Saturday, 17 March 2012

Holiday Homes in Cabrieres-d'Avignon

Cabrières-d'Avignon is situated in the deepest of Provence to the east of Avignon and is as picturesque a village as you could hope to find in all of France. It is a sleepy  place with some beautiful stone buildings, and in the areas around Cabrières-d'Avignon you can still find some "bories" which are old peasants houses built in the 17th and 18th century but which are no longer owned by peasants having mostly been converted into sumptuous private residencies. The Plague Wall, whilst slightly grim in name is quite interesting in that it was built by to keep out the Plague, which had decimated Marseilles,  at bay in the 1720.  The wall itself extends to east of Methamis, although it seems to me that anyone wanting to gain access would just walk until the end of the wall and get in that way, but I digress.

There is a nice old chapel, the Lavender Museum at Coustellet and a five hectare (11 acre) cedar forest to explore, with great hiking and walking and even a cinema.  There are also some restaurants to visit, but basically Cabrières-d'Avignon is an un spoilt quiet even tranquil Provencal village. The name Cabrières-d'Avignon literally means the goat country near Avignon.  It has some history going back to the 11th century when a chateau was built in the area, but the village only officially came into existence in 1918. Pretty much that is it, there is little else to tell, but some of the nearby villages are also very interesting and worth a visit.

6 km's away, L'Isle sur la Sorgue is an island town in the Vaucluse Plateau above the Comsat Venaissin Plain.  It has a number of canals running through its centre, hence its reputation as an island City, enhanced by the River Sorgue which wraps itself around the town. There are still in existence much of the old machinery that was used to keep these canals full and to enable the town to use its water and catch up to 35,000 crayfish a day! .Silk and paper were also made in the town but much of its charm today revolves around its galleries and its devotion to antiques, there are reputedly over 300 antique shops in the vtown. Notre Dame des Anges has a fantastic Baroque interior and the Maison Rene Char is an art gallery featuring works by Dufy, Miro  and Mauguin.  An 18 hole golf course awaits those golfers and there is hiking and horse riding available.  Other villages worth a look are Le Thor, Fontaine de Vaucluse, Pernes les Fontaines and Cavaillion

Hotels in the area are scare, and although there are a number of gites in the locality, accommodation of that nature is often quite basic and nowhere near as comfortable as hiring your own villa, an option most people choose when deciding to stay here. A private villa has much to recommend it.  One can arrive back after a long day exploring or hiking, or even horse riding, to one's private sumptuous villa, often with great views and very often a welcome swimming pool.  It also works out cheaper than a good hotel if you are travelling as a family or a group, and there is if course the chance to self cater and but you wine from the supermarket rather than always paying restaurant prices! It is easy to do, there are several companies specialising in offering Rentals of quality property in the area, a simple internet search should be enough for you to find an English speaking agency.

To get to Cabrières-d'Avignon requires a car.  There is precious little public transport and few taxis.  The nearest town big town is Avignon, about 25 km's distant although many facilities exist at L'Isle sur la Sorgue.  Avignon stands on the main motorway south but you might find it more convenient to fly to and from Marseilles.  The airport there flies to many destinations in UK and Europe and to many provincial French centres.