Mere fishermen village built on stilts amid the swamp during the Middle Age, and then specialized in silk and canvas from the 17th century, this town is known as “La Venise Comtadine” and is now full of antique dealers. Colored in green and water, this island town based at the foot of the Vaucluse plateau, is crossed by several canals fed by La Sorgue.
The “chineurs” (the bargain hunters), who like beautiful objects, flea markets and art galleries will be satisfied : there is indeed nearly 300 antique dealers in this small town ! Over time, the flea market has become the international business card of l’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue. Twice a year, during Easter and on the 15th of August, more than 500 antique dealers and flea market sellers meet there to present their treasures to clients coming from all around the world, during the international fair of art and antiques.
Surrounded by the Sorgue river, L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue is punctuated by 17 water wheels, last remains of the industrial past of the town. The docks, the streets and alleys, the churches and chapels, and the fishermen with their strange boats called “Nego-Chin” (meaning litterally “drowning dog”), all give a special charm to the town.
There are magnificent mansions converted to art galleries, with the famous René char House – Donadeï de Campredon Hotel (18th century) among them, which was turned into a museum, and which permanently hosts an area dedicated to René Char and to high level exhibitions (Miro, Gauguin, Dufy...).
About 1.5km from the town center, at the end of a pleasant walk alongside the Sorgue river, you’ll find the water divide area : the place where the river splits into two parts. The luxuriant vegetation and the clear water makes it a really nice place.
During summer, many defy the swimming prohibition, but beware : the water is constantly at 13°c.