We had already discovered western Provence’s Luberon Valley on an earlier trip, but on our visit last summer we based ourselves in the eastern town of Reillane and explored the nearby region.
There are still plenty of tourists during the busy summer season, but the hordes are much thinner on the ground than in Gordes and its surrounding area.
Banon still maintains its medieval gates, and its homes and squares are laid out within the medieval fortifications.
I’ve already written about the town’s impressive bookstore, Le Bleuet, where we spent a lot of time browsing the overwhelming collection, and adding yet more purchases to our already overloaded car.
The town itself is approached through lavendar fields as far as the eye can see – sadly for us, mostly dried up in August, but still wonderfully fragrant. Banon itself is well known for its goat cheese.
The tiny town boasts production of about 600,000 Banon cheeses annually, traditionally soaked in alcohol and wrapped in paper to age.
We loved wandering around the 15th century fortifications and climbing up to the top of the town for breathtaking views below.
And we also hiked up all the stairs in that medieval town, quite a challenge on such a hot day.
I’ve already written about the thoughtful bench we found at a panoramic point at the town’s highpoint – reminding us to take time out and relax. Certainly wise words to live by – especially on vacation.
Living in Italy and being spoiled for choice, I’m not a big fan of French ice cream. However, I did love the ice cream shop just next to the bookstore, and still remember the wonderful lavender and thyme ice cream I enjoyed there as I wandered the picture-perfect medieval streets.
Enjoy your wander around medieval Banon when you’re next in this region of Provence.