Windswept Ven­toux

French Property News - - Location -

The Ven­toux area cov­ers the north-east of Vau­cluse. Car­pen­tras, the main town, has a Ro­man arch, a palace where the Popes once stayed, a cathe­dral and ru­ined fortress. Most tempt­ing, though, are the black truf­fle mar­kets in win­ter and the AOC wines of Côtes du Ven­toux pro­duced on the lower slopes. The scenery is spec­tac­u­lar, from the dra­matic Gorges de la Nesque to the pretty vil­lage of Pernes adorned by 40 foun­tains, and the jagged ridge of the Den­telles de Mont­mi­rail, which tests the brave on a net­work of trekking, rid­ing or climb­ing trails.

Men­tion cy­cling and Mont Ven­toux comes to mind, es­pe­cially dur­ing the Tour de France when it is said to be one of the hard­est climbs. They call it the ‘Gi­ant of Provence’, a tow­er­ing peak of 1,912m where the no­to­ri­ous Mis­tral wind of­ten reaches 90km per hour. With its bar­ren lime­stone sum­mit, so white it looks like snow, it is to­tally iso­lated and can be viewed for miles around. The land­scape looks al­most lu­nar, but scented ju­niper, holm oaks, conifers and beeches grow be­low the windswept top.

Look out for panoramic views and un­usual species of flora and fauna as this is the bor­der be­tween north and south. Some 800km2 of the Ven­toux are pro­tected by a UNESCO Bio­sphere Re­serve and longdis­tance foot­paths and ram­bling trails lead to the sum­mit. The eas­i­est trek to the top starts in Sault, a na­ture re­sort in a laven­der val­ley.

Pape was priced at €599,000. A Provençal mas near Car­pen­tras with gar­den, gîte and swim­ming pool was on of­fer for €685,000 but the nearby vil­lage of Mon­teux has mod­ern three-bed­room apart­ments with bal­conies from just €176,800.

Near Mont Ven­toux, Sault and the sur­round­ing vil­lages have a good range of rea­son­ably priced prop­er­ties: quiet vil­las with views un­der €300,000, a lux­u­ri­ous con­verted barn with pool for €570,000 and a bastide with two gîtes for €655,000.

“Vau­cluse is in­creas­ingly pop­u­lar with Bri­tish prop­erty buy­ers,” says Tim Swan­nie of lux­ury prop­erty find­ers Home Hunts.

“Most sought af­ter are char­ac­ter homes with stun­ning views, ei­ther the rolling coun­try­side, the beau­ti­ful vil­lages of Lubéron or the fa­mous Mont Ven­toux. We can of­fer hol­i­day homes or full time re­lo­ca­tion where it may be pos­si­ble to cre­ate an in­come through a B&B or a gîte busi­ness.

“From quaint vil­lages to per­fect iso­la­tion or cities such as Avi­gnon and Or­ange, the Vau­cluse is quin­tes­sen­tial Provence and of­fers some­thing for ev­ery­one.”

Mont Ven­toux

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