Saturday, 29 December 2012

Photo of the Day - Forcalquier and the Alps...

People tend to associate Provence with the Mediterranean, Lavender fields, Hilltop villages and the Luberon Valley but rarely would one associate the Alps. The Northernmost department of Provence is called Les Alpes de Haute Provence. It is probably the most authentic part of Provence in my mind and abounds in hidden secrets which I take enormous pleasure in revealing to my clients. It's also where I live and every day when I drive home from my office I have the privilege of the view of the Alps bathed in the warm glow of the setting sun. The Southern Alps are just next door and even though they are not strictly speaking Provence they fall within its administrative jurisdiction. There are several ski resorts which benefit from the sunshine of Provence whilst often boasting an excellent snow coverage especially towards the end of the season.
Here is a photo taken during an afternoon walk, you can see the Citadel of Forcalquier as well as the unmistakable mountain slopes in the background. The cameras zoom makes the mountains seem even closer than they really are and the effect is quite dramatic. There was no high point to get a clear shot so the tree branches became an inherent part of the image as well.
Forcalquier and the Alps 

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Your Provence Travel Questions Answered.

Do you know where this is? Answer in the comments if you think you have the answer.  
Whilst browsing through my blog's statistics I always take a look at some of the queries used by search engines that people use to find me. These vary from people looking for a Nougat making machine to others searching for breeding stock of Provençal goats or Camargue horses, but today I noticed someone who was looking for the time it would take to drive from Gargas to the Valensole plateau. I don't think that the answer to that question can be found here, but I can answer it (about 1h20). If they are going to Valensole to admire the lavender fields I would tell them to go to the Plateau d'Albion instead which is closer (30-40 minutes) and in my mind, more spectacular.
Lavender field on the plateau d'Albion, complete with weeds which give it an altogether  more rustic charm don't you think?
All this to say to visitors to this blog, if you came here looking for simple answers to your Provençal travel questions and you can't find them, just click on the contact button to the right and ask me directly! Its free and chances are I have the answer you are looking for.

Unless you are looking for a stud goat...

                                         ...and even then I may be able to help.

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Have a very Luxury Christmas in Provence

If you are going to be in France this year’s Christmas holidays and are looking for somewhere to stay, do or see then come to Provence and enjoy a bit of pampering, a perfect way to face the start of 2013. Here is a list of a few of the luxury breaks and ideas from some of the leading luxury hotels of the region. The list is not exclusive and as I receive more information from hotels I will add them on.
Since this is not a list ordered according to any specific criteria I have listed the Hotels by their town names alphabetically.

La Mirande – Avignon

La Mirande is literally across the road from the monumental Papal Palace in the centre of Avignon. Over the Christmas and New Year period they have several offers.
The first is a pre-Christmas offer with a festive market with Artisans, animations for Children, tasting of Christmas fare by the hotel’s chef, wine tasting, mulled wine, waffles all in and around the hotel. All this and One night in a Large Deluxe Double room, a buffet breakfast. The afternoon Christmas “goûter” served in the patio of La Mirande and the Christmas present from La Mirande made by one of the artisans at the artisan’s market.
From the 14th to the 16th December Prices from 305€ for two
And for Christmas day a 7 course Christmas dinner, one night with buffet breakfast included from 547€ for two.

L’Abbaye de La Celle – La Celle en Provence

The first of two of Alain Ducasse’s Inns on our list, in the heart of La Provence Verte, here is a Christmas offer for Gourmets.
3 nights in a superior room (upgrades possible according to availability. All breakfasts. Cocktails on your arrival. Christmas gifts and a personalised welcome in room. A Gourmet dinner on Christmas Eve with two starters, two main courses cheese and dessert.   A Gourmet lunch on Christmas Day with two starters, two main courses cheese and dessert.
Prices from 1 195€ for two.

Hotel Crillon le Brave – Crillon le Brave

Perched at the top of the hilltop village of the same name here is one of the most romantic settings in Provence to spend a gourmet Christmas. Over Christmas there will be cooking classes, a concert on the 23rd and their special Christmas gourmet offer.
One night including breakfast and either Christmas Eve dinner or Christmas lunch for two.
Prices from 299€ for two.

