Viens, My Digital Detox Holiday

Written by Mary Juana and photos by Subhasree. B. Franceschi

The seduction of technology is hypnotic in our fast, urban life, technology controls the way we eat, drink and merry! In this age of acceleration, it is almost a luxury to slow down and going off grid. However, the rising trends of slow travel, digital-detox travel is making things simpler and redefining the way people travel for decades. Slow travel sometimes called “deep travel” or “immersive travel”.  

There are plenty of beautiful locations inspire us to connect with nature and with ourselves rather than phones and laptops. It helps us to slow down to make real connections with the place, the local people and the culture. 

Every summer I have my digital detox holiday where I slow down and recharge myself. 

We drive from Copenhagen to Provence, France. Where our house is tucked in a small village called Viens, surrounded by magnificent countryside. The house doesn’t have any internet or TV, instead we connect with real people. Digital detox puts me back in control of my life, lowers stress levels and enhance mental positivity. 

Viens, is a perched, fortified medieval village on the south slopes of the Vaucluse mountains, between Apt and Forcalquier. The village presents beautiful 13th century stately homes, old houses, narrow lanes and a Renaissance castle. Ramparts built between the 11th and 13th centuries encircle Viens, with an entranceway through the gate surmounted by a belfry and clock. Just walking in the narrow, cobbled street with old doors and even older doorways can easily reverse the clock in the head. 

We walk long hours in nature, in the nearby villages, buy vegetables and fruits from local market and cook slow food. In summer lavenders are in full bloom and the thymes are just dried enough to put straight into slow cooked ragout. The village has only one restaurant, one baker and a kiosk. A small market takes place once in a week selling local legumes, meat, cheese, fishes. The closest town is Apt, down the valley. 

What to see in Viens:  

· Portail and Tour de l'Horloge. 

· Saracen tower. 

· Restored chateau. 

· 16th and 17th century Church St Hilaire. 

· Romane chapel St Férreol.  

· Communal oven, rue Notre Dame. 

Nature around Viens is sublime and great for hiking, cycling. One can also indulge into yoga, meditation, art classes, wine tasting. In summertime the Tour de France is passing close to the village which is an added advantage.  

Viens is surrounded by many pretty villages such as Siminane la Rotonde, St Martin de Castillon, Casaneuve, Gignac, Gorges d’Oppedette, between the lavender fields and the ochre route the Cliffs of the Colorado Provencale is must see. 

Accomodation: There are few hotels, Gites, Air BnB, holiday rentals. 

How to reach: The nearest airport is Marseilles and Nice from there bus and taxis available. 

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