Carpentras, Mont Ventoux
Set on the edge of the beautiful Vaucluse plateau and close to the prestigious Côte du Rhône wine villages, Carpentras is a lively Provençal town between the Mont Ventoux and the Luberon Valley is a paradise for cyclists and wine-lovers.
What makes this Village special
Carpentras, in the shadow of the majestic Mont Ventoux, stretches back over two thousand years. This atmospheric town on the banks of the Auzon was once home to a large Jewish community and it has held on to all the charm of bygone days, combining excellent visitor facilities with authentic character. Expect lively markets, lots of festivals and attractions for children and all the history, heritage and culture you can handle. The capital of the Comtat Venaissin and just 23 km from Avignon. Carpentras was the residence of the popes of Avignon popes after the Papal Schism in 1309 and was only annexed to the French Republic in 1791. Stay cool in the shade of Carpentras’s many cobbled little streets, marvel at the architectural beauty of Saint Siffrein Cathedral and its stained glass windows, soak up the aromas and flavours of the weekly truffle markets in season, and when the call of the great outdoors gets too strong, set off for unforgettable adventures in the surrounding countryside around the Mont Ventoux. The Carpentras region is a listed ‘Region of Art and History’. Being so close to the Mont Ventoux there is a strong focus on cycling in the area, with a multitude of cycle routes mapped out as well as endless mountain biking tracks through the forests and fields.There is also the mythical Tour de France climb, the Mont Ventoux. The classic starting places for those taking the challenge are the village of Bédoin at 300 m, on the south side, or Malaucène at 360 m on the north side. There is a third starting point, at Sault to the east.
Carpentras Truffle Market - Fridays 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. during the truffle season (November to March). This market is atypical and worth a detour if you are in the vicinity. It takes place on the same day as the big farmers market so you can kill two birds with one stone. Between 10 and 40 sellers, depending on the crop, gather in the square. It’s almost intimidating…. There are no stalls, but just a few old men in their “Beret” selling their black diamonds. The weighing and paying often takes place on a car bonnet or at the local café, an atmosphere straight out of a movie!