La Bastide de Gordes – Gordes

With an access to the stunning hilltop town of Gordes enjoy the New Year with gourmet delights and the Luxury Spa.
3 nights in a double room.  3 breakfasts.  New Year’s Eve Gourmet Dinner.  1 Dinner (Bastide Menu)
Access to the Open Spa: Chromatic pool, Jacuzzi, hammam and fitness room.
From 705,50€ per person

Le Couvent des Minimes – Mane en Provence

Nestled in La Haute Provence discover « another » Provence based at Le Couvent des Minimes
1 night in a double room. A selection of Christmas treats in your room. Buffet breakfast. A choice of either Dinner on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day lunch both at the Le Clôitre gourmet restaurant. Prices start at 240€ per person

La Bastide de Moustiers - Moustiers Ste Marie

The other Alain Ducasse Inn on our list, the setting of this hotel near the village of Moustiers Ste Marie is perfect for Christmas. The offer is nearly identical to that of L’Abbaye de La Celle.
3 nights in a superior room (upgrades possible according to availability. All breakfasts. Cocktails on your arrival. Christmas gifts and a personalised welcome in room. A Gourmet dinner on Christmas Eve with two starters, two main courses cheese and dessert.   A Gourmet lunch on Christmas Day with two starters, two main courses cheese and dessert.
Prices from 1 235€ for two.

If you would like more information on Christmas and New year offers contact us using the link on the right.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Autumn Colours of the Luberon

Maybe this is one of those things we say every year, like I can’t remember September rain like this or this is the hottest month of July when every year the seasons pass and resemble each other, but this year I have never seen so much autumn colour in Provence! We will see if this is just a memory problem next year as I have taken loads of photos and so comparative documentation will be available…

Here are a few of those photos and I am sure you will agree the colours are astounding. I have not tweaked or enhanced any of the pictures they are as the camera saw them. For the techies out there I am using a Nikon D5100 with an AF-S NIKKOR 55-200mm 1:4-5.6G ED and an 18-55mm 1:3.5-5.6G both very standard lenses so although the camera is a goodun here is proof that it’s the subject that really counts.

This post follows the one by Ginger and Nutmeg on Fall Colours in Provence and it was seeing theirs that I was inspired to show you mine. (No double entendres intended). However I do apologise to them for my somewhat similar title.

So here we go.

Les Couleurs d’Automne du Luberon
Autumn Colours of the Luberon 

Plane tree in Lourmarin
As you drive out of Lourmarin towards Bonnieux on your left is a beautiful house with this magnificent plane tree next to it. Perfectly proportioned it reminds me of a huge burning torch.

The village of Bonnieux and the Cherry Orchards
I posted a similar picture to this one on Twitter. The Cherry orchards provide a warmth to an otherwise cold atmosphere, I was a veritable danger in my car, slamming on the brakes every time a scene like this one appeared around a corner!

The Village of Lacoste and more Cherry orchards
Lacoste faces Bonnieux and for this shot I had to come back when the light was in the right place. Once again the Cherry Orchards steal the show.
The Yellow Tree
I could imagine this tree being the subject of a painting. The fallen yellow leaves contributed so much light that this tree stood out from all the others with their redder ones.

Vines near Menerbes
Yesterday morning I had a rendez-vous at the Domaine de La Citadelle vineyard for a wine tasting and visit including the extraordinary Museum of the Corkscrew which houses a huge collection of corkscrews from around the world and throughout the ages. As I returned to my car the sun did its thing and provided this rather evocative lighting on the rows of vines.

Oppède le Vieux
I wanted to get a few photos of Oppède le Vieux but it was completely in the shade. This picture however still works because the variety of colours bring it to life. You can see the sun shining in the valley behind!

The village of Lioux
If you drive from Gordes to Apt via the village of Murs you will be faced with this splendid tableau with the village of Lioux and the incredible cliff that towers over it.

Cabanon Pointu
Around the town of Forcalquier and in particular around Mane en Provence you can find these dry stone huts known as Cabanon Pointus (literally pointed huts) in Haute Provence and Bories further South, in particular around Gordes. Having flown over the region many hundreds of times in Hot Air Balloons I have spotted many Cabanons hidden in the woods, and this is one of the many!

And there you have it! A few of my favourite shots showing this years Autumn colours and to follow a few more but without commentary only a caption, just for "le plaisir des yeux" (the pleasure of the eyes).

