Le Clos des Pins
Villedieu, Provence

Things to do

Things To Do

Pont St Benezet - from the song 'Sur le pont d'Avignon…'. The bridge only goes half way across the Rhone - the rest having been swept away by floods a couple of hundred years ago. €3.50 entry which includes a mobile cassette player telling you the history of the bridge - in English.

Road Train - Good one for the children. €2 for a short trip from the Palais des Papes up to the gardens on the hill or €6 for a 40 minute tour of the city.

Palais des Papes - An interesting visit. Self guided tour around the famous palace with the same mobile sound system as the Pont St Benezet telling you all about the rooms/history etc. Slightly spoilt by the fact that none of the rooms have any furniture in them..! Entry fee €9.50. Good gift shop at the end of the tour.

Discounted entry fees are available with the "Avignon Passion" pass available free at the ticket booths of all the sites.

Avignon is great for shopping, browsing, restaurants and café life and is about 45 minutes from the villa.  In the summer the Avignon theatre festival is a great cultural event.
Canoeing at Isle-sur-la-Sorgue
The canoeing at Isle-sur-la-Sorgue is great fun. It's very safe and there are no rapids. You pick the canoes up near Fontaine de Vaucluse and then canoe down the River Sorgue to Isle-sur-la-Sorgue where a coach will wait for you and take you back to your car. Your feet will get wet so wear old shoes. Take a small snack and a bottle of water as you will stop for a five minute break half way down. You will be given life jackets and a waterproof box to put all your stuff in.

Allow about 2 hours for the canoeing and half an hour for the coach back to your car.

Directions: From Isle-sur-la-Sorgue take the road to Fontaine de Vaucluse and Kayak Vert will be signposted after about 5km.  Allow 1 hour 15 minutes to get there from the villa.

Cost (Summer 2014): €18 per adult and €12 per child.  1, 2, 3 and 4 person canoes available.

You must book in advance as the canoeing parties leave at scheduled times. Tel: 04 90 20 35 44

Fontaine de Vaucluse
A great day or half day out. See the natural springs gushing out of the rocks at the Fontaine du Vaucluse. See the Paper Mill museum and the Museum of the French Resistance (all in French)

Park in one of the car parks and walk up to the Fontaine then take a leisurely walk back browsing the shops and Paper Mill. Have lunch in one of the many restaurants overlooking the river and then visit the French Resistance museum in the afternoon (but only if you understand the language).

As you are only 10 minutes away, why not combine this with a stroll round the antique centre of Isle-sur-la-Sorgue or the canoeing above. It's a beautiful town with the River Sorgue weaving in and out of every street.

Hiring bikes and cycling around the villages is great fun. There are numerous marked paths for the off-roaders and pleanty of local villages to visit for those who prefer road cycling.

2 mountain bikes (with helmets) are provided free of charge at the villa.  Additional and/or specialist bikes are easily available for hire in Vaison-la-Romaine for between €25-€60 a day.

And for the really keen...... Mont Ventoux is just a '30 minute warm up ride' from the villa..!

There are 4 golf courses within an hour of the villa.  Two 18 hole and two 9 hole. 

The first 18 hole course is the 'Golf Provence Country Club' between Isle-sur-la-Sorgue & Fontaine de Vaucluse about 50 minutes from the villa.  A surperb championship course of 6,700 metres with all the usual facilities you would expect - 18 & 9 hole courses, restaurant, driving range, putting green, pro shop, competitions etc.  Take a look at www.provencecountryclub.fr/EN.  The second 18 hole course is in Avignon, again about 50 minutes from the villa.  Like the Provence Country Club, this course has all the facilities you would expect from a championship course.  Take a look at www.golf-grand-avignon.com   .

The third course is in Clansayes around 40 minutes from the villa - a 9 hole course with restaurant, putting green and shop. Take a look at www.golf-dromeprovencale.com (this website is in French only). The final course is just 15 minutes from the villa between Orange and Camaret. A 9 hole course certainly worth a visit and as it's so close with an early tee time you can be back at the villa for lunch..! Take a look at www.golforange.fr    .
Pont du Gard
The largest Roman Aqueduct in Europe. Very impressive and worth a visit. Take a picnic and have it by the river (10 minutes walk from the car park).

The Pont du Gard is about 50 minutes from the villa. Take the motorway towards Nimes airport and follow the brown signs before you get to Nimes.

If you want to make a day of it then why not combine this with a trip to the old town of Uzes. The market in Uzes is on a Saturday morning and you can buy everything you need for the picnic at the market.

There is an €18 charge per car of up to 5 people. There are other attractions at the Pont du Gard - cinema & museum with no additional entry charges. There is a cafe (but whilst it is clean, the food is not that great)
Lavender Fields and Museum
The best time to see the lavender in Provence is at the end of June or the first couple of weeks in July. It is harvested from mid July onwards.

Visit the Abbeye de Sénanque outside Gordes in the morning, onto Gordes for some lunch and the Lavender Museum at Coustellet in the afternoon (or possibly see the Abbeye & Museum before lunch if you start early enough).

The Abbeye is set amongst lavender fields and at the museum you will learn (in English) how the lavender flowers are turned into the essentials oils used in the perfume industry. The shop at the museum is excellent, selling good quality genuine AOC certified lavender products (much better than anything you get in the markets)

Local Markets
During the high season the markets get very busy so try to be there before 10 o'clock.

Bedoin - Good market, average size
Vaison-la-Romaine - A very good market with plenty to see and buy. All the usual food stalls plus local crafts, clothes, plants, souvenirs etc. A good selection of cafes in the main square for a drink or lunch. This one's our favourite..!
Beaumes de Venise - Very small market but a nice change from Vaison
Malucene - Nice market, plenty of options for the 'coffee stop'!
Orange - A good market although
not as big as Vaison or Carpentras. Worth a visit if you wish to see the Roman Amphitheatre in Orange.
Nyons - Large market in the old town, worth a visit. Stop by the old Roman bridge at the end of the market for a drink or maybe lunch.
Carpentras - Another good market with plenty to see and buy. Most of the cafes are in the shade though - except the one in front of the cathedral.
Uzes - Lots of food stalls with local specialities. Worth combining with a trip to the Pont du Gard.
St Cecile - Small provencal market but well worth a visit
Isle-sur-la-Sorgue - The largest antique market outside Paris plus all the usual food and craft stalls. Well worth a trip if you have the time.
Nyons - Provencal market, smaller than the normal Thursday market but lovely to browse around before lunch. Plenty of small restaurants in the old town

Domaine de Mourchon - Séguret
The Domaine de Mourchon in Séguret, just 10/15 minutes away, offers free tours around the vineyard and wine making facilities on a Wednesday evening between Easter and the end of September. The tours finish up with an informal tasting in the winery. And it's all in English conducted by the owner.  The tour starts at 5pm in the Cave, just turn up, no need to book.

If you would like to do more than just a tasting then why not try one of the half-day guided visits from 'Wine-Uncovered'. These can be booked in advance or arranged locally.

Wine Uncovered - “Solving the Mysteries of Terroir”: Half-day guided visits (in English) to the vineyards and wineries of two or more different domaines, explaining the concept of terroir and demonstrating how different terroir, grape varieties, vine-growing and winemaking methods influence the wines tasted.
Rhone Wine Tours
A selection of carefully designed full day tours including transport to and from the wineries or a private tasting at Le Clos des Pins including 10 bottles of local wine, a selection of local bread, cheeses & charcuterie, tasting sheets, maps, glasses and of course a presenter to guide you through the wines - the perfect way to finish an afternoon and great fun..!