Creative World Travel
Trusted Service Since 1974
Specialists in Leisurely Escorted Tours to Europe

& The French Riviera

Creative World Travel
Leisurely "No-Rush"
Escorted Tour
to the South of France
& Paris

TGV High-Speed Train from Avignon to Paris

View of Gordes in the Lubéron
©Photo by Michael Reed ~ Creative World Travel

Creative World Travel ~
NOT your Average Escorted Tour

No Long Bus Rides
No Early Morning Wake-up Calls
No Annoying "Optional" Excursions To Pay

Day-by-Day Itinerary - Page 8

The Lubéron Valley was once the cherished secret and the last great hideout of the French because it has everything the French love. It is countryside France to the nines: rustic but chic, simple but stylish.
  But the Lubéron is a secret no more. It's now world-famous, thanks to Peter Mayle, whose best-selling book, A Year in Provence, is required reading for anyone taking our tour.
  This tale of how Mayle gave up an advertising career in London and resettled in the village of Ménerbes was later made into a four-part television mini-series.
  If you enjoy the book, your next reads should be the sequel, Toujours Provence, or his novels, Chasing Cezanne and Hotel Pastis.
  The Lubéron has always attracted blue chip, blue book, and big box office names. Aspen, Colorado would be a summer soul mate. In fact, a region of the Lubéron is called le petit colorado. The Lubéron is the country of springs and small villages clinging to steep-sided cliffs.

  L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue is visually distinct from other parts of the Lubéron. This pretty town, population 20,000, stands on an island in the River Sorgue at the foot of the Vaucluse Plateau. It is lined with tree-shaded streets and canals, and is said to be the home of an estimated 400 antique stores.

Cafés Line the Banks of the River Sorgue in Fontaine-de-Vaucluse
©Photo by Michael Reed ~ Creative World Travel

  Fontaine-de-Vaucluse, population 606, is famous on two counts. The fountain (spring) in the town's name, fed by rainwater from the plateau, is the source of the River Sorgue and emerges from a cave at the base of cliffs over 700 feet high. It is a magnificent spectacle and ranks among the most powerful resurgent streams in the world. It is the fifth largest in the world with an annual flow of 630 million cubic meters.

700-Feet-High Cliffs Tower above Fontaine-de-Vaucluse
©Photo by Michael Reed ~ Creative World Travel

  Fontaine-de-Vaucluse is also renowned because the Roman poet Petrarch, considered "The Father of Humanism" and the greatest scholar of his age, lived there from 1337-1353.
During those years, Petrarch began writing in Provençal-Sicilian style the 366 poems and sonnets of his Canzionière (Songbook), inspired by his unrequited love for the unknown Laura whom the poet first saw in a church in Avignon.

  Gordes has been nominated the most beautiful village in France. Its houses rise in picturesque tiers like a multi-faceted sandcastle above the Imergue Valley on the edge of the Vaucluse Plateau.
  At the summit is a Renaissance château and a church. The views from its terraced streets of the valley and the distant Lubéron are superb. Steep narrow streets and alleys paved with rough stones thread their way between many fine house from the 16th and 17th centuries.

  The village of Ménerbes resembles a long, multi-decked boat. Moored on the top of a hill for over a thousand years, it survived the longest seige of the religious wars of the 16th century.
  We visit the Café du Progres, where if you wish, you will have time to order a pastis, the pale green anise-based apératif, and a wonderful view of the valley and Mount Ventoux to the north.
  On the top of another hill across the fields from Ménerbes are the ruins of the Marquis de Sade's château at Lacoste.

Provence & The French Riviera Day-by-Day Itinerary Page 9

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