Village Visit Focus Part I: Fontaine de Vaucluse

From Cotignac Fontaine de Vaucluse is about an hour and 40 mins’ drive but if you have the time and you’re a nature lover, it’s a MUST SEE place! 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. 

There is a museum (called Fran├žois Petrarque, a poet from early medieval times in the early 1300s) more info here: that costs 3.50 euro to get in but worth it as there is a lot of interesting history that can be learned about this village. Apparently the source is water at the bottom of the very tall and impressive limescale gorge (you can hike down to it at your own risk but I found it quite scary) is a mystery to scientists still unable to understand where, exactly, the water comes from. Some famous French artists and poets lived here too, no doubt attracted by the gorgeous colour of the water and all the bountiful benefits of good weather and so many fruit trees  (I saw figs, plums, and chestnut trees all along side the river, bursting with ripe fruit at the end of August). This was one of the most beautiful sights I have visited in the region and highly recommend it as a great place for families with older children (too many areas not secured enough for younger children in my opinion). Really good-value restaurants, views of canoeists riding down the falls, and river-powered old paper mills still fabricating paper for anyone to see, and a number of great shops with clothing, fabrics, gift items and much, much more. Even the ducks there were acting like they were in heaven.