Some of the most picturesque villeges in the world are in Provence
If you have a passion for Provencial Villages, we’ve listed a few must see villages. In future issues, we will highlight other villages as we build this section of the newsletter. While you wait, check out this link. It will certainly whet your appetite for Les Meilleurs Villages dans France (most beautiful Villages in France). www.provenceweb.fr
Village of Bories
In the Luberon, we came across a treasure not well marked but certainly worth the 4k detour outside of Gordes. Just watch for the signs off D2 to Cavaillon. It is an unusual agglomeration called the Village des Bories. We didn’t take the tour. We were a bit more adventurist and went beyond the village about 2 miles. Here we discovered 3 deserted Bories homes. The homes had walls 2 feet deep, peep holes for windows. We are told that the temperature inside the building remains constant and comfortable whatever the season. The shapes take the form of curving pyramids and cones. They are designed so that rain runs off their exterior. Most were built in the eighteenth century and were lived in until about one years ago.
Seguret – means “safe place”
In the Eastern Vauclaus, Seguret, the star of the Dentelles de MontMirail, will take you back in time. Its just a short walk from the parking area up the hill to the village. The guide books say “steep” but it isn’t by my standards. My guidebook also described an old stone laundry, but I never expected to see someone actually doing laundry as I passed by the central well. From the distance, I had to capture that image. It was precious to me to think about all the batches of clothes that fill my machine these days. I couldn’t image washing and rinsing by hand. Thought you would like those photos.
The village has two special feast during the year. One on Christmas Eve where it hosts a living re-enactment of the nativity in which people play the parts their grandparents and great-grandparents played before them. And the Fete des Vins et Festival Provençal Bravade held the last two weeks in August that incorporates processions for the Virgin Mary and the Patron Saints of Wine Growers, of which there are many.
Gigondas – name means “light-hearted joy”
Travel south on D23, following the signs onto D7, (only about 8 miles) you’ll discover Gigondas. This lovely little village sits at the base of a hill. Drive or walk upwards to get one of the region’s best views of limestone pinnacles emerging from the vineyards below … match that view with waiting for the sun to set in the central square and voila … the most impressive sunset. In the middle March last year, I was awed to capture the sky burning with warmth as it silhoueted the naked Plane trees.