Charming villages of the Luberon January 05 2017, 0 Comments

Calisson By Gilles wishes you a Happy New Year with the hope of many blessings in the coming year.

We start this New Year with a journey in the charming villages of the Luberon in Provence.

The first one is Rustrel, commonly called: the French Colorado.

The French Colorado is located in the small village of Rustrel in the Luberon.

The 700 inhabitants of this area are living in what they call their 'Colorado'. The area stretches over 80 acres and offers an amazing range of colors, from a bright and slight yellow to an intense orange reminding the actual Colorado in America.

The Colorado of Rustrel comes from its rock: The ochre. The ochre is an intense orange  pigment containing clay, sand and iron. For this reason the Colorado of Rustrel was exploited during 2 centuries for its precious ochre. This area was known as the best quality ochre pigment in France.

 

 

 

 

Villages of Provence have become famous for their strong colored façades, ochre was used in the coating process. Ochre is well suited for hot and dry days of summer in Provence. The best example is the village of Roussillon commonly called "les Ocres de Roussillon" literally "Roussilon's ochre".

Nowadays you can go for a walk to visit this famous place which ranks among the most beautiful attractions in Provence. Once parked at the car park, you will have to follow the path that crosses the pine forest to finally get there. The hues of colors you can see there is simply breathtaking. The green of the forest, the yellow sand on the ground and the wonderful orange walls will let you without voice!

 

The second village that we will visit is the picturesque village called "les Baux de Provence".

It's a small Medieval village which has been particularly preserved throughout the centuries. Les Baux de Provence is one of the most visited villages in France.

 Let's jump back in the Middle Ages and visit. You will be able to walk the ancient streets (rue), reach the fortified castle and enjoy the magnificent views.

Our advice is to plan a day to visit the old village in the morning, enjoy a meal in one of the numerous restaurants, chilling a little before continuing with the visit of the fortified castle in the afternoon.

 

The old village stretches along a sharp hillside with the fortified castle perched at the top, so bring good shoes for the event! The stone steps are irregular and olds but the view is amazing.

Our tip when you visit the Castle is to book for the audio guide which will bring you centuries back! The place is very crowded in the summer so if you can, plan a visit in the off-season. It is definitely worth it.

 

 

 

 

Our third and last stop today is the village of Gordes and once more Gordes ranks in the most beautiful villages of France. Provence is definitely a wonderful Region!

The village of Gordes is perched on a rock at more than 600 meters high overlooking the Luberon in a privileged position. Gordes is the most visited village of Luberon and is lucky to have more than 300 days of sunshine a year.

Gordes is spotted as an "in" Village where Hollywood movies stars and artists have made it their home! The book of Peter Mayle, A year in Provence, likely contributes to this success.

 

Gordes is famous for its houses of white and gray stones, which are build in spiral around the mountain. At the very top are the church and the castle. You have to plan a day to visit this picturesque and charming village. Let's go for a stroll around the tiny and ancient paved streets that climb between the olds rock stairs and tall houses. You will discover beautiful arcades and old doorways. Strollers are not recommended; too complicated with all the stairs.

 

The perched position of the village is a godsend for predatory birds and you will be able to see a lot of eagle species. Around the village the typical Mediterranean trees (oaks and olive trees) will reinforce the “atmosphere” of escape and evasion.

 

 

 

 

Another un-miss-able sightseeing if you are visiting this area is the abbey of Senanque hidden down in the valley. Remember, we have already talked about it in our previous article: "the Lavender in Provence".

Calisson By Gilles are so much a part of this sweet atmosphere, eat one, close your eyes…. You’ll be there!

 

 

About The Author:

Gilles Cailleaux is the Owner & Master Confectioner at By Gilles, an online French candy store based in Orange County, California. They sell traditional French confections called Calissons from Provence. Gilles is always ready to share his 25 years plus experience of candy making and baking with everyone and want to hear about your experience with his calissons. Gilles and his team are sensitive about taste and harmony. They prepare your packages with special care and attention.