Cavaillon is ideally located between the Chaîne des Alpilles and the Luberon Regional Nature Park. The commune lies at the foot of Saint Jacques Hill.
By visiting the town, you will be able to appreciate the many vestiges still visible such as the cathedral, the synagogue, the Hôtel d’Agar, etc. These buildings are reminiscent of the history of the town, which was Greek and then Roman before becoming an episcopal city in the Middle Ages.
Today, Cavaillon is a contemporary city particularly famous for its melon. Take advantage of your stay in Cavaillon to stroll through the market stalls, meet local producers and taste the regional specialties. Every year, at the beginning of summer, the town celebrates the melon through a circuit of exhibitions and tastings. On the program: parade of carts, brass bands, cooking competitions and more.
Cavaillon is also a tourist destination of choice thanks to its natural heritage. Nature lovers will be able to take one of the many hiking trails that crisscross Saint Jacques Hill. The most athletic can take advantage of the exceptional setting to try their hand at climbing or via ferrata. At the top, you can enjoy a breathtaking view of the Ventoux, the Luberon, the Durance, the Alpilles mountains and the Vaucluse mountains.
During your stay, discover, alone or with a guide, the surrounding tourist towns and villages such as Avignon, Orgon, L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, Apt, Gordes and Mérindol.
Among the oldest sites of the city, the Roman Arch of Cavaillon is a reference point. It dates from the first century AD and recalls the time when Cavaillon developed on the plain. The building was nicknamed Arc Marius in memory of the Roman general who had, at the time, colonized the region. Formerly located next to the cathedral, it was installed on the Place du Clos to mark the extension of the town. The monument consists of two arches supported by four pillars. Some decorations such as carved figures, and motifs can still be seen. Mystery still reigns around this arch, which, unlike other triumphal arches, does not represent conquests or fight scenes. Perhaps the Arch of Cavaillon was leaning against another building.
Dating from the 12th century, the Romanesque Cavaillon Cathedral is composed of five side chapels that were added to the building over the centuries as well as a charming and peaceful cloister. Burnt down in the 16th century, it was restored in the 17th and 19th centuries. The interior of the building is decorated with gilded wood, paintings by Mignard and Parrocel and murals. For several centuries, the cathedral was the episcopal seat of the diocese of Cavaillon. It is dedicated to the Virgin Mary as well as to Saint Véran, bishop of Cavaillon and patron saint of shepherds.
The Museum of Hôtel Dieu and its chapel were built in the 18th century. The building was used as a hospital for many years before being bought in the 20th century by a family from Cavaillon. Today, the monument houses the region’s archeological collections as well as a lapidary museum with remarkable pieces and an exhibition area. A visit to the museum will allow you to learn more about the history of the town and its development from prehistory to modern times. The excavations have indeed allowed to find crockery, funeral vaults, Gallo-Greek stelae, coins…
In the heart of Cavaillon you will find the 18th-century synagogue. The monument is very well preserved and has been restored to enhance its unique architecture. The architecture of the synagogues of the Comtat, only preserved in Cavaillon and Carpentras, is indeed unique in the world. The main place of worship, reserved for men, located on the first floor, is richly decorated in a style reminiscent of Jewish and Provençal influences. The women’s room is located on the first floor and was also used as a bakery. The ritual bath is added to the ensemble. Today, the synagogue houses a Judeo-Comtadin museum in the former bakery.
Classified as a Historical Monument, the Hôtel d’Agar mansion reveals many historic treasures such as a 15th century Gothic tower, a ceiling painted for the coming of Francis I, the remains of a temple and the Baths of Augustus, etc. The monument is a veritable cabinet of curiosities that houses various objects of archeology, ethnology, contemporary art and more. A visit to the Hôtel d’Agar also includes a visit to its gardens. The latter is probably the oldest garden in France. In this antique garden, you will be able to observe the remains of the Pont Neuf of Paris, the rose window of Carcassonne Cathedral, a large aviary, etc.
- Tourist Office of Cavaillon: https://www.luberoncoeurdeprovence.com/
- Road service: A7 Highway (from Lyon or Marseille)
- Air access: Marseille Provence Airport (45 minutes), Nîmes Airport (1 hour)
- Railroad access: train station