|Minimum Stay||7 nights|
Le Bijou - the Gem - is a charming one-bedroom apartment located in L'Isle sur la Sorgue. The town is perfectly situated as a base for excursions throughout Provence. The Mediterranean is one hour south, Mont Ventoux a short drive to the north and many other places of interest in the south of France are easily reached from this location. Le Bijou will be a comfortable and convenient place to serve as a respite after a day of exploring the perched villages, vineyards, Roman ruins and other points of western Provence.
If you intend to visit the region to simply relax and enjoy life in a French village, L'Isle will not disappoint you. On Sundays the streets and squares are alive with vendors and visitors to the town's market. L'Isle sur la Sorgue is the antique capital of the south of France. You will find treasures of every kind daily in the antique shops and on weekends merchants come to display their wares on the sidewalks.
You can idle away the afternoon in the several parks or stroll along the Sorgue where water wheels that once powered mills and factories still turn in the river. Throughout the village are restaurants offering a variety of cuisine. Start your day with coffee and a croissant in the morning sun, and join locals in the shade of a canopy with an afternoon apéritif at one of the cafés and bars along the Sorgue.
The apartment is located on a lively square in the center of town. Boulangeries, patisseries, and cafés are just out the front door.
L'Isle sur la Sorgue is easily accessible from the A-7 autoroute. The TGV station at Avignon is 25 minutes by car and the Marseilles airport is an easy drive of slightly less than an hour.
We have had the good fortune to have traveled throughout France for vacations for over thirty-five years. Our trips have taken us to most corners of the country, some multiple times. We have toured the canals and rivers of France on small boats, and explored extensively by train and auto. On vacations with our three children we visited the châteaux of the Loire, hit the beaches of Côte d'Azur, walked the streets of Paris, hiked areas of the Alps, and watched the Tour de France. But we fell in love with Provence. You will too if you have not already!
In January of 2012, we stumbled on to this apartment, we have named Le Bijou, in the course of our third visit to L'Isle sur la Sorgue. Having discussed and dismissed the idea of buying property in France numerous times, we changed our minds when this opportunity presented itself on the way back from the boulangerie one morning.
We live in Indianapolis, Indiana, where we both grew up, worked (Patty) and continue to work (Kevin). Down the road, we plan to continue to enjoy exploring France from our base at Le Bijou. We have made friends in the village, which has a life of its own beyond tourism, yet is small enough to walk completely around.
During the times we can't be in France, we welcome guests to enjoy life as a Provençal in Le Bijou in the quaint village of L'Isle sur la Sorgue. We hope one day you can visit.
Kevin and Patty McGoff
Patty purchased this apartment in 2012
In January 2012, we made another visit to L'Isle sur la Sorgue. We loved the location and the people we had met.
Not seriously looking for property, although we had discussed and dismissed the idea many times, we met with several realtors and looked at some places. Nothing struck us. We asked if there were any small apartments with a terrace, a rarity we were advised. We quit having realtors show us property, after being told that finding an apartment with a terrace in the old part of the village was unlikely.
We were content to look at the advertisements in the window of the city’s many realtors,or Immobiliers. We window shopped and daydreamed about the unlikely prospect of finding a suitable apartment, which we never thought we'd buy even if we did find one. But it was fun to look and speculate about the prospect, thumbing through the brochures over a glass of rosé.
On the way back from the boulangerie one morning with our breakfast, as I crossed the lively square in front of the building where we had been staying that week, I noticed for the first time a sign hanging from the window above our rental announcing ‘A Vendre’, for sale. We knew without going in the door that the unit had a terrace as it was just above the patio of the apartment we were renting.
Knowing that one of our requirements was met, we called the realtor and he came with a key that afternoon. The apartment we had been looking for was one flight above us the entire time we were knocking about the city looking at the possibilities, and being discouraged that what we wanted to look at was rare.
The realtor opened the apartment to us 4 times in 5 days. We debated, thought about it, then made the offer over the phone as we boarded the plane in Marseilles to come home.
The village of L'Isle sur la Sorgue was built around the Notre Dame des Anges, a Collegial Church built in 1222 and reconstructed in the 17th century. The Sorgue flows from its source, seven kilometers upstream at the Fountain de Vaucluse. The river surrounds the town, creating the island on the Sorgue.
La Sorgue was the source of the town's commerce through the ages. The Catholic calendar of the 15th century called for in excess of 160 meatless days per year, thus the fisherman and the town thrived providing the papacy and its supporting elements with fish. To this day it is crystal clear, maintains a temperature of 12-13 Celsius (53-55 Fahrenheit) year round and is a category one fishing river.
Mills were constructed and powered by water wheels for grain, paper mills, silk works and production of linens. There were at one time 70 water wheels in the town, 14 of which are still turned by the Sorgue's current.