Vines near Gordes

More Cherry Orchards

The Village of Menerbes

Vineyard near Gargas

Thursday, 15 November 2012

The Montagne de Lure - A sunset story

Autumn is one of those times of year when my camera never leaves my side. In the same way spring heralds the year to come with wild flowers, blossoming fruit trees and contrasting skies, autumn is the end, but nature doesn’t just fizzle out to nothing it goes into hibernation with a BANG! Everywhere you look it seems as though the trees are vying with each other, all the hues of red, brown and orange in a spectacular display that bring out the poet it all of us!
The first lines of Ode to Autumn by Keats, that I was forced to learn at school much to my dislike at the time, repeat themselves in mind “Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness!
                                                                    Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun…”

Thank you Mr. English Teacher (I can’t remember his name, but he was my English teacher at UWC in Singapore)

So yesterday afternoon I decided to go for a drive up to the summit of the Montagne de Lure, which is a 20 minute drive from my house. I wanted to photograph the forests on the way up and then see if I could catch the sunset. As I drove I was worried about arriving too late for the sunset so I skipped the forest bit and went straight to the top. I walked the last bit to the ridge which follows the summit, paused and then said WOW like I do every single time I get up there.
The Montagne de Lure viewed from the valley below, St Etienne side.
The Montagne de Lure is 1826 meters high, and is part of the same massif as the Mont Ventoux. Like the Ventoux it is mainly just loose shingle on the top, but being slightly lower, Lure has a bit more vegetation. The drive to the summit starts in St Etienne des Orgues and is 18kms. Halfway up you can stop of at the Chapel of Notre Dame de Lure built in 1166, the only person who lives there now is a hermit who my children call Jack Sparrow as he has his beard done in gray dreadlocks! I will add a photo later… The Montagne de Lure was a stage in the 2009 Paris-Nice cycle race and I was at the summit to witness Alberto Contador win with a time of 34 min 20 s and not a bead of sweat! The race will return to the mountain next year and I will be there again to see the arrival.

Once you approach the summit, you will come to a collection of ugly looking buildings, one is the restaurant/bar where you can have a bite to eat in season, though if you are in a hurry take a picnic lunch with you. In the winter this is as far as you can go if the snow has fallen in sufficient quantities and the two ski lifts are operational, don’t expect huge alpine runs here, but for taking the kids on a Sunday afternoon it’s perfect.
If there is no snow, as was the case yesterday, you can carry on to the top. I like to stop once you come out of the last of the trees in an area marked by a commemorative stone. From here you can walk up to the top and if you have small children, hang on to them, and only release them once you reach the ridge before the vertiginous descent of over 1000 meters down in to the Jabron Valley  on the other side. 
The summit of the Mountain (with a few patches of snow)
When you get here this is where you will say WOW, in fact usually people take a step back and use a slightly more colourful expression as you have before you one of the most spectacular views available in Provence.
The view north from the ridge
The same view with a bit of zoom

View to the west and the familiar silhouette of the Mont Ventoux 
So back to my Lure experience yesterday. As I walked to the top I spotted something moving to my right. Now I have already seen Chamois down the Jabron side, so I supposed that this is what it was and gently walked up to see. There, not more than 50 meters away was a Chamois, munching on the limited vegetation growing between the lumps of rock, it looked up in my direction (I was flat on my belly madly clicking away with my camera) and carried on its evening meal. 
The Chamois looking in my direction...
Later it walked to an outcrop, posed for me, and then, two Mirage Jets very low flying back to their base, close enough for me to smell the burnt kerosene vapours, flew over scaring the hell out of my furry companion.
The Chamois posing

The Noise
So that was my nature moment buggered up…

But now something else was happening, as I walked along the ridge I saw two cars park near mine. The two couples walked up towards the summit, pulled out blankets and laid down facing the sun, and waited.
By this time the light was that wonderful rich golden orange colour that lasts only a short while and usually I don’t have my camera handy, but this time I did, and I got a few nice shots.

