Vaucluse (84750) Population: 502 Altitude: 655 m
The little village of Caseneuve is barely a dot on the map, but that just makes its discovery all the more wonderful. Caseneuve is small and compact, obviously ancient but decently restored. It sits on an isolated hilltop east of Apt, halfway between the Luberon to the south and the Plateau de Vaucluse to the north, giving it an excellent view of the surrounding countryside. The area around the village is peaceful and pastoral, with fields, farms, tractors and sheep, all in rolling hills with a lot of woods. It's a great place for long country walks.
Caseneuve looks like two different villages, depending on from where you approach. Arriving from the direction of St-Martin-de-Castillon to the southwest, Caseneuve seems to sit on a a flat plateau by the edge of a field (photo left). But arriving on the little road up from the south, from Apt or Saignon, Caseneuve is perched on a wooded hilltop (top photo).
Some of the "newer" houses are integrated into the old fortifications, of which three of the original towers remain. In our photo (left) you can see the chateau at the left and two of the towers guarding the group of buildings to the right.
For visiting, many of the tiny side streets end quickly in private gardens or front porches, and a couple minutes walk in any direction will take you out of the village. But what you do see in the village are ancient stone-walled houses lining narrow streets, vaulted passages and the imposing and well-restored 11th-century Provencal-Romanesque chateau.
Local resources include the ocre, vineyards, wheat and lavender, and raising game birds and sangliers.
History of Caseneuve
First record, 978 Casanova
Prehistoric: A bronze-age ax found in the area is on display at the museum in Apt.
Medieval: The fief of Caseneuve has been ruled successively by some illustrious lords, including the Simiane, Bouillon, Rohan-Soubise and, in the 18th century, the prince of Condé.
July (Last Sun) - Fête patronale
• GPS: 43.88653, 5.484009
IGN (1/25,000) #3242 OT "Apt, Luberon"
Didier Richard (1/50,000) #14 "Luberon, Sainte-Victoire"
Didier Richard (1/50,000) #27 "Ventoux"
Country walks along the small lanes through the hills are the best bet close to the village. Only a couple of km north are the steep valleys and wooded hills running east-west just south of Rustrel. Marked trails offer some nice loop-hikes, and connect with the GR 6 and GR 97 (Grande Randonnée) trails.
There's one nice restaurant at the bottom of Caseneuve village, Le Sanglier Paresseux (The Lazy Boar), with a 25-euro menu (2015). On our first visit to Caseneuve in the Fall of 1997, this was the Lou Canone.
At the top of the village, 200 meters out the D35 road to the SE (towards St Martin-de-Castillon) is L'Authentic Bistro, a café-restaurant that's a Bistro de Pays. We didn't stop, but a Bistro de Pays usually has a good, local menu at a low price.
The local vineyards produce Côtes du Ventoux aoc 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.