LUBERON & hilltop villages
Luberon Valley : « One of the most beautiful region of France »
Located on the east of the Rhône valley, between Cavaillon and Manosque, the Luberon valley spreads all along the mountain it is named after. The Luberon is the essence of Provence lands. On each parts of the valley sit villages, perched on the sides of hills between church and château some of which are extremely famous. Those villages are filled with history and secrets and they give spectacular wonderlands over the region. Visitors of the regional natural park created in 1977 where this exceptional valley sits, enjoy a wide range of activity and discovery, The Luberon is well-known for the quality of what it has to give : Art and history, architecture, nature and gastronomy.
Surrounded by the cicadas’ humming, the ochre colors of cliffs and old houses… You will enjoy the sweet atmosphere of the typical markets in the shade of plane-trees, the large variety of local products such as wine, olive oil and lavender, and handcraft. All this make of the Luberon a must for who wants memory souvenirs and spending an unforgettable time in Provence.
Luberon Valley : Your route
9:00 am – You will be welcome at your place of stay by your driver-guide there the last details of your route will be set.
Located 30 minutes from Aix en Provence, you discover Lourmarin a charming little village located at the feet of the Luberon mountain, then we will enter the valley by a canyon to reach the perched village of Bonnieux.
Your trip goes on with the discovery of the village of Lacoste located on the opposite slop, fiefdom of the Marquee de Sade. The Marquee’s castle recently restore under Pierre Cardin’s patronage, dominates the incredibly well-preserved village with its maze of stone-paved narrow streets.
Leaving Lacoste we will head for Menerbes ,on its rocky promontory, famous for the artists and writers that stayed there, such as Peter Mayle. We make our way across the valley to the north hillside of the Luberon to reach the famous village of Gordes listed as historical monument.
Located at the foot of the village of Gordes nestled in the bottom of a narrow canyon, here is the visit of the cistercian abbey of Sénanque, founded in the 12th century surrounded by marvelous and perfumed lavender fields.
Discovery of the village of Roussillon its ochre quarries, its overlapping roofs, its houses with their colorful fronts, where artists and potters show their creations.
On the way back , on a panoramic road through vineyards and olive-tree fields we will stopover at the Chateau Val Joanis, a local private estate winery with its own productions of wine and of a delicate olive oil. You will enjoy a private tasting of both products as a friendly conclusion to your exclusive visit of the owners’ exceptional botanical garden.
Around 6:00 pm – Back to your accommodation.
Abbey of Senanque (Gordes)
Founded in 1148 by the abbot Pierre de Mazan, the Abbey Notre Dame de Sénanque is one of the 35 cistercians abbey « in activity » in France. Nestled in the bottom of a dale in order to create serene surroundings for monks, This harmonious abbey with its flagstone roofing, rising from the lavender fields has become the emblem of a timeless Provence.
The village of Bories (Gordes)
A hamlet of twenty « bories »- traditional dry-masonry houses – the oldests date back to Bronze Age ; the houses are restored and laid out as an outdoor museum dedicated to Provence rural life through centuries.
Le Moulin de Lourmarin (Lourmarin)
This hotel located at the heart of the village with a splendid terrace shaded by limetrees, is a former 17th century oil mill. There the millstone still in place witnesses of techniques and time, tells us the secret know-how of olive oil.
Museum of truffle and wine (Ménerbes)
Today on the list of Historical Monuments, this 17th century former mansion is a museum, a bookshop dedicated to local products, and has a cellar gathering all of the wine ‘crus’ vintage produced on the Luberon National Park.
Museum of Bouillons (Gordes)
Located in a 16th century traditional Provencal house a « Bastide » at the foot of the village. This museum is dedicated to the different types of processes of olive oil and Marseille soap making, and so since the roman presence on the site. Charming and quaint !
Weekly market of the villages of Luberon
(See schedule for market days)
Provence lavender tours (around Avignon)
Bon appetit ! Our favorite restaurants in Luberon
La Mirande (Avignon)
Gastronomic restaurant (1 star Michelin) this place is also a hotel located right behind the Pope’s palace, in the former house of a Cardinal. The decor is elegant in an 18th century Provencal style, refined with antique furniture and art objects . Pleasant shaded terrace.
Offering a generous cuisine with regional South French and Italien flavors and sunny accents. A charming patio and slick modern decor.
La Garbure (Châteauneuf-du-Pape)
Located in the heart of the village with a very pleasant terrace. Regional menus and an in season cuisine offering local traditional products.
La Prévôté (Isle-sur-la-Sorgue)
Former 16th century monastery offering a gastronomic menu based on fresh products from the local market to be tasted in the courtyard among flowers with a nice view over a branch of the Sorgue River.