Let me introduce you to Fontaine de Vaucluse, one of the most beautiful villages in France – if not the whole of Europe. This town is home to one of the most powerful water springs in the world and filled with waterfalls and charming corners. It’s an absolute must to any travel itinerary in Provence, especially considering its strategic location close to other villages and attractions in Vaucluse the area. Here you’ll find the most comprehensive and updated travel guide to Fontaine de Vaucluse. Enjoy!
Please use the index below to guide you through the post and find out what to do, where to stay and best restaurants in Fontaine de Vaucluse. But first, make sure to check our Provence Travel Guide where I shared optimal itineraries suggestions for 5, 8 and 12 days in Provence. Now, let’s discover Fontaine together?
I still remember how amazed I felt when I set foot in Fontaine de Vaucluse for the first time in 2017. It was hard to believe such a magical place existed flying relatively under the radar. A true hidden gem waiting to be discovered! Years have passed, but revisiting Fontaine on our recent Provence road trip brought back that same sense of wonder. It made me realize how timeless and pristine this place truly is!
Whether it’s the gentle river that weaves through the village, cascading into waterfalls, the majestic surrounding cliffs, or the village’s medieval charm. I can’t quite put my finger on what’s so magical about Fontaine. But one thing I know for sure: it’s impossible to visit this corner of Provence without falling in love with it. Especially if you are able to experience the best it has to offer.
Best things to do in Fontaine de Vaucluse
There’s quite a lot to see and do in Fontaine de Vaucluse. These are our favorites:
1) Visit the source
Fontaine de Vaucluse was named after the source of Sorgue River which emerges in its vicinities. The source is actually the largest in France and the 5th largest in the world, which is a pretty compelling reason to visit Fontaine de Vaucluse on its own.
Seeing the turquoise clear waters surging from deep underground is absolutely mesmerizing. Even better enjoyed during summer, when the source reaches its full potential. However, no matter when you visit the source, the experience of getting there by walking through a lush and idyllic path known as Chemin de Fontaine side will be always exciting.
2) Chemin de la Fontaine
Chemin de la Fontaine is a path that starts in the city center and leads up to the Fontaine de Vaucluse source. It can be traversed in a pleasant 20 minutes walk by the river bank, but usually takes longer as there’s much to be enjoyed on the way.
After passing the multiple souvenir shops in the center of Fontaine, you’ll be amazed to notice how lush the vegetation looks and how powerfully the river flows. The water takes on a strong emerald tone, which you can admire from the multiple seating areas across the way. It may be a great idea to bring some snacks and refreshments to enjoy delightful moments by the river on your way to the source. We loved spending some quality time there!
3) Paper Mill (Moulin à Papier)
Still on the Chemin de la Fontaine and not so far away from the city center lies the Paper Mill. A free of entrance museum demonstrating paper making techniques from the 15th century. It’s a really interesting place to visit and there’s a nice shop where you can get some hand-made paper products.
4) Stroll around town
There’s something truly magical about wandering around Fontaine de Vaucluse. Though small, the village packs a visual and romantic punch. Imagine quaint Provençal buildings tucked against towering limestone cliffs – it’s like walking in a dream. Every turn feels like a scene straight out of a fairy tale.
On your wanderings, make sure to pay a visit to Église Saint-Véran, a 19th century church right in the heart of town. Don’t miss the opportunity to admire the charming façade of La Pointe Noire restaurant and take many pictures along the way. We absolutely loved wandering Fontaine de Vaucluse both by day and by night!
5) Visit the Château
Château de Philippe de Cabassolle, also known as Bishops of Cavaillon Castle, is a 14th-century relic. It can be seen from pretty much everywhere in Fontaine, which adds to the old-word charm to the village. It can also be visited, as getting there is easy and should take you 15 minutes by foot from the city center. It’s free to visit and offers amazing views of the village and its surroundings!
6) Have a meal by the water
There’s nothing quite like dining riverside in Fontaine de Vaucluse. Sitting there, enjoying delicious food with the soothing waterfall sounds in the background, was an absolute highlight of our whole trip. Thus, I definitely recommend you try snagging a spot at a restaurant by the water at least once during your visit. It’s one of those moments that’ll stick with you long after you’ve left. Don’t miss out!
We enjoyed the food and unmatched atmosphere at La Vanne Marel restaurant, but there a few more options to consider. I’ll go through them later in this post, so make sure to read the post through the end.
7) Romantic stroll at night
Fontaine de Vaucluse becomes even more romantic after sunset, when the crowds of day-trippers have left and the river banks light up. We absolutely loved wandering through town at night and recommend you plan for an overnight stay or a prolonged visit to the visit. You will be greeted with the most romantic atmosphere and the most gorgeous views!
