A "village-monde" in Provence
L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue is located in a fantastic strategic location in Provence, ideal for discovering the very best of the region as well as its major events. It’s the gateway to Mont Ventoux (a world-renowned spot among lovers of cycling), the Luberon Regional Natural Park with its hilltop villages, and the Alpilles with its excellently preserved traditions. Less than an hour away are some great international tourist sites. Discover Avignon with its Festival and Papal Palace, Les-Baux-de-Provence and its impressive Carrières de Lumière centre, Aix-en-Provence with its Centre d’Art Caumont, Musée Granet and Opera Festival, Marseille with its Mucem and Vieille Charité museums, and Arles with its Rencontres d’Arles photography festival.
Located in Provence’s historic and creative “Golden Triangle”, close to the “3 As” (Aix-en-Provence, Avignon and Arles), and at the crossroads between the Luberon, the Alpilles and Mont Ventoux, L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue has a significant prestige for a small town of 20,000 inhabitants and a visual appeal centred on its lifestyle. It is known as the capital of antiques and second-hand goods (the second most important site for these in Europe), as well as the Venice of the Comtat as it straddles the banks of the River Sorgue and has many canals. Discover its renowned lively Provençal market, the café and restaurant terraces on the riverbank and the numerous wine bars. Plus, there are more than 300 permanent shops dedicated to antiques, second-hand goods, design and decoration, as well as numerous craftspeople and master creators of delights including cakes and chocolates.
L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue gets its name from a river renowned for its beauty, clarity and consistent temperature, creating a unique atmosphere that feels refreshing, serene and altogether pleasing. Discover the watermills, the Nègo-chins (flat-bottomed fishing boats), the Promenade Partage and the water running beside the lovely old houses. Both residents and tourists sit by the water watching the friendly ducks go by.
The Sorgue originates in Fontaine-de-Vaucluse, 7 km from L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue. The first karst spring in France, this source is also one of the largest at a global level in terms of the volume of water it discharges. It arises from the emergence of an immense underground network. Light and fresh in summer, bubbling and tempestuous in spring and autumn, the spring is one of nature’s great surprises and has been a point of interest since Antiquity. Descending the Sorgue by canoe from Fontaine-de-Vaucluse to L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue is a great way to fully take advantage of the refreshing nature and enchanting landscapes (accessible to all over 3 years of age).
By staying at our boutique hotel, Retour de Voyage, you’ll be able to discover everything that makes L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue so charming. A natural beauty, it also has a rich historical, religious, artistic and cultural heritage. Some of the places you can discover include the Collégiale Notre-Dame des Anges, the Chapelle des Pénitents Blancs, the Tour d’Argent, the Centre d’Art Campredon (Maison René Char), the Brun de Vian-Tiran fabric museum, the Fondation Villa Datris contemporary sculpture museum, the Château de Saumane (a palace formerly the property of the Marquis de Sade’s family), the Château de Thouzon and the Chapelle de Velorgues.
Celebrated by great poets from the medieval Petrarch to the 19th century Frédéric Mistral and the 20th century René Char, L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue is proud of its history. With an eye to its tradition of hospitality, though, it also looks to the future. The town is focused on creating a brand identity for its name in the way that large cities such as Lyon, Bordeaux or Paris do. With the key value being the promotion of a positive brand of island mentality, this “global village” is creating the ideal community of tomorrow - a place where people continue to live in a village-like community while remaining open to the world and other people.
This village-like town has an exceptional human quality, and its passionate inhabitants embody its values of authenticity, simplicity and community. Ever lively, there are more than 650 events on each year, including a Provençal market (twice a week), famous international fairs and special events including the Fête des Lumières (the Festival of Lights), the Féerie Nautique water show, the water jousting tournament, the floating market, the Fête de l’Eau (the Festival of Water) and the Festival de la Sorgue.