Visit Fontaine de Vaucluse, the biggest spring in France
Haven of peace and tranquillity and an ideal place to take a stroll, the village of Fontaine de Vaucluse is symbolic of the region. Its spring attracts researchers and potholers from all over the world, its impressive abyss never ceases to intrigue and still holds many secrets…
Nestled around its abyss, in the bottom of a closed valley, Fontaine de Vaucluse gave its name to the department. The closed valley, Vallis Clausa, Vaucluse. No wonder this charming little commune has so many geological, natural and historic wonders.
Visit to Fontaine de Vaucluse, an internationally renowned site
Its spring, accessible on foot after leaving your car in the car park, flows out of 230 m high cliff. 630 million cubic meters of water spill out every year, making the Fontaine de Vaucluse the most powerful spring in France and among the top five largest in the world! The Sorgue River flows through this area and its water is so pure that the whole site is part of the Natura 2000 network.
The Fontaine de Vaucluse is, in fact, a karst spring of the Sorgue which surfaces here after flowing through underground meanders, collecting rainwater and melted snow from the surrounding Mont Ventoux and Vaucluse Mountains.
In 1946, Captain Cousteau was the first to send a team into the Fontaine de Vaucluse abyss, reaching a depth of 46 m, thus completing the first dive in scuba gear. A few years later, a real archaeological treasure was found at a depth of more than 300 metes: hundreds of gold coins dating back to the 4th century. However, we advise you not to dive in looking for treasure…
Trails and canoeing in Fontaine de Vaucluse
After exploring this magnificent natural site, take a walk through the old, narrow streets and along the Sorgue which has inspired many poets, from Pétrarque to René Char. The clear, pure waters of the Sorgue are a blessing when it’s hot. Enjoy a canoe trip down the river with your family from Fontaine de Vaucluse to Isle sur la Sorgue. Then stop off at one of the traditional little cafés or visit the artisan shops were craftspeople work with glass, paper, pottery and jewellery. The tourist information office in Fontaine de Vaucluse will help you and give you all the information you need about canoe trips, hiking trails and tours.