Panoramas

    • Gordes château

    The houses of Gordes cling to the side of the Vaucluse plateau, overlooking Cavaillon plain. They are arranged in tiers around the imposing Renaissance castle and church and narrow cobbled streets wind their way through them. Gordes is a village of artists and has been extolled by Marc Chagall, Victor Vasarely and Pol Mara ; it is a must on Provence’s cultural trail.

    Themes

    • Abbeys and churches : Sénanque Abbey
    • Castles and ramparts : The Renaissance castle
    • Panoramas : Views of the village from the road, view of Apt Valley and Cavaillon plain from the top of the village
    • Unusual sights : The village of Les Bories (dry-stone huts)
    • Wine : AOC Côtes du Ventoux wines

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  • Gourdon clings to the summit of a breathtakingly steep cliff at a height of 760 m and offers an unobstructed view of the Gorges du Loup and the Mediterranean. Clustered behind an imposing castle surrounded by gardens that were designed by Le Nôtre, the old houses have been well preserved and restored in this lively village where craftspeople are a driving force.

    Themes

    • Castles and ramparts : The castle
    • Panoramas : View of the valley and the Mediterranean from the church square

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    • Hell-Bourg étale épicerie

    In superb scenery formed by the Cirque de Salazie and its lush vegetation, the architecture of Hell-Bourg is a combination of Creole features and Belle Epoque heritage stemming from its former glory as a spa.

    Themes

    • Gastronomy : Trout (fish-breeding farm)
    • Panoramas : Cirque de Salazie

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  • High up on the Causses du Larzac plateau, La Couvertoirade has several stories to tell : the tale of the Knights Templar who built the castle in the 12C, the story of the Knights Hospitallers who, in the 15C, took over from them and enclosed the village in a ring of ramparts and finally that of the village when its economy and population was at a peak and it boasted fine 16C and 17C houses.

    Themes

    • Castles and ramparts : The castle and ramparts
    • Panoramas : View of the whole village and the Larzac plateau from the top of the rampart walk

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    • La Garde-Guérin remparts

    Some twenty kilometres south of Montélimar, the white stones of La Garde-Adhémar dazzle in the Drôme Provençale sunshine. From the top of its chalky outcrop, the village, which has kept ramparts, traces of the castle and old houses from its medieval structure, offers an unobstructed view of the Rhône Valley and the Vivarais Mountains.

    Themes

    • Abbeys and churches : Church of Saint Michel, White Penitents’ Chapel, Notre Dame Chapel (Val des Nymphes site)
    • Castles and ramparts : The ramparts and feudal castle
    • Panoramas : View of the Rhône Valley and the Vivarais Mountains
    • Unusual sights : Val des Nymphes site (worship of water gods and mother goddesses)

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    • La Garde-Guérin rue pavée

    In a setting not unlike certain Scottish landscapes, La Garde-Guerin looks down on the impressive Chassezac Canyon from its plateau. The village used to be a strategic site on the Régordane Way, a trade route that linked the Languedoc coast to the Massif Central ; it was attacked on several occasions but has kept its watchtower, its houses and its flagstone streets.

    Themes

    • By the waterside : River Chassezac
    • Castles and ramparts : The ramparts and watchtower
    • Panoramas : View of the village from the access area to the canyon, view of the Chassezac gorges and the Cévennes from the watchtower

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    • La Grave cimetière

    The village of La Grave has settled its stone and slate houses on a sunny slope in the heart of the Massif des Ecrins, facing the impressive Peak de la Meije that rises to an altitude of 3,983 m. La Grave is a Mecca for mountain climbing and also a key venue for skiers seeking thrills who come from all over the world to challenge each other on a 2,150 m vertical drop for the yearly Derby de la Meije.

    Themes

    • Panoramas : Panorama from the top of La Meije reached by cable car

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  • At the North of Gard, La Roque-sur-Cèze was built on a rock peak overlooking the Cèze which spans a twelve-arches old bridge. Dominated by the traces of the former castle and its chapel, the village with sloping cobbled streets and its houses, made with creamy stones and curved-tiles cornices, offers a breathtaking view of the Cascades du Sautadet, an exceptional natural site which adds to the attraction of the place.

    Themes

    • By the waterside : The river Cèze and Cascades du Sautadet
    • Castles and ramparts : The traces of the 12C castle and ramparts
    • Panoramas : The view of the Cascades du Sautadet from the top of the village
    • Wine : Côtes du Rhône wines

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  • This village is the birthplace of painter Toulouse-Lautrec’s family and is also famous for its pink garlic of which it is the main French producer. Of the ramparts, only the Caussade gateway remains intact and this leads to the central square where visitors can still admire 14C timber framed and corbel houses. The pale blue of Saint Rémy’s Collegiate Church is a reminder that you are in "Pays de Cocagne" here

    Themes

    • Abbeys and churches : Collegiate Church of Saint Rémy
    • Castles and ramparts : Caussade gateway, ramparts
    • Panoramas : View of the Lacaune Mountains, the Black Mountains and Castres plain from the Calvary

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  • Perched above the valleys and hills of Quercy Blanc, this fortified village founded in the 12C by the Count of Toulouse is on the "via Podiensis", one of the pilgrimage routes to Santiago de Compostela. Many traces of its historical and religious past still remain intact : the main square and its cobblestones, stone-built or half-timbered houses, and the pilgrim’s garden to name but a few

    Themes

    • Gastronomy : Lauzerte macaroon, AOC Chasselas grapes, fruit and duck products
    • Panoramas : View of Quercy Blanc valleys
    • Unusual sights : The square surrounded by an arcade with its raised paving in one corner
    • Wine : Coteaux du Quercy wines

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