Le Jas du Boeuf is located 3 km east of Cruis, a small village classified as a “site of character” that has a bakery and a general store, a bistro, a restaurant and a medieval church. Cruis owes its existence to a Roman toll road that ran straight through the village.
The Jas is just 2 km west of a smaller village, Mallefougasse-Augès, which is 10 km from the exit at Les Mées of the A51 that runs up from Marseille to Sisteron. Called the Pays de Forcalquier, this region lies between the Alps and the Mediterranean and between the Lure and Luberon mountains. It is a land of contrasts, with a variety of very different landscapes and an exceptional wealth of wildlife and aromatic plants.
We recommend staying for several days and making trips to Forcalquier (markets on Monday and Thursday) and Banon (market on Tuesday), which now has the largest independent bookstore in France. Closer but smaller markets can be enjoyed on Saturday in Cruis and on Wednesday in Saint Étienne-les-Orgues. The Observatory of Haute-Provence at Saint Michel l’Observatoire offers tours, multimedia shows and evening sky-watching thanks to the clearest skies in Europe.
Longer days trips would be to Aix-en-Provence for the latest fashions and cultural events at either end of the Cours Mirabeau, one of the most beautiful urban landscapes in Europe, or you could head east to the Verdon Gorge, one of the most beautiful canyons in Europe.
Even if you are not much of a hiker, spending an hour or two walking along the many paths up or simply along the mountain is well worth it. The views are amazing, especially if you drive up to the top of the Lure (1,826 m), and there is very little risk of running into anything other than the odd hare, unless you’re driving back at night when you need to keep an eye open for wild boars and the occasional deer.
Whether it’s goat cheeses from Banon, olive oil from Lurs, herbal apéritifs from Forcalquier, or the latest products from Occitane or Lothantique, the region remains a reflection of traditional provençal lifestyles so good food and wine is just around the next corner.
Local attractions include:
- The Monastery of Ganagobie (XIIe century)
- Acropolos of Lurs
- Cruis and its church
- Ethnobotanical gardens of the Salagon prieuré near Mane
- Chateau Sauvan: « Le Trianon de Provence » near Mane
Rock formations of Les Mées