For ideas and information on what to do and where to go – Here are some of the Local Attractions of Bedoin and the surrounding region of Vaucluse, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur…

The markets in France are fabulous, free entertainment, good for shopping and for people watching. Sit in one of the cafes next to a market and while away the morning. Provence has probably the best markets in France. Most open-air markets are farmers markets, where you can buy vegetables, fruits, cheese, meat and poultry, sausages, spices, candied fruits, nougat and flowers. Larger ones have clothing, shoes, linens, pottery, records, old books and bric a brac.

Most villages have them but here are some of our favourites:

Aix en Provence. The markets, on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays are well integrated into this historical and beautiful town, great place to sit and people watch. (Also a great town for shopping, eating and art, a day trip!)

Carpentras. Friday mornings. Very close, and one of the largest in France, in existence since 1155. Huge, bustling and wonderful.

Bedoin. Monday morning market, alive with music bars, good food, & bric a brac.

Mormoiron. This is a Sunday morning market which is very small but full of local produce.

Sault. This Wednesday morning market is large and well worth visiting. The village is in the centre of the lavender growing region of Provence and remains a fine example of a traditional French provincial market.

Isle sur La Sorgue. Visit this famous Sunday morning market with over 300 antique shops and many, many brocantes. It is a pretty town with its streets meandering along the river edge.

Vaison-la-Romaine. This wonderful town, half medieval and half Roman, has a huge Tuesday morning market, one of the best places to shop for bric a brac.

Lourmarin. Not to be missed on a Friday morning, even if a little further away. This is a very chic market in a beautiful village.

St Remy de Provence. Wednesday morning market in this delightful town of art, antiques and boutiques.

Villeneuve les Avignon. Get up early on a Saturday morning for this wonderful brocante market. Breakfast on oysters and wine or hot chocolate and croissants with the locals. We have found many wonderful things here for our houses, but beware; an English van often turns up early to bag all the bargains before speeding back to the U.K.

A day without wine is a day without sunshine…… or so they say in Provence!

Discover the wines of the Vaucluse on your own wine trail. There are numerous roads through the different areas, all dotted with caves which will welcome you in to sample their wines. It is a wonderful way to spend the afternoons meandering through the beautiful villages of this region. Most villages have their wine festivals through the summer. After paying one euros for an empty glass you wander through the village tasting wines and produce from the stalls set up by the local growers. Vacqueyras has the most wonderful festival, after a hot morning of tasting, a very long lunch is enjoyed on tables set up all along the village streets.

Provence is blessed with a Mediterranean climate, entailing warm summers and mild winters. With an average of up to 3,000 hours, excessive sun is a concern for many vines. Fortunately the heat is alleviated by the northerly mistral wind, and the risk of fungal diseases is minimal, which makes this region suitable for organic viticulture.

The vineyards of the Vaucluse produce some prestigious wines, Chateauneuf du Pape, Gigondas, Vacqueyras, Beaumes de Venise………… While most of the wines are red, there are also some white wines, and sweet wines such as Rasteau and Beaume de Venise, which goes well with foie-gras or as an aperitif.

The rest are divided into three appellations, Cotes du Rhone, Cote du Ventoux, and Cote du Luberon. The vineyards are spread across a wide range of terroirs, in different soils, and on different facing slopes, producing rich and varied wines with an enormous profusion of aromas and bouquets.

It is thought that wine production dates back as far as the Greek founding of Massilia (now Marseilles) in 600 BC. Although Rome tried to curtail the production of wine here so as to favour exports of Italian goods throughout the empire, soldiers retiring from the legions undermined them by privately continuing to grow grapes in “provincia nostra”

We can help you with your route and your choice of caves, or you can simply meander and discover wines we have yet to find.

Provence is renowned for its climate and light, almonds and Mimosa blossom in February and the hot summer lingers into warm autumn days with brilliant clear blue skies and beautiful starry nights.

From the city of Avignon to the peak of Mont Ventoux, & through the Luberon, discover the lands of the Vaucluse, the fields of lavender, the olive trees, and the vineyards. Enjoy the markets, brocantes, bustling cafes, summer festivals, music, theatre & art. There are mountains to climb, rivers to canoe or fish, Mont Ventoux to cycle, The Dentelles and all the surrounding countryside to walk in.

Explore wonderful Roman ruins, shop in chic shops, or relax in the shade with a glass of wine and simply be…..

There is so much for you to discover, these are just a few;

St.Didier is a pretty, unspoilt, and typically Provencal village offering three boulangeries, three cafes, four restaurants, grocer’s shops, tennis courts, and nearby horse riding. The main street is shaded in summer by an avenue of plane trees. It is a perfect spot to relax with a glass of wine, or linger over a long lunch. It is well situated to explore all the attractions that Provence has to offer. Bikes can be hired from the next village, and for walkers there are so many wonderful trails to enjoy, from the nearby paths of the shrines, The Dentelles, or the slopes of Mount Ventoux. The pretty seaside resort of Cassis is 1 hour 45 minutes away.

Bedoin, at the foot of Mount Ventoux is a lovely little agriculture village, spread out over a large area; it comprises several hamlets all of which are blessed with that Mediterranean climate of sun nearly every day of the year. A good wine (AOC) is produced here, along with asparagus and fruits.

There is a very good market on a Monday morning with live music, where you can sit in one of the numerous cafes or bars and enjoy a glass of wine. It has many restaurants, shops, and boulangeries, one selling the most wonderful almond croissants, and the other producing apricot and walnut bread baked over wood.

It is a Mecca for cyclists who spend the hot summer days cycling up the Mont Ventoux following the final stages of The Tour de France. Bedoin has a very large bike hire shop for enthusiasts where you can hire suitable bikes daily or weekly.

