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Jouques guidebook

Jean-Louis + Fiona
Jean-Louis + Fiona
Član od 2013
Jean-Louis + Fiona

Jouques guidebook

The village and location
There is a lot to tell you about Jouques, it's location, amenities, the old village and surroundings. It is a large commune of 4500 people, mostly French, from all walks of life. The rural location supports agricultural activity, but the close proximity to Aix-en-Provence means that many locals commute to Aix for work, schools and university. The sizeable population means that there is a fabulous variety of good shops in the village, such as: an organic/bio butcher, an excellent green grocer, three fantastic boulangeries/patisseries, a pharmacy, two small general supermarkets, three cafés/restaurants, a post office, Credit Agricole with ATM, a florist, Tourist Office, three hair-dressers, a beauty salon, and more.
Jouques is a genuine, living village, situated in the heart of Provence. People live here all year round, so it is vibrant and a true reflection of French life and culture. It has loads of beauty and character with a good dash of history thrown-in! There is everything you need here - even drinking water flows from the nine fountains 24/7. The source was discovered by the Romans and in the second century they built an aqueduct to Aix, which served to supply drinking water to that growing town until 1850. The forest is at the edge of the village and has many easily accessed hiking and cycling trails. Plus there's an enormous amount to see and do within a radius of one hour by car.
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Jouques
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Jouques is a genuine, living village, situated in the heart of Provence. People live here all year round, so it is vibrant and a true reflection of French life and culture. It has loads of beauty and character with a good dash of history thrown-in! There is everything you need here - even drinking water flows from the nine fountains 24/7. The source was discovered by the Romans and in the second century they built an aqueduct to Aix, which served to supply drinking water to that growing town until 1850. The forest is at the edge of the village and has many easily accessed hiking and cycling trails. Plus there's an enormous amount to see and do within a radius of one hour by car.
The little streets of the old village are quaint and inviting to walk and explore. Follow them all the way up to the top of the hill to the 12th century chapel of Notre Dame de la Roque to admire the view over the village rooftops to Mont Concors and the ridge-back of the famous Montagne Sainte Victoire beyond. Guided tours of the trails can be arranged at the local tourist office, or we can point you in the right direction to follow the markings. There's a trail to suit every age and ability. You might also like to visit the local history museum located on rue Grande, which is open most afternoons.
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Jouques
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The little streets of the old village are quaint and inviting to walk and explore. Follow them all the way up to the top of the hill to the 12th century chapel of Notre Dame de la Roque to admire the view over the village rooftops to Mont Concors and the ridge-back of the famous Montagne Sainte Victoire beyond. Guided tours of the trails can be arranged at the local tourist office, or we can point you in the right direction to follow the markings. There's a trail to suit every age and ability. You might also like to visit the local history museum located on rue Grande, which is open most afternoons.
Sightseeing
Here are a few of our favourite places to visit in the region. Most of these places are within 60 minutes drive from Jouques and offer a very pleasant, picturesque journey. As you'll discover, Jouques is situated in a perfect spot for sightseeing and experiencing a wonderful variety of impressive landmarks as well as villages and towns.
La Tour d'Aigues is in the heart of the sud-Luberon and is an easy and picturesque 20 minute drive from Jouques. There you can visit a Renaissance castle as well as some nice shops and cafés. The village sits amongst vineyards and the Chateau la Dorgonne is worth stopping at to taste some wine. On the way to this village you will cross the Durance river in a magnificent gorge, as well as pass by the lovely old Pont (bridge) Mirabeau. La Tour d'Aigues is just a short drive to the villages of Mirabeau, Ansouis and Cucuron as well as many more in the area known as the sud-Luberon.
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La Tour-d'Aigues
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La Tour d'Aigues is in the heart of the sud-Luberon and is an easy and picturesque 20 minute drive from Jouques. There you can visit a Renaissance castle as well as some nice shops and cafés. The village sits amongst vineyards and the Chateau la Dorgonne is worth stopping at to taste some wine. On the way to this village you will cross the Durance river in a magnificent gorge, as well as pass by the lovely old Pont (bridge) Mirabeau. La Tour d'Aigues is just a short drive to the villages of Mirabeau, Ansouis and Cucuron as well as many more in the area known as the sud-Luberon.
