Going to a market in Provence is a must as there is just so much to see and Provence has so much to offer with herbs, flowers, fruit, vegetable and handicrafts. We went to the market in L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue on Sunday and it was packed with both people and stands. L’Isle is also an amazing town for antiques, not just on Sundays at the market but all year round with many, many antique stores. I’m sure much of what ends up decorating the newly purchased homes of expats comes from here. If you go, make sure you also visit Fountaine-de-Vaucluse, which is at the base of the mountain where the Surge river begins. Very cute town with the river running through it, and a great place to have lunch, especially if its hot out. Route de Fountaine, which takes you from Sorgue to Fountaine, is a beautiful drive, lined with tall, shading Sycamore trees.
Here’s a list of the some of the markets and the days on which they happen:
Provence consists of three departements: Bouches-du-Rhone, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence and thirdly Vaucluse, which is the region we were about to visit and tour. Within Vaucluse there are also three sub-regions, called Luberon, Mont Ventoux and Avignon and we did our best to get in a little bit of all three.
We left Avignon and headed south to Cavaillon, passing through, taking highway D2 towards Menerbes. This was beginning of our tour through small Provencal villages until we made our way to our stay at Auberge du Vin just outside of Carpentras. Wonderful countryside, a lovely drive and numerous hilltop villages to stop at and walk through, such as Menerbes, La Coste, Bonnieux, Gordes and Venasque. All cute and quaint, but Gordes stands out and is really quite something to see from the viewpoint when you arrive from the south on D2. And you will immediately know you are getting close to Gordes because of the unique walls or fences along the highway made solely of rock, flat, shale-like rock, starting with them placed horizontally up to about three meters, and then a top row placed vertically. Very unique.