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Plan your personalized
itinerary with our concierge
To give you inspiration, Relais & Châteaux presents the Routes du Bonheur: suggestions for travel itineraries that you can fully personalise according to your wishes and the experiences you would like to discover. Our consultants are available to help customise your route and assist you in making reservations at our properties. It is up to you to reserve any recommended activities on-site or nearby that might interest you.
*Total price provided for information only, based on accommodation for two people in a double room for the number of nights per property as indicated on this page, exclusive of recommended activities, properties that cannot be reserved online and restaurants.
Hotel and restaurant in a park. The Château de Rochegude, a 12th century fortress, is located in the heart of the Provencal Drôme region and majestically overlooks the Côtes-du-Rhône vineyards, with vistas of the Mont Ventoux. The cellars of the château boast some of the best wines and are a starting point for wine tastings in the surrounding vineyards. Other activites on offer include a visit to the Ardèche caves or to some of the many Roman remains, such as the Pont du Gard and the antique theatre in Orange. On your return to the château enjoy a snack of warm local truffles, thinly-sliced, seasoned and lightly steamed with butter, accompanied by eggs and slices of toast. ... Learn moreless
When you arrive at this prestigious Wine University, housed in the superb 12th century castle of Suze-la-Rousse, you will receive a professional introduction to oenology, the science of wine. Which varieties work well together, how wine is produced, sensory analysis, tasting…, within this inner sanctuary of the Côtes du Rhône vineyards, you will receive some of the keys to a knowledge which is born of tradition and modernity.
You will explore a picturesque itinerary of tiny roads which stretch for a mere 20 km and wind through a terroir of hills and plains that are home to the finest AOC ‘villages’ labels of Côtes du Rhône. At Cairanne, you can enjoy a leisurely sensory trail through the wine cellars, an introduction to the pleasures of the five senses; in Rasteau, you can enjoy the opportunity to taste one of the famous fortified wines from the Rhône valley; in Gigondas, you can sample the subtle blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre grape varieties.
I am particularly fond of this spot. The site, itself, is spectacular. The estate is perched up on the slopes above the village, and commands magnificent vistas of the jagged Dentelles de Montmirail, the vineyards, the wooded hills... And best of all, the Leydier family, who have managed the estate since the 1960s, produce what is, in my opinion, one of the best muscats in France. It is fresh, with a delicate aroma and appealing floral notes – an utter delight!
Hotel and restaurant in the country. Located between Roussillon and Gordes, Le Phébus is a mas, steeped in history, where the rooms overlook the tranquil water of their private swimming pools. Rebuilt on remains dating back to the medieval knights of the Order of Malta, this is a jewel of a hotel and the perfect place to take shelter when the mistral wind blows across the garrigue. Its location is ideal to explore the Luberon, and the Carita Spa is the perfect place to relax with treatments based on lavender essential oils. In the restaurant, the traditional cuisine breathes new life into ancient Provencal recipes and offers a superb “soupe au pistou”, a regional vegetable soup with garlic and basil. ... Learn moreless
Hotel and restaurant in the country. With its breathtaking views of the Luberon valley, this Provencal farmhouse is the perfect place to relax. Witness unforgettable sunsets to the song of chirping cicadas from the terraces of the mas with its sun-bleached walls. The Mas des Herbes Blanches is set around a magnificent pool, surrounded by cypresses, olive trees, mediterranean pines and palm trees. From here, discover the charms of the Vaucluse, with its watermills, windmills and dry stone huts – a beautiful part of the world that has seduced and inspired a number of great artists including Marc Chagall, Serge Poliakoff and Victor Vasarely as a living painting. ... Learn moreless
Gordes is one of the most beautiful villages in France, and its rock-coloured houses built into the limestone rock face, overlook the gentle Luberon landscape. I find the typical atmosphere of its castle and its tiny winding streets or ‘calades’ totally irresistible. Next door, the village of Les Bories is reminiscent of the rural life of yesteryear with its superb dry-stone architecture, while Sénanque Abbey, an austere and majestic edifice, is imbued with unparalleled harmony.
This is a small Provençal town, near Avignon, crossed by the river Sorgue. Its tiny bridges, maze of winding streets and antique water wheels give it the romantic old-world charm of the time when it was populated by weavers and dyers. Nowadays, it is known for its arts and crafts and boasts dozens of antique shops. Just the place to while away your free time picking up antique Provençal furniture, earthenware and paintings!
Have you ever heard of the village of Grambois? It is a little to the east of Cucuron, and is the perfect example of a Luberon village but one that is off the tourist trail, that is barely known. It is hardly ever mentioned, and so much the better. I am sure that you, like me, will appreciate its general harmony, its perched houses and sloping streets, the relaxing calm of its very fine old houses, nestling in the shade of the trees. I find that Grambois epitomises the atmosphere of Marcel Pagnol’s novel. Get there quick!
The only thing that separates Bonnieux from Cucuron, is the north-south divide which splits the Luberon into twin territories, with the subtlest of differences between them. I would recommend a scenic route through the village of Buoux and then Lourmarin, to get to Cucuron, which is a typical local hillside town. When you get to Domaine Les Conques-Soulières, at the foot of Grand Luberon, there will be the opportunity to sample the excellent wines and olive oils produced by this extremely hospitable family property.
