THURSDAY : ISLE SUR SORGUE - FONTAINE DE VAUCLUSE - GORDES

During the morning : visit of l'Isle sur la Sorgue.
It is one of those places in Provence that one has to see.
Its colors are nature's green and the bright reflection of the water shining from the several canals running through its center. The river Sorgue surrounds the city as if to hug it. Walking along the canals you will notice how they run between the narrow ancient streets. There are little bridges to cross and great wheels to look at with mossy blades turning in the river. Long ago, the silk and paper industries used those great wheels in the river for manufacturing their local products.
The town worse a visit for itself and antique lovers and art collectors will be gratified by the nearly 300 permanent antique dealers and second hand shops here. l'Isle sur la Sorgue is actually the capital of antique shops in the south of France.

The traditional market takes place in the main streets (not to confuse with the antique market occurring on Sundays)

Lunch wityh the advice of your guide in Fontaine de Vaucluse
It is a medieval village tucked in a "closed valley" (= vaucluse) at the southwestern corner of the mountainous Plateau de Vaucluse. The key feature of Fontaine-de-Vaucluse is the truly amazing and unique sight of the high and steep cliff where the river Sorgue gushes up out of the ground (not all the time though). (15 min. walk)
But a few meters down, the river takes it sources from many springs. Then, the river settles down to a wide expanse in front of dams and waterwheels, passing under the bridge at the center of the village. The banks of the river are lined with overhanging trees, parks, houses with lovely gardens.

It is a wonderful place to have a lunch : this touristic village offers a wide range of restaurants.

Let's continue towards Gordes : This very beautiful old village is perched on the southern edge of the high Plateau de Vaucluse. It seems to be an unbelievable "stone cascade" : the stone houses are built in tight against the base of the cliffs and others are perched on the rocks above, and all together are topped by a 12th-century castle.

In a rocky valley behind the village is located the renown Cistercian abbey of Senanque offering an outstanding sight.

Between the sites, your driver-guide will explain you many things about the history, the tradition, the natural environment...
You will be able to stop as much as you want to take pictures, to taste local products or just to breathe the fabulous scents of the provencal plants...

Suggested schedule
8:00am Pick up at your hotel or ship in Marseille
9:00 Visit Isle sur la sorgue and its market
11:15 Walk along the banks of the river to reach the spring of Fontaine de Vaucluse
Lunch with the advice of your guide
01:15pm Visit Gorges and view on its remarkable medieval abbey
03:00 Drive back
04:00 Drop off

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