Sunday, September 12, 2010

Ansouis, Luberon

We have been trying to visit all of the villages in the Vaucluse that are officially classified as a Plus Beaux Villages de France. The only village we have not visited is Ansouis which is in the southern part of the Vaucluse in the Luberon.

So each time before we leave for Provence, I dutifully print out directions from the Michelin web site for the shortest way to get to Ansouis from our home in Sablet thinking that this time we will finally make it there.

We think all of the Plus Beaux Villages de France in the Vaucluse are pretty but we wouldn't consider all of them to be the prettiest villages in the Vaucluse. There is a an extensive evaluation process to become a Plus Beaux Villages de France with two general criteria:

1. the village has to be small and the population can not exceed 2,000 inhabitants;

2. the village has to have at least 2 protected sites or monuments (either listed or registered on the list of historical monuments).

A few days ago, we decided to go explore Ansouis. Ansouis is located a little more than 100 km southeast of our home in Sablet between the Durance River and the foothills of the Luberon Mountains on a rocky slope crowned with a castle.

The sign as you enter Ansouis showing that the village is classified as a Plus Beaux Villages de France.

You enter into Ansouis through this pretty archway.

The Mairie - town hall is located right on the plane tree shaded village square.

Ansouis is well restored and has a number of little streets that are perfect for wandering during a visit.

The medieval chateau dating from the 12th century is located on the site of an old fortress. It has been privately owned for centuries. It is fairly stark from the outside.

One of several narrow passageways we discovered as we wandered around the village.

There is a beautiful clock tower dating from the 16th century topped with a campanile or bell tower built among the houses.

Wife Shirley enjoying one of the many beautiful views out in every direction from the village.

There are not many shops, always a disappointment to Shirley but there is a nice restaurant (which we will return to try on a future visit) and a terrace café

The beautiful interior of the 12th century Saint Martin's Church.

More beautiful views from the village.

Shirley taking a rest on one of the many walls that wander through the village.

Another passageway.

The monument to the children of Ansouis who died for France in WWI and WWII. Note the huge diference in numbers between the two wars: 32 dead in WWI and 2 in WWII.

The pretty gardens, terraces and views from the village make Ansouis a village worth visiting.


  1. Dan and I meandered Ansouis last year at this time ourselves and enjoyed its beauty, history and wonderful people. The Luberon is one of my favorite places. We were fortunate to stay with friends at their beautiful Gite, Le Verger, near Les Bouilladoires in the Luberon. What a perfect way to be initiated into, not only this beautiful area of France, but to Provence itself. Merci Daniele et Jean-Philippe!!

  2. I think every village in Provence is beautiful and pretty!I am lucky to have visited a few.I so enjoy "touring"around Provence with you!Keep up the photos they are lovely!

  3. Jackie - Nice to hear from you. Thanks for sharing your experience in Ansouis and the Luberon.

    Talesfromagarden - Thanks for the nice comments. Lots more to come. I thought about you and your love for gardens when we ran across some beautiful ones here in Provence.