Then I too faced the sun, and witnessed a moment that happens every day and no matter how often I see it its magic will never wear off. It has to be said that the sunset on the top of the Montagne de Lure is particularly stunning and in this case I think the pictures do all the talking themselves…  


The Montagne de Lure is spectacular in all seasons and a perfect place to escape the heat of summer. If you would like to know more or would like to include it in a bespoke itinerary of Provence, contact me using the link on the right.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Photo of the Day - Autumn in Provence

Driving to the office this morning I was taken by the effect of the light on the mists floating above the village of Mane, coupled with the colour of the leaves it made a winning combo! Tell me what you think...
The village of Mane en Provence this morning

Monday, 22 October 2012

L'Occitane en Provence Fantastic Journeys

For me the past years in Provence have been spent meeting fascinating people, discovering mind blowing sites and meeting more people. All this interspersed with flying balloons, a lot, and  more recently creating my travel company. 
When I started the adventure of Kairos travel and it's luxury portal Unique Provence I was approached by the international cosmetic company L'Occitane en Provence. They had recently started a blog type website called Fantastic Provence  which was dedicated to showcasing the best of Provence in correspondence with the spirit of L'Occitane. Subjects go from food, hotels, fashion to interviews and travel ideas. They were looking for an agency who could create tours that ticked all the boxes in their vision of Provence and it seemed that I did just that. 

After a year meeting farmers, chefs, hotel managers and many more besides I can now present the tours that in my mind embody the spirit of L'Occitane en Provence. On our catalogue this year there are four tours of which two are labelled L'Occitane en Provence Fantastic Journeys.

Springtime in Provence - Luxury Small Group Guided Tour
The first is a tour taking place at the end of springtime, when the perfume rose harvest is under way. Thanks to the implication of L'Occitane we are able to visit these otherwise secret gardens, where visits from the general public would disrupt the day to day routines. In fact we won't just visit them, as spectators, but guests will be given gloves, secateurs and the straw hat of course and will be able to pick their own roses. This harvest will be kept for later, as we will make our own perfume rose water using a magnificent copper Alembic Still. Keeping with the rose theme the guests will also have the chance to create their very own bespoke perfume with a master perfumer.

Like every trip to France, food plays a great part of our journey. These are luxury tours with 4* and 5* accommodation, and so Michelin starred restaurants are on the agenda of course, but also a rustic feast in a farm, a buffet of local fare and a picnic with produce bought that very day from the colourful Provençal market of Forcalquier, not forgetting an olive oil tasting. The tour continues stopping at Abbeys and Ochre mines towards Arles, town where the Romans and Vincent Van Gogh as well as many others have left an indelible mark. From here we will visit the Camargue where our own French cowboys, Les Manadiers along with Camargue horses, bulls and pink flamingos all go to paint a vibrant picture of this fascinating land. Les Baux de Provence, one of the most beautiful villages in France is on the agenda as well and the privatisation of the Carrières de Lumières will be the bouquet finale!

Lavender and the Luberon - Luxury Small Group Guided Tour

Our second Fantastic Journey is during the Lavender season. This iconic flower is probably the most used image when promoting Provence, though its flowering season is very short. I have chosen to do only three weeks of this tour to ensure that each has the best possible conditions to admire the fields of lavender at their best. During this tour we will pick and distil our own wild lavender, and the exclusivity brought to us by L'Occitane is the access to their laboratories to create your own L'Occitane en Provence product, maybe using the essential lavender oil you distilled! Our journey will take us across the Plateau d'Albion where lavender occupies most of the landscape, and the Mont Ventoux provides a dramatic backdrop.

The second part of this tour takes us through the Luberon to St Remy de Provence, birthplace of Nostradamus and town where Vincent Van Gogh (him again!) spent time interned in the asylum at his own request. We will discover some of the jewels of Provence with the towns of Gordes, Bonnieux, Lacoste, Menerbes and Oppede le Vieux to name but a few. Guests will enjoy a relatively effortless cycle ride using electrically assisted bikes,  as well as an aperitif at the Château des Baux de Provence where we have privatised an area just for ourselves. As with all the tours, lavish meals, picnics and buffets will intersperse your voyage of discovery.

Both tours include 1 hours treatments in the L'Occitane en Provence's Spa, nearly all meals and accompanying wine and we guarantee that there are no "budget" menus. Accomodation is in the 5* hotel, Le Couvent des Minimes for the first part of each tour, and then the 4* Hotel Nord Pinus in the centre of Arles for the Springtime tour and the 4* Hotel de L'Image in the centre of St Remy de Provence for the Lavnder and Luberon Tour. There is plenty of free time for gusts to be on their own, for shopping and relaxing and as these are Small Group Tours there will never be more than 14 participants accompanied by 2 guides in two 9 seater minibuses.
Being very seasonal each tour only runs for three weeks, but if you miss the opportunity this year we also have our Unique Provence Experience in May and September for a gastronomic extravaganza from Aix en Provence to Avignon.
We are offering a free room upgrade or a 10% discount on selected tours booked before the 31st December 2012.
For more information and the complete itineraries for all of our 2013 Provence Tours including Springtime in Provence and Lavender and the Luberon visit our website
You can also read the article on the Fantastic Provence Website here

