Cairanne photo cairanne030s.jpg (7 k) Cairanne is a lovely old village set in the heart of the wine country, on the D8 road crossing the broad Aigues river valley, northeast of Orange and west of Vaison-la-Romaine.

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

Nearby: | Avignon 40 km | Beaumes-de-Venise 16 km | Bollène 17 km | Carpentras 24 km | Dentelles-de-Montmirail 12 km | Gigondas 10 km | Orange 16 km | Sainte Cécile-les-Vignes 4.5 km | Suze-la-Rousse 14 km | Vacqueyras 12 km | Vaison-la-Romaine 14 km | Ventoux Mountain 46 km |

The center of the new village is low and open, lighted by the Provencal sun. The long school building, neat little shops and the old and new Mairies are pretty and tasteful, giving the village a "local" feel that isn't at all touristique.

The old village (photo above) sits on a low hilltop that commands a magnificent view out across the broad landscape of fields and vineyards, with views of other tiny villages scattered out in the distance. The old village is beautifully restored, keeping the feeling of when the Knights Hospitalers lived here in the 12th century. Of those ancient days, only some of the walls remain from the days of the knights. The Chapelle St. Roch, built into the old wall beside the Porte d'Autanne, was constructed in the 18th century.

If the mistral is blowing, the sound of the wind through the trees and the ancient stone buildings adds to the atmosphere.

On the northwest side of the old village, opposite the Chapelle St. Roch, 17th-century chapel Notre-Dame des Exés is built outside ("exés") the walls. People catching the plague (La Peste) were placed here in an attempt to prevent contaminating the rest of the population.

History

Name

First record, 1123 Cairanne

Prehistoric: neolithic remains, including of cave dwellers.

Gallo-Roman: artifacts include coins, bronze, pottery and columns

Medieval: the domain of the Knights Hospitaliers de St. Jean. Ruled by the Cambis from the 14th century to the Revolution.

Office de Tourisme

Tel : 0490 30 76 53

Web: www.vaison-en-provence.com/fr/informations-pratiques/offices-de-tourisme/cairanne

Mairie
Tel: 04 90 30 82 12; Fax: 04 90 30 73 86

Dates

Every Thur - Marché
Fête: 4th Sunday in July


Wine

Cairanne is in the region of the Rhône Valley wines, with several good vineyards in the commune. (see Rhone Wines)

Transportation Cairanne

Bus

Hiking

Maps

IGN (1/25,000) #3040 ET "Carpantras, Vaison-la-Romaine"

Didier Richard (1/50,000) #27 "Ventoux"

The GR4 hiking trail passes through Cairanne east-west, and the GR trail goes through the ancient, arched Porte d'Autanne and directly past the old donjon with its clock tower.

To the west, the GR4 crosses the Aigue river and it's rich lands of vineyards, following the roads until the village of Lagarde-Paréol, where the trail passes through the woods.

To the east, the GR4 passes along the base of a wooded hill (that peaks at 395 m), going by the villages of Rasteau and Roaix before crossing the Ouvèze river and going up into the hills south of Vaison-la-Romaine.

There are several long, loop hikes up on the hills north of Cairanne-Rasteau-Roaix. Some of these trails follow the small roads, but some of the area is forested, and the view is magnificent.

The village of Cairanne has some excellent little brochures, including one for short, local hikes (Cairanne - Paysages) to discover the regional countryside and flora, and the famous local wines. The text is in French, but the maps are detailed and clear.

Lodging - Hotels