As I’ve mentioned multiple times in some of my previous posts, there are a lot of pretty towns in Provence and in the South of France in general. Fontaine-de-Vaucluse is absolutely one of them, though it distinguishes itself from the others thanks to is location and its history.
I had the chance to rediscover it recently as I had friends visiting me. It was the perfect opportunity to show them this lovely place and enjoy a wonderful sunny day.
A refreshing stop
The town is located at the foot of a mountain, around a spring called Fontaine de Vaucluse (yes, like the town) that is apparently the biggest in France. This spring is actually the source of a river, the Sorgue, that runs through the town with its surprisingly green colour, which is one of the things you’ll notice right away when you visit.
When visiting Fontaine-de-Vaucluse, one of the main attractions is the source of the Sorgue, that can be seen especially around springtime, if you cross the town. The origin of the source is a bit of a mystery but it is a great sight for its turquoise water. However, in the hot summer months there isn’t much to see as it dries out and reaches low points that cannot be seen without risking to fall off the cliff.
As it is located in a valley, the town is also surrounded by cliffs, which conveniently protect you from the heat and make walking around an enjoyable experience even when the temperatures are very high. You’ll see a lot of cute restaurants, cafés and shops to eat a refreshing ice-cream or a nice lunch by the river.
Also, if the heat is just too much for you, you can sit along the river and dip your toes in the water. As it’s just out of the spring it is very cold so you probably won’t swim there, though some people do!
A bit of culture
Apart from its beauty, the town is also famous because, during the 14th century, it was the residence of the Italian Renaissance poet Petrarca – also known as Petrarch in English. His love for a woman called Laura, as well as the peaceful atmosphere of Provence inspired many of his poems. His house has now been turned into a museum that can be visited.
Another interesting landmark of the town is located at the end of a gallery right along the river, when you’re going towards the spring. You’ll see a working water mill, fed by the rushing water of the Sorgue, that formed part of a 15th century paper mill. There, paper is still made the traditional way and you’ll be able to see all the details of this long-forgotten craftmanship.
Fontaine-de-Vaucluse is also well located around other pretty towns such as L’Isle sur la Sorgue or the gorgeous Roussillon, which makes it a perfect stop if you’re doing a road trip around the Luberon, something that I strongly recommend!
Have you ever been to the South of France?
Other pretty towns in the South of France: