Amazing Sights at Angkor In Cambodia
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Angkor is a UNESCO protected city and the largest archaeological sites in South East Asia stretching in an area of 400 km. It is a destination which has the remains of the Khmer regime and the parks, temples and hydraulic structures mesmerize you with its sheer grandeur and splendour. Every year millions tourist cross flock to this amazing fairy tale land and enter Angkor Wat, the largest religious  [...]

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Chateaus and Vineyards Kingdom – Provence

Posted on November 6, 2009 | Remarkable DrivesNo Comment

Back Road in Provence, France

Talk a walk on the pathway of L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgu village on a weekday and you will experience the level of quietness akin to the ocean’s depth. You can hear the sluggish meander of the wind, waves of turquoise water in the sea nearby, and the movement of jade leaves. The same pathway on a weekend will make you drive miles to locate a parking place. Weekends here are the as entertaining and enjoyable as the calmness of weekdays.

Speed through Provence

The traditional antique stores, marketplace, and the restaurants are open on weekends only. Some sops are open on weekdays as well, like artisanal shops, which specialize in selling domestic fabrics, terracotta, local food, and huge stock of purple-colored soaps with aroma extracted from the beautiful lavender fields. This is not the scenario of L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgu alone. Almost all the villages and towns in Provence are busy swanking the boutiques, craftwork and workshops with a tinge their home specialties. Thus, a long drive through the roads of southern France will offer you the unique stroll of your lifetime. Although this region is well known for the variety of shopping options, don’t name it as a shopping destination. The rustic Back Road of Provence takes you through a wonderful journey filled with dense orchards of olive, cherry groves, widespread vineyards, and rural villages on the hilltop. This place is also one of the hometowns of genuine European artwork. This amazing blend of culture and nature defines the town of Provence.

provence france

Initiate from Avignon

The best place to start you road-trip of Provence is the town of Avignon. To reach this destination, you can grab a TVG express coach from the station of Gare de Lyon in Paris. Also, for a typical kind of ride, try the europcar. Start you tour with a lunch in Christain Etienne restaurant (10 rue de Mons) to taste the famous prix fixe dish served with duck foie gras’s terrine served on the roof top. Visit the nearby Popes’ Palace, a place where the popes of Rome stayed in fourteenth century. This palace is in its worse condition after the French Revolution, where once stood the elegant chapel and banquet halls. However, the sight of remnants of this palace is not as astounding as the basement. This sacred landmark surprisingly consists of a sommelier and a wines vault. Every year around spring, the producers of wine from all the villages in and around Côtes du Rhônes send a sample from their own vineyard. Last year, 63 best samples of wine were selected by a 30-member panel out of the 350 sent by the villagers.

Les Délices du Luberon

A similar kind of expertise for artwork is found in the nearby village of Les Délices du Luberon. Wandering along the stores in the heaving streets of this village will exhibit containers of olive oil, domestic olives, one of the best tapenades “tapenade noire a la Provencal” (this is a mixture of dark olives, garlic and anchovies,; the aroma of which is dominating than any other containers).

Les Délices du Luberon


The route to L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue is 16 miles southeast from Avignon on the road N7, then move through the routes D907, D900, and the D9380. This place is another chapter in the book of regional taste. But try to arrive on this land a day previous to Sunday where the market crowd is quite thick. On Saturday, witness the best designer collection of multicolored Provençal textiles unveiled by Michel Biehn from the doors of his Virginia grass-covered townhouse cum store. They are made from the printed cotton known as ‘les Indiennes’ which was shipped in 16th century from India which enters France through port Marseille. Michel Biehn is very passionate about his leisure pursuit of collecting cotton, making this royal wear available for not-so-rich fishwives, and has written many books on this topic. So, don’t miss out this peculiar store situated at 7, Avenue des 4 Otages. The colors of this lane – bottle green like olive leaf, orange shade of sunset, yellow like sunflower – has made it a home place for renowned artists like Matisse, van Ghosh, and Cezanne.

Roussillon on the Hill

Muse the colors of textiles by Biehn and drive 18 miles east to reach the next destination – Roussillon, a rose-colored town positioned on the hill bordered by the cliffs in red-ocher. A 65-mile long drive will land you to Moustiers-Ste-Marie. Hoever, before you reach there, you have to move through the D900 road through Apt, and then switch on N100 which is on the left of D-82. On the remaining way, catch the top speed on D952 till you reach slender, coiled mountainous path the passages and vales of Alpes de haute of Provence. That’s when you arrive at Moustiers-Ste-Marie. The sight of perilous perch of this village on the cliff-edge is astounding and looks prepared to stumble down the stony path. If it stumbles, you wouldn’t be able to recognize the parts of brittle and delicate craft made up of bright colored, rough earthenware called faïence. The village of Moustiers is undersized and quite remote from other village, but the workers work very hard to bring the glaze of the ceramic to life and this has made the tiny village a synonym with artwork. The legendary landscape designed on the vases and pots depicts delicate & colorful blossoms, fine-looking birds and lush gardens.

Cuisine of Moustiers

A gastronome inn, La Bastide de Moustiers, provides plates of similar designs made in the village of Moustiers-Ste-Marie. This distinct inn with terrace tables is opened by a chef known across the world, Alain Ducasse. Just above this idyllic place lies Moustiers which exhibits yet another illustration of domestic craftwork. A chef named Wilfred Hocquet serves luscious meal, the recipe of which includes 42 kinds of tomatoes grown in garden of Bastide, ham, berries, seafood, eggplants and some garnishing food. Try the roasted langoustines to experience the ultimate taste of Moustiers.

Provence france cuisine

La Bastide de Moustiers

Experience the sound sleep in the Bastide, a country house made up of stone and olive woods, before moving further on the excursion. If you really did sleep in Bastide, wake up and drive back 22 miles westward, south of the village of Avignon to enter Les Baux-de-Provence (it is a 97 mile long route is reached after you pass road D952 which is west to route E712 and then move from E80 to N569). To the exterior of Les baux, you can find the olive orchards of Moulin Castelas, where you can grab tins of Castelas olive oil. Now drive straight to your last destination of the tour.

La Bastide de Moustiers

Up to Les Baux-De-Provence

This village of les baux-de-provence is through an ascended route towards the dead town, ville morte. It is an ancient village where the ghostly fort wrecks the medieval aristocrats of Baux that once ruled around 80 towns of Provence and established a civilized habitation and mannerism among people. However, only remnants of this town are left now to remind people of the old culture. Just beneath the dead town is a fresh and energizing town of Les Baux. If you are starving, halt at Café des baux for relaxing lunch in under the shades in the garden patio. Some of the best destinations of Baux are – Santons D’Arts, another speciality producing store, is run by a family of Peyron-Campagna, which consists of Jacqueline and Fabrice (mother and son respectively). They are involved in making tiny porcelain portraying the local society, painting them with splendid colors. The clay women placed in the center of Santons D’Arts will resemble many of the fishwives and maids you will notice on the roads. These kinds of sculptures are known as Santons and are generally made in all the villages of Provence. Jacqueline and Fabrice has also sculptured their own self-portrait which is a worth watching.

Road Kit

The best time to visit Provence is summer, spring and fall. The roundtrip of 224 miles begins from Avignon, then east moving from the L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue village, and all the destinations mentioned above to return back to Avignon.

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