This past summer we spent two weeks in Provence, in a beautiful villa near the village of Goult. Provence conjures images of vineyards, farmers markets, small hilltop villages, and of course lavender fields. Life here is slow, easy, and delicious. You are never far from some of France’s best produce. If you love tomatoes, you are in for a real treat. They come in different shapes and colors and are all delicious. Cut them into big chunks and mix in a bowl with some local olive oil, salt, and pepper. Serve with local wine and cheese, and you have yourself lunch.
Our villa was set on a hill overlooking vineyards and farms. The sunsets were breathtaking. Taking a dip in the pool in mid afternoon sun was refreshing and somewhat necessary. This region does get hot in the summer months. Some people prefer the hotel route, and there are some beautiful hotels all around. But for us, to be able to live like a local for two weeks, to shop at the local Boucherie or Fromagerie, to walk into the village every morning for some fresh baguettes and croissants, that was the ideal French life. If only for two weeks. There were eight of us and we had plenty of room to roam around.
Goult is a small village located about 45 minutes from Avignon and about 90 minutes from Marseilles. It is surrounded by a number of popular villages, such as Gordes and Roussillon. And while they are beautiful and interesting in their own right, Goult was the perfect place for us. It’s small enough to be void of tourist buses, yet large enough to have everything one might need for a two week stay. There are 5 amazing restaurants, a butcher shop, and two bread depots. We were happy to sit at Cafe de la Poste, enjoying a cold beer and watching the locals go on about their day. Every thursday the town hosts a farmers market. And while not as expansive as the one in Gordes, it is nonetheless very good, with lots of fresh produce, fish, cheese, and wine.
Some of the other villages near by are Lacoste (no relation to the clothing line), Manerbes, Bonnieux, and Lourmarin. All are about 10 – 20 min away. A bit further away is the beautiful town of L’isle Sur la Sorgue, with its intricate canals, winding streets, shops, and amazing restaurants. And for wine enthusiast, the famous town of Châteauneuf-du-Pape is only an hour away. To the west is another famous place, St Remy de Provence, the birth place of Nostradamus. More of a town than a village, it boasts an incredible farmers market every Wednesday.
There are a number of ways to reach Goult and the surrounding area. The nearest airport is Marseilles, followed by Nice and Paris. It is possible to fly into Paris (CDG) and take a train straight to Avignon. The train journey takes about 2.5 hours on the bullet train (TGV). At Avignon its easy to rent a car and make your way to Goult. A car is highly recommended in these parts. It would be difficult to get around without having your own wheels.
Jettfrogg can help you book a trip to Provence, combining it with other parts of France and/or Europe.