Apt is a very small town highly recommended by travelers and mentioned in Peter Mayle’s Encore Provence. In Apt, we felt that we had finally reached the Provence we were longing for.
Pretending to be Peter, we hopped through tiny towns perched on minor peaks and resting in vineyard covered valleys. With Peter’s recommendations in hand, we experienced the market in Apt, bought baguettes at the boulangerie in Rustrel, peaked in the windows of the B&B in Saignon, strolled the narrow sandstone streets of Gordes, learned about lavender essential oil production in Coustellet, and watched the elderly men play boules every lazy afternoon. Everywhere we went, the locals, including the children, greeted us in passing, “Bonjour, Monsieur-Dame,” with a gentle smile. We felt welcome, relaxed, and happy. We could be truly happy living in a small Provençal town.
The Apt market is a huge affair every Saturday. The center road is closed to traffic and stands selling everything from olives to cheese to pilaf to clothes to wine to baskets line every street in central Apt.
Perched atop a small peak, the town of Gordes overlooks the Vaucluse Valley. Narrow winding streets and numerous small art galleries are a walkers delight.