The Village of Viens 

perfect Destination

Vienslocated at the limit of the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, is perched on a rock..

In 1990, the town celebrated its millennium, it has preserved much evidence of its past: a door Saracen in the ramparts, a Clock Tower and a Portal. In its narrow streets, you can admire beautiful houses of the thirteenth and a Renaissance Castle transformed in the nineteenth.

 
To visit: Gate and Clock Tower. Saracen Tower. Castle of the Sixteenth,. Church St-Hilaire of sixteenth and seventeenth,. Roman Chapel St Ferreol, Communal oven. Colorado Provencal, the Gorges of Oppodette, Hilltop villages of the Luberon.

To go around Viens ...


Hiking

Biking

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Discover the region

On the ochre road  

Discover the unique colours in the Apt area by following this itinerary which takes you through the ochre villages in the Luberon. The itinerary features short walks or longer hikes, museum visits, exhibitions, learning about the unusual expertise and the outstanding heritage.

 

From Apt, take the N100 to Roussillon. Stop in this village full of colourful façades. Then take the D227, the D101 then the D83 where there are many vestiges of the former ochre mines – Les Chaffrets, La Choque, Les Lombards.

In Gargas you can visit the superb Bruoux Ochre mines, real mineral cathedral.

Go back in the direction of Villars on the D111. West of Villars there is an ochre site with lots of iron ore. Leave Villars in the direction of Les Petits Cléments to reach Rustrel.

To the southeast, on the side of the D22 road, visit the famous Provençal Colorado. See the earth pillars, the cliffs, the box canyons. The Doa river, known as the ochre-miners river, crosses the site. Return to Apt and visit the Industrial Adventure Museum, see the displays on ochre, on faience and on candied fruits. In Apt you can also go to the ochre company "Ocres de France" or "Chauvin" where you can buy pigments for use in decorating the house or making crafts. 

 

Itinerary on own – approximately 4 hours driving time.

Contact : T. +33 (0)4 90 74 03 18 ot@apt.fr

Lavender and the Highlands

 Off you go to the village of Simiane la Rotonde. Follow the small country road "route de Carniol", lined with pine and scattered with heather, to the village of Simiane, perched high above the plain. Simiane is crowned by a famous rotunda, a masterpiece of 12th-century

 

Mid-jun to mid-august

Off you go to the village of Simiane la Rotonde. Follow the small country road "route de Carniol", lined with pine and scattered with heather, to the village of Simiane, perched high above the plain. Simiane is crowned by a famous rotunda, a masterpiece of 12th-century Romanesque art, hence its name – Simiane la Rotonde. In the château, Sainte Victoire laboratory presents perfumes from Haute-Provence and essences, and describes their beneficial properties. Here, aromatherapy is accessible to all, for there are classes and workshops offered on distillation of rose petals, and perfume making...

The lavender distillery with its tall smokestack can be seen from the base of the village. During the lavender season it works day and night. Continue on to the abbey known for its rose garden with over 600 varieties of roses – historic Valsaintes Abbey, also known as "Boulinette".

Then on to the village of Banon, an old fortified town, famous for its excellent goat cheeses, wrapped in chestnut leaves. From Banon go on to the Rocher d'Ongles, a lovely site which overlooks a crossroads and one of the biggest distilleries on this itinerary. This is a cooperative distillery which works with 20 cooperative members.

Make a stop at Saint Etienne les Orgues, near Lure Mountain, with rich and diverse plant life. Also stop in the town of Forcalquier, capital of medieval Haute Provence. The old city nestles around the ruins of the ancient citadel. Visit the 13th-century Couvent des Cordeliers to see the beautiful buildings. See the museum, which displays traditional furniture from Haute-Provence, faïences from Apt and from Moustiers and traditional clothing. See the lovely Gothic fountain on Place Saint Michel.


Want to know more ...

Visit the l'Office du Tourisme d'Apt