A charming Provençal town characterised by its buttery stone cottages, sweeping vistas, and historic buildings, Grambois is a must-see while in Provence. Here’s your guide to the best things to do in Grambois, including what to know before you go.
The first recorded instance of Grambois was in 1050, when the settlement was referred to as Quaranmodam.
Grambois is located in the Vaucluse department within the heart of the region of Provence in the south of France. Nestled close to the Luberon mountains (within the Parc Regional Naturel du Luberon), Grambois is a hilltop (370 metres of elevation) village which boasts a renovated medieval heart and was used as a backdrop for filming La Gloire de mon père, which was released in 1990.
There are very few places to stay, dine, or drink in Grambois, and so the village is more of a village that you can meander around for an hour or two before departing to visit larger towns with a greater number of attractions and things to do.
Every Saturday morning, a small market is held in the central village square. Nearby Provençal towns of note and villages of interest include Beaumont-de-Pertuis, Pertuis (one of the largest settlements in the area, and the place which boasts the greatest number of shops), and La Bastide des Jourdains.
Best things to do in Grambois
Le Passage des Templiers
Like many hilltop villages in Provence, the best way to explore Grambois is on foot and so be sure to wear comfortable clothing and footwear. I would personally avoid heels at all costs as the cobblestones are a nightmare to walk on when wearing heels!
The best way to get a feel for Grambois is to simply stroll around the village of just over 1000 inhabitants and wander the little alleyways and climb the various stairs. The tiny nature of the medieval settlement means that you won’t get lost, but will instead stumble upon quaint little alleys such as Le Passage des Templiers, which is a 14th-century covered passageway.
Find the beautiful viewpoints
Since Grambois is ocated at an enviable elevated altitude above the surrounding countryside, one of the greatest charms of Grambois is all of the beautiful vistas many of the streets offer over the nearby fields of vineyard, olive trees, and other greenery. While wandering around in search of good views, you’ll also likely stumble upon several parts of the historic town ramparts which date back to the 14th-century.
La Fontaine Aux Bartavelles
The entirety of the village is centred around a central square, of which there lies a historic fountain in the middle. La Fontaine Aux Bartavelles has been in situ since the latter half of the 19th-century and was featured in “La Gloire de mon Père” film. Today, the location is one of the most photogenic spots in Grambois.
Built in a beautiful blend of Gothic and Romanesque styles, the main place of worship in the village is a church dedicated to Notre-Dame-de-Beauvoir. Situated in pride of place on the central square where the village fountain is also located, the first attestation of the church appears in the records as early as 1096. Its original 12th-century bell tower still stands to this day.
Le perron cavalier (staircase)
Another curiosity situated on the central square in the heart of the village is Le perron cavalier, which is an outdoor staircase that aided people in mounting their horses. Originally, the stairs would have been larger, though only a part survives to this day. This set of stairs is somewhat of a hidden gem of Grambois as it is one of the only surviving staircases of its kind in Provence.
Great oak of Grambois
One of the most impressive trees in the entirety of Provence is to be found in the form of the great oak tree which lies on the fringes of the village. Known locally as ‘ le grand chêne,’ the ancient tree is thought to be between 350 and 400 years old.
The tree is 16 metres tall, though has branches that reach 20 metres in length. Fiercely protected by local residents (known as Gramboisiens), it’s thought that the tree owes at least some of its healthiness to its strategic position alongside the river Fontvierane.
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