Art of living in Haute Provence
Haute Provence is a land of flavours, of values linked to the land that can be found in its gastronomy, its folklore and its character. A true art of living! The markets are pacing local life, ideal place to discover the personality of the region. From local enthusiasts will tell you about honey, olive oil, goat cheese and even saffron. A whole explosion of colors and smells under a sun that shines, they say here, 300 days a year!
The large Provençal market, on the main square of Digne les Bains, takes up its summer quarters on Boulevard Gassendi, lined with century-old plane trees, from the end of June to September on Saturday mornings. Every Sunday of the year, the second largest market in the department is located on Place Pechiney in Saint-Auban. And in the many surrounding villages, the stalls compete with products from local and diversified agriculture, like the Aiglun organic market or that of Château-Arnoux on Thursday afternoons all year round.
A wind of lavender
In the land of lavender, you will of course find the essence of lavender with multiple and magical virtues (healing, calming, sanitizing, etc.). You will also find all the variations of the blue flower: soaps, creams, honeys with a delicate taste, biscuits and syrups that you absolutely have to taste! Gourmet restaurants will surprise you with the use their chefs make of it. Whether in the form of sorbet or sauce as an accompaniment to local lamb.
The producers open their doors to you and invite you to discover the world of bees as a family, such as The apiaries of La Bastide Blanche in Estoublon, Ecosphere in Bras d'Asse or L'atelier Bleu Lavande in Estoublon.
For its part, The Cookie Box, in Digne les Bains, shares its manufacturing secrets during workshops. Likewise, the Confectionery Manon in Peyruis offers workshops around chocolate. The soap factory of the eco-logis in Draix accompanies you in the realization of your soaps. Finally, perfume publishers Lothantic in Peyruis offers free olfactory discovery workshops all year round.
The olive tree of Haute Provence
A must in our agriculture: the olive tree. In Haute Provence, it offers a fruity oil inseparable from Provençal cuisine. Les Mées is the largest olive-growing commune in the Alpes de Haute-Provence, with nearly 80 olive trees around the village. Find here, in version English ou nationality , all the paths that lead to the discovery of the green gold of Haute Provence.
A 4 km course entitled "Le Chemin de l'Olivier" allows you to discover multi-hundred-year-old olive trees. Several oil mills can be visited all year round. You will be surprised to discover all the varieties of olives seasoned with garlic, chilli and other condiments. The production of olive oil will have no more secrets for you after a visit to the Old Mill in Estoublon, as well as in Moulin des Penitents at the Mees. In these places, the old method of extracting olive oil (with these millstones and presses) as well as the current processes will be explained to you.
Let's not dwell on the anchovy focaccia, small spelled, goat's cheese or even truffles... You will simply have the pleasure of tasting all these local products during a stopover in one of our “Bistrots de Pays” or in restaurants with the “Pays Gourmands” label.
Art and Crafts are also in the genes of Haute Provence. Our craftsmen and artists sublimate the materials. Thus, in the hands of the santonnier Patrick Volpes is transformed into emblematic characters of the Christmas holidays, the wood is turned by Claude Verchot into works of art. The geological heritage is a source of inspiration for Benoît de Souza, sculptor. The luminosity, the colors of nature are found on the canvases of our painters.