Category Archives: village visits

Villecroze Park, La Boh√®me Caf√©, and Mr Gum’s

It’s always such a delight to visit Mr Gum at his boutique full of fabulous ceramic necklaces, earrings and bracelets in old Villecroze. Guillaume¬†(owner and creator of the shop) is full of charm too and is always a real pleasure to chat with. What’s best is that his shop is right next to the now famous La Boh√®me Caf√© with equally charming Liz as owner and hostess. Have a coffee, a piece of cake, a look around at Mr Gum’s then head for the beautiful rose park across the way with its stunning limescale cliffs and cave dwellings (kinda like a miniature Cotignac!!), a beautiful old house, picnic tables, tennis courts, and a great park for younger kids too. All this is just 25 mins’ drive from Cotignac. Worth the detour!!

Stunning Carrières de Lumières in Les Baux de Provence

A stunning “immersion exhibition” of art inside the quarries of Les Baux de Provence, this is a must stop in Provence. ¬†This season’s collection¬†feature Dutch Rainassance artists Hieronymous Bosch, Pieter Brueghel, and the Italian Giuseppe Arcimboldo.

Les Baux de Provence is approximately one hour and forty five minutes’ drive from Cotignac.

For more information in English click here.  Or go to: http://carrieres-lumieres.com/en/home

Tourtour in March, 2017

Tourtour is set on top of a windy hill (elevation 900 metres) with sweeping views all the way out to Frejus and the Mediterranean with the Mount St Victoire between. The population is just under 500 but the locals are a tight knit group who put on one of the most amazing festivals (f√™te de l’oeuf or the Egg Festival) around Easter every year. Tourtour is listed as one of the most beautiful villages in France and is well worth a detour when not too cold or windy. The little streets through the village houses are so full of charm and the restaurants serve simple yet freshly made food that of course goes rather well with a nice glass of chilled ros√© or anything really. It’s about a 20 minutes’ drive from Cotignac, via either Aups or Villecroze (fastest). Continue reading Tourtour in March, 2017

Les Baux de Provence

Tourists from all over the world who visit the South of France flock to Les Baux and it’s not surprising; the region is already stunning but what makes Les Baux stand out is its¬†dominant¬†stone chateau and the white rocky hills that surround it. ¬†From the top there are sweeping views across Arles, Camargues and the Alpilles. Les Baux is in the department of Bouches-du-Rhone (13) and about one hour and a half’s drive from Cotignac in the Var. Continue reading Les Baux de Provence

Moissac Bellevue and Le Bellevue restaurant (bistro)

Just 23 minutes’ drive from Cotignac just passed Aups and on the way to Regusse is the quaint, tiny, and off-the-beaten-path Medieval village of Moissac Bellevue.

What struck me most at first was how clean the place was. Not a piece of trash nor dog doo doo on the streets could be found, well manicured (but not obsessively neat) gardens, sculptured art decorating some exterior walls, and warm cosy feeling to the village that is home to not more than about 160 people. The centre is host to a beautiful, large fountain and the bistro called Le Bellevue which almost always sells out of spaces for lunch diners. Continue reading Moissac Bellevue and Le Bellevue restaurant (bistro)

Charming Salon de Provence

A bustling university town, Salon de Provence has¬†44,000 inhabitants and resembles a mini version of Aix-en-Provence. ¬†It’s actually a practical place to stay if you want to spend more time on this side of Provence (Bouches-du-Rhone). Aix, Arles, Les Baux, and Avignon are a hop-skip-and-jump away and it’s also only one hour and 15 minutes’ drive from Cotignac. ¬† Continue reading Charming Salon de Provence

Village visit focus Part III: L’Isle-sur-La Sorgue

Just East of the more famous city of Avignon is the lovely L’Isle-sur-Sorgue¬†where¬†“shabby chic” and funky antiques shops are visible everywhere. Lots of colour can be seen¬†on the shop fronts and the town is made extra special with real river¬†canals that run through it,¬†reminiscent of¬†Amsterdam or Annecy in Savoie. It’s full of charm! Continue reading Village visit focus Part III: L’Isle-sur-La Sorgue

Village Visit Focus Part II: Fontaine de Vaucluse

From Gordes, this place is just a hop, skip, and jump and well worth a stop. Bring your hiking shoes and take an easy walk up from the centre of town (impressive town hall) to the mysterious “Source” where water fills up every winter and nourishes what is hailed to be the most beautiful river in the Vaucluse, La Sorgue. In the Summer there are stands filled with gift items, snacks, bonbons for kids, along the walk up and also a restaurant (listed in the Michelin guide) called “Restaurant Philip” established in 1926 with pretty yellow chairs right next to the bright teal-coloured water of the river. It’s cold but you could take a dip in it.¬† Continue reading Village Visit Focus Part II: Fontaine de Vaucluse

Village visit focus part I: Gordes

Listed as one of France’s “les plus beaux villages”, Gordes features as one of the must-do visits on almost every guide to Provence on the Vaucluse side. ¬†It’s domineering chateau¬†in the perched centre¬†is well frequented by tourists and is used as the town hall and a venue for artist expositions and other events. ¬†Pol Mara’s paintings are housed here¬†permanently and Marc Chagall (one of many famous artists) once called it home. Continue reading Village visit focus part I: Gordes

Cotignac in black and white

Black and white photos do something to an image that I really love, particularly when a lot of sunlight is in them: shadows are more pronounced, skies look more mysterious and the photos allow the viewer to  see different aspects of the subject at hand.  Time seems to stop and the monochrome world somehow appears less busy, more calm, and with fewer flaws. Many of these photos capture images of buildings that most likely looked exactly the same several hundreds of years ago.  Cotignac is an exceptionally beautiful village in the Var department of France and I find something every day to photograph here that makes my heart skip a beat. РSusana