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Venasque travel guide

Photo of Venasque

Visit Venasque (Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, France)

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Venasque is a village in the centre of the Vaucluse department of Provence, to the south-east of Carpentras and east of Pernes-les-Fontaines. Perched high on a rocky promontory below Mont Ventoux, Venasque has far-reaching views across the Nesque valley and Vaucluse. The village is officially listed as one of the 'most beautiful villages in France'.

Explore Venasque

Venasque is quite a small village and does not take long to explore but it has a pleasant centre to explore, with the quiet streets interrupted by the babble from the occasional fountain, and several buildings of particular interest: the most important of these is the baptistery.

Belltower and clock in Venasque

Starting a visit at the top of the village, you can follow a pretty street of stone houses and quickly reach a small square with a lovely stone fountain and a small cafe. Venasque is largely a one-street village, so to explore just keep following the street! Further along the street you can see a stone belfry and the historic Town Hall.

You soon reach one of the main highlights in Venasque, the Church of Notre-Dame, built in the 12th century and transformed in the 17th century. It is a charming church with two stone entrances, one roman style and one baroque style, and a balustrade around the tower.

The square in front of the church also has a fountain as well as a belvedere with especially good views - on a clear day you can see as far as the Dentelles de Montmirail.

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The Venasque Baptistery is an impressive structure dating back to the 6th century and in Place du Presbytère next to the church, although it is almost impossible to see from the outside. The four sides to the baptistery represent the shape of the cross, the five arches in each side represent the senses, and the eight sides to the baptism well represent the seven days of creation plus the day of the resurrection (Easter day). A small entry charge is payable to enter the Venasque baptistery.

The traditional 'well' in the middle of the floor of the baptistery enabled adults to immerse their whole bodies in the water during baptism (a tradition that only changed in later centuries when people started being concerned about unbaptised children, and baptism without immersion was approved). The ancient capital stones are also a noteworthy feature of the baptistry.

You can also see the Saint-Siffrein Chapel and the Priory of Saint-Pierre-les-Termes as well as parts of the original village ramparts in Venasque.

Pretty stone houses in Venasque

The countryside around Venasque

Nearby, one particular highlight in the shadow of Mont Ventoux are the Gorges de la Nesque - these scenic gorges can be seen by road from above the gorge or a footpath through the bottow of the gorges. You will also notice many small stone shelters called bories in the area around Venasque, and part of a wall erected in the early 18th century to defend the region against the plague epidemic that was spreading across the country from Marseille.

Another small village close to Venasque that we enjoyed visiting is Le Beaucet.

You can find more travel ideas in the Vaucluse guide and the Provence guide.

See also: 

Photos of Venasque

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  • belltower
  • church-and-trees
  • church
  • hotel-de-ville
  • stone-houses
  • street-in-centre-2
  • street-in-centre
  • view-from-village

Map of Venasque and places nearby

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Visit near Venasque with France This Way reviews

Le Beaucet

Le Beaucet

The castle, the fortifications, the cliffs and the troglodyte dwellings come together to make Le Beaucet part of the landscape

Le Beaucet guide
Pernes-les-Fontaines

Pernes-les-Fontaines

Pernes-les-Fontaines takes its name from the large number of historic fountains in the town - 40 at last count!

Pernes-les-Fontaines guide
Abbey of Senanque

Abbey of Senanque

Senanque Abbey is a roman style abbey in Provence surrounded by lavender fields and with many of the 12th century monastic buildings lovingly restored

Abbey of Senanque guide
Fontaine-de-Vaucluse

Fontaine-de-Vaucluse

The highlight of your visit to Fontaine-de-Vaucluse is the wooded valley and river emerging from the rocks next to the village

Fontaine-de-Vaucluse guide
Carpentras

Carpentras

Carpentras is a sizeable town, and although not always considered a 'tourist town' we found it had a good number of sites of interest

Carpentras guide
Village des Bories

Village des Bories

The Village des Bories, near Gordes in Provence, is a fascinating group of ancient stone dwellings and shelters

Village des Bories guide

... or see ALL recommended places to visit in Vaucluse

Tourist classifications for Venasque

Venasque is classified as a one of the most beautiful village in France (plus beau villages)

Address: Venasque, Pernes-les-Fontaines, Carpentras, Provence, 84210, France || GPS coordinates: latitude 43.996944, longitude 5.147222

Plan your visit to Venasque, Vaucluse

Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby

  • Jarditrain: remarkable garden (3 km)
  • Pernes-les-Fontaines: recommended detour (7 km)
  • Carpentras: town of art and history (10 km)
  • Collégiale Notre Dame des Anges (Sorgues): religious monument (10 km)
  • Abbaye de Sénanque (Gordes): religious monument (10 km)
  • Gordes: most beautiful village (10 km)
  • Gorges de la Nesque: site of natural beauty (16 km)
  • Roussillon: most beautiful village (16 km)
  • Menerbes: most beautiful village (19 km)
  • Dentelles de Montmirail: site of natural beauty (21 km)
  • Jardin du château de Brantes: remarkable garden (22 km)
  • Mont Ventoux: grand site of france (22 km)

The French version of this page is at Venasque (Francais)

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