Other activities include hiking, and mountain biking on marked trails, tennis and mini golf. Golf is a 30-minute drive away. There is also winter skiing, both cross country and alpine. The costal resorts are about 1 hour 45 minutes away.

Isle sur La Sorgue is a very pretty town, with rivers running along side it’s cafes and bars. It is famous for antique shops, and brocantes numbering more than 300. Visit on a Sunday morning and stay for lunch.

The picturesque hillside towns of Gourdes and Rousillon in the Luberon make a perfect day out.

Orange has fine Roman remains, including it’s Triumphal Arch and well preserved 1st century Roman Theatre, It is equally famous for “Les Choregis” a major music festival in July for opera lovers.

There is the Roman Aqueduct at Pont du Gard, which remains impressively intact.

Vaison-la-Romaine has both impressive Roman and Medieval remains.

Arles, (gateway to the Camargue, the wild land of gypsies and cowboys) boasts Roman Arena, Amphitheatre and baths. Registered with Unesco but just as well known for its associations with Van Gogh, Gauguin and Picasso who all stayed and painted here.

Aix en Provence, the historical capital of Provence. It is beautifully laid out with wide avenues and fountains, fabulous for shopping, art, markets and café life.

Avignon, the closest city, is both beautiful and majestic, dominated by the Papal Palace, and enjoying a long summer festival of music, dance and theatre. Here you can sit in the sun in its many squares full of cafes and restaurants. It also has good shopping.

Carpentras is the closest town and it has a wonderful Friday morning market. The town is well worth a visit, park near the tourist office and enjoy the architecture, shopping and bars.

Hikes, strolls: There are more than 4000 kilometres of hiking paths and trails crossing Mont Ventoux to the Luberon Hills. You will come across typical stone villages, with an inviting cool stream, or red ochre hills surrounded by ancient cypress trees, which characterise the region, and fertile plains perfumed with the scents of Provence.

Hiking on a donkeys back. Donkeys will guide you along the trails and paths in Provence, redolent of thyme and rosemary. Take your trail map, your picnic, and let yourself be guided by a gentle donkey. Go to www. Ane-et-rando.com for four people who are offering this simplistic pleasure.

Horse riding: For experienced riders who want to ride through the countryside on their own there are immense possibilities on a wide network of marked trails.

Canoeing and Kayaking: Vaucluse is the home of beautiful waterways. The Sorgue River is an oasis of cool water on a hot summer day. Springing forth from Fontaine-de-Vaucluse.
Tel.: 0033 (0) 490 38 33 22

Fishing: Come and discover fishing in the Vaucluse. 2, 900 km of riverbanks, quiet water rivers, home to white fish and their many predators. There are trout fishing rivers, with fast flowing cold water, flowing from Mont Ventoux, and the hills in the Vaucluse. 700 ha of lakes on 30 different sites throughout the Vaucluse, with carp, and white fish. Visit www.provenceguide.com and then go fishing, to find all the guides and places.

Balloon over the beauty of Provence: Flights arranged through Provence ballooning.
Tel.: 0033 (0) 490 05 76 77

Paraglide from Le-Barroux:
Tel.: 0033 (0) 490 20 22 13

Aviation and Gliding Clubs: There are many you can try – the outstanding geography in the Vaucluse offers magnificent sites for flying in any season.
Tel.: 0033 (0) 490 60 08 17

Golf: Discover the great life style and wonderful landscapes whilst enjoying your favourite sport. A Golf Pass Provence is available at all the regional golf courses, offering 5 green fees and access to your choice of 5 regional golf courses, 3 of which are in the Vaucluse.
Choose from Provence County Club:
Monts de Vaucluse, Pays des Sorgues – Tel.: 0033 (0) 490 20 20 65
Grand Avignon Golf Course, Vedene – Tel.: 0033 (0) 490 31 49 94
Château Blanc Golf Club, Monieres les Avignon – Tel.: 0033 (0) 490 33 39 08

Ski Resorts: Chalet Reynard Bedoin Mont Ventoux
Tel.: 0033 (0) 490 61 84 55

Vaucluse is a cyclist’s paradise. No doubt about it, cycling through the Vaucluse is one of the very best ways to drink in the contrasting landscapes, enjoy the winding country roads, and feel the life and beauty here. Mountain-biking trails abound in the hills and mountains in Vaucluse, … Discover all the circuits: for exploring the Côtes du Rhône vineyards, the lavender fields and highlands in the Sault area, the range of hills known as the Dentelles de Montmirail, the Roman presence in Vaison-la-Romaine, the beautiful hilltop villages in the Luberon, the Sorgues area, the Nesque river canyons, …

Mount Ventoux is legendary as one of the most grueling climbs in the Tour de France. It is here that legendary British cyclist Tom Simpson collapsed and died from a lethal cocktail of amphetamines. It is also the one stage Lance Armstrong really wanted to win but never did. The mountain is the biggest in Provence. It is located approximately 20 km north east of Carpentras in the Vaucluse, and is bordered by the Drôme department in the north. Mont Ventoux is geologically part of the Alps, but is often considered to be separate from them due to the lack of mountain range of similar height anywhere nearby. The mountain stands alone to the west of the Luberon valley and to the east of the Dentelles de Montmirail, the foothills of Mount Ventoux.

The mountain is a must for cyclists, and can be climbed by three separate roads. The most famous and difficult ascent is the road south from Bédoin (22 km over 1610 meters). The second is the road north from Malaucène (21 km over 1570 meters). This road is better sheltered from the wind than the road from Bédoin. The last road is the easiest route and can be taken east from Sault (26 km over 1220 meters). The best months to make the climb are May, June and September. The downhill ride is great if you like speed.

There are numerous cycle rental shops in the area, the largest being in the village of Bedoin.