At the foot of Banon are the lavender fields: no doubt, we are in Haute Provence, between Mont Ventoux and the Lure mountain, just below the eastern limit of the Albion plateau. Banon dominates a wide valley where the Calavon rises, an intermittent river that crosses Gorges d'Oppedette to the south, then oblique to the west towards Apt and runs along the Luberon mountain to the Durance towards Cavaillon.
Perched at the top of a high promontory, Banon retains the appearance of a perched village. Protected behind its walls, the village gradually extended towards the valley.
Banon is of course worth a visit for its famous cheese and a walk in the old village to the top of the hill will reward you with a beautiful view of the Lure mountain. You enter the old Provençal village through a 14th century medieval machicolation gate. Banon was in the Middle Ages well fortified, we can recognize the well-preserved remains of the ramparts that protected the village.
The narrow cobbled streets are lined with old houses, some of which date back to the 16th century. At the top of the village stood a castle, destroyed during the Revolution. Next to the church that covers the village, the view is splendid over the Calavon valley and the Lure mountain. The chapel of Our Lady of the Angels, of Romanesque origin, can be seen isolated on a hill, which was for a long time a place of pilgrimage.
From the summit of Banon, the view of the Lure massif is magnificent, even in winter, when the fresh air takes the eye as close as possible to the bumps and secret crevices on the side of the mountain.
Banon's Cheese AOC and Banon cheese Festival
Banon is well known by gourmets for its particular cheese, a goat cheese with a registered designation of origin, it is easy to recognize, the "Banon" is preserved in a chestnut leaf and tied with a rafia string.
Authentic, local product, Banon cheese has only been AOC certified for a few years. We no longer find the "fake" Banons made from cow's milk, wrapped in paper sheets, insipid imitations of the traditional "Banon".
Banon cheese AOC is a traditional goat cheese that was kept for the winter. For its conservation, it is wrapped in a chestnut leaf, tied with a rafia string. Once produced in autumn, it is now produced all year round to the delight of gourmets.
This Sunday in May, the stands of regional producers - cheese, bread, wine, sausages - are set up in the main square of the village and festive activities enliven the day.
Some people come from far away and hurry to the Banon Cheese Festival, so that a shuttle bus service takes visitors from the parking spaces below the village.
The Banon Cheese Festival is dedicated to the pleasures of the table, but also to the pleasures of the mind, it is a literary event, the famous bookstore "Le Bleuet" invites authors for a day of meeting with their audience.
Photos of Banon : slideshow
Lavender field at the foot of Banon, village in Haute Provence
Panorama over the Lure mountain from Banon
Medieval gate in Banon
The Eglise haute de Banon
The former Hôtel-Dieu in Banon
Cheese Festival - Fête du Fromage de Banon
Banon village in Haute Provence
Banon village in Haute Provence
Banon, winter landscape
Practical information and accommodation
Find a bed and breakfast in Haute Provence on Provence's B&B portal
Banon's web site : village-banon.fr
What to do and what to see in Banon?
- Old Hôtel-Dieu in the old village
- Eglise Haute
- Chapel Notre-Dame des Anges
- Gouffre du Caladaïre : Caladaire abyss a cave located in the commune of Montsalier. Le Gouffre sinks into the Vaucluse plateau to the coast -667 meters. It is part of the catchment area of the Fontaine de Vaucluse
- Fromagerie de Banon Banon cheese dairy : fromagerie-banon.fr
- Le Bleuet Bookstore : lebleuet.fr . It is the largest independent bookstore in rural areas, with 189,000 books in stock.
- Banon Cheese Festival fetedufromage-banon.fr on the 3rd Sunday in May
- Lavande en Fête, Lavender Day, the 3rd Sunday of July
- Jokair paragliding in Banon : jokair-parapente.com
- Weekly market day on Tuesday morning
- Hiking, mountain biking and cycling.
Coming to Banon
GPS coordinates : N 44°02'16'' - E 5° 37'40''
Location : altitude 790 meters, 6 miles from Simiane-la-Rotonde, 8 miles from Ongles, 9 miles from Oppedette, 11 miles from Saint-Etienne-les-Orgues, 14,5 miles from Mane, 15 miles from Forcalquier, 20 miles from Apt