Bonnieux is yet another famous Luberon village, whose reputation is built on its wineries, the oldest in the Vaucluse. Its wine growers have amassed a veritable expertise over a period of more than 90 years. They will offer you their very best wines to taste, wines that have been produced under the Provençal sun and are served by people who have long mastered the ways in which to get the very best out of their native soil. Then you will be able to stop for a leisurely lunch at Edouard Loubet’s excellent Relais & Châteaux, Bastide de Capelongue, in Bonnieux.
Hotel and restaurant in a village. Le Prieuré in Villeneuve-lez-Avignon, tucked away in the mediaeval village, with its cottage garden and its trailing wisteria, emanates a rare charm. Jean-André and Geneviève Charial, who also own two properties in Les Baux-de-Provence, say that this former convent epitomises silence and relaxation. In the different rooms and suites contemporary style meets ancient tradition. The menu also pays tribute to the region, with dishes such as duck foie gras with Gariguette strawberries from Nîmes and pot-roasted Costières wood pigeon with fresh sage. Le Prieuré’s mouth-watering cuisine is served in surroundings which bring all the senses to life. ... Learn moreless
The ‘wine bar’ is, without a doubt, a showcase for wine growing! When you stroll through the streets of the old town in Avignon, you cannot fail to come across one of these wonderful venues where you can delight in tasting a Côtes du Rhône or a Luberon wine, and learn a bit more about it from a passionate wine merchant. You could start by knocking on the door of La Vache à Carreaux, which is tucked in behind the Palais des Papes, and has superb 16th century cellars.
Avignon is known throughout the world for having been the seat of the Papacy between 1309 and 1376, and is proud of its impressive Palais des Papes, the Popes’ residence and Catholic power base for almost a century. It is surrounded by churches, chapels, convents and town houses, sheltered within the city ramparts, which provide the fabric of an old town with an atmosphere all of its own. In the summer the renowned theatre festival brings added excitement. An event not to be missed!
Wine from Châteauneuf-du-Pape is considered to be the supreme Côtes du Rhône wine, and its reputation stretches from the USA to Japan, and it leaves a firm impression on those who taste it. The winegrowers have taken the former papal lands to the north of Avignon with their attractive fortress, and worked the land to coax wonders from it. You’ll see this when you explore the village – the red and white wines available from the shops at the wine estates are mouth-watering indeed.
Just think – members of the Avril family, who own this estate, were already papal consuls at the time when the popes came to Châteauneuf. That just shows how historic the terroir Clos des Papes actually is! The wines are magnificent. They are extremely aromatic, very balanced, and stunningly fresh. They are wines with excellent aging capacity, with real depth. They never succumb to the vagaries of fashion and never fail to give me a thrill.
Hotel and restaurant in a village. This three-hundred-year-old house, tucked away down an alley in the majestic city of Uzès, once the Chambon de La Tour family home and a historic monument, has recovered all its former glory. Behind its imposing façade, a monumental 17th-century staircase and a back stair lead to guest rooms featuring contemporary decor. They offer delightful views over the roofs of the old town. The spa nestles under Romanseque arches and draws its inspiration from ancient traditions of health and well-being. The chef at La Table d’Uzès serves Provençal market cuisine, which, in summer, can be enjoyed on the patio with a local Languedoc wine. The Spa is closed on Sundays and Mondays / Exceptionally closed from Sunday 21th of May to Sunday 4th of June 2017. ... Learn moreless
The wine growers of the commune of Bourdic, who have worked together as a cooperative since 1928, approached their colleagues in Saint-Maximin, a neighbouring village in Castillon-du-Gard, to pool their expertise in wine growing. Thus, they set up the small ‘Collines du Bourdic’ winery inside the ancient cellars in Saint-Maximin, near the Pont du Gard. This has become the place you must visit if you wish to sample these wines from the area between Provence and Languedoc, with their scents of the garrigue. A rather private cellar with much to offer.
The Pont du Gard, a ‘Grand Site de France’, is a marvel of Roman architecture. The bridge was built in the 1st century over the river Gard. With its 142 m long arcades standing 49 m above the surface of the river, it is the most spectacular section of an aqueduct that took water from Uzès to Nîmes. It has been immaculately preserved, and great care has been taken to improve access via several paths on both banks of the river which allow visitors to appreciate the exceptional precision and artistry of this work.
Barbentane, an authentic Provençal village, is off the beaten track, and is set back from the Rhône, several kilometres from Avignon. Behind the fortified gates of Porte Calendale and Porte de Séquier, there is a maze of little streets with splendid town houses including the Maison des Chevaliers, with its Renaissance façade. Outside the city walls, you will find a superb Château with a façade built in the Classical style, a pool and ornamental garden, which are open to the public, a reminder of the sheer wealth enjoyed by aristocratic families in the 18th century.
You should really make a detour to Tavel to visit the Château d’Aquéria estate. There are 66 hectares of vines grouped round a very fine château which produce the most reliable Tavel that I know. The rosé is very classical in style, and is very fruity with a markedly strawberry nose, some quite spicy notes and considerable intensity of colour. It is a true rosé de repas and I recommend you try it with desserts or strawberry salads!