PROVENCE – MOUSTIERS-SAINTE-MARIE & GORGES DU VERDON
LOCATION: PROVENCE, FRANCE • JULY 31, 2017

Outfit Details:

Dress, Shoes (similar style here), Bag

I think I underestimated just how many photos and the amount of blog posts I would be putting up from our time in Provence. I have been spending days going through and cutting down all of the images. As I work full time I tend not to scout locations or plan exactly what I will be putting into blogs post. This is also partly a personal choice, I want to look back on memories from places we have visited and reminisce about the time spent wondering, getting lost and finding places we never expected to see.

Moustiers-Sainte-Marie has been named one of the most beautiful villages in Provence and was on the top of  our list for must see locations. It was one of the few towns which we looked up before visiting and it soon become one which we were most excited to visit.

The town is set in-between vast clifftops giving the most striking backdrop and has a number of waterfalls falling down into a stream which runs right through the middle of the village. Monks came here in 433, taking shelter in caves dug into the mountainside, and founded the monastery Nôtre Dame de Beauvoir which towers over the village. You can reach the sanctuary by a winding footpath paved with round stones leading up from the heart of the village.

We had planned to climb to the chapel of Notre-Dame-de-Beauvoir which is set at the back of the village but we got half way there and decided it was certainly a mad Englishman’s idea to climb in the midday sun. At this point we were so taken by Moustiers we decided that we would stop off again on our way home and climb to the top during the sunset when the temperatures had dropped.

Making our way back down we nosey’d into all of the quaint stone buildings and dipped into the shade whenever possible for a breather. Back in the centre there was a number of local stores lining the main street, many cafés and restaurants but the ones which caught my eye were selling the famous Moustiers pottery. I think in a past life I must have been a potter as I’m always drawn to it. We have promised ourselves we will come back with an empty suitcase next time to pick up some treasures for the home.

Each time we got in the car we couldn’t wait to see what came next. The drives in themselves were incredible. Not far from Moustiers is the well known lavender fields of Valensole. We stopped every single time we went past a lavender field on this trip and the scenery around this one was well worth the break. More on the lavender in a post to come.

A short distance on from Moustiers-Sainte-Marie is Lac St Croix, a piercing blue reservoir. The incredible hue is due to the beige coloured stone on the lakes bottom, which makes the crystal clear water of the Verdon blue with the refraction of the sunlight. At one end of the lake is the entrance to the Verdon Gorge, where we took the well known picture over the bridge and decided we couldn’t leave without going on a pedalo.

This was one of the places were we already knew we wanted to spend a whole afternoon, relaxing and swimming in the blue waters. We parked up next to the bridge and found a shaded spot just down from the Gorge to sit and have a picnic, while watching the line down to the pontoon waiting for an opportune moment to join the back. I haven’t been on a pedalo for years and it was so much fun going through the gorge.

With damp hair and some slightly soggy clothes we headed back to Moustiers for the climb up to the chapel of Notre-Dame-de-Beauvoir. The hills surrounding the village cast gentle shadows across the whole area and with the buildings still catching the last of the evening sun it was the perfect reward to the long climb.