The village of Noves is strategically placed in the north of the Alpilles, the border between the departments of Bouches du Rhône and Vaucluse, in between St Remy de Provence (12 km) and Avignon (12 km).
As you explore the village, you will discover some attractive ruins which date from the time when the bishops of Avignon and the popes were the lords of Noves.
The ramparts, of which the bell-tower, two gates and two beautiful square towers still remain, date from the 12th and 14th centuries. You can’t miss the Porte de l’Horloge (Clock Gate), surmounted by its bell-tower, which marks the entrance to the feudal village. Noves has also preserved another aspect of its rich mediaeval past: the narrow winding lanes which are a delight to explore.
During your walk you will pass beautiful 17th-century façades and you will also see the church of St Baudile, built in the 12th century against the ramparts in the typical Provençal Romanesque style.
Noves is a lively village and its people enjoy a good party. Every year they organise several typically Provençal festivals with concours de manade (contests with bulls from several herds), courses de taureax (bull races), abrivado (bulls released into the streets) and folklore processions, as well as aïolis (open-air meals) and sardine festivals, where a great atmosphere is guaranteed.
From Noves it is just a few minutes to the centre of Avignon and a stone’s throw to the villages perched on the heights of the Luberon (Gordes, Bonnieux, La Coste, Menerbes, ...) or to the famous market of Cavaillon. The citadel of Baux de Provence, the château of Tarascon and the Antiques (Roman remains) of St Rémy are also nearby and are well worth a detour. Finally, don’t forget that the sea and the beaches of the Camargue and Saintes Maries or Cassis and Marseille are only an hour drive away.
Christine & Ruud van Heiningen
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Noves, Provence & Vaison-la-romaine, Provence