|Minimum Stay||7 nights|
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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.
What a charming apartment! This petite apartment is perfect for 2 people and is completely stocked with everything one might need. The terrace was a huge bonus to spend time outside enjoying some coffee, wine or dining al fresco. The location in town is perfect with many great restaurants, cafes and shopping nearby. It was also a wonderful jump-off point to visit Provence. We made several day trips around to see the sights, there is so much to see and taste!! On Sunday, the market sets up in town and is filled with many wonderful vendors from olive, cheese and sausage stands to linens, pottery, art and local crafts. The owners suggestions were terrific and added so much to our vacation! Will definitely go back, my only regret is that it wont be soon enough!
My husband and I so enjoyed our one week stay in this darling little apartment in the heart of Provence. It was cozy and comfortable with a highly efficient kitchen. We loved sitting on the very private patio sipping wine after a day of motorcycling to scenic local towns. We day tripped to Arles and the Gorges du Verdon, as well. Great location in a town with many good restaurants.
This aptly named apartment is truly charming! It is extremely well-appointed and comfortable and its location provides the perfect backdrop for "French immersion". We enjoyed the market days and having the ability to prepare dinner using the wonderful ingredients we found. The location of the apartment is central and all amenities -- shops, boulangeries, restaurants, grocery stores -- are within an easy walk. The hosts have provided helpful local and regional information and created a welcoming place for their guests to relax after a day exploring the countryside.
This is a freshly-renovated 1-bedroom apartment in a wonderful town perched on the Sorgue River. The town boasts terrific shops and restaurants along with its famous antique shops and twice-weekly markets. The Sunday market is the largest of the week and spans items from local food to crafts to clothing. The apartment itself is small but has a chef's kitchen with every possible cooking amenity. In a week's stay we only ate out twice because it was such a luxury to cook at our leisure with fresh ingredients purchased in the town. There is a grocery store 2 blocks away. There is free parking located just a block away in the lot behind the post office. We never had to wait or search for a space. The bedroom is small, but the king sized bed is very comfortable. The bathroom is also incredibly functional with ample water pressure and plenty of hot water. The shower itself is quite large. And of course the terrace is wonderful, with plenty of space to seat 4 for dinner. The wifi works like a charm. The town itself is conveniently-located. We took easy day trips to Montpellier & Nimes, St. Remy & Arles, Fontaine de Vaucluse, and Avignon & Chateauneuf de Pape. We also took a longer day trip to Monte Carlo and Nice. All in all, a terrific vacation in a great apartment.
This beautiful apartment is masterfully designed -- it's beautiful, comfortable, and has absolutely everything you could possibly need. The kitchen is fantastic, and all of the appliance are clean and new. The bathroom is large and very beautiful, with a nice sink, spacious shower, and a radiator/towel warmer. The bed takes up most of the bedroom, but the double closet is designed to accommodate all your needs, and there are shelves and under-the-bed containers for shoes. The linens and towels were nice and of high quality. There is washing machine and a drying rack, which served our purposes well.
We spent a week at Le Bijou during late February/early March, after spending four days in Paris. We took the high-speed train to Avignon, where we rented a car and drove the 30 min. trip to L'Isle Sur La Sorgue. This town is really lovely, surrounded by water dotted with charming, moss-covered waterwheels. Be sure to walk the pathway to the spot where the river hits the town and divides, encircling the town. L'Isle Sur La Sorgue is known for the market it hosts on Sundays (smaller version on Thursdays, as well). The town is perfectly situated to accommodate day trips all over the Provence region, and we took full advantage of that. We drove to different towns every day except Sunday, as we wanted to experience the full effect of the market that day.
We found the residents of the town to be very kind and welcoming, and most spoke English. We had exceptional dinners at L'Aparte, and really enjoyed the food and atmosphere at La Chinois -- a great place to sit in the sun and people-watch on Sunday. Chez Stephan was another favorite place to sit and relax with a glass of wine and cheese/charcuterie plate. The apartment was a nice, warm, comfortable home base for us to come back to after a long day of exploring. We hope to come back sometime soon!
We stayed at Le Bijou for 5 weeks, mid-August to mid-September 2015. Perfect weather; fascinating town; LOTS of really good restaurants; a wide selection of bicycle-friendly roads and paths in the area; a train station from which to explore further out... A superb location. The perfect apartment: great location, modern, impeccably clean, very well furnished and supplied with everything needed, large storage room for 2 bicycles, suitcases, etc. Add house cleaning once a week and the very effective, and charming, Helen, the owners' agent in place, and you have a fantastic vacation destination! Bar none...
Jean-Claude and Michèle, Ottawa, Canada
During our first visit to Provence, we chose to stay at Le Bijou for what turned out to be an amazing week. Patty and Kevin were extremely helpful in planning our trip, and despite a very long delay on our arrival day (which amounted to over 24 hours in transit!), we got checked into the apartment with no problems. Patty was available via email during that delay, and she was keeping the caretaker up to date with our last-minute travel changes. This was our first time renting from VRBO, and I don't think our experience with the owners could have been any better! In fact, it was so good that we're seriously considering canceling our hotel reservations for an upcoming trip to Belgium and booking through VRBO again.
The apartment is lovely, with a great terrace and separate bedroom. We stayed in the middle of summer during a heat wave, and the A/C was necessary and worked perfectly. Parking is free at a nearby lot, with less than a 5 minute walk to the apartment. We had no trouble at all rolling our luggage that distance. The neighbors were very quiet (didn't see or hear them at all), and we had no street noise despite a festival that was taking place while we were there. Wifi also worked perfectly, although we were so relaxed that we actually forgot we had email. That was a real vacation!
The town of LSLS itself is darling, with plenty of shops, restaurants (including a reasonably-priced Michelin-starred restaurant), and market activity to keep you busy, but still small enough to be charming. The apartment shares a street with a couple of bakeries, a butcher, and a small grocery store. We quickly developed a morning routine of starting a pot of coffee and heading to the bakery for fresh croissants and baguettes. We felt like locals!
It is also a perfect location for exploring the larger Provencal region. We rented a car and explored the Luberon to the east, the towns of Avignon, Nimes, and Arles to the west and south, and the Cotes du Rhone to the north.
Overall, our trip to Provence was amazing, thanks in large part to Le Bijou and Patty and Kevin. By the end of the second day, we wanted to come back. By the end of the fourth day we were talking about following Patty and Kevin's example and buying some vacation property there. By the end of the week, we were talking about retiring there permanently. Thank you Patty and Kevin for being such gracious hosts. This is truly a special place, and we can't wait to return!
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|
Mar 25 2016 - Nov 4 2016
Changeover Day: Friday
7 night minimum stay
€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.