A remarkable place
"Oh little town of my youth", said the writer André Gide, "were you in Umbria, the Parisians would flock to visit you!"
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 Place aux Herbes. 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!
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!