Located right in the middle of all of the action, Oaks and Olives is the perfect jumping off point for loads of fun day trips. That is, if you decide wine and cheese beside the pool isn't quite enough.

Within 5 minutes:

Coustellet is a short jaunt down the road and where we head every morning for the day's bread and fresh croissant. Everyone in the know goes to the same bakery - the line ups and red awning are a dead give away. (Insider hint: it's closed Mondays).

Coustellet is on the list of best markets in Provence... not to be missed on Sunday. As the seasons progress so do the products available - early spring veggies all the way through to Christmas gifts. This is the real deal, so you may have to race the locals to get to the best products in the morning.

A deli - turned restaurant called Gouin is a fun place to pick up bits and pieces during the day or gather with friends for a great dinner. The best part is that diners are welcome to go down to the cellar and choose their own bottle of wine to accompany their meal. Unsure why, but you can also buy a small selection of ladies' shoes here.

Also the easiest place to head for all of your daily needs. The town has a large grocery store, pharmacy, and the wine co-op. There's nothing better than filling your jug with local wines. 

Menerbes lies in the opposite direction of Coustellet and up a hill that I wouldn't recommend climbing on foot. It's claim to fame is the annual truffle market held the last Sunday of December. However, all year it welcomes visitors to its twisted streets and beautiful vistas. Visiting in the summer? There's a great wine and truffle museum located across from town hall that's open all year. La Veranda is a no-fuss restaurant with delicious meals and a charming staff (closed Sunday PM and Monday).

Maubec isn't a destination, but an easy drive for a casual dinner. We recommend La Bergerie (which means sheep fold). The pizzas are especially good! In the summer they do jazz nights that get pretty busy and only take two seatings, so call ahead about that.

Oppede le Vieux is walkable, though be warned this one is also up a hill. At a normal pace it takes about 45 minutes to get to the top of the old, crumbling castle. There's a cafe and restaurant up there (about 30 minutes from the house) as well as a lush park and a few homes scattered inside the castle walls. Absolutely spectacular, especially for a sunset. If you've had enough exercise for the day, you can drive as far as the restaurant and just walk up the castle cobblestones.

Within 15 minutes:

Bonnieux lies just past the ancient Roman Pont Julien. On the same road is the site where "A Good Year" was filmed. If Russel Crowe was your inspiration for travelling to Provence, then we recommend dropping by Chateux La Canorgue for a visit (both the red and white wines are delicious). Enter the town of Bonnieux at the bottom and visit the lower of the two churches first. It's a beautiful town to wander around in. Take it slowly as it is a hill, and reward yourself with the more impressive second church located at the top, a gorgeous view, and lunch at L'Arome or Le Fournil (a personal favourite).

If you're interested in how bread is made in the artisanal manner, Bonnieux houses a traditional bread museum, Musee de la Boulangerie, on the rue de la Republique.

Within 30 minutes:

The best olives in the Luberon

Apt has a wonderful market (one of the largest). Make sure you get there early for the goodies, as you can wander from the outskirts of town through all of the nooks and crannies as it will take you a while to find everything. When you've completely exhausted your feet and budget take a seat in the middle of town and watch the excitement continue around you.

 

 

 

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