ACTIVITIES - bike riding

winter scenery - lavender fields
The great thing about winter in Provence is the beautiful blue sky, the crisp clear air. And the empty roads...

From around November until March Provence falls into its winter slumber which is what we love about this area. And what we have come to appreciate for riding our bikes. Granted, "we" would be Claudia and her friend Edith from nearby Saint Laurent du Verdon; Jim prefers to stay close to the warming hearth... along with Mimie and Mia, out cats

Being out-of-doors, bundles up against the chilly Northern winds, sometimes the Mistral, there is nothing more refreshing and energizing like a bike ride. Our favorite round - the long route - takes us from La Vudèle via Saint Laurent and Artignosc along some beautiful scenery up onto the hill tops towards Baudinard, a quaint village with a sort of traffic light, meant for the busy season and cars only (we think...)

Down again towards the river Verdon, left on a dirt road past the public swimming pool of Artignosc beautifully situated right on the banks of the slightly cool river even in summer, and then back up to Saint Laurent: the last stretch, all the way up to the plateau towards La Vudèle, is the real 'heart breaker' and makes me think of 'Heartbreak Hill' of the Boston Marathon, the last, very long stretch through Newton which seems to be never-ending even driving it, up to Boston College.

Once up on the plateau the view onto the nearby mountain range of Mont Denier, snow-capped and magnificent against the blue sky, my heart opens up and I take in the vast expanse of this place

Alternatively there are shorter routes from La Vudèle to Esparron, Albiosc and back, about 45 minutes.
winter scenery - vines
This is also the route for the summer for guests if they want to ride their bikes to the lake of Esparron. This takes no more than half an hour, to be at the beach; going back up after a refreshing swim is no problem...

Another favorite is the loop La Vudèle - Saint Laurent - towards Quinson - then back up the D11 (a smaller 'Heartbreak Hill') and back to La Vudèle. This also takes about 45 minutes and allows to take in the scenery ranging from lavender and vine fields through Mediterranean forest and olive groves.

Guests in our chambre d'hôtes can rent bicycles at Edith's hotel for € 8/day, either mountain bikes to explore the many trails, for example the TransVerdon which runs right behind La Vudèle, or leisure/all-terrain bikes.

Life in Provence in the winter:
la vie est belle!

EXTRA - 30% off English Rose face balm

30% off your favorite product - English rose face balm, ideal for dry winter skin. 

A wonderfully moisturizing skin balm with the precious properties of natural oils

€ 13.30 instead of € 19
Does not contain water so it neither dries out the skin in heated homes and offices nor in the harsh winter weather, be it wind, snow or rain.

Created and produced right here at La Vudèle by Claudia and Jim many of our guests and visitors have already tried this line of all natural cosmetics which is never tested on animals. No chemicals or parabens are used nor artificial scents: only the purest ingredients like olive oil, shea butter and Aloe vera. As the C'etrange products do not contain water they do not require artificial stabilizers and preservatives! Available through our web shop on cetrange.com or on amazon.fr 


Since 2001 C'etrange creates exclusively handcrafted, all-natural products based on the positive benefits of aromatherapy. All products are made by hand using only the purest ingredients: the most natural plant oils and the purest essential oils. All products are perfect for vegetarians and lovers of all things natural.

Each C'etrange product is handcrafted with the finest, most natural ingredients. Based on the holistic approach - how all aspects of our life affect our well-being - we use the purest oils as base oils, and to refine the characteristics, we add finest essential oils found in aromatherapy.
* All products are exclusively handmade
* Only 100% natural ingredients
* Perfect for allergy sufferers
* Free of chemicals or additives
* Free of artificial coloring
* Tested by friendly people, not on animals*

* Since 2004 all C'etrange products are certified as cruelty-free by the Deutsche Tierschutzbund e.V.
* Member of Veg'Asso and OneVoice

moments of sheer purity . . Schöne Dinge für die Sinne . . un instant de bonheur . .

moments of sheer purity . . Schöne Dinge für die Sinne . . un instant de bonheur . .

moments of sheer purity . . Schöne Dinge für die Sinne . . un instant de bonheur . .


YOGA - winter detox sequence

Winter is the time when our system slows down, naturally, and we should give it - and ourselves - the time and space to do so. It all starts with taking the time out of one's busy schedule, to make space for oneself. Mindfulness.... awareness...

A winter detox is a wonderful thing where we can give ourselves as a present. Personal. Unique. Inspiring. Relaxing. Mind-opening. Challenging. Heart-opening.

It all starts with choosing the correct detoxification for the season, particularly a detox which is warming and nourishing in the winter's cold. In traditional medical systems such as Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine paying attention to "food energetics" is an important part of restoring health. In cold weather it is considered important to consume warm-natured foods to preserve the body's optimal metabolic state.

A lovely "guide" for a weekend detox is on the vegetariantimes.com which I have followed a couple of times. It not only gives ideas for recipes but also helps stick to activities and rest periods which are beneficial to a detox. http://www.vegetariantimes.com/article/weekend-detox/

For your yoga detox practice find a warm cozy spot where you can spend time by yourself, undistracted by your daily life.

Choose a soft blanket or yoga mat which is placed on a warm surface so that your body stays warm.

* * * Sit down in a comfortable position, one in which you can stay a good five minutes without moving or shifting. This will take a while to find; give yourself the time to find it. Start by simply being. Breathing. Thinking. Feeling. Let your thoughts wander and learn to accept this natural state of mind. When you are ready close your eyes. When you feel ready start observing your breathing, without forcing it in any direction or way. Do a 3-3 pranayama, also known as So-Ham, followed by a 4-8 pranayama. Returning to regular breathing formulate your wishes for this yoga sequence.

I would like to direct you now to a web site which, along with beautiful photos, put together a lovely detox yoga sequence. Do this at your own pace, stay in the poses for as long as you can. Watch your breathe: once it becomes forced you leave yoga and enter effort so that is the moment to release out of the pose.

* * * At the end of this sequence come back into a comfortable seated position, close your eyes one more time and reflect on this sequence: which aspect did you enjoy? Which postures helped you relax? Which postures made you feel positive? Take this into your daily life, this realization. Now turn your focus on the wishes you had formulated at the beginning of this sequence and reflect on them. Slowly open your eyes and find yourself back in the here and now.

and  may peace be with you

RECIPES - winter detox


It is this time of year, after the debauchery of the holiday season, which makes our body and mind crave to be cleaner, lighter and less sluggish. This is also the time of year when seasonal fruits and vegetables are packed with vitamins, protein, dietary fiber, and of course flavor!

Along with this detox yoga sequence in our other post take the time to pamper yourself! 
* The day before you start, dramatically reduce your intake of caffeine, sugar, wheat, dairy, and alcohol, to lessen the likelihood of headaches and painful withdrawal symptoms during the weekend. 
* Eat light, focusing on raw greens, steamed vegetables, legumes, beans, and raw nuts. 
* Read through the plan outlined on these pages and gather any supplies you don’t have on hand. * Dine on steamed organic veggies, and head to bed early. You’ll need a full eight hours of sleep on Friday night

The most important thing to remember is to enjoy this time, to reward yourself, to go with the flow, with your inner voice. Here is a nice web site, one of our go-to vegan web sites for recipe ideas, which has some very delicious recipes as guidelines for your detox weekend http://ohsheglows.com/2013/12/29/9-delicious-vegan-and-gluten-free-detox-recipes/

Feel free to substitute, add, remove, adjust to your liking and remember to ... enjoy!

Bon appétit
and to a healthy life