I’ve just booked my summer holiday this year, back to my favourite place, Provence a region in southeastern France. I was lucky enough to spend two weeks there last June, and captured some of my favourite memories on film. If you are searching for somewhere beautiful to visit in Europe, this is the perfect blog post for you.
This video we (my boyfriend Riley and I) captured showcases the adventures to the towns outside the Villa we had rented near the beautiful town of Bonnieux. I’m also sharing some of my favourite pictures from the trip and anecdotes about each location they are from.
Bonnieux, the hill top town near our Villa. We explored this town from top to bottom, we hiked up to the highest point and had drinks looking over the valley. The first shot Riley took of me, a couple hundred yards away from our favourite haunt. The waiter knows our order, and we laughed as we watch him slowly (very slowly) walk across the road to deliver them to us. The town has a real familiarity and I grew rather fond of it.
Gordes was the destination we chose to explore first, built on the foothills of the Monts of Vauclus, facing the luberon. The many invasions over the centuries, forced the people of the countryside to seek refuge on the heights. That was the origin of this hilltop village.
The village is made up of large historic buildings, winding cobbled streets, ancient caves, panoramic views, an old church and a castle located in it’s centre. The castle is at the centre of the village and on market days acts as the centre for all the beautiful stalls. We explored the town, uncovering and learning as we went about the immense amount of history it was built on.
Gordes market takes place every Tuesday morning, and we visited it both weeks we were there. The stalls are set around the castle at the village centre. They sell an array of different items with a focus on fabrics, linens, soaps and clothing. They had an incredible array of fresh market fruit and vegetables as well as local specialities.
Lavender in Provence isn’t a rarity, but finding an empty field at golden hour is. After a trip to a hill top town of Gordes, on our way to Menerbes we stumbled across a hidden gem, an idicllic spot to watch the sun draw in.
We went to the hill top town of Ménerbes for dinner. It was golden hour, the one boulangerie in town was closed and the town felt smaller than it had looked from the valley. The restaurant Le Cinq had Panoramic views of Provence, and served the best chocolate mousse tart Riley had ever had. Possibly the only one too.
On a trip to the supermarket Riley noticed a town in the distance that we later knew as Rousillion. We set off on an adventure up the road to have a look around. The colourful old buildings and narrow medieval streets were beautiful to capture with lots of orange and red stone roof tops. The village centre is small, so we spent time wandering around the pottery shops and art galleries up the street to the highest point
Lourmarin, located in a valley between the Grand and Petit Luberon mountains, is listed as one of the most beautiful villages in all of France, and I could certainly see why. Although busy, the market here is one of my favourites.
L’Isle Sur La Sorgue is one of the most charming Provençal towns, known for its incredible antiques stores and weekend markets surrounding the colourful canals. If you visit provence, exploring here is a must.
It was truly memorable and I’m so excited to go back and create more memories in such a beautiful part of the world.
Maybe this trip has inspired you to plan your own. If it has, where to?
Photography by Riley Donavan