MONDAY : FORCALQUIER - MANE or ISOLATED VILLAGES

Forcalquier is quite isolated, in high Provence, apart from the main touristic trails. For that reasons this rural city remains authentic. Its stone houses are built around the slopes of a steep conical hill, overlooking a deserted countryside.
Its market takes place in the lower part, in the main square, the "Place du Bourguet" and overflows down the adjoining streets. It spreads across the main road to fill the Place in front of the church and Rue de Bereluc-Perussis, goes up through the small streets and crowds into the Place St Michel with its fine old fountain.
It is mostly visited by natives and has just about everything you could imagine, including agricultural plants and equipment. It has particularly a large selection of organic foods. Usually, you can see at least a dozen different stands offering organic vegetables, breads, drinks and other home-grown foods.

The narrow streets of the town center are worth a stroll. Many of the doorways are ancient, some dating from the 12th to the 16th centuries. You will also like the wrought-iron balconies.

Lunch with the advise of your guide in the city

For the afternoon, you have the choice between :

- Salagon priory in Mane. Not only the religious building is interesting for its medieval fine architecture but it also houses a museum about the ethnological heritage. Several exhibitions are dedicated to local ancient crafts. And the surroundings ethno-botanical gardens are a real marvel with its great number of local plants. You can spend the whole afternoon enjoying the site. (entrance not included)

- Isolated villages are to be visited by those who love authenticity and quietness. They seem to have no age, remain very untouched and far from the modern life. Surrounded by lavender fields, their sight is fantastic in July

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 breath the fabulous scents of the provencal plants...

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