Sunday, July 26, 2009
The Cotes du Rhone
This is where I begin to get excited. There's something about this lovely, vineyard covered region of France that has an immense attraction to me. Cotes du Rhone literally means "hillsides of the Rhone." These hillsides are covered with beautiful vineyards, seldom-visited stone villages, warm Bed & Breakfast's, and world-class wineries. Mountains decorate the background. The background of the whole area is dominated by Mount Ventoux. You can actually drive to the top of this mountain for a spectacular view of the area, if the weather is clear. In this region there are lots of places where hiking and biking trails are laid out for people wanting to see the country and get some exercise too. The small town of Vaison la Romaine is considered the best jumping off point for seeing the Cotes du Rhone villages. Generally, food and sleeping accomodations are cheaper in the small villages than in the larger cities of Avignon, Orange, and Arles. A great way to see the area is to take a drive on scenic loops through the region stopping at the hill-top villages for food, refreshment, and local markets.