4 good reasons to stop off in Vaison-la-Romaine
From Roman Vaison to Romanesque Vaison
Vaison has nothing to envy its distant neighbors, Arles or Nîmes. No arenas, but an ancient theater and two exceptional Gallo-Roman sites, representing the largest archaeological area in France (15 ha). They bear witness to the past grandeur of ancient Vasio, which took advantage of the Pax Romana ("Roman peace") to equip itself with prestigious public and private architecture. While these remains are the pride of the town, it's the medieval city that catches the eye on arrival. Just cross the Roman bridge over the Ouvèze and you'll be transported back in time. On the left bank of the river, the cobbled streets climb up to the upper town, on the rocky hill where the genesis of Vaison was written. Nestled at the foot of the remains of the ancient château comtal, this district of stone houses, punctuated by squares and fountains, exudes a completely different atmosphere...
Escape to the Dentelles
When you've had enough of the city, you can easily escape to the regional nature parks of Baronnies provençales and Mont Ventoux, or to the Dentelles des Montmirail. Forming the first foothills of the Giant of Provence, this massif stretches for some ten kilometers between Vaison-la-Romaine and Beaumes-de-Venise, and boasts over 40 km of marked trails. Your walks may be an opportunity to discover the picturesque villages on either side of the jagged ridge, or simply to enjoy the panoramic views over the Ventoux, the Comtat Venaissin plain and the Ouvèze valley. You'll find several suggested circuits in the topo-guides on sale at tourist offices. The Dentelles are also a Mecca for rock-climbers, with almost 800 equipped routes ranging from level 3c to 8b, on cliffs from 20 to 100 m high.
Divine escapade on the wine route
The proverb says that after effort comes comfort. Well, you're in the heart of the famous Côte-du-Rhône wine route. Beaumes-de-Venise, Gigondas, Vacqueras, Rasteau, Cairanne, Chateauneuf-du-Pape... evocative names that ring pleasantly in the ears of oenophiles. Although they are all within a small area, these villages offer a wide variety of terroirs. It's an opportunity to discover wines with character, fortified by a tradition instituted by the Romans, nurtured by the Knights Templar and magnified by the popes. Numerous cellars and estates offer tastings and wine tourism activities (cellar tours, wine walks, workshops, etc.). Our favorite? Ferme Saint-Martin, in Suzette, whose 20-hectare, organically farmed vineyard is divided into three appellations: Beaumes-de-Venise, Ventoux and Côte-du-Rhône. Overlooking the magnificent cirque de Saint-Amand, it also lends itself to a pleasant stroll through the vines.
A stroll through the stalls of the Provencal market
While we're on the subject of culinary delights, how can we not mention the great Provencal market held every Tuesday morning in Vaison-la-Romaine? It's an age-old tradition, dating back to 1483! Its colorful stalls fill the streets and main squares of the town center. Scents of fruit, vegetables and flowers, barrels overflowing with gleaming olives, boards covered with mouth-watering goat's cheeses, piles of multicolored pottery, displays of shimmering cottons, the market welcomes up to 450 stallholders during the summer months and is one of the biggest and most colorful in the region.
Veni, vidi, vixi
Now it's time to find a vacation rental in Vaison-la-Romaine. If that sounds like a job for the Romans, don't worry: Slow Provence takes care of everything, and soon you'll be able to say: "Veni, vidi, vixi" ("I came, I saw, I lived").
To make this saying become reel, why not book our villa Songe de Provence !