When the wisdom of old stones meets the forces of nature, you get a trip that is both magnificent and timeless. Lovers of heritage or those seeking serenity, explore our 5-step spiritual itinerary in ProvenceVerte!
Cotignac Barjols Saint-Maximin-la-Sainte-Baume Plan d’Aups Sainte Baume Abbaye de la Celle
80 by 400 metres – these are the impressive dimensions of the tuff cliffs that overlook Cotignac. Start your spiritual itinerary inProvence Verte with the typical charm of this village and its famous green setting. Come closer to see the traces of old troglodyte houses! Old stones and their mysteries fascinate you? Go to the Sanctuaire de Notre Dame de Grâce, the legendary place where the Virgin Mary appeared. Raise your eyes to be calmed by the azure vaulted ceiling. Finally, swap solitude for the bustle of a café on Place Gambetta, the heartbeat of Cotignac.
If the Provence Verte route is quite lush, it is above all about water! Stroll through Barjols and its 42 fountains and « lavoirs » (wash-houses) to keep yourself cool while exploring the little town. Detour to the Maison Régional de l’Eau to fully submerge yourself in the subject. Go back in time as you enter the Collégiale Notre‑Dame de l’Assomption and admire the various treasures it houses. From the reliquary bust of Saint Marcel to the majestic walnut organs, this historical monument’s past will enchant you with its beauty.
Etape 3Saint Maximin and La Sainte Baume
On the Route de la Foi (Route of Faith) in Provence Verte, Saint Maximin la Sainte Baume is an essential stop. The town and its unique heritage offer you many havens of peace, places of contemplation and landscapes that are conducive to spirituality. Start with the Basilica Sainte Marie-Madeleine, the biggest Gothic building in Provence. From the reliquary to the crypt, via the 16 panels of the Passion of Christ, take a moment to appreciate these jewels from another time. Stroll under the arcades of the Cloister beside the basilica to take a peek at the well! It hides a secret passage that was formerly only known to the monks.
Etape 4The Grotte Sainte Marie-Madeleine in Plan d'Aups Sainte Baume
On the heights of the mountain village of Plan d’Aups Sainte Baume, nature and spirituality become one! Between oaks and beeches, the wild landscapes of the Massif de la Sainte-Baume will encourage the most contemplative to introspection, while the more sporty will get their hiking shoes on. A major pilgrimage in Provence Verte, the Massif de la Sainte Baume offers an emotional climb. At the heart of the rock face, you will reach the magnificent cave, La Grotte de Sainte Baume, where the statue of Mary Magdalene awaits you.
Etape 5Abbaye de la Celle
Conclude your spiritual itinerary in Provence Verte with a detour through the peaceful town of La Celle. Challenge the old fellows to a game of pétanque on the little square and get the best light to photograph the steeple and its bell-tower. Return to the Middle-Ages with an exploration of the old monastery of the Benedictine nuns. Under construction, the building is undergoing a beautiful restoration.
It is only a short step to go from spirituality to spirits! Visit the Maison des Vins in La Celle to taste more than 200 white, red and rosé wines. If you’re passing through Provence, don’t miss the Silvacane, Sénanque and Le Thoronet « Sisters, » a trio of magnificent Cistercian abbeys.