A gateway from Provence into the Rhône Valley, Orange is at the meeting point of civilisation, culture and local cuisine.
Orange, nicknamed "the city of princes", is located in the Vaucluse department, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region of France. Its inhabitants are called "Orangeois". It was the capital of the principality of Orange.
Since ancient times, history has, more than elsewhere, left visible traces in Orange, with a wealth of prestigious monuments: the Roman Theatre, the Triumphal Arch, the ruins of the temple on the hill, those of the aqueduct and of the city's surrounding walls and towers, the Western wall of the forum and the cadastral Roman maps etched on marble (displayed at the Municipal Museum).
The city is also dedicated to the arts; the ancient theatre springs back to life every summer by hosting the Chorégies, a lyrical and dramatic arts festival with internationally renowned shows.
Around the Roman theatre, life in the city centre is animated all year round by numerous activities, parties and events:
- The market on Thursday mornings.
- The commemoration of the Battle of Camerone on 30th April.
- The medieval festival: late May, early June.
- Free shows in summer: plays and concerts at the ancient theatre.
- The jazz festival: in July.
- The Chorégies: late July, early August.
- The regional fair at the 'Parc des Expositions' in October (between the 2nd and 3rdweekends)
- The Christmas market: in December.
- An ice-skating rink set up on Verdi square in January and February.
- The Wine Festival in February.
The city motto : I Will Maintain
Surroundings of Orange
Orange is at the heart of the most prestigious vineyards of the Rhône Valley:
- Côtes du Rhône wines : Gigondas, Vacqueyras, Lirac, Tavel, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, …
- Côtes du Rhône Villages : Beaumes de Venise, Rasteau, Cairanne, Laudun, Vinsobres, ...
Around Orange, from Hôtel Lou Cigaloun, numerous tours are available to discover beautiful natural sites:
- the Gorges de l'Ardèche lined with swallow holes and caves, those of the Nesque, the Régalon and the Cèze.
- the Mont Ventoux and the Dentelles de Montmirail in Gigondas
- the red cliffs and ochre quarries of Roussillon and Rustrel
- the banks and bridges of the Rhône
- the Regional Nature Parks of Luberon and of the Alpilles
- the plateau of Sault (lavender fields)
- the famous spring of the river Sorgue at Fontaine-de-Vaucluse
- Lovely hilltop villages : Gordes, Bonnieux, Vénasque, Séguret, ..
- The monasteries of Barroux, Sénanque and Saint Michel du Frigolet,
- The castles of Grignan, where Madame de Sévigné lived, and its nocturnal festivities, that of the Adhémar in Montélimar, of Suze-la-Rousse and the most beautiful Italian-style main courtyard of all the French Renaissance (which shelters a university of the wine today) and the Fortress of Mornas.
- The towns, villages and sites with a much celebrated heritage: Arles, Saint Rémy de Provence, Les Baux de Provence, Tarascon, Avignon Carpentras, Nîmes, Vaison la Romaine, Villeneuve les Avignon, the Pont du Gard,...
And of course :
- the Roman Garden of Caumont-sur-Durance
- the Cathédrale d'Images, a permanent audiovisual show in former quarries of les Baux de Provence
- the Lavender Museum of Saint Remèze
- the Natural History Museum: the Harmas of entomologist Jean-Henri Fabre in Sérignan du Comtat
- the Alexis Gruss Circus and the Musée Mémoire de la Nationale 7 in Piolenc