Le Beaucet, Vaucluse tourism & sightseeing
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Le Beaucet is a small, very picturesque, pedestrianised village running down the side of a hill. It is situated south-east of Carpentras and east of Pernes-les-Fontaines in the centre of the Vaucluse department of Provence.
Exploring Le Beaucet
France This Way comment: Le Beaucet is a very small village but the mixture of small stone houses, castle walls and areas of natural rock as well as natural caves and troglodyte houses combine to make it a very charming place to visit
Parking is available on the side of the village, from where it is easy to access both the village and the castle. There is a large cliff between these two parts of the village: we suggest you start with a stroll around the streets of Le Beaucet and then follow the path that leads to the castle.
The pleasure of a visit comes from simply exploring the streets and passageways of the village itself, rather tha from any individual monuments. The steep narrow streets pass houses and ancient stone walls that merge into the cliffs and rocks behind, and enhance the timeless appeal of the village - some troglodyte dwellings are even built into the rocks themselves. The centre of Le Beaucet is pedestrianised, further enhancing its authenticity.
All the same, there are several notable sights to discover. The first you will pass is the traditional washhouse (backed by a more recent mural) in Place Castel Loup in the south of Le Beaucet, then you will also see two 14th century stone gateways through the original ramparts that once defended the historic centre of the village.
As you continue your stroll through Le Beaucet you will also reach the 12th century Church of Saint-Etienne with belltower and a typical Provencal campanile. In the 12th century this was a very plain church in the roman style. It was extended in the 15th century, and the tower added in the 19th century to be used as a watchtower for fires, but remains a small and simple church. In the 1650's the relics of Saint-Gens were brought here from the sanctuary of Saint-Gens so they would be protected from pillage, and they remaind here until the 1960's when the risk of pillage was deemed to have passed!
After exploring the centre of Le Beaucet you can explore the ruined 12th century castle on a rock above Le Beaucet. The castle is quite small but still interesting and from inside the castle there are lovely views across the rooftops of the village and the Vaucluse countryside.
We were told you could reach the castle directly from the village by a steep flight of stairs in the rock, but we couldn't find these and followed the main track that leaves the village from near the car park. This is a short walk of about 600 metres, and beautifully maintained with plants and flowers by the houses along the road, so a very pleasant walk: although it is also possible to drive to the castle.
You can also take the walk (about three kilometres) to the Hermitage of Saint-Gens to see the chapels and the water source, said to have special miraculous powers and a popular pilgrimage destination. Saint-Gens himself was venerated in the 12th century because it was said he could cause rain to fall in this arid location.
There is a great deal to explore in the lovely countryside around the village, which is on the edge of the Monts de Vaucluse region, with local walks passing through the pine and oak forests. If you continue along the same path that leads to the castle, after four kilometres you reach the hamlet at Barbarenque, which is known for the murder of five French resistance fighters by the Nazi in 1944.
We particularly recommend that you visit the villages of Fontaine-de-Vaucluse and Gordes to the south of Le Beaucet - the first has a very lovely walk to an emerging river, and the second is one of the most beautiful villages in France.
Map of Le Beaucet and places nearby
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Address: Beaucet, Pernes-les-Fontaines, Carpentras, Provence, 84210, France || GPS: latitude 43.984722, longitude 5.120278
Plan your visit to Le Beaucet, Vaucluse
Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby
- Venasque: most beautiful village (3 km)
- Jarditrain: remarkable garden (3 km)
- Pernes-les-Fontaines: recommended detour (5 km)
- Collégiale Notre Dame des Anges (Sorgues): religious monument (8 km)
- Carpentras: town of art and history (9 km)
- Abbaye de Sénanque (Gordes): religious monument (10 km)
- Gordes: most beautiful village (10 km)
- Roussillon: most beautiful village (17 km)
- Gorges de la Nesque: site of natural beauty (18 km)
- Menerbes: most beautiful village (18 km)
- Jardin du château de Brantes: remarkable garden (20 km)
- Dentelles de Montmirail: site of natural beauty (22 km)
The French version of this page is at Le Beaucet (Francais)