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Marie Viennet

Your passion in life?

“I’m passionate about nature, heritage and art. I’m lucky enough to be working in this field and to be able to share my passion by launching artistic and cultural projects.”

Your favorite in the south of France?

“Just an hour and a quarter from Villeneuve lez Avignon, I suggest you climb the Pic Saint Loup, 20 km north of Montpellier, which gave its name to a famous Languedoc wine appellation. The hike takes around two and a half hours, and the view from the 658m-high summit is incredible, with exceptional panoramic views of Mont Aigoual, the Cévennes, the Mediterranean Sea and Mont Ventoux when the weather is clear. I recommend picnicking at the top.

3 tourist experiences in the region that you particularly like?

  • The Roman Pont du Gard, the Gardon gorges and lunch at the Prieuré Saint-Nicolas in Sainte Anastasie.
  • Climb Mont Ventoux, a breathtaking change of scenery, about 1 hour from Villeneuve (skiing, snowshoeing in winter or cycling for the more courageous).
  • Visit Arles, with Montmajour Abbey, the Luma Tower, the Museon Arlaten, the Reattu Museum, the Musée Départemental Arles Antique and the narrow streets of the old town, which come alive during the traditional Easter and Rice Férias (September).

Your advice for our guests?

“Take the time to visit Villeneuve les Avignon, its many historic monuments and stroll around the village for at least a day before setting off on your getaway. Take advantage of the weekly events, such as the flea market on Saturday mornings, with its not-to-be-missed tasting of oysters direct from the Bouzigues producers on the Etang de Thau, or the Provencal market on Thursday mornings, or the many festivals (Villeneuve-en-scène, Festival du polar…). Climb as far as Fort Saint-André to visit the remarkable gardens of Saint-André Abbey, offering exceptional views of the Palais des Papes, the Alpilles and Mont Ventoux, and take a break at L’Hortus café in the heart of the gardens (April to September).”

Music found in your travel playlist?

“It all depends on the destination. It could be music from the 70s and 80s that we introduce to our children, reggae reggae for sunny destinations, or electro music like “Walking in the dark” by Metronomy or psychedelic pop rock by Tame Impala like “The less I know the better”.

Your little grain of madness?

“Organising musical sunrises at 5.30 in the morning!”

Your favorite local dish?

“Truffles in omelettes, risotto, or simply on a slice of buttered bread, the “black diamond of Provence”, from the Richerenches or Carpentras markets.”

If you were a tourist attraction in the region...

“The Alpilles, a source of artistic inspiration for many painters and writers.”


Abbey Saint-André's Owner in Villeneuve-Lès-Avignon