Vaucluse Tourism Highlights

Our ideas for keeping cool in Provence

When the sun reaches its zenith and the air swells with warmth and the song of cicadas, you might find yourself looking for somewhere to cool down! 

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 Carpentras, dive into the history of Comtat Venaissin and the sumptuous collections of the new Inguimbertine, which reopened in May 2024, or the shaded garden and halls of Château de Thézan. 

–         Around Apt, by discovering the new African Art exhibition at the Fondation Blachère, or plunging into the colourful labyrinth of the Bruoux ochre mines.

–         In l’Enclave des Papes, step back into your childhood with “Enfants de la Reclame”, the new exhibition at the Museum of Cardboard and Printing in Valréas. 

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

–          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, 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 and attend one of the 73 performances of the Odyssée Sonore.

Palais des papes
une balade en canoe

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.

The emerald waters of the Sorgue that gush from the depths of Fontaine-de-Vaucluse never rise above 13°, which is why the air feels cooler as you approach the river. Although swimming is prohibited, you can kayak down the river with Kayak Vert or Canoé Evasion,, sit for a short while in the Musée Pétrarque gardens in Fontaine de Vaucluse, hike along its course or dip your feet in whilst eating an ice cream in l’Isle sur la Sorgue. 

But that’s not your only option, as there’s also the Rhône, with its wide course and breathtaking views over the papal city for urban adventurers to enjoy. During the summer, the tourist office hosts outings where you can enjoy the panorama for an hour while listening to a guide recount the city’s history, or longer outings descending 8 kilometres down the Rhône to discover the river’s natural features, flora and fauna, and of course, the history of the city. These outings are offered both day and night! 

Spend the day at Wave Island 

Splash, woosh, whiz! This state-of-the-art water park, only 15 minutes from Avignon, promises endless games and waterslides. Toboggans in translucent candy colours, waterfalls, rafting… the facilities have been designed to accommodate all ages and tastes, including those who wish to simply relax on a towel in the shade or drift along the “tropical river” on a buoy. 

Open from the 19 June to the 1 September 
Accommodation available on site 

in 2024

Extend your experience to sunset, from 7pm to 11pm from Thursday to Saturday at Sunset brasserie. Numerous shows and events are planned! 

Wave Island
Une sieste et une glace

A little nap, then an ice cream

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 and Authentique

In Orange: Régal Tendance

In southern Luberon, at La Glacière alongside Cucuron’s pond

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

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 AVentoux Rando).

Night climb of Mont Ventoux:

Don’t forget your jumpers, gloves and hats!

On sort le soir

Coming to life at night

Set off on a guided tour at 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:

–          Wander round the Palais des Papes at night when it is closed to visitors, or take one of the 4 routes to discover the mediaeval city or Villeneuve-lès-Avignon by night with Noctambules d’Avignon. 

–          Night-time discovery of Gordes or Lourmarin with the Tourist Office to explore its narrow streets at nightfall and escape the crowds during the day 

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

–          Take part in a “Sunset Vigneron” excursion in the Luberon or go for a drink in the Jardin des Papes in Avignon on Thursday and Friday evenings in August, or at Côtes du Rhône Wine Bar in July. To make sure you don’t miss any evening events in Vaucluse, consult the Provence Guide diary.  

–          Enjoy a hilltop aperitif with Youpi Tours, riding through the vineyards in a Citroen Dyane and see the villages light up on the plaine as you enjoy a picnic, from 6pm leaving from Vaison-la-Romaine (all year round, around 3h). 

On observe les étoiles

Night-time outing to look at the stars 

The Cavaillon tourist office offers a night-time outing on Colline Saint-Jacques every other Wednesday in July and August. In the evening, you can admire the flora and fauna from the little path which overlooks the town, then look at the stars through telescopes. 
In the Luberon Regional Nature Park, near Apt, the Sirene astronomical observatory invites visitors to step back in time, with night-time walks and discovery evenings. With one eye to the eyepiece, the curious can catch a glimpse of planets, nebulae and other deep-sky objects! 

©Kessler ©Obrien ©Cocquard ©Colombe prod