You can read more on some of the travel experiences in our tours with the following blog posts :

A University for Scents and Flavours
Forcalquier Market
Vegetable Gourmet Heaven - La Chassagnette
The Camargue, Land of Beauty Beasts and Proud Manadiers
In the Footsteps of the Lavender Pickers
Les Petites Tables, a Perfect Stop for a Healthy Lunch
The Nougat Maker of Sault
Plateau d'Albion Lavender 2012
La Provence on an Electric Bicycle
Immerse Yourself in the Carrières des Lumières 

Sunday, 14 October 2012

The Camargue, land of Beauty, Beasts and Proud Manadiers

My first experience in the Camargue was as captain of a luxury hotel barge in 1997-8 or thereabouts. 
In my mind’s eye (back then) it was a vast swamp dotted with pink flamingos, wild horses and fighting bulls.
I didn’t know about the mosquitoes at the time, but I soon found out.
In fact I didn’t know about a lot of things, I still don’t, but I’m learning every day!
Too much zoom and not very good light, but here's my flamingo picture of the day...

...and here is one that Estelle Laurent sent me, next time I'll do better!
Photo courtesy of the Manade Laurent
I was right about the flamingos and the horses but I was a bit off on the bulls. The term “fighting bulls” is wrong when referring to the bulls originally from the Camargue, they are not bred to fight. For those you have to go to Spain or Portugal and although Spanish bulls are sometimes bred in the Camargue they are not the indigenous species.
Ozmec the bull...seems like a nice chap...
Photo courtesy of the Manade Laurent
Both varieties are black or dark brown and have remained close to their wild ancestors and both are very bad tempered. The Camargue bull or the Raço di Biòu has a slightly smaller build than its Iberian cousins, and is raised as semi-wild, they are bred for meat but also for the Courses Camarguaises, more about which later.
In order to round up these semi-wild angry bulls we bring in the Camargue horse another indigenous species of the region. They are white (grey for the purists) but when they are born are various shades of brown. They turn white as they get older, around two years old. The stallions are the only ones that are ridden whilst the mares look after the foals, do the cooking and generally keep the swamp clean (Mediterranean culture and all that…)
Now I am not a horse person, I like them as animals to pet and give grass etc. but I don’t ride, in fact if there is no on off switch like on a motorbike or a car I just stay away (apart from the petting and feeding), but I have to admit that these horses have something special, they are majestic and at the same time have a look about them that makes me think of a rather camp male model, the blonde mane swishing in the wind, long blonde eyelashes, the coy but macho look, the burning stare and if they knew how to purse their lips the illusion would be complete. There is never a photo of a Camargue horse looking uninteresting, they always look “fabulous!” manes swishing in the wind, just take a look at the photos that I took and you’ll see what I mean… anyway I digress. These “fabulous” horses are used to round up the angry bulls and so now we bring in the Manadiers.

The Manadiers are the cowboys of the Camargue who run the Manades, the name given to the Camargue farms. They live for the horses and bulls, and the pride that they have for their work is impressive indeed. I went to meet Patrick and Estelle Laurent at the Manade Laurent, Les Marquises which occupies 1000 acres of land and produces mainly cattle, rice and breeds horses. The manade is deeply steeped in the family history which in their case is particularly rich.  Founded in 1944 by Paul Laurent, the Manade Laurent earned itself a place in the history of the Camargue  as Paul gave new life to the Courses Camarguaises thanks to his organisation skills and also the care and attention he gave to his animals.
3 generations of the Laurent family
Photo courtesy of the Manade Laurent
I was greeted by Estelle in full Manadier dress, hat and all, ready to leap on a horse if necessary. We started with a glass of something cool in the house, whilst she told me a bit about the history of the Manade. Every surface available was adorned with trophies, paintings and sculptures of bulls and horses testifying to the incredible legacy that this Manade has and continues to have in the Camargue. Afterwards I met Patrick, who was also dressed the part, and he described the Manades main activities and then invited me to watch the horses that they were going to use the next day, move from one paddock to another. The horses galloped towards us looking “fabulous” and then when in their new paddock gave a display of joy that was truly endearing. They galloped, jumped and kicked out their back legs for several minutes before settling down. I am a strong believer that animals reflect their owners, and these horses were the happiest I had ever seen. I have also included a photo of their 12 year old Golden Retriever who followed us wherever we went and also bears witness to the Laurent’s care and respect for their animals.
The Laurent's Golden Retriever, my kind of dog.
A full tour of the Manade takes place on a specially adapted trailer towed behind an appropriate vehicle for the discovery of the property. A horseback option is also available. As you tour you will see the bulls and horses in their semi-wild state, and you soon understand why you are not on foot! It is a fascinating insight into the world of the Camargue “Cowboys” and a culture that is maintained by the palpable pride of the Manadiers. Estelle and Patrick epitomise this culture and are the perfect hosts and guides who seem to never tire from the barrage of questions that I had for them.

