Comfortable and Elegant 1 bedroom - In the heart of the village-
- english, french
We have had the good fortune to have traveled throughout France for vacations for over thirty-five years. Our trips have taken us to most corners of the country, some multiple times. We have toured the canals and rivers of France on small boats, and explored extensively by train and auto. On vacations with our three children we visited the châteaux of the Loire, hit the beaches of Côte d'Azur, walked the streets of Paris, hiked areas of the Alps, and watched the Tour de France. But we fell in love with Provence. You will too if you have not already! In January of 2012, we stumbled on to this apartment, we have named Le Bijou, in the course of our third visit to L'Isle sur la Sorgue. Having discussed and dismissed the idea of buying property in France numerous times, we changed our minds when this opportunity presented itself on the way back from the boulangerie one morning. We live in Indianapolis, Indiana, where we both grew up, worked (Patty) and continue to work (Kevin). Down the road, we plan to continue to enjoy exploring France from our base at Le Bijou. We have made friends in the village, which has a life of its own beyond tourism, yet is small enough to walk completely around. During the times we can't be in France, we welcome guests to enjoy life as a Provençal in Le Bijou in the quaint village of L'Isle sur la Sorgue. We hope one day you can visit. Kevin and Patty McGoff
Patty purchased this Apartment in 2012
Why Patty chose L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue
In January 2012, we made another visit to L'Isle sur la Sorgue. We loved the location and the people we had met. Not seriously looking for property, although we had discussed and dismissed the idea many times, we met with several realtors and looked at some places. Nothing struck us. We asked if there were any small apartments with a terrace, a rarity we were advised. We quit having realtors show us property, after being told that finding an apartment with a terrace in the old part of the village was unlikely. We were content to look at the advertisements in the window of the city’s many realtors,or Immobiliers. We window shopped and daydreamed about the unlikely prospect of finding a suitable apartment, which we never thought we'd buy even if we did find one. But it was fun to look and speculate about the prospect, thumbing through the brochures over a glass of rosé. On the way back from the boulangerie one morning with our breakfast, as I crossed the lively square in front of the building where we had been staying that week, I noticed for the first time a sign hanging from the window above our rental announcing ‘A Vendre’, for sale. We knew without going in the door that the unit had a terrace as it was just above the patio of the apartment we were renting. Knowing that one of our requirements was met, we called the realtor and he came with a key that afternoon. The apartment we had been looking for was one flight above us the entire time we were knocking about the city looking at the possibilities, and being discouraged that what we wanted to look at was rare. The realtor opened the apartment to us 4 times in 5 days. We debated, thought about it, then made the offer over the phone as we boarded the plane in Marseilles to come home.
What makes this Apartment unique
The village of L'Isle sur la Sorgue was built around the Notre Dame des Anges, a Collegial Church built in 1222 and reconstructed in the 17th century. The Sorgue flows from its source, seven kilometers upstream at the Fountain de Vaucluse. The river surrounds the town, creating the island on the Sorgue. La Sorgue was the source of the town's commerce through the ages. The Catholic calendar of the 15th century called for in excess of 160 meatless days per year, thus the fisherman and the town thrived providing the papacy and its supporting elements with fish. To this day it is crystal clear, maintains a temperature of 12-13 Celsius (53-55 Fahrenheit) year round and is a category one fishing river. Mills were constructed and powered by water wheels for grain, paper mills, silk works and production of linens. There were at one time 70 water wheels in the town, 14 of which are still turned by the Sorgue's current. Today you'll find what is regarded as the best antique market in France outside of Paris. On Sundays, the many antique dealers bring to town their wares to add to the already lively market. There are plenty of fresh fish, fruit and vegetable vendors on the streets and squares in the town on Sunday. Regional products of the season, such as honey and berries, are found along with cheese, sausages and local wines. The village has a life of its own beyond tourism, which means commerce, restaurants and a market twice a week year round. It is central for day trips in every direction, throughout Provence and beyondL'Isle sur la Sorgue is a vibrant town. Off-season, when the tourists have gone, the sidewalks do not roll up. There is a large market on Sunday and a smaller one on Thursdays. The antique shops are open and the town fills up with bargain hunters scouring for a find and families picking up fresh produce, meats, fish and fruits for their tables. There are plenty of cafes, restaurants and small bars open year round.
