Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur Section
Fontaine de Vaucluse - Luberon - Provence
Fontaine de Vaucluse, one of France's natural wonders
Fontaine de Vaucluse is one of France's most visited sites of natural beauty.
It is nestled in a deep valley, a stone's throw from Isle-sur-la-Sorgue.
Vaucluse comes indeed from the Latin Vallis Clausa meaning closed valley.
The small village of Fontaine de Vaucluse, which left its name to the department, developed by the spring that feeds the Sorgue River, hence its name.
However, nobody knows where the spring originates and how deep it really is.
Explorations conducted in the past years reached the sandy bed of the river at 308m below ground level.
They also established that the spring was coming from much deeper.
Water flows into a peaceful pool that boasts the most beautiful emerald-turquoise colours.
However, in spring the pool turns into a spectacular waterfall fed by all the streams flowing down the Lubéron Mountains.
The 5th largest spring in the world
Fontaine de Vaucluse is France's largest spring and the 5th largest in the world with an annual flow of 600 million m3.
This extraordinary and unusual flow produce an amazing array of colours ranging from emerald to deep turquoise.
However, they turn crystal clear once they reach the river Sorgue.
La Fontaine de Vaucluse village is one of the most popular tourist sites in the department.
The village is tiny, however, very picturesque.
A path leads to a lookout spot that boasts prime views of the spring and its turquoise pool.
However, the place can be overcrowded during the summer season.
It is therefore better - if possible - to visit in the morning in order to escape the crowds and secure a parking place.
Attractions by the spring
The more adventurous might be tempted by an excursion on a canoe-kayak.
Those who prefer to stay on land will most likely enjoy the visit of the underground Petrarch Museum and the Moulin à Papier Vallis Clausa (museum*).
Finally, La Galerie des Artisans gathers countless tourist stalls selling regional products and handicrafts.
Department of Vaucluse
Coordinates: Lat 43.921961 - Long 5.127571