Vaucluse Tourism Highlights

Our ideas for keeping cool in Provence


Set off on a guided tour at sunrise or sunset

A number of Tourist Offices or professionals offer guided tours at sunrise or after nightfall during the summer months. Here’s our selection of top picks:

–          Sunrise over the Luberon, for a 4-hour walk along the ridges of the Luberon mountain range, with a naturalist guide. Enjoy breakfast with panoramic views, caressed by the day’s first rays of sunshine. Tuesdays at 6am.

–          Sunset on the Lioux cliffs, for a pretty 3-hour walk which ends with a platter and a glass of wine at the Domaine de la Tuilière. Sundays at 5.30pm.

–          “Entre Chien et Loup” (“dusk”) walk, to wander the narrow streets of Avignon on a balmy summer’s evening and finish up with an aperitif served in the Popes’ gardens. Tuesdays and Saturdays at 7pm.

–          Tour of La Chartreuse in the moonlight in Villeneuve-les-Avignon, to cross the Rhône River and immerse yourself in this magical place with its cloisters and gardens.

Slip into the shade of stone monuments or the cool hush of museum galleries

When the sun is high in the sky and the air is thick with heat and the clicking of cicadas, it’s time to wake up and widen your horizons in the cool!

–          Around Apt, by reliving the fascinating history of Saint Anne Cathedral, or plunging into the colourful labyrinth of the Bruoux ochre mines.

–          Around Gordes, in the immense network of underground olive mills and cisterns located in the cellars of Saint Firmin palace in the centre of Gordes, or in the tranquillity of the cloisters of Sénanque Abbey.

–            In Avignon, opt for one of the city’s municipal museums, with free entry, for decorative arts at the Vouland Museum, to see the only Van Gogh on display in Provence at the Angladon Foundation or to delve into contemporary art at the Lambert Collection.

–          Discover the incredible riches of the Roman era brought to life in Vaucluse at the Roman museums of Vaison la Romaine or Orange.

– Explore the depths of the Grottes de Thouzon caves near Isle sur la Sorgue

Take to the skies

Up on Mont Ventoux, the temperature drops as the altitude climbs.
You can opt for a picnic,
a walk,
try out the various activities on offer at Mont Serein resort,
or even explore the mountain at sunrise with a night-time climb (make a reservation at the Ventoux Provence Tourist Office or Ventoux Passion Nature).

Night climb of Mont Ventoux:

Don’t forget your jumpers, gloves and hats!

A little nap, then an ice cream

Coup de coeur

A nap in the shade

Not much advice is needed for a nap! The moment you arrive in Provence and hear the clicking of the cicadas, you’re already dreaming of a hammock strung between two holm oaks or closed shutters in the cool shade of your tiled bedroom in a gite.

When it comes to ice cream, here’s our expert advice:

In Avignon: La Princière

In Orange: Régal Tendance

In southern Luberon, at La Glacière alongside Cucuron’s pond or at L’Art Glacier in Cucuron

In Sault, a lavender sorbet at Boyer
…and many more!

Let’s head to the Sorgue!

The waters of this emerald river, which springs from the depths of the Fontaine-de-Vaucluse, never exceed 13°C! This creates a feeling of freshness as you approach the river.

Although swimming is not permitted, you can make your way downriver by kayak with Kayak Vert or Canoé Evasion,

Have a picnic on the banks at Fontaine-de-Vaucluse,

follow its course on foot,

or dip your feet into the water whilst tucking into an ice cream at l’Isle sur la Sorgue.


Coming to life at night

Coup de coeur

Enjoy a restful day, leaving plenty of energy in the evening for:

–          Buying local fruit and vegetables at one of the several farmers’ markets held in the evening

–          Going stargazing at the SIRENE Observatory in Lagarde d’Apt

–          Taking part in a “Sunset Vigneron” (Vineyard Sunset) in the Luberon or enjoy a drink in the Popes’ garden in Avignon on Thursday and Friday evenings

–          Visiting the gardens of Saint André Abbey on Thursday evenings until 8pm