It's not a long climb but it's very steep -- more so than Glastonbury Tor, which I thought was steep enough. Penitent medieval kings reportedly made the climb on their knees!
We stopped to drink at the source of Nans, the same spring that creates the pool inside the cave.
Once within the grotto, which is now a Franciscan monastery, it's all worth it!
The nearby town of Saint-Maximin-la-Sainte-Baume claims to have the skull and sarcophagus of Mary Magdalene in a reliquary excavated by Charles II of Provence, who had a dream showing him where to find her bones.
The bones are now in the crypt of the gorgeous basilica above it.
We visited Cavaillon, one of the oldest synagogues in the region, though these ornate upstairs rooms were rebuilt during the 18th century and restored during the 20th. The large hanging oil menorah can be turned into a hanukkiah with the addition of two lamps. Since Jews were not allowed to become architects, the building was designed and furnished by their Catholic neighbors, who interpreted the Prophet Elijah's ascent to heaven literally and gave him a chair near the ceiling.
The oldest part of the building, the women's room downstairs, contains the 15th century oven used to bake matzah as well as relics of the Jewish community of Cavaillon, including directions for the mikveh and tombstones removed in the World War II era from Jewish graves.