Whilst on the Manade I made an interesting discovery linking another one of my partners to this wonderful travel experience. L’Occitane en Provence produce a “Sorbet Verbena” refreshing mist which thanks to its fresh lemon fragrance seems to hold the mosquitoes at bay. After a bit of research I found that herbalists have always been using Verbena as a mosquito repellent, and many recommend it as the most effective, so as well as making a product that leaves you smelling and feeling fresh, L’Occitane has unwittingly produced the ideal product for travel to any hot mossie’ infested region of the world!
There’s a scoop for you!

About the Courses Camarguaises.

I could not finish this post without explaining how the Courses Camarguaises work.
The  Courses Camarguaises which translates as the Camarguaise Races is a tradition that goes back to the 19th century but became organised and regained in popularity in the first half of the 20th century largely thanks to Paul Laurent (see above).
The Camargue Bull (Raço di Biòu) is exclusively used for these “races”. The Bull has a string wrapped around each horn the more turns depending on the quality of the bull,  another one in between his horns and two pompoms (called a Gland or Acorn) at the base of each horn, these three objects are called “les atributs”. The Bull is released into the arena and there several “raseteurs” dressed in white have to try to remove the atributs using a sort of metal comb. 

A raseteur trying to remove the "atributs" from a bull
Photo courtesy of the Manade Laurent
They have to run fast and leap over the wooden barriers to avoid being run through by the long and very sharp horns. The bulls often leap over the barriers as well, or even go straight through them. After 15 minutes the Course stops and another bull is brought in. The star of these events is the bull and the raseteurs often end up for the worse. The bulls can have careers lasting around 10 years and after they retire to the fields of the Camargue to spend the rest of their days. They are never slaughtered.

The Manade Laurent won the Biou d’Or (the highest annual award for the Camargue’s prize bull in the Courses Camarguaises) no less than 12 times.
One bull stands out from the rest, in 1976 the bull Goya won the Biou d’Or, but remained a star all his life and still is today in the memories of the fans of la Course Camarguaise! Usually the ultimate glorification for a Camargue bull is the erection of a statue in its honour after they die, and this is an honour reserved for very few. Goya’s statue was put up in the town of Beaucaire in 1984 whilst he was still alive, an ultimate homage to this apparently unique bull who participated in no less than 117 Courses Camarguaises and sent many raseteurs and spectators to the emergency units of local hospitals.
The Laurent Family in front of the statue of Goya in Beaucaire, possibly the most famous bull of all time!
Photo courtesy of the Manade Laurent
Goya was said to be intelligent, agile, cunning, feisty, wild and playful. In fact so playful that he enjoyed goring people with his horns, but “…he never over did it. Once he had gored he moved on, but he was always bang on target” He died in 1986 at the age of 22 in his pastures of the Camargue, which is a good age for a bull or for any bovine.
The Courses Camarguaises as you can see are different from Spanish Bullfighting in that the bull lives to see another day. To the question do they suffer, the defenders of this tradition will often say no, I think that do a bit when they go crashing through the wooden barriers around the arena, and sometimes when the raseteur lacks in precision his metal comb can wound the bull. But as you can see in Goya’s case, the bulls live to a ripe old age, which they wouldn’t if they were seriously damaged. And if the Courses Camarguaises didn’t exist then many Manades would stop farming them all together.
A visit to the Manade Laurent is part of the 2013 Provence small group tours by Unique Provence for the month of June when nature is at its best. Visits outside of the tours are also possible of course. This is also a perfect tour to combine with a meal at La Chassagnette, more about which you can read here.
As always, for more information contact us using the link on the right.