dentelles de montmirail landscape near mont ventoux

Blog articles about the Mont Ventoux area

The attractive light of Provence

Provence spring blossom
Photo: personal example of the bright spring light

The following description of Provence in English I found in the leaflet the Holland Herald on board of a KLM flight from Marseille to Amsterdam. He describes us very well for the attractiveness of Provence. I can't remember the author name so the correct referencing is missing.

I often wondered what is about Provence in the south of France that inspired Van Gogh's finest paintings. Essentially it's the light, created by the climate here. The Mistral is a stiff wind that blows over the Rhone Valley from the Alps. It sweeps the sky clear of clouds and moisture, creating pure blue air. Unlike the tropics, there is no mist to damper and mute the vivid, primary, contrasting colours. As the Romans also discovered, Provence also has a high water level, good irrigation and lush fertility for a Mediterranean climate. Voilet fields of lavender, yellow fields of wheat, green meadows dotted with red poppies and bordered by oleanders all flourish here in the heat and light. It is something that can only be appreciated when you see it for yourself.

When does the cigale makes its chirping sound in Provence?

provence cigale
They bring the characteristic chirping sound of Provence in summer. At a minimum temperature of 22 degrees, only the males begin to make the "cricket" sound upto 120 decibels. They are between 2 and 8 centimeters tall and thus hard to spot. It spends only a few weeks of its total lifetime of four years above ground.

The department of Vaucluse in Provence

map vaucluse
The department of Vaucluse is a part of Provence in southern France. It is named after the famous spring, the Fontaine-de-Vaucluse. The name Vaucluse derives from the Latin Vallis Clausa (closed valley) as the valley here ends in a cliff face from which emanates a spring whose origin is so far in and so deep that it remains to be defined. It consists of more than 357,000 ha. Of these, almost half of them have an agricultural destination. The Vaucluse also consists of 43% of forests. A major part of the agricultural area is wine growing, with the share of organic wine growing increasingly.

The Mediterranean beautiful oleander bush

French rose oleander
The oleander or the French Laurier rose grows around the Mediterranean. They are shrubs that can grow up to 4 meters high. In summer, the flowers spreads a sweet smell. They are available in different colors. We find the rose variant the most attractive (see photo of one of our oleanders). The variant "Villa Romaine" is very popular and up to -15 C frost proof.

Pastis 51 the Pastis of southern France

Pastis 51 aperitif liquer from Marseille
Pastis 51 is an aperitif liqueur from Marseille in southern France with a star anise taste. In addition, the drink contains extracts of aromatic Provencal herbs, water, licorice and the colan. Pastis 51 is the brand of the south. Provençals give off to Ricard, which is manufactured in the north. In recent years, 2 new variants have been put on the market. Pastis Rosé with extracts of red fruit and Pastis Glacial with mint flavor.
There are 4 different ways of preparing.

La classique
The first way is the most commonly used. Put pastis (2 cl) in a glass and add 10-14 cl of chilled water to this. Then two ice cubes. It is important to always add the ice cubes after adding water and never the opposite.

À l'ancienne
With this method you should take a glass from the freezer to get ice cold water. Then add the pastis. The amount of the latter should be six to ten times less than water. The best way to do this is to use a dosing tip to get the correct ratio.

À la Marcel
For the "Marcel" method, just put 4 cl pastis in a glass in a glass to drink it. The half dose of pastis (2 cl) "Jaune", a "flan" or a "mummy".

À la Parisienne
The so-called "à la Parisienne" method is created by first adding 2 cl pastis and adding ice cubes. Only after this you add cooled water.

You can not save the bottle pastis in the freezer. As soon as you add ice cubes to the ice-cold pastis, the anethole (an ingredient derived from anise and fennel) freezes which has an adverse effect on the taste.
À votre santé!

What causes the Mistral wind in Provence ?

clear sky mistral wind Provence
The Mistral provides cooling and blue skies.
Time for clarity. The Mistral and Provence (southern France) belong together. Various stories are circulated about its origin. Our experience is that the chance of the Mistral increases when the weather in the north is considerably colder. Here is a "scientific" statement.
The mistral is a hard cold wind in southern France. In early spring and autumn it can be unpleasantly cold. In the summer he often brings pleasant cooling. If there is a cold flow of air from the polar regiosn into the Mediterranean it causes the depression over the Gulf of Genoa due to the hot sea water. This depression ensures that air from the north is even sucked more strongly to the south. However, this is not easy because the Alps form a major obstacle to the air flowing southwards. The air is forced through this obstacle to move further through the Rhône Valley in France. This happens at a high speed. The air that moves through the valley spreads across Provence and the Mediterranean. The air can even affect the weather on the coast of Tunisia. The Romans had awe for this wind and they called him the "magistralis", which means masterly. The particularly strong north to north west winds occurs frequently in southern France. The wind can have wind power of sometimes 10 or 11 (above 100 km / h). If this is the case, the French call the wind Mistral Général. Usually it takes a few days for the wind to fall again. In southern France, this powerful wind is considered in the construction of houses and in the planting of greenery.
Our holiday homes are  largely in the leeward of the wind ;-)

Tourist Office of Vaison la Romaine

Tourist Office Vaison la Romaine
The tourist office is of course a location to get a lot of information about the area. It is located in the center of Vaison la Romaine at the height of the start of the Provencal tuesday market. Opposite the entrance is also the entrance to the Roman excavations and the electric train leaves here for a tour of the city.
Please note that it is closed between noon from 12h to 14h.
Generaly open from 9h30 - 12h and 14h - 17.45
During high season also open on Sunday morning.

Check here to check for exact season times

Homesick for Provence

Photo taken by me of a Provencal old door knob
It may be that you as a reader have been on holiday in Provence. Have it been in your youth or recently with your own family. Returning to a destination where you have been more frequent can bring about a pleasant and familiar feeling of being at home. Everybody can explore the whole world today. The possibilities are endless. For example, you could choose a new holiday destination for a lifetime ... The art of returning is, in my opinion, part of the recognition of the things that make you happy on a holiday. An unexpected new discovery can add some extra. If you look good there is always something new to discover. This is often in the details. For example, I'm always looking for old doors. They are unique in their weathered condition and often have crafty closure and beautiful door knobs. I enjoy every new discovery as someone who lives here for more than 12 years and try to hold onto the holiday feeling.

Facilities in the area

  • Baker in Entrechaux 0.6 miles away
  • Mini supermarkt in Entrechaux
  • 2 Bars en 3 restaurants in Entrechaux
  • Supermarkets in Vaison la Romaine at 3.7 miles

We are in southern France at 24 miles (40 km) from Avignon and 74 miles (120 km) from Marseille. It is hilly here with many forests, vineyards and olive groves and the Mont Ventoux that extends everywhere.


us in front of waterfall

Judith Derksen & Frank Molenaar
1250 Chemin du Seguret
84340 Entrechaux


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