Vaucluse (84400) Population: 794 Altitude: 300 m
Villars is a very pretty little village just north of Apt. It's a very quiet place; it's not on a road between two towns, so any traffic in the village is because of people intending to come here.
There aren't many sights here to draw tourists, so visitors will be here mainly for the calm beauty. Villars is centered around a very pleasant town square, with a fountain in the center and a picturesque trough-fountain (abreuvoir) at the side. The few streets for exploring have some nicely painted and decorated houses.
The village church with its sharply-pointed steeple was 14th century, but rebuilt in the 19th century.
The only commerce in Villars village is one a bakery (boulangerie). The bakery is tucked into a nook of a narrow street, and we were amused to see that a neighbour had posted a sign asking drivers not to leave their engines running while stopping for bread.
Villlars village is well worth stopping for a visit when you're in the area, and a good choice for a lunch stop, or at the very least a mid-morning or mid-afternoon café stop, and a relaxed walk around.
The old village lavoir is located beside the D111 road coming into town from the south. It's a few hundred meters from the village center, and now used as a bus stop.
There are two other hamlets associated with the commune of Villars: Les Petits Cléments is a very tiny hamlet 1.5 km northeast of Villars village; Les Grands Cléments is a larger hamlet 2.5 km northeast of Villars village.
Les Grands Cléments is a picturesque little village, with a few old streets for exploring, an 18th-century church, a couple of ancient sundials, and a lovely old fountain with a basin full of goldfish.
Les Petits Cléments is really tiny. We went there for a 30-year-old wrought-iron sundial that was on our list, but the hamlet probably wouldn't interest the average tourist. The elderly lady of the sundial house was rather surprised to learn that her house and sundial were on the Internet.
History of Villars
First record, 12th century Villarium
Gallo-Roman: Several Roman villas were located in the area around Villars, and may have contributed to the name of the village. Roman artifacts were discovered at Trécassals and at Couvrefac, in the hills 5 km northeast of the village.
• GPS: 43.923344, 5.405145
The GR9 (Grande Randonnée) passes beside Villars, at the east side of the village.
Just north of Villars the GR9 crosses the GR6 Hiking Trail , and continues north up the slopes of the Plateau de Vaucluse.
There are three good places to eat in the village, two just beside the central square.
La Fontaine restaurant has a 20-euro menu and 9-12 euro salads (2015).
Bar des Amis is a café-restaurant (bistro) and chambre d'hôte has entrées from 12 euros and tapas.
Auberge du Villarsois is a restaurant a bit further into the old village, with a 15-euro midday menu and 23-euro dinner menu.
We visited early in the day, so didn't try either eatery, but the Bar des Amis provided good coffee and good conversation about the village.
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.