Saint Paul lez Durance
Saint Paul lez Durance and its neighbour Vinon sur Verdon are the only two communes of the PACA region to have 4 adjoining Departements on their territory !
St Paul is situated in the northern Bouches du Rhone on the banks of the Durance river.
In the past, Saint Paul was a port on the Durance and played an essential role in the floating log trade and other goods which travelled the river enroute to the Rhone.
At this time Saint Paul appeared to be at the end of the world, perched on its rocky outcrop, far from the main high-ways.
Times have changed however, and no doubt some residents will feel nostalgia for the past...
Today the A51 high-way passes through St Paul lez Durance and the town has become the "centre of the atom". The Cadarache Centre for Nuclear Studies is situated here, and its scientists have created the reactors for France's submarines and also nuclear reactors based on "rapid neutrons".
If you would like to visit, some forward-planning will be necessary as the centre is only open one day each year!
Fortunately the Cadarache Centre has not spoilt the superb country-side where visitors can enjoy long nature walks or even go fishing.
The area is near the wonderful Gorges du Verdon and the Luberon Nature Park.
What to see
Classified parish church (1704).
18th century Castle which houses the town-hall.
"Ecuries du Chatelin" transformed into festival area.
Sunday morning market.
Mountain biking circuit. Boulodrome. Tennis. Fishing.
Village festival, the last week-end in July.