The French Provence: L’Isle sur la Sorgue

After the heat in Italy and the French riviera, our family council decided we must quickly shift our next destinations to higher and cooler areas. Tignes in the French Alps is a ski resort we very much love, and have skied in a few times in the winter. We knew they had a bunch of summer activities, including great biking areas (biking is a sport our whole family loves) and a kids-friendly swimming pool, so we decided to give it a try.

L'Isle sur la SorgueTo cut the long travel in parts though, we decided to stop for a morning coffee at a small city in the Provence I have read about, and named as a ‘must-see’ city – L’Isle sur la Sorgue, some 25 kms southeast of the bigger city Avignon.

Now, I must say I have never been anywhere else in the Provence, but this one was a small piece of paradise cuddled in a picturesque fruit-trees landscape. ‘L’Isle sur la Sorgue’ means ‘the island on the river Sorgue’. The river Sorgue passes through and around the city, with many flower-covered channels and bridges built above them. That is why the city is often called the Venice of France.

Sorgue is a short river (40 km) but with quite a strong flow. The source of the river is in the nearby Fontaine-de-Vaucluse, and is one of the largest springs on earth. Fontaine-de-Vaucluse is a magical place, judging by the many postcards we’ve seen, but it wasn’t on our way unfortunately. So, check out some great pics and info on this site.

The crystal clear water of Sorgue river adds special beauty to the city, and even powers several water wheels – they are beautiful attractions in the city park. Along the river lies the main street, with many cute cafes lined up and facing the river banks.

While strolling in the tiny old-city streets we enjoyed lovely small souvenir shops, and the best French-origin fruit we’ve tasted in our trip (the area is famous for its fruit produce). There also were lots of antiquity shops, and as we later understood, L’Isle is also often referred to as the Antiques Capital of France – during the weekends the antique and second-hand goods market counts more than 300 stalls!

After a relaxing walk in the old part of the city, and the usual stop at a boulangerie for breakfast, we headed on to Tignes in the French Alps. And thus ended the non-mountainous part of our trip! After we reached the fresh and cool Alps, we were determined this is where we want to spend the rest of our trip! Still, true to our restless lookout for different destinations, we did quite a lot of Alps-hopping and sightseeing! Read about that in my next posts.

Enjoy below the beautiful views from L’Isle sur la Sorgue!


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