Please consider the following guidelines when booking this property:
100% refund if canceled at least 60 days before arrival date. 50% refund if canceled at least 30 days before arrival date.
Beautiful Village apartment!!
Le Bijou is a beautiful apartment right in the middle of the village, with cafes, wine shops, grocery markets, and shopping just a few steps away. We spent 10 days there and wish it could have been longer. It is the perfect location in the beautiful L’ isle sur la Sorgue. It is also the perfect location for day trips around Provence, we went to Gordes, Arles, St. Remy, Fontaine-de-Vaucluse and we even found the winery where The Good Year was filmed not too far from Bonnieux.
The best part of visiting all of these beautiful places was coming “home” to Patty & Kevin’s beautiful apartment. There was no detail overlooked....it was the most amazing apartment....they had thought of everything a traveler would need. The gourmet kitchen was fantastic for preparing meals with food purchased from the markets on Thursday and Sunday....just below the apartment. One of our favorite things was the terrace where we ate breakfast every morning and would sit out in the evening, relaxing and watching the sun set and the beautiful moon and stars come out over the tiled roofs.
A special thank you also for all the help that Patty and Kevin sent us in preparing for the trip, they were always available to answer questions and help us....and the notebook in the apartment has absolutely everything you need to know about the apartment and nearby sights to see.
We also want to say that Helen was amazing....from the time she met us at the apartment when we arrived and was always available if we had any questions....will always be grateful to her.
We also really appreciated the free long distance to the states as we had a family emergency and it helped so much.
Thank you Patty & Kevin for creating such a beautiful apartment....we hope to come back and will always treasure the memories we made in Le Bijou!!!
Bob & Cathy B.
Bob and Cathy,
Happy to hear that you enjoyed your stay in our apartment in L'Isle sur la Sorgue. Looks like your covered a lot of territory in the course of your visit. We hope you one day make it back to the Vaucluse.
Patty and Kevin
Wonderful rental apartment!!
Our trip to Provence was perfect this year mainly due to the wonderful accommodations at Le Bijou. The location is in the heart of the quaint city center of L'Isle Sur Le Sorgue with easy access to everything (cafes, wine shops, grocery markets and of course antique shopping). The apartment is decorated beautifully with plenty of room, and it's newly renovated. Anything you might need is there. We spent quite a bit of time on the lovely terrace enjoying the local wines. It's a very quiet location and if you prefer to cook your meals you can do so in the "chef's" kitchen. We cannot thank Patty and Kevin enough. We just loved it!
Thank you for your note and kind words. We are delighted to hear that you enjoyed your stay at Le Bijou in I'Isle sur la Sorgue . You are most welcome to come back for another visit, we hope to see you soon.
Traditional French ambiance in the perfect village location
I will try not to repeat what other reviews have mentioned about this property (all of which are true). This apartment is perfect for a couple who want to be located in a village setting with easy access to just about anything you need or want. When you walk out the front door you are in the center of L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue with restaurants and shops steps away. You can find everything you need here with-in a 5 min. or less walk; specialty food, cheese and wine shops, great restaurants, bicycle rentals and a convenient free parking lot. The beautiful Sorgue river meanders through the town with a nice shady park by the river (great for a quick nap under a tree).
Patty is one of the best hosts we had in a rental property and has left no detail unattended. She has painstakingly put together a great notebook with every detail you could possibly need including photos of appliance with annotated instructions. Details like the windows being crystal clear and spotless kitchen and bath.
The general area around L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue is full of great day or ½ day trips. Be sure to visit Fontaine de Vaucluse which is the source of the Sorgue river (only a 20 min. drive). Take the train or drive to Avignon. Don’t miss the town of Gordes which is a short drive from the apartment and go have a café and desert at La Bastide de Gordes Hotel/Restaurant on the veranda or even lunch or dinner if you have deep pockets.
Finally I would like to say thanks to Helen who was right on time for our arrival with great information about the house and the town and of course to Patty who was always available for question before and during our trip.
Thanks for the note and kind words. There are many things that make Isle sur la Sorgue a special place in the world. You clearly found some of them. We are happy to hear that you enjoyed your visit and hope you are able to return some day.
