This is Travel in Marseille Provence travel guide, a guide made by Marseille people for everyone. Here you will find out about Provence best places and travel tips. This page takes you on a journey to one of the most picturesque towns of the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, Banon, famous for its lavender fields and its goat cheese.

Overlooking the Coulon valley, the town of Banon is located at an altitude of 700 metres. The vestiges of the old medieval village, ruins and impressive fortifications, can be seen. The purple blue of the lavender fields in summer or the unique taste of « Le Banon », a creamy goat cheese, attract a lot of tourists. But there is a lot more to discover in Banon! Follow our guide…

Wander in the streets of Banon and learn about its history

The old castle’s fortifications ruins surround the medieval village of Banon located at the town’s top. The fortifications used to be 800 metres long, 10 metres high and 1 meter large! In the past, the castle stood at the village’s highest peak, next to the old « Hôtel-Dieu » and against the deconsecrated church.

The old village of Banon has known many assaults. Walking in the picturesque narrow streets you will learn about its rich past.film Alibi.com online

Taste the local speciality: « Le Banon »

Le Banon is a goat round cheese about 100g of weight. Its making process follows a very ancient method, a heritage of the Haute Provence farms.

In the past, local peasants used to keep the cheese leftover folded in chestnut trees. This technic is still in use to prepare « Le Banon », it gives the cheese its unique flavours made of a softly fermented curd and the tannin from the chestnut leaf.

banon-cheese-culinary-speciality-aoc

© Office de Tourisme des Alpes de Haute-Provence

Discover one of the French biggest independent bookshop, « Le Bleuet »      

There is nothing surprising about a bookshop in a town, one would say. But Banon’s bookshop is really incredible. It sells more than 150 000 books! It is even possible to order online with around one million books available. Definitely a must-see.

independent-bookstore-bleuet-village

© Office de Tourisme des Alpes de Haute-Provence

Take a walk in the « Colorado Provençal »

A few kilometres from Banon is located what we call the « Colorado Provençal », a site where ochre quarries were still in operation until the early 90’s.

Far from the tourist crowds, the beauty of this site is absolutely mind blowing. You will discover an incredible range of dazzling colours, which gave its name to the site.

The car park « les Mille couleurs » (the thousand colours) makes it easy to park, and there is even a little café that offers drinks and snacks, and a shop with souvenirs and books on ochre. You can also bring your picnic and stop at the picnic area.

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