This compact medieval town is built on the islands of five branches of the Sorgue river, 7 km downstream from its source at Fontaine-de-Vaucluse. The river flows through, past, in and around the town, in its many natural beds and several canals. Even without gondolas, water adds a special beauty and character to a town. Sorgue has its many river branches and canals, huge overhanging plane trees and several large, lovely waterwheels. Even if the many mills are no longer working, some of the waterwheels still turn.
Also: | Avignon-Gordes-Apt Itinerary |
Nearby: | Aix-en-Provence 61 km | Alpilles 25 km | Avignon 23 km | Carpentras 17 km | Cavaillon 10 km | Fontaine-de-Vaucluse 7 km | Gordes 20 km | Lagnes 6 km | Monteux 14 km | Montfavet 14 km | Orange 40 km | Pernes-les-Fontaines 11 km | Le Pontet 16 km | Saumane-de-Vaucluse 7 km | Sorgues 24 km | Le Thor 5 km |
The imposing Notre-Dame-des-Anges church in the center of the "vieille ville" was a Collegial church in 1222. Rebuilt in the 17th century, three sides still show signs of its age; the front is refurbished, and includes a lovely clock showing the time, date and phases of the moon.
L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue is a good-sized town, and a popular tourist site appearing in printed guidebooks. The Office de Tourisme has lists of hotels, campsites and furnished rentals.
The shopping streets are extensive, with a very wide variety of shops of all kinds.
Antiques - Le Quai de la Gare
The Parc Gautier is located just outside the center of the town, near the railway line. It's very large, grassy and shaded by giant plane trees, with plenty of other trees and foliage, an excellent place for picnicking away from the crowds on a hot summer day.
First record, 1126: Isla, the name of the primitive town on an island in the Sorgue river; succeeding names were St-Laurent, L'Isle, L'Isle en Venayssin and L'Isle en Venise. In the 19th century, the railway named the town L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue.
Gallo-Roman: A castrum was located at Vélorgues, 2 km south, where there are Gallo-Roman remains.
The town was in the fief of the Count of Provence, then of the Count of Toulouse and finally of Saint-Siége; it was franchised in the 13th century.
In the 14th century, the Popes of Avignon fortified the town, making it a place of refuge for the surrounding villages during the Wars of Religion. In spite of divine protection, Sorgue was ravaged by epidemics of the plague in 1458, 1628, 1629 and 1721, followed by cholera in 1837 and 1854.
Hard times continued during the Revolution, when the town was sacked and burned by the troups of the Convention (1793), and then besieged for five years by the Convention's Thermidorienne reaction.
More Recently: To maintain the rhythm, the town was bombed by the Allies in 1944.
Office de Tourisme
Tel : 04 90 38 04 78; Fax: 04 90 38 35 43
Market day: Thur, Sun mornings; daily during the summer
Antique Market (Puce): Sunday all day
Every Sun - Brocante, Ave des 4 Otages, all day
Every Sat, Sun, Mon - Brocante, by the Gare
Every Sat, Sun - Brocante, LiIsle aux Brocanteurs
Last Sun - Brocante books; Parc Caisse d'Epargne
3rd Weekend July - Marché Provençal, avec Pêche d'Antan
Every Aug - Foire à la Brocante * (every 15 Aug)
1st Sun Aug - Marché Flottant
Foire: closest Thur to 15 Nov; 28 Oct at St-Laurent
Foire à la Brocante: Easter and 15 Aug.
Festival de la Sorgue: 2nd-4th weeks July
Corso Nautique: 25-26 July
Fête Nautique: first week Aug.
Fête du Partage des Eaux: 10 Aug.
Fête St. Cézaire: last week Aug.
- Toy and Old Dolls Museum - Musée du Jouet & de la Poupée Ancienne
- Around a 100 old dolls and toys from 1880 - 1920. A private collection in excellent condition and in a nice setting.
- Location: 26 Rue Carnot (centre-ville)
- Open: June-Sept: 10h30-18h; Oct-Apr: Sat-Sun 13h30-18h; May: daily 13h30-18h
- Closed: Mondays
- Tel: 0490 209 731, or 0677 778 755; Fax: 0490 209 731
- Avignon - Isle-sur-la-Sorgue Bus 6
- Vaucluse bus line connects Avignon, Morières, Châteauneuf-de-Gadagne, Le Thor, L'Isle-sur-La-Sorgue.
A more limited service is also provided between L'Isle-sur-La-Sorgue, Saumane-de-Vaucluse, Fontaine-de-Vaucluse, Lagnes, and Coustellet.
The trip between Avignon and L'Isle-sur-La-Sorgue is about 50 minutes.
A list of schedules for the Vaucluse bus line are at the bottom of the Vaucluse department transport page (http://www.vaucluse.fr/1119-recherche-de-lignes.htm") - click on the link Ligne 6 Avignon - L'Isle-sur-La-Sorgue to download the bus schedule PDF file.
- Department 84, Vaucluse Buses
- See Beyond's Bus Schedules Page 2: Vaucluse Department for downloading Vaucluse bus-lines map [Plan global des lignes] and bus-line schedules [pdf for each line] (link for PDF files).
• Avignon has train or bus connections to Aix-en-Provence, Arles, Nîmes, Saint Remy-de-Provence, Paris.
• Cavaillon has bus connections to Aix-en-Provence, Arles, Saint Remy-de-Provence.
• Pertuis has bus connections to Aix-en-Provence and Marseille.
A VTT (Mountain Biking) rental shop is located near the front of the railway station; tel: (33) 490 20 29 36.
- Provence Country Club
- Location: rte Fontaine de Vaucluse (Saumane de Vaucluse)
- Tel: 0490 202 065
- 18-hole golf, school, practice
- Piscine Municipale
- Location: av Napoléon Bonaparte
- Tel: 0490 380 076
IGN (1/25,000) #3142 OT "Cavaillon, Fontaine-de-Vaucluse"
Didier Richard (1/50,000) #27 "Ventoux"
L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue has no hiking trails at the village, which sits in the rich farmland of the Sorgue, but the Plateau de Vaucluse begins immediately to the northeast. Check out the hiking information for Fontaine-de-Vaucluse, 7 km to the east.