Vaucluse (84570) Population: 915 Altitude: 295 m
The village of Villes-sur-Auzon sits on farming plains at the eastern edge of a beautiful mountainous region joining Mont Ventoux to the north with the Plateau de Vaucluse to the south. West across the plains of the Auzon river, running north-south past the village, the land rises to a group of low hills before the village of Mormoiron. To the east-northeast, towards Sault, huge expanses of low oak forests cover the hills. Due east of the village is the lovely Gorges de la Nesque, with a beautiful road drive along the northern edge and hiking trails down into the gorge.
The fertile plains are rich in cherry orchards, olive orchards and vineyards, and there's a large wine coop just outside the village where you can obtain the fine local products.
Some local sites include the ruins of an ancient mill, the moulin de Galerony, and a the old Château Lirac. Both are southwest of the village on the D942 road, the mill about 1.5 km out and the château another km.
There are some of the very interesting bories in the area. They don't show up on the small-scale hiking maps, so you'll have to keep a sharp eye out for them.
The remains of the Mur de la Peste runs through the mountains about 7 (straight-line) km south-southeast of the village (southeast of Méthamis).
History of Villes-sur-Auzon
First record, 13th century: Villa
Prehistoric: There are vestiges of prehistoric habitation near the village.
Gallo-Roman: The village was occupied in Roman times, but there isn't much left except parts of the old walls and "portes".
Medieval: Villes-sur-Auzon was ruled by different regional Lords until the 14th century, when the Bishops of Carpentras took control. The Baron des Adret layed seige to the village in 1562, successfully, and then sacked the village.
Market day: Wed.
A lot of cycling is done in this area. Don't be fooled by the "cycle paths" marked on the sides of the road leading out from the village towards Sault. The markings disappear after a few km, when the road narrows and becomes bumpy.
Riding trails from the village of Villes-sur-Auzon go north to circle the edge of Mont Ventoux as well as crossing the mountains above Flassan. South from Villes-sur-Auzon, the riding trail turns east to follow narrow valleys through the forests across to the Gorges de la Nesque.
• For La Lauze, follow the D947 about 4 km and look for a turning to the left where a small road leads up the hill for another km. (Reader François tells us "of the riding stables, I would not venture in the building myself")
• St. Hubert is further out into the hills, south of the Gorges de la Nesque. You can take the D5 road about 12 km east from Méthamis, or the D5 road about 8 km southeast from Monieux. There's a Gîte d'étape at this place.
Department 84, Vaucluse Buses
- See Beyond's Bus Schedules Page 2: Vaucluse Department for downloading Vaucluse bus-lines map [Plan global des lignes] and bus-line schedules [pdf for each line] (link for PDF files).
• Avignon has train or bus connections to Aix-en-Provence, Arles, Nîmes, Saint Remy-de-Provence, Paris.
• Cavaillon has bus connections to Aix-en-Provence, Arles, Saint Remy-de-Provence.
• Pertuis has bus connections to Aix-en-Provence and Marseille.