Visit this small market, just 35 minutes from Aix en Provence, as a starting point for visiting hilltop towns in the Luberon National Park.
You may recognise the beautiful basin of this small Luberon town from the film “A Good Year” starring Russel Crowe (see end of article for the date scene). Every Tuesday, there’s a small market here around the Étang (a rather more glorious version of a pond, can’t really find an English equivalent). The market is small but includes saucisson (cured meats), olives, produce from local producers and some artisans. The market will have less stalls in winter but still worth a wander even if it’s just an excuse to have lunch, or take a cooking class, as I did a few years ago, at La Petite Maison du Cucuron.
The Cuc’ Factory
If you’re in Cucuron anytime from May to September, it’s worth visiting the Cuc’ Factory, a local artisan cooperative. You’ll find all kinds of events on their Cuc’ Factory Facebook page. There is locally made pottery, clothes, etchings, jewellery and more.
Have you seen this charming movie based loosely based on Peter Mayle‘s book of the same name? I’ve recently re-watched it and was delighted to recognise many of the local towns/scenery.
On a Budget?
When Robin and I first moved here we were located in Lambesc and would often stop in Cucuron on our way to explore other Luberon villages. Our job at the time was basically glorified housesitting for a “folie”, or small castle. I’ll let you imagine how well that paid. We needed to optimise every cent of that measly salary. We also needed a large supply of rosé to keep us going through the uncertainty of our decision of moving to France, to keep us warm in the freezing cottage we lived in, to garner our strength to face the slugs and scorpions that climbed up the walls all evening (inside) and the constantly barking guard dogs. All to say, we needed A LOT of rosé.
Domaine les Conques Souliere in Cucuron sell their fruity rosé starting at 1,40€/litre and it is much better quality than any 5£ bottle we bought in England. If you’re driving to France, stock up here! You’ll also find Vin Cuit, or cooked wine, a local speciality consumed at Christmas as well as olive oil. Look for their sign “Producteur Vins” on a small street in town. For more about the joys of cheap rosé see my article on bidon wine. Santé !
If you’re curious, find out more about the market tours I offer all year round in Provence in the Alpilles and Luberon regions.