Joucas is a very pretty, well maintained village, less visited than others but deserving of a stop and wander round. In the warmer months you can have a coffee or salad with a great view over the vineyards to the Luberon mountain at the bottom of the village, served from the little general store. Stroll the streets unfettered by cars, and take in a floral, honey-coloured, perched village of hidden alleys and cobbled steps.
Joucas dates back to 960, although it was only 200 years later that the typical fortress at the top emerged. In the wars of religion Joucas was not spared, nor was the prior who was massacred by his friends and neighbours.
The village is still crowned by its fortress, which now is a private residence. This is just as well as any visitors would be startled by the monster that dwells in its nether reaches, the Mandragoule, a creature of uncertain, but hideous appearance.
The 18th century church at Joucas is worth a look, if open, it is unspectacular from the outside, but contains a treasure trove of Italian trompe l’oeil artwork.
Joucas also has tennis courts, a children’s playground, and a couple of high-end hotels with good restaurants: Le Phebus and le Mas des Herbes Blanches.