Vaucluse (84800) Population: 16,971 Altitude: 59 m
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. Market day Sun, Thur.
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.
The church is surrounded by cafés and shops, and the many shopping streets radiating out from this center have mouth-watering smells and window displays.
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.
Pedestrian shopping streets are extensive, with a very wide variety of shops of all kinds. And most are interspersed with terrace cafés and restaurants in case you risk dropping while shopping.
Isle-sur-la-Sorgue has many ancient water wheels, still turning, on the beautiful waterways around and through the town. The Office de Tourisme has a map showing where about 15 of them are located, and we have an Isle-Sorgue Water Wheels page with information and photos of them.
Antiques - Le Quai de la Gare
Isle-sur-la-Sorgue is famous for its antique shops. The 30 Antiquaires at Le Quai de la Gare is a group of 30 antique shops is located in the courtyard of a a 17th-century auberge on Ave de la Libération on the south side of town.
Gargoyles are a picturesque reminder of Medieval France, and there's a fine collection of them around the top of the Collegial Notre-Dame-des-Anges in L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue. The facade of the Collegial was cleaned and renovated in 2009, leaving us with some nicely detailed gargoyles. We have a separate Isle-Sorgue Gargoyles Photos page with some great photos.
Market day in Isle-sur-la-Sorgue is Sunday and Thursday. The Sunday market is really something to behold. This is a market town for the surrounding area, and has become famous as a market and flea-market event for visitors.