A sleepy village that is stunning and peaceful and that ranks high on the charm factor, Oppède-le-Vieux makes me return again and again. It tears at my heartstrings to say goodbye to it at the end of our yearly trips, knowing I won’t lay eyes on it for a year. I never can get enough of wandering its secret lanes or relaxing at the characterful Petit Café.
Is it my village? Close. It’s definitely up there on my list. This time it was fun to rent an electric bike from Bonnieux and peacefully ride from village to village on back roads, making our way to Oppède-le-Vieux. I can’t recommend the electric bike enough, especially if wanting to take it easy or suffering from injuries. It’s still a workout if you want, but when you need a little extra help, just push a button and up the hill you go!
Oppède-le-Vieux is intoxicating. It’s a close second to my favorite Luberon village. What is that? Not Joucas but a new favorite that speaks to my heart. I will let you know next time.
One day while driving through the Gorges de la Nesque, we “needed” a place to stop to have an apéritif before heading to Venasque for dinner at one of our favorite restaurants, les Remparts. My husband suggested Monieux, since he had passed through the village on his bike in the past. I, on the other hand, was hesitant, thinking that perhaps Sault would be a better choice. I had never heard of Monieux. Well, as it turns out, Monieux was a dream! Charm for days! The type of village that tops my list.
After venturing around the village, with its Bourgogne-like charms, we relaxed by a beautiful fountain for apéritifs at a place called les Lavandes. The inside restaurant looks quite beautiful and no doubt would be worth a return for dinner.
After discovering Monieux, I wonder how many more “hidden” villages are waiting to be discovered in this area of Provence. I definitely have Brantes and Crestet on my radar as villages having charm for days.
While most tourists visiting the Luberon head right for the spectacular villages of Gordes and Roussillon, there lies tucked away in a world all its own the quiet, refined, and classy village of Goult.
Classy is the word to describe this quaint little village with its photogenic little square of plane trees, ancient buildings, and the lively Café de la Poste.
As you make your way up from the village square, you will pass a beautiful boutique, an antique shop, a fromagerie, and the most adorable épicerie with a separate fruit and vegetable room across the street.
From here you can continue to wander the charming streets and narrow passageways filled with elegant intricacies as you find your way to the windmill at the top.
There are at least three popular restaurants in the village, which are usually fully booked by locals. So reservations are a must. La Bartavelle, on a narrow street above the main square, seems to be the most popular with locals and foodies alike. In addition, there are le Carillon and la Terrasse, which are always booked. Another casual yet enjoyable option is to order a pizza from the pizzeria directly across from the Café de la Poste and take it to the café to eat while ordering drinks.
Yes, Goult is still a bit of a secret from the mass crowds. In fact, one gite rental binder recommends Goult with a big “Shh!” Meaning, don’t let the secret out.
The village of Séguret is visually stunning in every way. It’s the prettiest Provençal village I have encountered thus far. It certainly gives my favorite, Joucas, a run for its money. This charming jewel of a village is filled with colorful flowers and crazy charm around every bend of its winding cobblestone streets. It certainly earns its classification as one of the most beautiful villages in France. Thus, I had to label it “Flavignesque” in honor of my Bourgogne favorite.
From the moment we arrived in the village, I was completely immersed, camera in hand, exploring every street while my husband relaxed on a bench waiting for me to do my usual rapid exploration of every nook and cranny not wanting to miss anything.
Here in Séguret, there are a few restaurants, a lovely tea salon, and a few shops to be explored. We enjoyed a casual lunch outside at the Côté Terrasse restaurant, where creative salads were being served along with the wonderful wines of the region. Naturally, we tried a Séguret Côtes du Rhône in honor of the village.
To enjoy peaceful views of the countryside, there is a steep little hike that takes you above the village to the remains of a château. It probably takes about 45 minutes to get to the top. There was nothing too outstanding at the top, but it was a good way to burn off our lunch and enjoy the peace and serenity, since there was not a soul around.
A day of exploring Séguret could certainly be combined with stopping off for tastings at the nearby notable winemaking villages, such as Gigondas and Vacqueyras. I definitely have that planned for next time along with more villages of charm to be explored in the Rhône Valley.