Vaucluse (84190) Population: 1,784 Altitude: 100 m
The word "beaume" means caves or grottos, and Beaumes-de-Venise is built against a line of cliffs along the southwestern edge of the Ventoux mountains. The old houses and narrow streets of the medieval village rise up to the reddish sandstone cliffs with their many caves. Market day Tue.
Beaumes is a market town and obviously a commercial center for the outlying farms and hamlets. Busy and bustling, life in the village centers around an open central area with squares, weathered stone fountains, shops, outdoor terrace cafés, with plenty of shade from the plane trees.
Watching over everything is the large 16th-century church with its clock tower topped by a wrought-iron belfry (campanile). The church was built in 1507; the campanile was added in the 19th century when the church was rebuilt.
Part of the village activity includes a bureau de tourisme that's even open on Sundays.
D21 Road Beaume-Caromb
The narrow D21 road between Beaume-de-Venise and Caromb passes through many olive orchards, a change from the ever-present vineyards of this region. The road is a lovely drive and has a great view of the Mont Ventoux peak (which can be snow-capped into late April) and the rocky teeth of the Dentelles de Montmirail. Passing along this road you'll also see the fabulous castle of Le Barroux.
History of Beaumes-de-Venise
First record, 993 Ad Balmas. The name beaume comes from "balma" which means grotto or cave.
Prehistoric: Grottos inhabited in the neolithique, with traces showing habitation since the iron age.
Gallo-Roman: The Greeks used the town as a spa, and brought the Muscat grape that makes the Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise wine famous today. The Oppidum de Durban was a Roman fortified site, and there are several other Roman and Gallo-Roman artifacts.
Medieval: Beaumes was part of the fief of the Count of Toulouse until he gave it to Saint-Siège in 1209. It passed through several rulers over the centuries, and through the Revolution.
Market day: Tue.
July (Last Sun) - Fête patronale
• GPS: 44.121744, 5.029454
IGN (1/25,000) #3040 ET "Carpantras, Vaison-la-Romaine"
Didier Richard (1/50,000) #27 "Ventoux"
Beaumes-de-Venise sits at the southern edge of the hills below the Dentelles Montmirail. Roads, fields and vineyards spread out to the south, but the Dentelles provide some impressive hiking.
• The trail west from the village skirts the edge of the hills, circling around to Gigondas as well as branching off for a steep climb up to the Dentelles.
• The trail east from the village follows small roads across the vineyards, and then goes through woods and fields where it branches to La-Roque-Alric or Le Barroux.
• A trail climbs north up out of Beaumes-de-Venise to the plateau (a quick rise from 100 to 300 m altitude). The trail then follows the road before getting into the trees for the final climb up to the Dentelles (627 m). If that's not enough, you can continue up through the forest northeast of Gigondas to the Grande Montagne.
Beaumes-de-Venise is in the region of the Cötes de Rhöne wines and the appellation Cötes de Ventoux wines. It also has it's own appellation, Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise, one of France's best sweet white wines. (see Rhone Wines)
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.