The Luberon Valley and more
If you read the book a Year in Provence, then you have heard of the Luberon valley, if not then imagine picturesque towns and villages surrounded by three mountains plotted in a 230 square miles. Villages and towns that have graced the list of most beautiful villages of France, year after year. All within your reach.
It was this picture on Bing that peaked my curiousity and then an obsession to visit these beautiful villages. 4 years later, I go back to breath the air, look at the lavenders, eat the delicious figs, go wine tasting, eat the best melons from Cavillion, buy fabulous soaps, and walk while listening to the cacaidas sing! Many of these beautiful villages are within 1 hour of driving from Aix-en Provence:
- Gordes – Tuscany like view and the breathtaking Notre-Dame de Senanque (located only 4 Kilometer away). Gordes is a small and historic most beautiful village of France that must be on your list to see.
- Rossillion – known as little grand canyon because of it rich orche pigment of earthy orange, Sentier des Ocres.
- Pertuis, Lourmarin, Bonnieux , Menerbes, Lacoste, and Cavillion – from wine tasting to great open markets, to the best cantaloupes you will ever eat!
How to get there
- From Aix, you can visit all the villages in one day or stay overnight. The best way to go is through Pertuis and then return from Cavillion. From D15 to D556 to D956. Don’t rush and stop along the way. Follow the signs and if you see roundabouts just go around it 2,3,4 or 5 times to make sure you are going the right way. Signs in Provence, and much of France, are VERY different and somewhat confusing.
- You can also take local buses, but most require transfer and these villages are a bit remote therefore the bus schedules are really sporadic and inconsistent. I learned this the hard way! So, I don’t recommend the bus.
Where to stay
- There is a lovely Airbnb in Bonnieux, for two, during the summer you can hear the cicadae singing in the fields at sunset.
- Another beautiful place in Lourmarin, a house for up to 5 guest, gives you the feel of true Provence and you can walk in Peter Mayle’s foot steps and enjoy the local market.