|The village is perched high above the rocky summits of the Gorge du Chateaudouble.|
One of my favourite perched villages in La Dracenie is Châteaudouble.
|Looking down at the road below.|
I am not sure why exactly, but it ticks all the boxes – described as resembling a nid d’aigle (eagle’s nest), its houses huddle against a cliff edge, with the narrow, winding streets that I love exploring, a line of restaurants overlooking the 130-metre drop into the gorge below, and a fair amount of ancient history.
This is not to mention the unexpected beauty of tiny gardens or window boxes found in little crevices, or the amazing direction pointer high above the village that doesn’t point out far-distant towns – instead it points to the directions of the 32 winds of Provence!
Châteaudouble (very roughly, ‘double castles’) was named after its two medieval châteaux – one perched high above the village and the other nestled along the banks of the Nartuby River far below – perhaps for those unable to climb the massive boulders!
It guards, in fact, one of the oldest prehistoric sites in Provence – the Grotto chauvre-souris (or the bat cave. I have to admit I prefer its description in French). There are two other similar grottos nearby – the Grotto des chèvres (goat cave) and the Grotto du Mouret.
|One of the restaurants that overlook the gorge on the other side of the far wall.|
|Meander up the steps toward the tower.|
|A bright little corner with flowers.|
|Flowers enhance every little nook and cranny around the village.|
|The direction sign pointing our the 32 winds of Provence.|
The 26-kilometre drive home was easy and meant that Châteaudouble is fixed on my calendar as a village to visit for itself – and its restaurants.