Adorable apartment in a perfect location.
The apartment was perfect for our week in L’isle sur la Sorgue. It was very comfortable and relaxing. We loved the terrace and cooked on the grill several times during the week. The location was ideal for walking through the town and also for touring the entire region. We enjoyed driving through the Luberon and to the coastal town of Cassis. We highly recommend Le Bijou!
We are always happy to hear that our guests enjoyed the region, the town and the apartment. Thank you for your note. We hope you can visit again one day.
The apartment is absolutely perfect. Great location. Well supplied. Wonderfully comfortable.
Could not have been better. It was a joy to come home after a day of activity.
Always happy to hear from our guests. Glad you enjoyed your stay at Le Bijou. Hope that you can visit again.
We enjoyed our stay in L'sle sur la Sorgue and Le Bijou!! The location enabled us to be truly immersed in the French culture. From the Sunday markets to the several side trips to Lacoste, Gordes, Bonneiu and Fontane Vancluse the week flew by. A visit to Chateauneuf-du-Pape was equally spectacular. We took a private tour of the vineyards and were treated to a terrific wine tasting with Guy Bremond the local owner of the vineyard. We used Time4Provence for the tour and our guide was Gordana one of the owners of the company. Thanks to all...Patti, Kevin and Helen for a memorable experience. Bob and Susan
Bob and Susan,
We are delighted to hear that you had a good time in Provence. Thanks for the tip on the vineyard tour provider. We like hearing about great finds such as this to pass along to our guests. Hope you can visit again one day.
Patty and Kevin
Here are some ideas for day trips from Le Bijou to explore the area. We have never been disappointed exploring a new town, having a leisurely lunch or driving around taking in the sights.
The scenic town of Gordes is situated on the edge of the plateau of the Vaucluse. It was featured in the film A Good Year as well as Peter Mayle's A Year in Provence. The Cistercian Abbey of Senanque is close by, making a visit to both an easy day trip.
The ruins of the château of the Marquis de Sade are found in Lacoste, atop a hill facing the charming village of Bonnieux. Enjoy the panoramic views from both villages, well worth the rather steep climbs twisting through the streets which are lined with ancient, restored buildings.
The village of Lourmarin is found amidst olive groves and vineyards. It was home to Albert Camus who is buried there. This is a typical Mediterranean town, with shopping and dining options. There is also a castle to visit. It's a very scenic drive through a gorge from Bonnieux.
Mont Ventoux looms over the Vaucluse. It is a legendary stage on the Tour de France. As you drive up the mountain - the average grade on the route leaving the town of Bedoin is nearly 8% - you will wonder how cyclists can make it. You are likely to see plenty, as they challenge Mont Ventoux regularly.
At the Fontaine de Vaucluse is the source of the Sorgue and one of the most visited places in the region. Visit in the morning to beat the crowds. The spring flows from a 230m cliff, visited via a walkway. To this day the source of this forceful spring is a mystery. There is an excellent museum of the French Résistance in WW II.
Arles is 35 km south of Avignon. If you have an interest in Roman artifacts, you will want to visit. There is an amphitheater, baths and a museum. Van Gogh and Gaugin were residents at one time.
The Palais des Papes (Pope’s Palace) in Avignon is a massive testament to the wealth and power of the Catholic Church in the14th century. The Pont d'Avignon, or Pont de St. Benezet, is the famous bridge that does not reach the other side of the river. Avignon is the largest city in the area and the central part of the town is still within the protective walls.
Gigondas, Châteauneuf du Pape, Vacqueyras and other vineyards of the southern Rhône valley are a short drive from L'Isle sur la Sorgue.
Pernes le Fontaines is a short drive from Le Bijou. There are 40 fountains dispersed throughout the town, hence the name. From the Ferrande tower, experience a spectacular view of the area and Mont Ventoux. If climbing to the top of the tower is not for you, there is a nice park and shaded walkway. We often make the short drive to this village for lunch and a stroll.
You can rent bicycles at a shop just down the street and explore the area on two wheels.
A bit farther afield but definitely a day trip is the Pont du Gard, the famous Roman viaduct. Take your lunch and picnic beneath the arches, or kayak on the river.