Le Thor is a small village 5km away from L’Isle Sur la Sorgue which was in our original itinerary. What made us decide to include Le Thor in our itinerary (actually, squeeze is a better word) was finding out that it has a cave open for tours, a welcome change from all the small Provencal villages and markets which is the theme of our French trip.
After a very colorful and enjoyable morning in L’Isle, we didn’t know what was in store for us in Le Thor. The bus stop where we alighted is right in the town center. After a short walk, we were welcomed by this clock tower with a wrought iron campanile. Le Thor is a walled city like Avignon, as evidenced by the Porte de Douzabas (Belfry Gate) where the campanile sits on.
On the right-hand side of the clock tower is a small square where the Tourist Center is located. Unfortunately it was closed for break time when we went.
Le Thor reminded us a bit of L’Isle as we crossed a small bridge to get to town.
Following the Rue de la Republique, which I assume is the town’s main thoroughfare, we reached Notre Dame du Lac, built in the 12th century. The church was closed at that time so we were not able to get in.
At the foot of the church is the river Sorgue which makes for a good picnic ground, with trees to give it some breeze and shade. When we passed by, I noticed a man quietly reading a book, and how envious I was for Le Thor to have a place like this.
As we continued walking towards the Thouzon cave, we noted eye-catching homes which are typical of Provence, subdued in their tones and vines creeping in the walls adding to their mystery and appeal. Given more time, Le Thor would make for a good leisurely walk.
Further afield, we left Le Thor town center and walked past fields of apples, grapes, etc. Thankfully, walking 40 minutes since we started, the views are pleasant and the weather was bearable. Yes, getting to the caves without your own car, is pure sacrifice.
From the tour of the cave, we managed to have a bit of rest time before the next bus to Avignon comes. We bought some pastries in this boulangerie and had a mini-picnic in the canal by the main square. We dropped by the Tourism Center and got a map. We learned that there are a few things that may be of interest to tourists like us, unfortunately we didn’t have time anymore.
As it is, and given that we only came for the cave, we found Le Thor to be a pleasant small village to spend some time in. It is not a place that needs to be purposely gone to, but when you have the time and are just a short ride away, spending an hour or two will be a good break and contrast to Avignon’s busy vibe.
Le Thor is a place to relax, play chess by the canal, walk your dog, read a good book or have a small picnic by Sorgue river, or just kill time by following the map for a short walk to discover the town. It would be a good place to soul search and just be by yourself.
With its quaintness and laidback atmosphere (as with all the other villages we have visited), Le Thor is one more reason why I am loving French small villages and Provence in general.