Oppede-le-Vieux, Vaucluse: tourism & sightseeing
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Oppede-le-Vieux is another of the timeless perched villages that dot the dramatic landscapes of the Luberon region, just a few kilometres west of Menerbes in a wooded valley landscape. The newer village of Oppede developed further down the valley because of the inhospitable location of the old village, and it is only during the last 60 years that the historic village has been 'rediscovered' and restored.
France This Way comment: Oppede-le-Vieux is less visited than some of the better known Luberon villages such as Gordes and Menerbes (both are close by) perhaps in part because of its small size but Oppede-le-Vieux is a lovely village with a great deal of beauty and interest to reward the visitor. We recommend you come here when you are in Luberon!
When you arrive at Oppede-le-Vieux you will find that the parking is several hundred metres below the village so you need to start with a walk. No problem, it isn't too steep and you are walking through lovely countryside, almost as well maintained as a private garden!
It is useful to notice that there are two alternative routes between the parking and the village. They are both about the same length, but the one that passes through the Aire de Battage has a lovely view across the olive trees to the village beyond, so we suggest you follow this path. Either way you quickly arrive on a pretty street that leads you take straight to the centre of the village.
There is a large open square in the centre of Oppede-le-Vieux, surrounded by interesting buildings such as the ancient market hall as well as two cafes. The pleasure of a visit to Oppede-le-Vieux comes from simply ambling along the streets and cobbled alleys, admiring the ancient houses and Provencal architectural details such as the bell and campanile on the old stone tower and the archway and parts of the original ramparts.
Leave the square through the vaulted passageway and continue walking up the hill through the village and you will reach the attractive 12th century Collegial Church of Notre Dame d'Alidon, just a few minutes walk above the centre of thevillage. The church bears witness to the historical importance of the location and was renovated in the 16th century which is why it is partly roman style and partly gothic style.
Next to the church you can also see the ruins of a castle and several other ancient buildings, and have great views across the valley and newer town of Oppede on the plains below.
It is also useful to know that there are several other walks in the countryside around Oppede-le-Vieux and that start from the same car park: these are easy walks of 1-2 hours duration that visit, for example, the fountains and springs of the region. A leaflet showing the walks is available at the information centre in the car park.
The attractions of the Luberon are too numerous to list here - see the Luberon Guide for details of some of the many quaint villages and scenic highlights that can be found in the region around Oppede-le-Vieux. Our particular favourites include the village at Gordes and the natural river source at Fontaine-de-Vaucluse.
Map of Oppede-le-Vieux and places nearby
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Address: Oppède, Bonnieux, Apt, Provence, 84580, France || GPS: latitude 43.845278, longitude 5.169444
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Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby
- Menerbes: most beautiful village (3 km)
- Gordes: most beautiful village (8 km)
- Abbaye de Sénanque (Gordes): religious monument (8 km)
- Gorges de RÃ©galon: site of natural beauty (10 km)
- Gorges de Régalon: site of natural beauty (10 km)
- Collégiale Notre Dame des Anges (Sorgues): religious monument (10 km)
- Jardin de la Louve: remarkable garden (11 km)
- Roussillon: most beautiful village (12 km)
- Venasque: most beautiful village (17 km)
- Lourmarin: most beautiful village (18 km)
- Abbaye de Silvacane (La Roque-d'Antheron): religious monument (18 km)
- Apt: recommended detour (19 km)
The French version of this page is at Oppede-le-Vieux (Francais)