Gems Of Southern France: Clifftop Reveries In Les Baux

Clamber up a hill and encounter one of France's most beautiful villages

The historic medieval village of Les Baux-de-Provence Photo: Shutterstock

As I drive around the corner, I am greeted by the sight of craggy, twisted rocks and pillars and white limestone hills that look like a set designer's extravaganza. Overlooking the spectacular Alpilles ranges and  plateaus of olive groves and vineyards is the windswept village of Les Baux-de-Provence, near Avignon in southern France, perched on a massive promontory. Built on an 800-ft-high spur, the word bau meaning rocky outcrop, the village commands the surrounding flatlands with its dramatic geology. Ruins of once-mighty bastions, broken windows and dangerous staircases, morph out of the limestone, looking down at a patchwork tapestry of wheat fields, cypresses, olive groves and vines.