I am about to start a new project for this blog: inspired by “On Wednesdays, we wear pink” from Mean Girls, here it comes “on Thursdays, we write in English.” As I said in this post I hope I can keep it a multilingual blog and, as I´ve been living in France for the past 2 years, I´ll be writing a lot about this country too.
Provence, the very charming region in the south of France. It has held many historical and cultural facts and contains way more places to see than Lavanda fields and the Mediterranean sea. Since 2016, 27 regions of France were reduced to 13 (in the mainland, without considering the régions ultramarines), which means that Provence is now PACA – Provence/ Alpes/ Côte-d´Azur, meaning a lot more of picturesque landscapes reunited in a single region!
One of this places is the comune of Sisteron, known as “the Pearl of Haute Provence” with 7.000 inhabitants and surrounded by Durance river. It is a historical site near the Alps with its fortified Citadel dating from 12th century. Inside the walls is the Notre Dame du Chateau Chapel and two museums. From the terrace of the Citadel there is an excellent view of the old city down.The Citadel is located in the Old Town, in the middle of some small hills where one can walk around too. The entrance fee costs 6,50€ and there is a free parking nearby. There is also a motorhomes area around.
Almost the entire village is old but very well-kept. You can walk for hours through the ancient streets, see the still inhabited old buidings, visit some local artists galleries (which are numerous considering the size of this village) or have a rosé along the Durance river (highly required). Well, this is a great place to spend a relaxing day, depending on where you are. Check how to get there below.
When to go?
The Citadel is open from end of March to November open every day, including Sundays and holidays. From 9am to 18pm in April, 18:30 May 19h in June and September, in July and August 7:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m. in October and in November 17h. This is the best time to visit the whole village since it´s near the Alps and temperatures can get really low over there.
How to get there?
From Aix-en-Provence you can make it by bus, from the Aix bus station to Sisteron. It´s a 1h30 ride by LER – Lignes Express line 29 (check out the bus schedules here). You can also go by car, taking A51 highway linking Aix to Sisteron directly.
Marseille is about 145 km away and you can take a regional train ( a 2 hours ride passing by other communes), or go by car to Aix and then take A51. The same bus line is available from Marseille.
But if you’re in Nice (230 km away) you can go by the A8 highway, or, if you go by bus, the same bus company LER – Lignes Express cover this traject with line 31.
I´m pretty sure you´ll find it well worth a visit, just like I did!