Aix-en-Provence is an elegant and beautiful town - not too large, so easy to stroll around in a day or two. There are many small squares (Places) with lovely fountains, lots of beautiful architecture, and pretty streets - all abound with innumerable boutiques, restaurants and cafés. For the art enthusiast there are several very good museums and galleries, notably the Musée Granet, the Hôtel Caumont, and the Fondation Jean Planque. Not to mention the studio of the famous local artist Cézanne (Atelier Cézanne) as well as various places around Aix where he painted that are open to the public. The elegant main street, Cours Mirabeau (considered to be one of the most beautiful in all of France) is a great place to sit awhile and people watch. It also hosts some of the market stalls that are spread around the town on market days: Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, every week. The rich and eclectic Cathedral of Saint Sauveur and it's magnificent cloister are also well worth a visit. Aix is just 30 minutes by car from Jouques, however it is very easy to get the local bus (just €1.30 each way per adult) - we can guide you to do this, just ask us.
Aix en Provence
Aix-en-Provence is an elegant and beautiful town - not too large, so easy to stroll around in a day or two. There are many small squares (Places) with lovely fountains, lots of beautiful architecture, and pretty streets - all abound with innumerable boutiques, restaurants and cafés. For the art enthusiast there are several very good museums and galleries, notably the Musée Granet, the Hôtel Caumont, and the Fondation Jean Planque. Not to mention the studio of the famous local artist Cézanne (Atelier Cézanne) as well as various places around Aix where he painted that are open to the public. The elegant main street, Cours Mirabeau (considered to be one of the most beautiful in all of France) is a great place to sit awhile and people watch. It also hosts some of the market stalls that are spread around the town on market days: Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, every week. The rich and eclectic Cathedral of Saint Sauveur and it's magnificent cloister are also well worth a visit. Aix is just 30 minutes by car from Jouques, however it is very easy to get the local bus (just €1.30 each way per adult) - we can guide you to do this, just ask us.
Manosque is a 30 minute drive from Jouques. Drive up to see the Tour d'Or and admire the view of the typical Provençal countryside. On it's outskirts is the head-quarters of the famous l'Occitane en Provence and here you can take a tour (booking required) of the factory, visit the museum and buy discounted products - highly recommended. The old town of Manosque is a lovely place to explore and stroll around and have lunch after visiting the l'Occitane factory.
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Manosque
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Manosque is a 30 minute drive from Jouques. Drive up to see the Tour d'Or and admire the view of the typical Provençal countryside. On it's outskirts is the head-quarters of the famous l'Occitane en Provence and here you can take a tour (booking required) of the factory, visit the museum and buy discounted products - highly recommended. The old town of Manosque is a lovely place to explore and stroll around and have lunch after visiting the l'Occitane factory.
The magnificently rugged gorges makes for a wonderful day-trip when combined with a stop at the Lac Saint Croix, which is located at the mouth to the Verdon river. Both are impressive to see - have a picnic at the lake followed by a swim or hire a paddle boat or kayak, then explore on the water. Or just stop on the bridge to take photos, then drive on up to see the gorge - there are many places to stop to get out of the car to take photos. One can also go rock-climbing or para-gliding, though booking ahead is essential. Approximately 60 minutes from Jouques.
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Verdon Gorge
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The magnificently rugged gorges makes for a wonderful day-trip when combined with a stop at the Lac Saint Croix, which is located at the mouth to the Verdon river. Both are impressive to see - have a picnic at the lake followed by a swim or hire a paddle boat or kayak, then explore on the water. Or just stop on the bridge to take photos, then drive on up to see the gorge - there are many places to stop to get out of the car to take photos. One can also go rock-climbing or para-gliding, though booking ahead is essential. Approximately 60 minutes from Jouques.
A beautiful village not far from Lac Saint Croix, Moustiers Sainte Marie has been the centre of the pottery trade and faience (the art of painting on ceramics) for centuries. The spring that flows out of the cliff creates a waterfall in the heart of the Moustiers, providing power for the town. Include a visit on the way to Lac Saint Croix and the Gorges du Verdon. It is a good place to have lunch at a café and buy souvenirs of Provence.
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Moustiers-Sainte-Marie
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A beautiful village not far from Lac Saint Croix, Moustiers Sainte Marie has been the centre of the pottery trade and faience (the art of painting on ceramics) for centuries. The spring that flows out of the cliff creates a waterfall in the heart of the Moustiers, providing power for the town. Include a visit on the way to Lac Saint Croix and the Gorges du Verdon. It is a good place to have lunch at a café and buy souvenirs of Provence.
A visit to the l'Occitane-en-Provence factory (natural beauty and skin-care products) for a guided tour and to buy some of these quintessentially Provençal products is highly recommended. Booking online is required, especially as the tour in English is only once per day. You can add this to a day-trip to see Manosque and Forcalquier, or the Plateau de Valensole - especially in lavender season! NOTE: the title states that this is a 'clothing store' which is incorrect - this is linked to Google maps which has made the error and cannot be changed.