Curious about the best lavender fields in Provence? Read our curated list here!
8) Water sports
Fontaine de Vaucluse is a perfect place to engage in water sports such as kayaks and SUPs. During summer, it’s possible to rent gear from many different shops in town and take a water excursion up and down the river. It definitely seemed like a dreamy thing to do, but I confess we preferred to spend time by our hotel pool, which actually has access to the water.
Speaking of which, let’s us introduce you to the dreamiest place to stay in Fontaine de Vaucluse!
Where to stay in Fontaine de Vaucluse
We spent a couple of nights at Hôtel du Poète and absolutely loved it. Boasting a refreshing pool and direct access to the river, it’s hard to think of a better place to stay in Fontaine de Vaucluse. Their on-site restaurant serves delicious dishes in a delightful area by their private waterfall. To top it off, there’s a jacuzzi perfectly situated by the river’s edge.
Hôtel du Poète is located in right in the village center and for 150€, you surely won’t find a more delightful lodging option in Fontaine. In the heat of summer, it was great being able to conveniently go back to the hotel and refresh for some hours during the day!
If I were you, I wouldn’t think twice before booking this hidden gem, I guarantee you’re going to love it. We booked and paid for the hotel independently, so you can be sure this is a 100% trustworthy recommendation, and not a sponsored post!
How long to stay in Fontaine de Vaucluse
While it’s totally possible to explore Fontaine de Vaucluse in half a day, I recommend staying overnight in this beautiful town. Being so close to popular attractions in Provence and home to hotels with great cost benefit, Fontaine is a great place to base yourself for a few nights and from there take day-trips to other destinations in Vaucluse. You could perhaps stay for a couple of nights while exploring the nearby villages.
What to do nearby Fontaine de Vaucluse
There’s quite a lot to do and see at a short distance from Fontaine de Vaucluse. These are our favorites:
Do a wine-tasting at Domaine Perréal
This artsy winery is a must-visit to wine lovers like ourselves. Not only the wines from Domaine Perréal are of great quality and the tasting held by knowledgeable staff, the place itself is gorgeous. There’s plenty artwork exhibited in the property and we loved taking our time to walk through the vineyards and exploring the area.
While doing so, we came across the super charming and private villages offered by Domaine Perréal. The gorgeous infinity pool overlooking the vineyards got me dreaming of coming back to spend some days sipping wine and visiting nearby villages. Check the villas yourself and let me know if they aren’t the dreamiest? Perhaps a good contestant to Hotêl du Poéte in Fontaine if you want to spend some nights in the area.
The winery is 15 minutes away by car from Fontaine de Vaucluse and tastings are free of cost. Visitors can feel free to acquire wines or olive oils from the property, which are of really good quality and fairly-priced. We got ourselves a couple of red wines to bring home!
Visit nearby villages
Spending 2 to 3 nights in Fontaine de Vaucluse should give you time to visit Gordes, Menérbes, Gould and Oppède le Vieux on the east side. You could also visit L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, Saint-Rémy-de-Provence and Les Baux-de-Provence on the west side, if you’re up for longer drives.
Make sure to check our guide on the 22 most beautiful villages in Provence. And if you’d like to get the best villages, vineyards and attractions seamlessly coupled with your Google Maps.
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Where to eat in Fontaine de Vaucluse
Fontaine de Vaucluse is a relatively small village. But, it surprisingly boasts a wide range of restaurant options. These were our favorites:
La Vanne Marel
This is one of the most charming restaurants in town. Right by the river bank and with seats overlooking waterfalls, the restaurant is the stuff dreams are made of. We had a delightful meal there and really enjoyed the experience!
We ordered a plate of mixed sea food and a local trout dish and they were both excellent. Prices of main dishes ranged between 20 and 35€ and glasses of wine between 5 to 10€. Reasonable prices for the overall experience, if you ask me!
Hotél du Poéte restaurant
Our hotel had a restaurant, and that’s where we had dinner in our fist night in Fontaine de Vaucluse. It ended up being a great meal served by the waterfall that flows through Hôtel du Poète. Prices ranged between 18 and 30€ and the restaurant welcomes non-guests, just make sure to book in advance!
Not so far from Hôtel du Poète lies one of the best restaurants in town: Restaurant Philip. With tables overlooking the river and close to a waterfall, this is a great dining option in Fontaine de Vaucluse. There’s a set menu and a la carte options and it’s highly advisable to book in advance if you prefer to sit by the water.