The Luberon

This spectacular range of mountains rises over 1000 metres. At Mourre Nègre reached by foot, there are fine views towards Digne, the Durance valley and Apt basin, whilst in the far distance the L’Etang de Berre (next to Marseille airport!) and Mont Ventoux can also be seen. As well as lavender fields there is a fort at Buoux, where the cliff faces are world famous for rock climbing.

The Luberon is also known for its delightful villages such as Lourmarin, Menerbes, Lacoste and Bonnieux, the latter made famous by Peter Mayle’s ‘A year in Provence’ all have their own individual charm.

Gordes is a stunning perched village (19 kms), where you can visit the Abbey de Senanque, the Chateau de Gordes and the village des bories.

The Colorado Provencal runs from Rustrel to Roussillon where the quarried ochre is used in the colouring of its houses.

Markets

Provence is renowned for its markets; there is one to be found almost every day of the week providing an overwhelming choice of mouth watering fresh produce together with Provencal gifts and souvenirs. One of the largest takes place in Apt every Saturday, one of our favourites is at Coustellet on a Sunday, where all the produce sold is grown locally. Others of note include Forcalquier on Mondays and St Remy de Provence on Thursdays.

Further a field

Fontaine de Vaucluse (32kms), is a popular tourist village and also the source of the River Sorgue where you can either kayak or canoe to L’Isle sur La Sorgue, the antiques capital of Provence.

The historic walled city of Avignon (55kms), the gateway to Provence offers a wide selection of attractions including Palais des Papes, occupied by the Popes during the 14th Century, Pont St-Bénézet, the bridge mentioned in the rhyme ‘Sur le pont d’Avignon’ as well as a host of museums, churches and an array of boutiques, shops and restaurants. The world famous Avignon Festival takes place in July.

Les Baux de Provence (64kms) is a very popular tourist attraction with nearly two million visitors a year. This dramatic fortress sits on a spur of the Alpilles with views across to the Camargue, a vast flat wetland famous for its flamingos, black bulls and white horses. Be sure to visit the Cathedrale D’Image whilst there too.

The cosmopolitan town of Aix en Provence (65kms) is a must with its impressive buildings, up market boutiques and café atmosphere. Marseille (93kms), France’s premier port and oldest major city, centred on the Vieux Port, offers an insight into the multi cultural side of France as well as excellent shopping and dining experiences including bouillabaisse, a seafood gastronomy.

The Roman cities of Orange (68kms), Arles (83kms) and Nimes (98kms) are all worth visiting.

For the wine enthusiast the picturesque region of the Rhone Valley is a must with Chateauneuf-Du-Pape (69kms) being one of the most famous along side Vacqueyras, Gigondas and Beaumes de Venise.

The coast also offers delightful villages and beaches, such as Cassis
(114kms) Or you can head further east to the Cote D’Azur including Cannes, Antibes & Nice.

The region has so much to offer including theatre, the Arts and Music that we have not covered. We would recommend you look at: www.provenceguide.com