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Market Day and Other Reasons to Visit Banon

To Market in Banon

Sometimes the best-laid plans have to be cast aside, and that was the case last Tuesday. After taking the dog for an early-morning walk and getting everything ready for a cycle out to Roussillon for breakfast, we started to get the bikes out, only to hear the rumble of thunder coming from the valley behind us. Looking around the corner of the house, the sky was black, and the first flashes of lightning could be seen in the distance, which is never a good start to the day. Continue reading here for their trip to Banon for the market a contributor post by Vaucluse Dreamer.

Banon Village Views

Tuesdays and Saturdays are market days in Banon a perched village in the Hautes-Alpes de Provence. In summer months, some streets are blocked off for the morning market to accommodate vendors. Market stalls include seasonal fruit and vegetables, local goat cheese (labelled AOC Banon), honey, bread and more ingredients for a warm goat cheese salad.

Here, is a comprehensive list of the markets in Provence and Côte d’Azur.

Reasons to Visit Banon

Banon is a small and charmingly authentic village with only 988 permanent residents, (according to 2016 numbers). Set on a rocky, hillside the view from Banon encompasses a long valley, with lavender fields at its “feet.” Close to town is the plateau d’Albion, a popular grazing ground for local sheep and goats.

Banon Village Views

The View

The old town rests on a hilltop at 800 meters situated between the famous Mont Ventoux and Mont Lure. During lavender season, the fields below Banon are brilliant shades of purple and mauve.

There has been a settlement in Banon since medieval times. At the very top, of the village is an old 12th-century church that is now used for art exhibitions. Should the walk to the church not be enough exercise, there is a cross located on a hilltop overlooking Banon. The view from this point stretches forever.

Banon Hilltop View

In the 14th century, the hamlet was protected by fortified walls, some of which can still be seen today. The town oozes with Provencal charm complete with cobbled streets accented by brightly painted shutters and flower boxes. Climbing the hillside from the main square are homes constructed with stone. Make sure to take a look at the Feudal Gatehouse (circa 1600) it is as a registered historical monument.

This village, like many in the area, was highly dependent on local agriculture, including silk production. The war years and economic changes created a rural exodus from Banon from 1841 to 1962, resulting in a significant population decline. However, that trend started to reverse in the 1960s, and the population has now stabilized.

Banon Village Views

The Books

Discovering the 4th largest bookstore in France in Banon is surprising. With over 1-million title references and 180,000+ books in stock Librairie le Bleuet is worth a visit.

Place Saint Just
04150 Banon
Telephone : +33 (0)4 92 73 25 85
Open 365 days a year 10h-18h (extended hours in July and August)

The Goat’s Cheese

The AOC (appellation d’origine controllée) label has been assigned to goat cheese from Banon since 2003. Known as “le Banon” this cheese is instantly recognizable by the chestnut leaf wrapper and raffia tie. Initially, the wrapping was for preservation purposes, but now the cheese is produced all year. Here, is how the pliage (folding of chestnut leaves) is done:

Of course, there is a festival to celebrate this local product – La Fête du Fromagetakes place on the 3rd Sunday in May.

Visit the Fromagerie de Banon
Route Carniol
04150 Banon
Open Monday – Friday afternoons (14h30 to 17h30)

Fancy some charcuterie with your cheese? Stop by la Brindille Melchio.


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Julie Whitmarsh

Julie and her husband Andy started visiting the Vaucluse area 25 years ago & over the years have increased the amount of time they spend there with their growing family. She has a deep affection for the area, finding it is a great place to visit, where the whole family can relax and enjoy time together.

She longs for the day when she can ‘up-sticks’ from her home on Dartmoor & relocate to the Luberon and spend her days cycling, walking, visiting markets & brocante fairs and of course enjoying the local food and drink.

Her blog VaucluseDreamer gives her a space to highlight some of her favourite things about the area from places to visit to particular activities that she and her family all enjoy.

She hopes one day it will be a place where she can share the process of renovating a house in France, but at the moment that will have to wait.

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