Today you'll find what is regarded as the best antique market in France outside of Paris. On Sundays, the many antique dealers bring to town their wares to add to the already lively market. There are plenty of fresh fish, fruit and vegetable vendors on the streets and squares in the town on Sunday. Regional products of the season, such as honey and berries, are found along with cheese, sausages and local wines.
The village has a life of its own beyond tourism, which means commerce, restaurants and a market twice a week year round. It is central for day trips in every direction, throughout Provence and beyondL'Isle sur la Sorgue is a vibrant town.
Off-season, when the tourists have gone, the sidewalks do not roll up. There is a large market on Sunday and a smaller one on Thursdays. The antique shops are open and the town fills up with bargain hunters scouring for a find and families picking up fresh produce, meats, fish and fruits for their tables. There are plenty of cafes, restaurants and small bars open year round.
We have visited the Provence area several times before, but never have we enjoyed an apartment as much as Le Bijou! We stayed at the apartment for 6 weeks & it truly became like a second home. It is spotless & has everything anyone could ask for, from a beautifully appointed kitchen, great bathroom & a fabulous terrace that even included a BBQ. Between the fully equipped kitchen & BBQ, it was so nice to shop the market for food & wine then come home to make a meal. Everyone involved with the apartment, from Kevin & Patti, the owners, to the property manager & cleaning lady were great. Kevin & Patti even contacted us a few times to make sure everything was fine. The apartment is so convenient...just down the stairs to restaurants, shops, walks along the river and twice a week market. It is also very convenient to explore the area of Provence from the hilltop villages to the coast, which we took advantage of quite often. It was always so nice to return to Le Bijou after a long day. We would stay there again & would recommend it to anyone. Thank you Kevin & Patti for sharing your beautiful apartment!
This adorable apartment was our daily refuge after hitting the tourist trail each day as its central location enabled us to explore the region and come "home" to our retreat and giving us the experience of life in a French village. All the perched villages, wine regions, Roman ruins, canoeing were easy day trips ending with a beverage on the river and dinner at any of a number of outstanding restaurants. Listening to musicians playing in the café below on Sunday afternoon after the amazing market ended was a delight as was waking to the church bells ringing in town. You can't help but stock up at the Sunday market and savor your purchases, both food and souvenirs, while relaxing on the terrace. The owners and their local agent are more than helpful as were many shop owners and neighbors we met because of their recommendations. What an experience and what a wonderful apartment, tastefully decorated and fabulously and efficiently equipped! Thank you for a dream vacation!
A week staying at Le Bijou was just not enough! My husband and I loved the convenience of the apartment with the wonderful provential markets just outside the door on Thursday and Sunday. The kitchen was perfect for preparing some of the gorgeous produce found in the market and we loved eating on the terrace. Looking at the tiled rooflines around us was so romantic and dream-like! The modern updates of the apartment were lovely and very comfortable. Patty and Kevin, as well as Pamela, our local agent, couldn't have been any nicer or more helpful. It was an especially big help to have free international phone calls as we did have a family emergency while visting and had to make many calls to the US. We have been to Provence before and will come again. I will definitely plan on re-visiting Le Bijou if my knees will let me climb 2 flights of stairs in the future! Merci for a wonderful stay!
Le Bijou translates as "small & elegant", which is a spot-on description for this wonderful apartment in the lovely village of L'Isle sur la Sorgue. As a solo female, older traveler, I wanted to experience life in a beautiful Provence village, yet feel secure & comfortable in a homelike setting. Patty & Kevin have thought of absolutely everything to make a stay in their well-appointed apartment just as perfect as can be. From my initial contact until my last day, they were flawlessly accommodating & helpful in every way. I arrived via train from Paris (the TGV from CDG then a local from Avignon) and Pam, their property manager met me & was amazingly helpful & kind. My two weeks at Le Bijou were everything I had hoped for and then some. I never tired of walking all over this lovely old town, strolling by the ever-present river, and finding wonderful shops & restaurants, with kind & helpful people wherever I went. I wanted to be able to take advantage of the markets to cook at home with the awesome local produce, which was made so easy with the great kitchen at Le Bijou. Exploring other villages nearby was a terrific experience and so easy to do when a friend came from London & rented a car. As every other review will tell you, this is the perfect place to stay in this incredible area of Provence. No wonder Patty & Kevin chose this particular village after all their years exploring France – and then designed a perfect place to feel at home there! Many thanks for making my visit the “time of my life”!!
We spent a week in the McGoff's apartment which they have aptly named "The Gem". The apartment is even better than presented in the pictures because of the many thoughtful touches the owners have provided to make this feel like a home away from home. The kitchen was very well stocked with numerous cooking utensils, dishes and pots and pans plus a Weber gas grill on the terrace. With the bounty at the marvelous Sunday market it was a treat to be able prepare some wonderful meals during our stay. There are also good super markets nearby . All the information you will need about the apartment and the area are in the carefully prepared manual in the apartment.
The village is a great location from which to explore Provence and a charming venue to explore with its canals and narrow streets, shops and restaurants.We would definitely recommend this apartment .
