in it continually surprising..
Swimming (at the local swimming pool or at the Pont du Gard “beach”), canoeing (along the Gardon river), golf, Montgolfière (hot air ballooning), abseiling, walking, bicycle touring, and an aquatic park for kids are just some of the many sporting activities in immediate reach of the town. The National Stud Farm or 'haras', just on the outskirts, is a must for horse lovers.
Cultural activities include art and pottery exhibitions, theatre, concerts, dance performances and the famous International festival of Ancient music (Nuits Musicales) held every year in July in the precincts of the château. Full details of these are available in our guests' guidebook available in each cottage and at the Tourism Office.
What an amazing variety of shops and boutiques, bars and restaurants, cafés and bakeries, a cinema, jazz-clubs, galleries, and, of course, the justly famous market held every weekend in the Place aux Herbes can be discovered within two or three minutes walk from the houses. You'll keep making new discoveries now matter how long you stay!
This "Frenchman" speaks both French and Italian
and sells a wondrous variety of special cheeses from both Italy and France.
More than anything else, it is the celebrated cuisine that has put Provence in the public eye.
A chilled rosé, slices of fresh saucisson, salty olives and goat’s cheese under the Pont du Gard have made a heavenly repast for many visitor including Marcel Pagnol and Lawrence Durrell. And the range of restaurant dining is staggering - stretching from quaint cafés, Carmarguais fishermen’s eating-houses to three-star Michelin elegance.
In each of our cottages you will find a visitor's house book full of suggestions – both our own and also the discoveries by past guests.
There's an abundance of these ambrosial establishments only a short walk from our front door, and, more to the point, a short walk back!
In fact one of the best is just across the road from our cottage Le Petit Manoir. You can call your order out through the cottage window if you like. See if you can better than one, Uber Eats!
This video was taken on the Summer Fête Votive Festival Weekend.
There are lots of activiities going on - almost too many! - but don't worry, the rest of the year is much calmer in this gem of a town.
Click or tap on the play button on the video.
Hear what our guests say ... see them saying it - in situ!
Click or tap on the play button on the video.
"It's so well presented. So authentic and clean; it just drips of antiquity.
The people are so polite - cars stop for you...it's not just a tourism thing
but more like a sense of community and ... they're so proud of their town.
We've had one of our best holidays ever."