Saturday, February 26, 2011

Roundabouts - Bedoin

We like the roundabouts in the Vaucluse. Many are beautifully landscaped, have some type of art form in the center of the roundabout or reflect something about the town or village where they are located. For the past few months, I have been posting pictures of different roundabouts in the Vaucluse. Today's roundabout is at the entrance to Bédoin with the backdrop of the 6,266 foot high white-capped peak of Mont Ventoux.

Bedoin is about a 40 minute drive around the Dentelles de Montmirail from our house in Sablet. The first thing you'll notice when you get close to Bédoin is the large, imposing church of Saint Pierre with its Spanish-looking style, quite different from most others in Provence. In fact, the style is Jesuit, built in 1702 and restored in the 19th century. In spite of the different style, the church does have a wrought-iron belfry so typical of the region.

The houses of this compact old village look small compared to the church, and are clustered up against the hill. There is a very nice market in the center of the village on Monday mornings throughout the year. Bédoin is home for our friends Marianne and Loïc who look after our guests and house when we are not there. Marianne has just launched her web site Slow Provence and is adding content each day.

Located at the base of Mont Ventoux, Bédoin is the starting point of one of three routes to the summit of the mountain. The route from Bédoin will take you up 5,305 feet over 13.5 miles. This is the most famous and difficult ascent. The road to the summit has an average gradient of 7.43%. The other routes start in Malaucène and Sault.

Mont Ventoux is well known as one of the most gruelling climbs on the Tour de France. A climb up Mont Ventoux has been a stage on the Tour fourteen times since 1951; the peloton has raced to finish at the summit eight times and crossed over the summit to a finish in a town below six times.

Except for the first ascent in 1951 when the approach to the summit was from Malaucène in all other years the approach to the summit has been from Bédoin. So it is very fitting that the roundabout at the entrance to Bédoin depicts a cyclist riding up hill with the sign Bédoin Mont Ventoux.

Check back to see other roundabouts that catch my eye in the Vaucluse. I will post these between my usual posts about our dining experiences, visits to interesting places and reflections on life in Provence.

Bonne journée et a bientôt.


  1. What a lovely roundabout - somehow I have always missed this one.

  2. These photos are so pretty! This area is still unknown to me so I love to travel through your photos :) Can't wait to visit Bédoin!

  3. Barbara - It is very pretty around Bedoin. If you have not been to the Monday market, you should check it out.

    Tuula - You will have to make a trip up to the Northern Vaucluse. A very pretty party of Provence.