Le Bijou is a gem, but so is the town of Isle sur La Sorgue. The apartment is comfortable, compact and perfectly furnished on the second floor (third floor for Americans) of a very typical French building in the center of the ancient village. The apartment has everything you’d need to immediately feel at home. Though it faces on the main street of the village, with the windows closed, any street noise is not noticeable.
We stayed at Le Bijou in December so we can’t comment on what the apartment would be like in spring or summer with windows open. (Unfortunately this also meant we were only able to use the terrasse of the apartment for a few hours a day.)
With a well-appointed kitchen for eating in and enough restaurants in town to eat out, Le Bijou is the perfect setting for a relaxing vacation.
Isle sur La Sorgue is located within easy travel distance of some of the major attractions of the region and is an excellent place to “come home to” after a day of “touristing.”
There’s a supermarket within walking distance and another larger one a few kilometers away. There are boulangeries, pâtisseries, wine shops, cheese shops and cafés all within a five-minute walk. Have breakfast in Le Bijou with fresh croissants and you’ll want to stay forever!
As for food, the Sunday marketplace is not to be missed. You can buy food as fresh as any farmer’s market you’ve ever been to, but there are also rug sellers, booksellers, knife sellers and a myriad of other stalls. And, of course, there are the antique dealers…. Isle sur la Sorgue is known for its antique markets, and you’ll want to take home that 17th century bedstead, until you realize it won’t fit in your suitcase.
The village is filled with pleasant people who will allow you to think you speak perfect French even if you never got past “la plume de ma tante….”
On a budget or on the dream vacation, Le Bijou in Isle sue la Sorgue is a perfect place from which to see southern France.
Here are some ideas for day trips from Le Bijou to explore the area. We have never been disappointed exploring a new town, having a leisurely lunch or driving around taking in the sights.
The scenic town of Gordes is situated on the edge of the plateau of the Vaucluse. It was featured in the film A Good Year as well as Peter Mayle's A Year in Provence. The Cistercian Abbey of Senanque is close by, making a visit to both an easy day trip.
The ruins of the château of the Marquis de Sade are found in Lacoste, atop a hill facing the charming village of Bonnieux. Enjoy the panoramic views from both villages, well worth the rather steep climbs twisting through the streets which are lined with ancient, restored buildings.
The village of Lourmarin is found amidst olive groves and vineyards. It was home to Albert Camus who is buried there. This is a typical Mediterranean town, with shopping and dining options. There is also a castle to visit. It's a very scenic drive through a gorge from Bonnieux.
Mont Ventoux looms over the Vaucluse. It is a legendary stage on the Tour de France. As you drive up the mountain - the average grade on the route leaving the town of Bedoin is nearly 8% - you will wonder how cyclists can make it. You are likely to see plenty, as they challenge Mont Ventoux regularly.
At the Fontaine de Vaucluse is the source of the Sorgue and one of the most visited places in the region. Visit in the morning to beat the crowds. The spring flows from a 230m cliff, visited via a walkway. To this day the source of this forceful spring is a mystery. There is an excellent museum of the French Résistance in WW II.
Arles is 35 km south of Avignon. If you have an interest in Roman artifacts, you will want to visit. There is an amphitheater, baths and a museum. Van Gogh and Gaugin were residents at one time.
The Palais des Papes (Pope’s Palace) in Avignon is a massive testament to the wealth and power of the Catholic Church in the14th century. The Pont d'Avignon, or Pont de St. Benezet, is the famous bridge that does not reach the other side of the river. Avignon is the largest city in the area and the central part of the town is still within the protective walls.
Gigondas, Châteauneuf du Pape, Vacqueyras and other vineyards of the southern Rhône valley are a short drive from L'Isle sur la Sorgue.
Pernes le Fontaines is a short drive from Le Bijou. There are 40 fountains dispersed throughout the town, hence the name. From the Ferrande tower, experience a spectacular view of the area and Mont Ventoux. If climbing to the top of the tower is not for you, there is a nice park and shaded walkway. We often make the short drive to this village for lunch and a stroll.
You can rent bicycles at a shop just down the street and explore the area on two wheels.
A bit farther afield but definitely a day trip is the Pont du Gard, the famous Roman viaduct. Take your lunch and picnic beneath the arches, or kayak on the river.
|Rate Period||Nightly||Weekend Night||Weekly||Monthly||Event|
Jan 2 2015 - Jan 1 2016
Changeover Day: Friday
7 night minimum stay
|Refundable damage deposit||€300|
€699 per week
The apartment rents for 699 Euro per week;
Payment is made via wire transfer or by credit card. Details will be provided with rental information;
The apartment is available for Friday to Friday rentals;
All utilities, linens, towels and cleaning are included.
Dates available: The apartment is available for rental year round. Consult our calendar for availability.
Payment is usually accepted in the quoted currency (EUR) unless the currency and the amount is specifically agreed in advance with the owner / advertiser.
Learn more about this vacation rental at the owner's website: