In The Heart of Provence

A region that is unique, on account of its geographical location, heritage, history, culture and traditions, and the mildness of its climate.

A destination in the heart of Provence between Avignon, Arles and Saint-Rémy and famous for the richness both of its soils and of its natural and cultural heritage.

At the centre of Graveson village, with the Alpilles to the south and the Montagnette Hills to the west, within easy reach of the Camargue and the Luberon, and the Mediterranean an hour away.

The ideal point from which to visit the most beautiful sites in Provence:
- Saint-Rémy de Provence (8 km), les Baux de Provence (12 km)
- Avignon, Villeneuve les Avignon (12 km)
- Arles (25 km), the Camargue, Saintes-Maries de la Mer (60 km)
- The Pont du Gard (30 km), Nimes, Uzès (45 km)
- the Luberon, Gordes, Fontaine de Vaucluse (30 km)

8 minutes from the Avignon TGV station (10 km)
40 minutes from Nimes airport (35 km)
1 hour from Marseille International Airport (80 km)

Heritage, History and Tradition

Many 19th century artists and writers either were captivated by the region’s beauty and peacefulness (Paul Cézanne, Vincent Van Gogh), or took part in the movement to restore Provençal culture (Chabaud, Mistral).

Strolling through the village streets in the shade of the plane trees, you will come across the Romanesque church with its fortified gate, the chapel of  Notre-Dame du Bon Remède (12th C), the Château de Breuil (17th C) and, further on, the abbey of St. Michel de Frigolet in the Montagnette Hills.

Explore the Montagnette Hills, known for their vegetation and landscape of an exceptional beauty and its large number of bird species, either on foot or by bicycle.

Places of Historical and Cultural Interest in Graveson

  • The Auguste Chabaud Museum : one of the greatest Provençal painters of the 20th century (0490 905 302)
  • The Museum of Aromas and Perfumes, with its aromatic garden and essential oils distillery (0490 958 155)
  • The “Figuières du Mas de Luquet”, with its 150 varieties of figs, jams, chutneys, syrup and condiments
  • The farmers’ market, Fridays from May to end of October, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • “La Ciergerie”, traditional candle maker and sculptures in wax.
  • The “Santonniers”, makers of colourful figurines for the Christmas manger
  • “Les Chemins Secrets de Balthazar”: discover the old Roman ways in a horse-drawn carriage, from Graveson to Maillane through the Montagnette Hills
  • The water garden with its many varieties of plants and fishes, and the sound of waterfalls

Leisure Activities

  • 5 golf courses within easy reach (les Baux de Provence, 9 km; Servanes, at Mouriès; Pont-Royal, at Mallemort; Châteaublanc, at Morières; Grand Avignon, at Vedène)
  • Cycle touring, mountain biking, quad (rental at 200 m)
  • Tennis (1 km)
  • Excursion on horseback: Montagnette Hills, Alpilles, Camargue
  • Hiking: discover the flora and fauna of the Vallée des Baux, with its olive groves, vineyards, cypress trees and forests
  • Historical routes along the old Roman ways from Arles to Saint-Gilles (St. James’ Way)
  • Paths through the vineyards of the Vaucluse Hills
  • Villages of Provence discovery trail

Market Days

  • Monday: Cavaillon, Fontvieille
  • Tuesday : Tarascon
  •  Wednesday: St Rémy de Provence
  • Thursday Maussane, Beaucaire
  • Friday: Graveson, Carpentras
  • Saturday Arles, Uzès, Apt
  • Sunday: L’Isle sur la Sorgue, Châteaurenard

Local Produce

  • Olive oil (Moulin du Mas des Barres in Maussane)
  • Figs (Mas de Luquet in Graveson)
  • Lavender (around Sault)
  • Preserved fruits (Lillamand in St Rémy)
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Sightseeing Tips

Things to See in the Region

Within a 15-minute drive:

