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Vaison La Romaine
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About Vaison La Romaine
Roman ruins at the base of the hill and a charming medieval town on top, Vaison La Romaine has to be one of the most charming and historic towns in Provence. In Winter this is also a truffiing town, and the markets are wonderful all year round. Vaison La Romaine is also conveniently positioned if you fancy an assault on Mont Ventoux. The Hotel Guru's choices for the best places to stay in Vaison La Romaine will suit all travellers, whether you're looking to simply chill out or make a more detailed exploration of the region. In addition all are very reasonably priced.
Historic Vaison La Romaine
Vaison La Romaine's Roman ruins cover 15 hectares - eight of which are exposed and you're able to visit. There are two main areas:
- Puymin, where they've discovered the homes of wealthy citizens, which have some very beautiful mosaics depicting the town as it was then. There's also a shopping area, paved streets and an irrigation system. The whole site is now a lovely park, winding upwards to the archaeological museum at the top of the hill.
- Villasse is the other site, where you can see the ruins of large villas which must have been owned by even wealthier citizens - turns out this was a prosperous city! Villasse also has a shopping street, though theirs has large columns, and a public baths.
Vaison La Romaine also has a Roman theatre, which would have sat 6000 people. And the stone bridge crossing the river was also built by the Romans - it's one of only five surviving Roman bridges in Provence.
If you want to find out more about the Roman inhabitants of this region you should also take a trip to nearby Orange.
On top of the hill is the medieval town, crowned by the ruins of the castle, built by the Counts of Toulouse in 1195.
If you're here to cycle you're probably most interested in Mont Ventoux, the fabled 'Beast of Provence' of the Tour de France. The name means windy, and that's what you get once you start to near the exposed summit - there's no greenery near the top, just bare limestone.
For a central location
- Le Beffroi is a perfect choice if you want to be in the heart of the town. The 22 rooms are in two neighbouring houses, one built for a marquis in the 17th Century, one for a count in the 16th, and are decorated with some very nice antiques, collected over the four generations this family have owned the hotel. On top of the hill, in the most medieval part of town, this is also one of the best places to stay in Vaison La Romaine if you appreciate a spectacular view.
In Winter Vaison La Romaine is where some black truffle hunters set out from and between November and March there are all sorts of truffling events held in town, including cooking classes and tasting sessions.
The weekly market in Vaison La Romain happens on Tuesdays, and you can pretty much find everything here. From clothes and furniture to wine, cheese, breads, meats, fish and vegetables.
- If you fancy staying on a working vineyard Les Florêts is one of the best places to stay in Vaison La Romaine and the surrounding area. This traditional family-run hotel has 15 rooms, and is set into the wooded hills amid the owners' own vineyards about 15kms south of Vaison. The restaurant is excellent, and has a reputation for being good value too - they serve the perfect foods to go with their excellent Gigondas.
Best Hotels in Vaison La Romaine
Le Beffroi 22 rooms from £96Vaison La Romaine (Cité Médiévale)
A traditional hotel in a beautiful medieval hill town. Wooden beams, exposed stone and traditional fabrics feature throughout the property. A large pool takes full advantage of the rural views. The food is regional and the wine from the local Cotes du Rhone valley. An ideal spot.Local exploring - Right in the heart of this ancient town, ideally located for wandering the narrow lanes and admiring the Roman remains.Sights nearby - Beaumes de Venise has a large parish church constructed in 1507 and ruins of a 6th century castle.Great walks - Don't miss an opportunity to hike in the mountains of Chevallong.Full of characterRecommended by - Good Hotel Guide