Monday, May 1, 2023

Visit to one of the 7 Most Beautiful Villages in Vaucluse

We usually take daily trips away from Sablet to explore the Vaucluse and surrounding Departments. We probably go most often to the hill-top villages of the Luberon including Venasque, which is what we did a few weeks ago.

Venasque is a small pretty village that clings to a rocky hillside overlooking vineyards, garrigue (areas of shrubby vegetation found in the Mediterranean region), and cherry trees. It is classified as one of the "Plus Beaux Villages de France" (translated as most beautiful villages of France).

Cherries have been grown in this part of Provence since the 17th century and it remains the largest cherry producing region in France. Cherries from Venasque are said to be the best; the village refers to its cherries as diamants rouges (red diamonds). 

Venasque is one of the oldest villages of the Comtat Venaissin often referred to simply as the Comtat. Comtat means county in its original sense, or land belonging to a count. Venaissin refers to Venasque, a former bishop seat which gave its name to the Comtat. 

Saracen Towers and Arched Doorway through Defensive Walls
Venasque's location on top of the hill provided a natural defense against attacks from enemies. Nevertheless, in Roman times, a defensive wall with towers was built around the village. The arched doorways were restored at the beginning of the 20th century.

Defensive Wall
The thick walls of the ramparts which survive connect three Saracen towers and two arched doors. Supposedly the stones in the defensive wall that no longer exist were removed as if the walls were a sort of rock quarry and used to build the school and village houses. 

One of the reasons we like to come to Venasque is because of Les Remparts restaurant. At Les Remparts, you can sit in the interior dining room, a large sunroom or a small outdoor terrace with views of the valley on sunny days.

Les Remparts offers a number of prix fixe menus, including a 3-course vegetarian menu currently priced at 39 Euros. Food is always well prepared and beautifully plated. We recommend you reserve ahead. 

Les Remparts Restaurant
As you can see, Venasque is a small village. There are only 1013 people who reside in the village according to the lastest census. 

Water was piped to houses throughout the village between 1959 and 1965. Prior to this time, villagers got their water from the various fountains scattered throughout the village.

The fountain in the center of Venasque at Place de la Fontaine

Artist workshop in Venasque

Lady taking in the views down the Venasque street

Hotel de Ville (Town Hall)
The Notre Dame church in Venasque dates from the end of the 12th century. The side chapels date from the 17th and 18th century, and the bell tower from the 17th century. 

Notre Dame Church in Venasque
Inside the church, there is a very beautiful baptistry. Its origins are unclear, but it is believed to be the oldest religious baptistry in the region.

Iron Cross near Notre Dame Church in Venasque

War Memorial in Venasque near Notre Dame Church

Arched Passageway into and out of Venasque
It is worth the trip up the hill off the D-4 to visit Venasque. As I said, it is small and will only take you a couple of hours to walk around the village. Try to time your visit so you can eat lunch at Les Remparts. You will be happy you did.

Les Remparts Restaurant
37 Rue Haute
84210 Venasque
Tel: 04 90 66 02 79


  1. recent bad reviews on trip advisor since change of ownership

    we loved it a couple of times

  2. Oh what memories bring back these photos. It is a time ago since I was there, but still remember. Thank you for sharing. Happy New Year.
    Greetings, Gabi

    1. Hi Gabi. Happy to hear the pictures bring back good memories from your visit.