Fountain of Vaucluse (Fontaine-de-Vaucluse)
The village of Fountain of Vaucluseis built into a dead-end valley at the foot of the Vaucluse plateau. Here you can hike to the fountain from the town center, or paddle a canoe or kayak down the Sorgue River. Fountain of Vaucluse is also known as the place where Petrarch, the 14th-century Italian poet, retreated after being spurned by his beloved. A marble column stands in the town square to honor the poet.
Fountain of Vaucluseis often visited on full-day tours of the Luberon region from Avignon or Aix-en-Provence. Private and small-group tours often include visits to other top Provencal attractions such as the hilltop village of Gordes, the Senanque Abbey lavender fields, and the ochre cliffs of Roussillon.
Things to Know Before You Go
Free hiking maps are available at the Fontaine de Vaucluse Tourist Office.
Many restaurants and cafés in Fontaine-de-Vaucluse have terrace seating beside the Sorgue River.
Other village attractions include a paper mill, medieval castle, and the Petrarch Museum.
How to Get There
Fountain of Vaucluse is located 15.5 miles (25 kilometers) east of Avignon and is easily reachable by car. There are no train stations in Fontaine-de-Vaucluse, but you can take the train to nearby L’Isle sur la Sorgue and take a rideshare or bus to Fontaine-de-Vaucluse. Several local buses in the TransVaucluse network stop in and around the Fontaine-de-Vaucluse area.
When to Get There
The village is immensely popular with tourists and it’s packed during the summer months. If you wish to avoid the crowds, visit Fountain of Vaucluse early in the morning or just before sunset. The best time to see the River Sorgue is when the flow is at its most dramatic, in late winter and spring, or after heavy rains.
The Spring of Vaucluse
The Spring of Vaucluse is the biggest spring in France, and the fifth-largest in the entire world. The spring is a seemingly still pool found underneath a 755-foot (230-meter) high limestone cliff. In actuality, it is a river rising up from deep beneath the Earth’s surface, and no one knows exactly where the water originates.
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- Senanque Abbey (Abbaye Notre-Dame de Sénanque)
- Lavender Museum (Musee de la Lavande)
- Caves of Thouzon (Grottes de Thouzon)
- Parc Spirou
- Lourmarin Castle (Château de Lourmarin)
- Les Halles Market
- Palace of the Popes (Palais des Papes)
- Rocher des Doms
- Little Palace Museum (Musée du Petit Palais)
- Rhône River
- Avignon Cathedral (Cathedrale Notre-Dame des Doms)
- St. Benezet Bridge (Pont d'Avignon)