  • The vivid landscape of the Alpilles, with its vines, olive groves, holm oaks and thyme, and its villages (Saint-Rémy, les Baux de Provence, Maussane les Alpilles, Mouriès, Aureille, Eygalières, Eyguières, Fontvieille, …)
  • St. Rémy de Provence, with its narrow streets and market, Nostradamus’ house, the ruins of Glanum, the cooling Lac de Peïrou, start of a hiking trail.
  • Les Baux de Provence, its castle, Brayer Museum and Cathédrale d’Images
  • The Roman aqueduct at Barbegal
  • Montmajour Abbey
  • Fontvieille and Alphonse Daudet’s mill
  • The panoramic view of the countryside from Eygalières
  • Avignon, the Palace of the Popes, the Saint-Bénezet bridge, its narrow streets
  • Arles, its amphitheatres, the Van Gogh Museum
  • From Tarascon, follow in the footsteps of Tartarin and the Tarasque, visit the Castle of King René
  • The Montagnette range of hills, with its pine forests and garigue, its vales planted with cypresses, olive and apricot trees, thyme and mother-of-thyme
  • Frigolet Monastery and Abbey
  • The windmills and châteaux between Boulbon and Barbentane

Within a 40-minute drive:

  • The Pont du Gard, marking the entrance to the Gardon gorges.
  • The villages of the Luberon, the Vaucluse hills and the Mont Ventoux
  • Sault, in lavender country, and the Nesque Gorges
  • The wildernesses of the Camargue; on horseback amid the flamingos
  • Saintes-Maries de la Mer, with its festivals and traditions (feria, abrivado, corrida)
  • Aix en Provence and its fountains
  • Uzès, its Tuscan landscapes and traditional Saturday market
  • Orange, with its Roman amphitheatre and triumphal arch
  • The cave dwellings at Calès, north of Salon de Provence (116 caves in all)
  • Nimes and its majestic Roman monuments
  • Nyons, with its olive groves; Montmirail lace work
  • The Route des Vins (Châteauneuf du Pape, Beaumes-de-Venise, Gigondas)

But also:

  • The Ardèche Gorges, which can be descended by canoe
  • Rustrel,  and Provence’s very own Colorado, with its multicoloured ochre quarries
  • Forcalquier and Ganagobie Monastery, a Benedictine abbey famous for its mosaics dating from the Middle Ages.
  • Cassis, its “calanques” and the Mediterranean

Season by Season

  • “Cheval Passion”, the Avignon horse show (January)
  • The transhumance festival, St Rémy de Provence (Whit Sunday)
  • The “Fête des Gardians”, Camargue herdsmen’s parade, Arles (1st May)
  • The Tarasque Festival, Tarascon (last weekend in June)
  • The “Féria d’Arles”, with its bullfights (Ascension Day)
  • The “Féria de la Pentecôte” bullfighting festival, Nimes (Whitsun)
  • The Roman Days at Beaucaire, with chariot races and gladiator fights (April)
  • The “Rencontres Internationales de la Photographie d’Arles”, Arles (July to September)
  • The Avignon Theatre Festival (3 weeks in July)
  • The Saintes-Maries de la Mer Horse Festival (mid-July)
  • The “Route du Sel”, through the Camargue salt marshes (July)
  • The “Route de la Lavande et des Distilleries”, following the lavender harvest around Sault, in the foothills of the Mont Ventoux (end of July)
  • The Lavender Festival, Sault (15th August)
  • The Basketwork Festival, Vallabrègues (2nd weekend in August)
  • the “Féria du Riz” (rice festival),  Arles (September)
  • The “Féria des Vendanges” (grape harvest festival), Nimes (September)
  • The “Foire aux Santons” (manger figurine fair), Tarascon (last weekend in November)
  • Christmas Markets in many Provence villages
  • Midnight mass, with shepherds’ worship, St Michel de Frigolet (24th December)
  • The “ Route des Impressionnistes”, from Saint-Rémy to Aix, from Cézanne to Van Gogh

Festivals in Graveson

  • Activities surrounding the Provençal market: period music and costume, best local specialities competition, apple festival etc. (May to October)
  • The Gypsy Jazz Concert in the Jardin des Senteurs (June)
  • The Saint Eloi Festival: parade of decorated carts, “courses camarguaises”, bull-herding (“encierro”) through the village streets, and an “aïoli” meal (last weekend in July)
  • Votive Festival: sardine barbecue, “courses camarguaises” and night-time bull-herding (“encierro”) (beginning of September)
  • Painters and Paintings Festival in the streets of the village (September)