Saturday, August 25, 2012

A walk through Séguret, a "Most Beautiful Villages of France"

Our village in Provence is surrounded by small wine-making villages, the closest of which is Séguret, about 1.25 miles northeast of Sablet. As you can see in the picture below, Séguret is elevated above the vineyards that separate Sablet from Séguret and wraps around the bottom of a steep hill topped by ruins of its medieval castle.

We go often to Séguret, sometimes on foot through the vineyards up to Séguret then through the pretty village before heading back to Sablet on the connecting road. Other times we drive, especially if we are going to eat at Le Mesclun restaurant. Séguret was one of the first villages classified as a "most beautiful villages of France" and is most deserving of this honor.

If you drive to Séguret you have to park in one of the parking areas just below the village as Séguret is accessible only on foot. From the parking lot, walk up the hill and enter the village through the arched portal of the old wall around Séguret to the main street.

Walk up the cobblestone street to the center of Séguret.

The village of Séguret is long and narrow with cobblestone streets and rough stone walls.

The small central square of Séguret has a 14th-century stone bell tower with a 17th-century belfry and a single-hand clock dating from 1680. On this same square is a lavoir built in 1846 and the 17th-century fountain with its four stone faces.

Across from the lavoir is La Maison d'Eglantine tea room, a charming place to grab snacks, ice cream, tea or a cold beverage.

Saint Thècle Chapel was built by the brotherhood of the Pénitents Blancs in the 18th century. Today it is an exhibit hall where since 1970 from late November into January, the "Amis de Séguret" put on an exhibition of traditional santons made by the best local santon makers as well as santon makers from throughout Provence. At other times throughout the year, artists display and sell paintings.

Séguret has a number of tourist-oriented shops along Rue des Poternes including several art galleries and santoniers.

More of tiny Rue des Poternes, the main street of Séguret; note the archway over the street which appears to also function as a terrace for one of the village homes.

The Huguenots' gate which still has its two iron bound wooden shutters.

A look back to the Huguenots' gate and one of the village's lavoirs, a public place set aside for washing clothes.

The Roman Sainte-Denis Church was built against the cliff between the 10th and 12th centuries and a bell tower was added in the 14th century.

One of the many cobblestone streets in Séguret, this one is very pretty with ivy covered walls.

Heading back to the central square of Séguret you can see the stone bell tower and iron belfry.

More cobblestone streets and rough stone walls.

Heading back to the parking lot through Porte Reynier.

While we have been to Séguret many times, we had never hiked up to the castle ruins which sit on top of the hill where Séguret is built. As I was leaving the village that day I saw a sign pointing to the chateau and decided that since I had nothing better to do, I would hike up and see the views from the top.

As you can see from the picture below, this is not a street, this is a steep stony footpath.

As I hiked up the winding path to the top, I paused to catch my breath in several places with panoramic views like this one of Sablet across the vineyards.

Back around a hair pin turn on the footpath, I got a great view overlooking a part of Séguret that lies outside of the historic walls.

The walk to the castle ruins was quite strenuous, at least for me, and the views from the top were mostly obscured by large trees.

Construction of the castle began in the 11th century. It was fortified and expanded during the Wars of Religion. A garrison was housed in buildings that were built around the tower.

I know many people visit Séguret every year but only a few probably take the time or put forth the energy to hike up to the castle. So I am posting a number of views of the castle ruins in case you didn't make it up there.

One more wall of the castle ruins.

After climbing down below the ruins, I came upon another footpath and decided after some hesitation to follow it, hopefully back to Séguret. I wasn't quite sure how far out of the way this path might take me.

Séguret is not just a beautiful village, it also has land and people who for many years have produced wonderful wines. Our favorite domaines in Séguret are Domaine de Mourchon and Domaine Jean David.

Back to Séguret.

If you are in the Northern Vaucluse region of Provence, it is definitely worthwhile to visit the beautiful village of Séguret. If you go, plan to have lunch at Le Mesclun restaurant which is located on Rue des Poternes near the center of the village. My next post will be about my lunch there.

Have a great weekend! Bonne journée mes amis et à bientôt.


  1. I love the photo of the village shot from above. Thanks for hiking up to the top and taking it :)

  2. Michel these photos are fantastic. The tiny cobble roads are just so attractive. I see there was a car by the church so vehicles can can to parts of the town I presume. Not sure I would like to live there though imagine having to carry everything to the homes there. Thanks for taking the walk up the hill the photos were worth it. Hope you are well Diane

  3. Michel your post couldn't have come at a better time. I was just talking to my brother and his girlfriend about Séguret and want to take them there. Now they can already see what they are in for tomorrow. Thank you!

  4. Sara - I am happy you enjoyed my shot of the village from the higher elevation.

    Diane - You are very observant. Actually the church is located outside of the old historic walls so it is possible to get there by car. Of course the road has the Forbidden to enter Sauf Riverains.

    Barbara - I hope everyone enjoyed their visit to Séguret.

    Meredith - My only regret about making the hike is that when you are on top at the chateau, the views are obstructed.

  5. Gorgeous photos Michel, and I can't wait to visit Séguret. Any village that has the designation of Plus Beaux Villages de France has to be exceptional.. a very bon weekend to you!

  6. I have been reading your blog for so many hours that I forgot how I even found it! My daughter attends Auburn University and studied in Italy last summer. We traveled to Provence, France and I was actually looking for a place where we visited. I have loved seeing your pictures and will continue to enjoy your blog. :) Wren

  7. Tuula - Thanks for the sweet feedback. You really need to make a visit to the Northern Vaucluse and check out the villages and wineries in this area. It will be worth your time.

    Wren - Thanks for checking out my blog and for leaving such a nice comment. Where abouts did you visit during your time in Provence? Keep in touch!

  8. Gorgeous post - lovely photos! You've really done one of my fave little villages justice :)

  9. Mccardey - Thanks for checking out my blog and leaving such a nice comment about my visit to Seguret. I hope you will come back often.