Manosque, a town in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence department, was originally a small rural village. As time went by and the town developed, Manosque became urbanized and became a major tourist destination in the region. Today, the cultivation of vines and olive groves still remains a dominant activity. Meet the producers on their stalls on market days. Manosque is known for its wines, including those of the AOC Pierrevert.
Manosque also owes its reputation to literature. The writer Jean Giono lived there in a house of the historic town center, and then in a small paradise towards “Le Paraïs.” The town pays tribute to the artist by dedicating a Cultural Center to him as well as various events throughout the year. Pierre Magnan was also inspired by Manosque, his hometown, for his works.
A visit to the city center, alone or with a guide, allows you to discover the cultural heritage of Manosque and its tourist attractions. Porte de Soubeyran is part of the city’s historical heritage. Dating from the 14th century, it is the highest city gate in Manosque with its bell tower topped by a campanile. The historic heart houses buildings such as the Saint-Sauveur church, Porte Saunerie and more.
Manosque is also popular for its natural heritage. During your stay, you can take advantage of the vast open spaces to explore the hiking trails. The Mont d’Or hill offers an exceptional panorama of the old town and the hinterland.
Throughout the year, various events are organized in Manosque. They bring the inhabitants together and allow visitors to discover the traditions and heritage of the town. Manosque Correspondences Festival puts the spotlight on literature and other artistic performances. Make way for music with the Musiks Festival and its promising program.
Centre Jean Giono
Centre Jean Giono hosts many events throughout the year: permanent and temporary exhibitions, literary walks, reading shows and more. They all honor the life and work of the writer Jean Giono. Centre Jean Giono is housed in the heart of the Hôtel Raffin, a Provençal mansion dating from the 18th century. The visit of the building also involves a tour of its gardens. A documentation center that promote research and Giono’s works is also open to the public.
Jean Giono’s house, Le Paraïs, is located on the slopes of Mont d’Or. The artist lived there with his wife and their two daughters. Today, the building belongs to the town and has been labeled 20th century Heritage and Maison des Illustres (mark of quality of buildings in France). A visit to the house includes a visit to Giono’s personal library, which contains more than 8,500 books, letters, photos, manuscripts, art objects and furniture. The house enjoys a beautiful garden with a view of the historic center of Manosque. Today, the building also has a store and a tea room.
Mont d’Or Hill
Nature lovers will be able to take advantage of the Mont d’Or hill to explore the hiking trails. Overlooking the Durance Valley and the valley of the River Asse, it offers a breathtaking view over the rooftops of the town and the hinterland: the Luberon, the Sainte-Baume, the Haut-Var, the Mont Aiguines overlooking the Verdon Gorge and even the pre-alpine peaks. The Tower of the Mont d’Or is the last vestige of the castle that once stood on the hill. Initially an observation point, the building was the winter residence of William I, also known as the Liberator.
L’Occitane en Provence
L’Occitane en Provence is a factory located in Manosque that designs beauty products inspired by human beings and nature. You can therefore take advantage of your holidays to visit the factory. A guide will introduce you to the manufacturing processes, the different workshops and laboratories, the packaging of the products, etc. The visit will also include a tour of the Mediterranean garden. This will be an opportunity to awaken all your senses.
Le Bori Pain de Sucre des Espels
Le Bori Pain de Sucre des Espels (sugarloaf Bori) is one of the must-see tourist sites of the destination. It is an integral part of Manosque’s heritage. Formerly a temporary shelter, used for periods of agricultural work, it consisted of a hearth and a space to sleep or store crops. The building has been renovated and is now the point of arrival of several promenades. Overlooking the town, the shed consists of terraces and crops supported by dry stone walls.
- Tourist Office of Manosque: https://www.tourisme-manosque.fr/
- Road service: A51 Highway (from Aix-en-Provence or Gap)
- Air access: Marseille Provence Airport (1 hour)
- Railroad access: train station of Manosque – Gréoux les Bains, Aix-en-Provence TGV station (50 minutes)