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Mazan - a little Provencal gem

The small town of Mazan, an historic and beautiful town which lies at the foot of Mont Ventoux in the Vaucluse department of the Provence Alpes Côte d'Azur region of south-east France, is a true Provencal gem. Surrounded by stunning scenery of mountains, vineyards and olive groves, Mazan, with its circular old walled town and authentic atmosphere is everything that you could hope to find when you dream of a place in Provence.

Amenities on offer

Although Mazan is not very large, it offers all the comforts of modern life, with a good selection of shops, services and necessities. Among the boulangeries etc. there is a small supermarket, but for larger shops and more facilities you only have to pop down the road to the much larger town of Carpentras, another delightful town with plenty to distract you from the chore of supermarket shopping!

Wining and dining

Mazan also has a friendly café bar and a number of good little restaurants, but it really excels with one particular restaurant, a grand affair with a spectacular setting in the Château de Mazan, a former residence of the de Sade family, once frequented by the infamous Marquis!

Enjoy Mazan's markets and festivals

Monday morning sees the arrival of a colourful street market, ideal for finding fresh locally produced goods, and it's a great pleasure to simply browse the stalls in the dappled sunlight. Cultural events also take place from time to time in Mazan, with a fascinating Horse Fair held in April, the Fête Votive in July and the Pilgrimage to La Brune just after Easter every year.

Sights and monuments to visit

Mazan has a fascinating historic centre, roughly circular in shape and protected by thick, ancient walls. The old gates of the ramparts still can be seen, and bring to life memories of the mediaeval past of the town. The Church of Paraloup is worth a visit, as inside you can see some lovely works by Mazan's home grown sculptor, Jacques Bernus.

Don't miss the Allée des Sarcophages

Another interesting sight in Mazan is the Allée des Sarcophages, a cemetery that is flanked by sarcophagi dating from the 6th and 7th centuries, the stones having been discovered in a nearby field in the 18th century. The Château de Mazan is of course, another famous landmark, although it has moved a long way away from its dark associations with the infamous Marquis de Sade, having been transformed into an elegant hotel and superb restaurant.

Discover more about the town at Mazan's museum

Should you wish to delve a little further into the past life of the town and the region, take a look at the Museum of Folklore and History, in the 17th century Chapel of the White Penitents. Here you will find an interesting collection of clothes, tools and a very good reconstruction of a 19th century kitchen.

Out and about

No one can be bored in this wonderful part of France, and Mazan makes an ideal base for getting out and about to enjoy everything there is to see and do in the Vaucluse and nearby departments. The town of Avignon with its famous bridge is just 30 kilometres away, while nearer still is the lovely town of Carpentras with its acclaimed historic centre and winter truffle markets. Orange, with its warmly coloured houses reflecting its name, is another to add to the itinerary.

Get to the top of Mont Ventoux somehow!

Mont Ventoux is a must climb, whether you are brave enough (and fit enough!) to do it on a bicycle as do the intrepid contestants in the Tour de France, or whether you prefer to take the easy way and drive up this mighty monster. The views from the top are truly spectacular, and worth the climb however you make it, but if you are sailing past in your car spare a thought for the poor hobby cyclists puffing their way up as you pass them on the road!

How to get there

To travel to the area from the UK by air you can fly into Avignon, Nîmes or Marseille. Avignon is served by Flybe and Jet2, Nîmes by Ryanair, and Marseille by Air France, British Airways, easyJet, Ryanair and Bmi Baby. The train will get you to Avignon which is around 30 kilometres from Mazan. Finally, if driving, follow the A7 auto route and then take the D942 road until you reach Mazan.

Property prices and availability in and around Mazan

Property in this part of Provence actually tends to offer the lowest prices, and possibly the best value for money. Unlike the coastal areas, so beloved of foreign property buyers for many years, the Vaucluse is more reasonably priced in general, and affords the opportunity to have your own little piece of this beautiful region.

Do you know Mazan better than we do? Do you have photos of Mazan?

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Mazan is situated in the south-east of France, slightly to the north-west of the centre of the Vaucluse department.

Mazan Property Map


Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur Guide

Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur Property Map


Vaucluse Guide

  Vaucluse Map

Population: 5,500

Access: By air: Fly to Avignon, Nîmes or Marseille. By rail: You can take a train to Avignon, which is about 30km from Mazan. By road: The town is found from the A7 auto route, following the Route de Carpentras (D942).

Economy: Mazan's economy is agricultural, with wines of prime importance.

Interesting fact: The Château de Mazan was once the home of the de Sade family, with the infamous libertine Marquis being a frequent visitor. The chateau is now a lovely restaurant.

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