The Vaucluse with an entire surface of 3'567 km is one of the smallest departments of France. Avignon, the capital, is known in the whole world thanks to its famous bridge on the Rhone and by the song “sur le pont dAvignon”. These ramparts and the palace of the pope, which was built in the middle ages, was for a certain time the capital of roman christians and is as a whole an imposing monument, classified as a world heritage of UNESCO. The banks of the Rhone river invites to go for a walk. Boats accomodate you for a ballade on the rhone river and look at the city at another glance. Each summer, the theater festival attracts visitors from around the whole world and that for 60 years. Avignon is famous for its kitchen of Provence and its wines of the Rhone valley. Avignon is also an ideal starting point to discover the Luberon, the Alpilles, the Camargue and the beauty of Provence.
The Mount Ventoux, this giant mystical of Provence has a height of 1'912 m and it is visible landmark from far. Of his top one can discover one of the vastest panorama in southern Europe. In summer, ambitious cyclists of the whole world are on the go and in winter the alpine skiers populate the mountain. The slopes of its top are stripped and stony, the summit is crowned by an observatory. Whilst the middle ages the mountain was completely deforested and under Napoleon III, about 1860, retimbered with black fir trees, larches and pines from Austria. On the base of the Ventoux Mount one discovers the mediterranean plants, wineyards, olive-trees, green oaks and fruit trees. The Ventoux Mount is a reserve of biosphere with label MAB and was distinguished by UNESCO.
Fountain of Vaucluse is probably one of the most visited natural sites of Vaucluse. This gigantic source is probably the most powerful in Europe. It has an annual water flow of 630 million m3. The primary source spills out at the foot of a 230 m heigh vertical cliff and resembles a pond. It is the upper end of an immense underground siphon. With the length of the river of the secondary sources feed Sorgue. The water looks like a green emerald and is generally very calm in summer, but becomes spectacular in spring and in autumn: their flow can reach then up to to 90 m3 a second. This water comes from infiltration of rainwater and the snow melt of a region including the Vaucluse mountains, the Lure mountains and the Mont Ventoux Mount, representing a total surface of 1'240 km2.
The Luberon is an vallea that stretches between the Haute Provence Alps and the plain of Vaucluse with a culminating point of 1'125 m Mont nègre. The Luberon consists of 67 communes and builds together with the natural park, the variety of the landscapes an outstanding charming beauty. Close to Roussillon, a few km east of Apt, you'll enjoy the famous ocre quarries "Colorado provencal" with blazing and varied colors. In historical time these ocre quarries were exploited was very demanded by painting artists like van Gogh. During the last world wars, ocre was mixed to "stretch" coffee and chocolate. Today, the ocre quarries are visited mainly by tourists and photo amateurs who are in the search of picturesque subjects. In Luberon one can discover picturesque villages, odorous paths and tortuous lanes.
Vaucluse is famous for its vineyards and its high-class wines named AOC, such as Gigondas, Vacqueyras, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Beaumes-de-Venice. The type of vines S extend on many territories. Gigondas, Vacqueyras and Beaumes-of-Venice are grouped around the western end of the Dentelles de Montmirail. Dont forget the Côtes-Ventoux, the Côtes-du- Luberon. Many wineries on the roadside offer wine tastings and buying opportunities.
Richerenches is the capital of black truffle. Richerenches is located a few km south of Valréas. The market with truffles takes place saturday mornings from november till the end of march. In January a great mass is celebrated to honour the truffle and followed ba a large aperitif and meals with truffles.