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L'OCCITANE EN PROVENCE (Boutique Musée, Jardin, Visite d'usine)
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A visit to the l'Occitane-en-Provence factory (natural beauty and skin-care products) for a guided tour and to buy some of these quintessentially Provençal products is highly recommended. Booking online is required, especially as the tour in English is only once per day. You can add this to a day-trip to see Manosque and Forcalquier, or the Plateau de Valensole - especially in lavender season! NOTE: the title states that this is a 'clothing store' which is incorrect - this is linked to Google maps which has made the error and cannot be changed.
Located between the Lure Mountain and the Luberon mountain range, Forcalquier is impressively built around the slopes of a conical hill and is a lovely town to walk around. The Monday morning market is highly recommended as it is huge and offers a very authentic Provençal market experience. There are lots of locally produced food and artisanal products to be found and, as it spreads throughout many of the places and streets, it is fun and interesting. The town offers innumerable eating opportunities with a variety of restaurants, cafés and bars, and also has wonderful shops of every kind. The panoramic view from the top of the hill is wonderful and well worth the walk to get there! Forcalquier is approximately 60 minutes from Jouques.
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Forcalquier
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Located between the Lure Mountain and the Luberon mountain range, Forcalquier is impressively built around the slopes of a conical hill and is a lovely town to walk around. The Monday morning market is highly recommended as it is huge and offers a very authentic Provençal market experience. There are lots of locally produced food and artisanal products to be found and, as it spreads throughout many of the places and streets, it is fun and interesting. The town offers innumerable eating opportunities with a variety of restaurants, cafés and bars, and also has wonderful shops of every kind. The panoramic view from the top of the hill is wonderful and well worth the walk to get there! Forcalquier is approximately 60 minutes from Jouques.
A 40 minute drive from Jouques, Lourmarin is the entry point to the lovely Luberon region, made famous by the American author Peter Mayle who, in the 80's wrote "A year in Provence'. The Friday mon=rning market offers a different experience to the Monday market in Forcalquier as it attracts many international visitors, so is very dynamic and has a very eclectic mix of goods for sale. The local shops and cafés are excellent, but can be overly crowded on market day. It is recommended to move-on elsewhere after the morning market to have lunch.
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Lourmarin
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A 40 minute drive from Jouques, Lourmarin is the entry point to the lovely Luberon region, made famous by the American author Peter Mayle who, in the 80's wrote "A year in Provence'. The Friday mon=rning market offers a different experience to the Monday market in Forcalquier as it attracts many international visitors, so is very dynamic and has a very eclectic mix of goods for sale. The local shops and cafés are excellent, but can be overly crowded on market day. It is recommended to move-on elsewhere after the morning market to have lunch.
Cassis was once a small fishing port, however today, this idyllically situated village is a close rival to Saint Tropez! Some fishing boats still work from the small port, but the main business on this part of the Mediterranean is boat tours of the Calanques. Calanques and small, picturesque limestone coves along the coastline between Cassis and Marseille - a boat trip to see them is highly recommended. You can choose from a tour of 3-9 calanques, ranging from 45-90 minutes duration. The prettiest are the three closest to Cassis. There are lots of nice shops, cafés and restaurants in the village and you can book 24 hours ahead (with several restaurants) if you'd like to try the famous fish dish called 'Bouillabaisse'. The port area is wonderful to walk around and explore, you can also swim adjacent to the port under the large hill which has an impressive chateau atop it - reputably owned by the Michelin family. A drive to the top of nearby Cap Canaille (the highest sea cliff in France) along the Route des Crete is not for the faint-hearted, but offers an amazing panoramic view of the impressive coast and Cassis below. It is amazing at sunset! Cassis is approximately 60 minutes drive from Jouques, which includes about €5 toll fees on the autoroute, each way.
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Cassis
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Cassis was once a small fishing port, however today, this idyllically situated village is a close rival to Saint Tropez! Some fishing boats still work from the small port, but the main business on this part of the Mediterranean is boat tours of the Calanques. Calanques and small, picturesque limestone coves along the coastline between Cassis and Marseille - a boat trip to see them is highly recommended. You can choose from a tour of 3-9 calanques, ranging from 45-90 minutes duration. The prettiest are the three closest to Cassis. There are lots of nice shops, cafés and restaurants in the village and you can book 24 hours ahead (with several restaurants) if you'd like to try the famous fish dish called 'Bouillabaisse'. The port area is wonderful to walk around and explore, you can also swim adjacent to the port under the large hill which has an impressive chateau atop it - reputably owned by the Michelin family. A drive to the top of nearby Cap Canaille (the highest sea cliff in France) along the Route des Crete is not for the faint-hearted, but offers an amazing panoramic view of the impressive coast and Cassis below. It is amazing at sunset! Cassis is approximately 60 minutes drive from Jouques, which includes about €5 toll fees on the autoroute, each way.