Fontaine de Vaucluse is an exceptionally picturesque Provencal town. It is located in the heart of Provence and impresses every tourist who visits it.
Fontaine de Vaucluse is a small town in Provence at the foot of high cliffs. The Sorgue River flows out of these cliffs and picturesquely crosses the town to the amazement of the visiting tourists. An interesting fact is that experts still don’t know the origin of the water that flows from the source for the river.
Attractions of Fontaine de Vaucluse
The Sorgue River, which seems to flow out of every rock in the area, cuts through charming Fontaine de Vaucluse. The fabulous landscape is therefore the first attraction of this place and there are beautiful photos waiting to be taken everywhere.
However, what attracts the tourists is the source of the Sorgue River, which can be reached on foot from the center in less than 20 minutes. Experts, to this day, do not know exactly where this clean and cold water actually comes from, but it flows from the spring at up to 630 million cubic meters per year on average, which gives it first place in either France or Europe (I found various information, which was difficult to verify) in terms of the amount of water flowing from the source of the river!
The entire department of Vaucluse was named after this place. This word means “the closed valley from which the Sorgue River flows.” In turn, “fontaine” means source.
When walking to the place where the Sorgue River flows from the rocks, you pass many restaurants and souvenir stalls. There is also a paper factory along the way, where you can see for free how paper was produced in the fifteenth century. The town also has a Petrarca museum, located at the original home of this famous fourteenth-century Renaissance poet from Italy. You can also visit the ruins of a fourteenth-century castle (although in the tourist information they suggest that it is not worth making the climb), as well as an eleventh century church.
The town is best reached by car, which is also, definitely the most convenient way to explore Provence in general, because the next beautiful village is always at least a few kilometers distance. There are several parking lots in Fontaine: the one in front of the town is free, and those closer to the center are paid. We parked in a large parking lot just outside the town after crossing a bridge in the center; it cost about 4 euros for the whole day.
There are many restaurants and souvenir shops in the town. There are also free toilets and a tour desk. To visit Fontaine de Vaucluse properly you have to spend about 2 hours here (a walk to the source plus photos in the center and possibly lunch).