As a local center of lavender production, this small town has a lively Monday morning market—and an organic market on Thursday—with many lavender-based products. A wander through the picturesque old town also reveals the town's Bohemian side; many artists fled urban centers to draw inspiration from the bucolic surroundings and the town is dotted with artist ateliers. Forcalquier is also a great departure point for walks, bike rides, horse rides, or drives into the lavender world that surrounds the town. In the 12th century, Forcalquier was known as the capital city of Haute-Provence and was called the Cité des Quatre Reines ("the City of the Four Queens") since the four daughters of the ruler of this region, Raimond Beranger V (Eleanor of Aquitaine among them), all married royals. Relics of this former glory can be glimpsed in the Vieille Ville of Forcalquier, notably its Cathdédrale Notre-Dame and the Couvent des Cordeliers. However, everyone heads here to marvel at the lavender fields outside town; pick up a brochure and map of the lavender route at the tourist office. To explore on two wheels, get saddled up on a bicycle for a trip into the countryside at Cycles Bachelas..
Looking back on eight decades on making travel history.More