Apt photo apt099.jpg (7 k) Apt is a fabulous market town. It's a large town, not a village; the surrounding apartment blocks are prominent, and the main road past the town and along the concrete-channeled river is pretty industrial. The beauty of Apt is the old town (vieille ville), hidden behind the walled buildings. Long, narrow streets winding between the houses, with interesting little nooks here and there waiting for discovery.

location map for Apt area map
Dept: Vaucluse (84)

Also:  | Apt Lavender Itineraries | Apt Lavender Itineraries | Avignon-Gordes-Apt Itinerary | Domitienne Way |

Nearby: | Aix-en-Provence 55 km | Avignon 51 km | Bonnieux 14 km | Buoux Fort 11 km | Caseneuve 10 km | Cavaillon 31 km | Forcalquier 42 km | Gargas 5 km | Lourmarin 18 km | Luberon Mountains | Manosque 40 km | Pertuis 35 km | Pont Julien 8 km | Roussillon 11 km | Saint Saturnin-lès-Apt 9 km |

Hotels near Apt: | Apt | 5 km Gargas | 9 km Saint Saturnin-les-Apt | 11 km Roussillon | 14 km Bonnieux | 18 km Lourmarin | 31 km Cavaillon |

On market day, the squares are filled, outside the old ports (see photo) and inside the town, and there are kilometers of streets packed with market stalls and lined with shops.

The old town is centered around the 11th-century Cathedral, on what was once an island between two branches of the river. Two ancient towers, the 18th-century Bouquerie tower and the 16th-century Tour de l'Horloge both have lovely campaniles. In some of the narrow, paved streets you'll see vaulted passages and some very lovely fountains.

Great museums in Apt.

Products

Apt has been known for its basket- and wicker-work and hat industries since the 17th century. Apt is the capital of candied fruits (fruit-confits), with the Aptuinion billed as the world leader in fruit-confits production.

Aptunion

Salignan, BP 137; 84405 APT Cedex, France

Tel: (33) 490 76 31 31; Fax: (33) 490 74 43 48

Favorite Sons

Some interesting people originated in Apt.

Joseph Aude (1760-1840), writer

François Carrière (..-1664) Franciscan Friar and King's preacher

Delpech, painter

Marc-Antoine Grossy (1604-1687), theologian

Joseph-Jean Rive, bibliographer

Joseph-Elzéar-Noël Sollier, student of David

Hadrian's horse Borysthenes died here in 121 AD.

History

Name

First record, Roman: Apta Julia

Prehistoric: There was paleolithic habitation in the Aiguebrun valley (see Fort de Buoux), just to the south. A Druids temple was located in the Rocsaliére Valley, and a Celtic-Ligurian oppidum was at Perréal.

Gallo-Roman: "colonia Apta Julia" was an important Gallo-Roman city. The Calavon river valley was part of the Roman Domitienne Way between Italy and Spain. The location was actually an island between two branches of the river when the Romans built Apta Julia to garde the road and pacify the local Albici tribe, based on a hillfort at Perréal, 6 km to the north (near St.Saturnin). Barbarian invasions beginning in the 5th century pretty much destroyed the city, which was deserted and eventually covered over by silt from the river and the hillsides. The Roman remains are still buried around 5-10 m below the current basements. Paleo-Christian (4th, 5th, 6th c.) sarcophagi can be seen in the Chapelle St. Jean and Chapelle St. Pierre.

Medieval: In the 10th century, the Bishops and Lords of Agoult-Simiane ruled Apt, bringing it back to life again. From the 13th century, Apt was ruled by a consular administration, growing steadily in prosperity, until stopped by the conflicts resulting from the succession of Reine Jeanne. During the Wars of Religion Apt was a Catholic town, in conflict with the Baron of Adrets. At the end of the 16th century, the Calavon flooded and seriously damaged the town. And after the floods, two successive plague epidemics devastated Apt, followed by a third in 1720.

Office de Tourisme

Tel (+CDT): 04 90 74 03 18; Fax: 04 90 04 64 30

Web: www.ot-apt.fr

Email: omt.apt@free.fr

Dates

Every Tue - (Mar-Oct) Brocante, Place St.Pierre
Every Sat - Marché - Morning, through the entire town center, and it takes all morning to see it all; come early to get a parking place. One of the biggest and best.
Last Sun Apr - Fête de Sainte Anne
Every May - La cavalcade (corso)
Every May - Salon des produits du terroir
Every May - Festival de jazz (www.jazz.free.fr)
3rd Sun Oct - Fête de la Vendange

Museums

Some great museums here.

Roman Theater Museum - In the Nassau mansion, built (inadvertently) over the remains of the Roman theater.

Rue de l'Amphithéatre

Open, Summer: 10h-12h, 14h30-17h30 daily;

Open, Winter: 14h30-16h30 except Tuesday; 10h-12h, 4h30-17h30 Saturday


Wine

Apt is in the region of the Rhône Valley Côtes de Luberon wines and the Côtes de Ventoux wines.

Chateau de Mille

Location: D3 Apt-Bonnieux, 4 km from Apt

Tel: 0490 741 194; Fax: 04 90 74 56 82

Conrad Pinatel & Fils - Propriétaires-Vignerons The Pinatel's have been making wine here for several generations. The Chateau is worth a visit for itself: used by the Popes of Avignon, Jean Giono and others. Directions: the D3 road between Apt and Bonnieux; 8 km from Bonnieux; From Apt (4 km) take D943 west (dir. Marseille), about 500 m turn right onto small D3 (dir. Bonnieux).

Château de L'Isolette

Location: Château de L'Isolette, ; rte de Bonnieux

Tel: 0490 741 670; Fax: 0490 04 70 73

Transportation Apt

Bus


Sports

Swimming Pools (Piscines)
Piscine Viton
Open: end July to beginning Sept
Plan d'eau
Open: mid June to beginning Sept

Cycling
The Luberon en Vélo cycling path runs 100 km between Cavaillon, Apt and Forcalquier. See also Cycling-Shops.

Cycling

Swim

Hiking

Maps

IGN (1/25,000) #3242 OT "Apt, Luberon"

Didier Richard (1/50,000) #14 "Luberon, Sainte-Victoire"

The GR9 (Grande Randonnée) passes through the center of Apt. To the north, the GR9 follows small roads up the wide valleys and fields to join cross the GR6 Hiking Trail near St. Saturnin-d'Apt, then climbs the slopes of the Plateau de Vaucluse. To the south, the GR9 crosses the wild Aiguebrun valley at the magnificent Fort de Buoux. From there, several trails go into the Luberon or west to Bonnieux.

Reader's Comments

Our stay in Provence was for a week at a house rental in Apt, actually it was a short drive down a dirt road just below the hilltop town of Saignon. This rental was arranged locally through an agent for vacation rentals in Western Europe.
It is too bad that the town of Saignon doesn't have a web site or you have a picture of it because it is certainly a small but interesting town to tour its streets and view the valley from its high viewpoint above Apt. Its ruins are lit up at night as well.
From here we used this as our home base to visit many of the hilltop or perched villages of the Luberon and onward to Aix-en-Provence and even a day trip to Saint Tropez! This was a little too far, especially having to travel over the Luberon Mtns. and down through Aix to get to the A-8!

Lodging - Hotels