What to do

Walk or cycle around the Mont Ventoux area. There are lots of walking paths to explore and in the height of summer, the oak, pine and moss paths known as the Garrigue will provide much needed shade. You could even enter the annual Mont Ventoux marathon in July, a mere 21.6km to the summit, recently completed by a young 80-something in under 4 hours! And you can also venture into nature on a guided walk with a donkey from Villes-sur-Auzon.

About 6km away you can swim in the lake and picnic by the beach outside the village of Mormoiron.

Carpentras (14kms away) has a compact old town and an historical synagogue, the second oldest in Europe. In addition to the Friday and seasonal truffle markets, Carpentras hosts a weekly Brocante Sunday market where all sorts of bargains can be had if you are a discerning haggler.

Magnificent hilltop villages such as Venasque and Gordes and not forgetting Sault, famous for its lavender fields are within 30 minutes or so.

Vaison la Romaine also makes for an interesting day trip. Stop off in Malaucene en route and see Mont Ventoux from the other side. There are several bike shops here too as well as a tempting chocolate shop and lots of bars to choose from.

For cultural activities towns such as Orange, Avignon – site of the Pope’s Palace and a reknowned summer festival – Arles, home of Van Gogh, and Nimes with its well preserved roman amphitheatre, are all worth a visit and within a 40-60 minute drive.

Further afield

Visit the villages perchés of the Luberon – Menerbes, Lacoste, Bonnieux. Dramatic and spectacular.

Lourmarin, where Algerian-born Albert Camus, author of L’Etranger is buried, is a lovely village to stroll around and has a good choice of restaurants. Roussillon with its stunning red and yellow ochre rock formations and nearby gorge are also worth a visit.

Aix en Provence with its Cezanne museum has much to offer and is a lively university town. Further on to the old port of Marseille or Cassis with its famous Calanques makes for a perfect trip to the Mediterranean where the harbour front, lined with restaurants, make sea urchins a well-known delicacy around these parts.