There are 3 different approaches. You can leave from Malaucene, and climb from there, or start in Bedoin and get a hell of a ride, the same than the boys of the Tour de France would use, or also take it in 2 stages, sleep over in Sault, east of the mountain, at 700 m altitude, and attack the rest of the mountain the next day and descend into...more
Lovely patio cafe set right on the main square. Food was very good, and the staff was very friendly. The owner gave us complimentary after dinner drinks. He did not speak much English, but he was very sweet and understanding that we did not speak much French. We drove by this place at night, and it seemed like one of the more happening places in the evening.
Favorite Dish: All the salads were delicious. I really enjoyed my Nicoise salad, with anchovies, egg and tuna. It's sounds weird but it's a traditional french salad that is quite good. The pizzas looked excellent as well. Everyone was really happy with their food.
Make sure you have a fabulous, detailed map. We got lost initially driving to Malaucine, and literally drove completely around Mt. Ventou. When driving to Malaucine, you must go left under the aquaduct from Carpentras, and then past Le Barroux. That is the best and fastest way to arrive. I would highly suggest driving the roads during the daytime, especially the first time arriving, or it could become a nightmare. Dont' let the long drive from the main highway discourage you, the area is fabulous with it's small villages and hamlets dotted in the courtyside.
During the summer months, there are windy conditions in Southern France called the Mistrals. They are hot dry winds
that can be fierce. These conditions were in existence when
i visited this past June. The winds create horrible conditions for allergy sufferers. I was miserable all week, but the last day I literatally had to go to the Vaison La Romaine emergency room and be put on sterroids. My eyes wers so swollen, I looked really ill and disturbed. I do suffer from allergies, however this was by far the worst symtoms I had ever experienced. If I go back to Southern France in the summer, I will bring prescription steroids, and take them the first sign of allregies as a precaution. I'm not into prescription medications, but this was a neccessity. It was really horrible, and i suggest anyone who suffers from allergies to take precautions.
Miscellaneous: If you are a cyclingfan, you will remember the terrible death of Tommy Simpson almost at the top of the Mont Ventoux. You have to bring a bottle with you, or flowers, or a medail or what so ever. It is a custom to leave something as a sign of respect for Tommy Simpson.
Don't miss Vaison La Romaine if you are in the area. Lovely old medieval section of town is really quaint and very pretty.Some of the oldest and most intact Roman ruins in all of France. Very nice shopping. Just down the road from Malaucine. For more tips visit my VT page on Vaison La Romaine.more
There are many lovely villages and sites to see around Malaucine, it makes for a great place to make your base to explore the region. There are the larger cities of Avignon, Arles, Orange and even Cassis, that can be easily reached
by Malaucine, but the real beauty are the closer, smaller, less touristy villages of the region.
Fondest memory: Finding a new and wonderful smal village, each and every day.