PROVENCE – AVIGON & BONNIEUX
LOCATION: PROVENCE, FRANCE • September 19, 2017

Outfit Details:

Top (similar style here), Jeans, Shoes, Bag

We had started the day with high hopes for our trip to Avignon; visiting small local markets, exploring the backstreets and admiring the grand papal palace. Unfortunately things didn’t go to plan once we realised that even though there are many different markets in Avignon throughout the week, the day we had picked to come didn’t really have any. Of course there is always the indoor market, but the Marché les Halles d’Avignon just didn’t have the je ne sais quoi of the traditional outdoor affairs.

While Avignon did have some pretty streets and huge stone ramparts, we found it too built up and much too busy. We were looking for quite French villages, not twenty or so restaurants all lined up next to each other. I’m sure there is so much we missed in Avignon but we shall come back one day, just maybe not in the middle of summer.

As we were walking back to the car we noticed a lot of people with some truly scrummy looking ice creams. It wasn’t long before we managed to make out the logo on the tubs and had google direct us to one of the largest selections of ice cream flavours we have ever seen. I finally decided upon lavender, rose and peach and we set of to our next destination with a feeling of optimism. 

I don’t think we could have found two popular tourist destinations that were so different even if we had tried. Bonnieux, while nowhere-near the smallest of the villages we visited was possibly the most peaceful. A perfect Provence village, on a hilltop of course, with sweeping views out over the Luberon valley. 

The village almost felt like it was trying to draw us off of our winding path to the top, tempting us down (mostly dead end) alleys that rewarded you with a different view out onto the hills. It was during one of our detours down one of the larger streets that I passed a lady with the most chic French style I’ve seen. Effortlessly dressed in linen dungarees and an oversized linen shirt. Her style was not overly thought out but still so put together and seamed to match her surroundings perfectly. She stepped out of one of the buildings whose front door I had been swooning over, the whole street looked to have picked subtle neutral colours which complimented their neighbours, and set off up the street taking her little dog for a walk. Ollie didn’t have the camera out at the time but just managed to get a snap of her before she disappeared.

Having explored the lower parts of the village to our hearts content we begun the final climb of 86 steps (I did double check this as it felt like an awful lot more) to the top of the village. As you hike up to the church, you pass by 800-year old buildings graced with burnt orange terracotta rooftops and dramatic views of the Luberon valley to Lacoste, Gordes, and beyond.

While the view from the top was gorgeous, the best spot to soak up the feel of the village and to get something cool to drink was lower down. We stopped off at a café with tables looking out over the valley and church and listened to the church bells ring and planned out which of the villas would be our holiday home.

If I had to recommend just one place in all of Provence this would be it, Gordes is stunningly beautiful and the lavender fields iconic but Bonnieux retains some of that unspoilt French charm that I think everyone who visits Provence is looking for.