A great stop on your self-guided cycling tour
Venasque is rated as one of the most beautiful villages of France. Perched on a rock, the top of the village boasts 3 Saracen towers dating back to the XII century, the highest tower stands at 18m tall. At the foot of the village is one of the oldest religious monuments in France, a XI century baptistry built on the site of a roman temple and thought to have been dedicated to Venus. The heart of the village is made up of wonderfully preserved stone houses and a XVIII century fountain takes centre stage. A quiet, sleepy village in the wintertime, it transforms itself in the spring and summer to welcome tourists on their cycling holiday in France.
Peddle up to the top of the village on your self-guided bike tour in Provence and you will be rewarded with breath-taking views overlooking the Côte du Rhône vineyards and cherry orchards with panoramas extending out to the Dentelles de Montmirail and the Mont Ventoux. It’s no wonder really that this charming medieval village has become home to many artists and attracts so many people who come to admire the old stone buildings.
The cherry – “the red diamond of Provence”
What Venasque is most famous for is, of course, the cherry. A controlled appellation since 1978 and the first of its kind in France, the production of the Mont de Venasque cherries is subject to strict regulations. 110 farmers spread over 21 communes work hard to maintain the reputation and ensure that the Venasque cherry is the leading French brand. The exceptional sweet flavour and size of the Venasque cherry is due to the favourable climate (300 days of sun per year) and strategically planted orchards, protected from the Mistral wind.
The Mont de Venasque produces over 2000 tons of cherries per year. The picking season starts in May and goes through to mid-July depending on the variety of the fruit. Every year in June is the cherry festival with street parades, activities for children, free tasting and food based around this famous fruit.
Provence cycling tours via Venasque
Enjoy a short break cycling trip through the perched villages of the Lubéron. Starting from and ending up in the small town of Isle sur la Sorgue, this cycling trip will take you through peaceful landscapes on country roads lined with cypress trees and old stone farmhouses leading you up to Venasque. The following day you continue on to Gordes, the crown jewel of the Lubéron and Roussillon, perched on the worlds largest Ochre deposit.