Winter in Provence at the foot of Mont Ventoux: enjoy life in the “slow lane” under beaming sunshine.

Le Prieuré La Madelène - Seminars, guest house and cottage

Winter in Provence at the foot of Mont Ventoux: enjoy life in the “slow lane” under beaming sunshine.

Bruno Pastouret / Post on 21 February 2022

While everyone knows Provence for its summers full of sun, cicadas and lavender, winter also offers many attractions and lends our region a very special charm, especially at the foot of Mont Ventoux.

Though it can be a bit chilly – especially if the Mistral is blowing – the days are beautiful, the air is invigorating, the palette of winter colors is sublime and the radiant sun is always shining.

Staying at Prieuré La Madelène during the winter season this offers you a relaxing break in an unexpected, more intimate cozy setting, minus the crowds of the summer season. All as a bonus to the sunny blue sky.

More concretely, what does winter offer you here, at the foot of Mont Ventoux?

  • Winter sports: yup, you can indeed ski in Provence! 

You can ski with us here in the Vaucluse region, which features a ski resort at Mont Ventoux. And we reach the Mont Serein resort (Station du Mont Serein website) via our village, Malaucène. Isn’t life beautiful?

Culminating at 1,912 meters, the “Giant of Provence” offers plenty of fun, including several ski lifts for downhill enthusiasts, lovely gentle slopes for younger skiers and sledders, and access for snowshoe hikes. From the summit, the panorama over the region is superb in summer and winter alike, but with a powdery white cap, the color contrast is enhanced. A stunning feast for the eyes! Unfortunately, there isn’t always snow…

  • Truffles. The “black diamonds” of Provence to discover and enjoy in winter! 

With its 500 truffle growers, the Vaucluse region is France’s leading producer of black truffles, the renowned Tuber Melanosporum, reputed to be the most fragrant and tastiest. Winter is the ideal time to visit the markets dedicated to it (those in Carpentras and Richerenches are the best known and, to boot, are not far from the Prieuré) and to book a table at fine eateries where truffles are often the star item on the menu. For visits, tastings and related activities such as truffle hunting, you can visit these professionals passionate about the Ventoux region.

  • Wine! An integral part of the Vaucluse, and particularly the Ventoux area, that is a treat in winter as well as summer

The Vaucluse vineyards are world famous. In fact, many estates and cellars are open all year round, enabling you to visit them, stroll through their vineyards and, of course, taste their wines. Winter tastings are indeed more pleasant than in the scorching summer heat! We will have some great wineries to recommend to you during your stay, but you can get a head start by browsing through our article dedicated to Ventoux wines.

  • The outdoor markets of Provence welcome you year-round, including in winter!

Like wine, markets are part of the local culture, in winter and summer alike. Every day of the week, there is one somewhere, not far from Prieuré La Madelène: Monday in Bédoin, Tuesday in Vaison-la-Romaine, Wednesday with us in Malaucène, Thursday in Orange and Friday in Carpentras. These Provençal markets offer friendly atmospheres and a wide variety of local products to discover and taste.

  • The fertile soils of the Vaucluse never hibernate: delight in our region’s winter veggies

What could be more comforting than a nice warm meal in winter? A winter stay is an opportunity to taste all the vegetables that local gardeners grow during this season: cabbages of all kinds, spinach, squash in so many varieties that you could cook a different one every day, leeks, Swiss chard, parsnips, onions, dried garlic and even thyme, which can be harvested all year round, since its leaves are evergreen.

There’s nothing like a good dinner after a day in the great outdoors, whether at our guest house (Friday evenings by reservation) or at the many top-notch restaurants found in the surrounding area. We will gladly tell you which eateries we enjoy going to.

  • The vast nature areas in the Vaucluse: a bit of ochre to brighten your day! 

If you are worn out and suffering from a lack of sunlight, these invigorating outdoor escapades are ideal, and you be all the more delighted to end your day back in the comfort of your room at Prieuré La Madelène!

The region’s mild winters and the vast natural areas invite you for a wide variety of day hikes and bicycle or horseback rides. With sublime landscapes, distinctive mountain ranges, unforgettable panoramas and more, we can advise you on what to see and do based on your tastes. We have to admit that here, at the floor of Mont Ventoux, we are spoiled for choice! Starting with the flamboyant ochre landscapes. Though a bit less spectacular than their Vaucluse neighbors in the Luberon area (the renowned “Colorado of Provence”), the ochre foothills of the Ventoux country have nothing to be ashamed of. A stone’s throw from Malaucène and Prieuré La Madelène, the ochres of Mormoiron can be enjoyed by hiking a 10-km loop that winds amidst pine forests, lakes and vineyards.

Voilà! Now you know the top reasons to book a winter stay in Provence at the foot of Mont Ventoux.

Come discover a host of others yourself during your stay with us at Prieuré La Madelène. We look forward to listing them together with you.

Oliver and Bruno

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