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Oppède-le-Vieux Perched in History in the Luberon

Luberon Villages

A sleepy village that is stunning and peaceful and ranks high on the charm factor, Oppède-le-Vieux makes me return again and again. It tears my heartstrings to say goodbye to it at the end of our yearly trips, knowing I won’t lay eyes on it for a year. Yet, I never can get enough of wandering its secret lanes or relaxing at the characterful Petit Café. The original contributor blog post was by Cheryl at Cobblestone and Vineyards.


Cheryl noted that Oppède-le-Vieux appears frozen in time, and we agree. This tiny hamlet is only 15 minutes from Cavaillon or 25 minutes from Avignon, but it’s like turning back the clock.

The old village (le Vieux) is at the top of a hill, which makes for a good workout even on an e-bike. At first glance, there is not much to this perched village, the ruins of a feudal castle and a 12th-century collegiate church. However, look a little closer to see the evidence of quality restorations of 15th and 16th-century homes. What is behind those walls remains a secret, but it’s certain that the owners like the quiet village exactly this way.

Situated on a rocky perch the medieval castle and its watchtower belonged to the Counts of Toulouse before it transferred to the Avignon Popes in the 13th century. The castle is in ruins today and closed to the public for security reasons.

Spend some time wandering the narrow streets, take a look at the frescos in the Romanesque-style Notre-Dame d’Alidon church.

In the early days of WWII, Oppède-le-Vieux was home to a group of creative types (painters, sculptors and writers – le Groupe d’Oppède. The relative security of this artist’s commune ended in 1942 when the German patrols marched through the Luberon.

Book a table at le Petit Café, the village may feel undiscovered, but this restaurant is well-known. Located at 12 rue Sainte-Cécile 84580 Oppède-le-Vieux they serve lunch and dinner daily. There are also three (3) guest rooms available for rent.


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Cheryl Shufflebotham

Although, Cheryl and her husband live in upstate New York, she tells us that she is always yearning, planning, maneuvering to make her way back to France.

Cheryl's love for France started almost eleven years ago with "a once in a lifetime" ten-year anniversary trip. These wannabe expats have been back every year since that trip!

Cheryl's first French love is the region of Burgundy, but then a few years ago, she discovered Provence. Now she admits that she is torn between Burgundy and Provence. It sounds like Provence has her spellbound, "I can’t quite put a finger on what it is about Provence, but its intoxication keeps luring me back for more."

Cheryl started her blog Cobblestone and Vineyards to explore the simple charms of France, those small details that capture the heart.

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