The Luberon area
To the south, the hills of the Luberon dominate the quiet course of the Durance. Dry stone walls browned by the sun, colored by ocher facades of natural Provençal Colorado, terraces, shaded squares and fountains, all calls to the good life. In each village, artists and craftsmen compete for talent. On the hillsides and vineyards growcherry trees, and the plain is full of fruit, including the famous Cavaillon melon.
CASTLES OF LUBÉRON
In addition to the castles of Provence, the Luberon is home to 5 “Most beautiful villages in France”: Ansouis, Lourmarin, Ménerbes, Roussillon and Gordes, with its abbey of Sénanque and its bories.
Do not miss the Chateau de Lourmarin, the first Renaissance chateau in Provence, the Château d’Ansouis with its beautiful gardens or le Château de la Tour d’Aigues. Some house museums and collections or host festivals (Lourmarin, Gordes and Lacoste).
Plant and gardens lovers on the land area of Val Joanis will find enough to satisfy their passion. Also discover the Roman garden of Caumont sur Durance and Gerbaud farm in Lourmarin, specializing in aromatic plants.
The Little Provençal Colorado
The path to Ochre quarries of Roussillon, and Provencal Colorado in Rustrel, allow you to discover the true geological curiosity: you can walk in the middle of the maze by following colored panels explaining the formation and operation of ocher quarries and cliffs of their”blood and gold.
The Conservatory of ochres and pigments applied in Roussillon,welcomes the public in an old ocher factory for tours, workshops and educational workshops.
Walks and cultural visits
Built away from the mistral, Ansouis dominates the Durance plain and one of the”Most Beautiful Villages of France” in Luberon.
The village crowned by its castle, with its beautiful French gardens, is one of the most beautiful in the Luberon. Fortress originally in the tenth century, it was modified in the twelfth and thirteenth in castle, then in the fifteenth and nineteenth centuries. In the Middle Ages, Ansouis was ideally placed to control the road between Aix en Provence and Apt.
Today, this village is wonderfully preserved. Before reaching the castle, cross the square and it runs through these streets with houses beautifully restored: the oldest date from the fifteenth and seventeenth centuries. Bed and breakfast, lodgings, restaurants, wineries … Ansouis, a village where life is good in all seasons.
Bonnieux is a beautiful hilltop village, which lies on the northern slopes of the Luberon,facing the village of Lacoste.
Perched village in Luberon, but also the gateway to the Combe de Lourmarin, onepassage through the Luberon, and separates it into two. Very nice view of the Luberon mountains and plateaus of the Monts de Vaucluse.
To see : Museum of the Bakery, Old Church of the twelfth century, combining Romanesque and Gothic elements, remnants of towers and ramparts of the twelfth century Hôtel deRouville, beautiful house of the eighteenth century La Tour Philippe Le “Remarkable Garden” of the Louve.
The municipality of Buoux is in the heart of the Luberon, at the crossroads of two ancient pathways that went from in Aix-en-Provence to Apt until the road of Combe de Lourmarin gets its current route.
Buoux is best known for its cliffs with many climbing routes that have been home to man since prehistoric times. A multitude of trails offers visitors a nature lovingly preserved,alternating woodlands and traditional cultures of Provence: thyme, lavender, honey, goat cheese and truffles.
To see : The Priory Saint Symphorien (Romanesque twelfth century), St. Mary’s Chapel(Roman style, thirteenth century), located in the cemetery and the Fort Buoux.
Spent the last turns a beautiful road lined with dry stone walls, rises Gordes, perched village classified among the ‘Most Beautiful Villages of France’ in the heart of Parc Naturel Régional du Luberon.
Village acropolis, it is dominated by a Renaissance castle built in the center. Terraced houses on cliffs, steep streets with cobbled streets, stairs, small square with a fountain, private mansions, there emerges an extraordinary harmony of the village where the stone mineral reigns supreme.
To see : Do not miss the castle and its museum Pol Mara, the village of Bories (former group of dry stone huts used for agriculture), the Cistercian Abbey of Senanque, the Palais Saint-Firmin and his rooms troglodytes, the mill broth, Festival in the summer.
The charming hilltop village of Lacoste has a location in the heart of the Luberon Regional Natural Park. It partly owes its reputation for exceptional quality of the soft limestone and clear extracted from its quarries. The village is overlooked by the Castle of the divine Marquis, Louis-Alphonse Donatien de Sade who lived in the eighteenth century.
Looted and destroyed during the Revolution, it became property of the famous fashion designer Pierre Cardin, who has undertaken a great work of building and renovation of the site. Pierre Cardin is also dedicated to the restoration of many houses in the village and each summer, a festival of music and theater in the quarries. A picturesque village, mineral which undoubtedly inspire students in the School of American Art Savannah College of Art and Design located in the village !
To see : Cobbled streets, Stroll around the castle, Galleries.
Ranked among the most beautiful villages in France, Ménerbes, from the sky, similar to a stone vessel. Among its advantages, a view over the Luberon and the Monts de Vaucluse,but also proud of narrow streets lined with mansions of the eighteenth century and old houses.
The village was home to famous artists, including painter Nicolas de Stael, Picasso and Dora Maar, but the British author Peter Mayle, who contributed in the 80’s to his worldwide fame. It is now visiting his insoliteMusée the Corkscrew or taste Côtes du Luberon in the magnificent Maison de la Truffe and Wine.
To see : The dolmen of Pichouno, identified in 1850 by Father Andrew, The Castelet, small castle built on the ruins of an ancient fortress, The richly decorated church of the fourteenth century, The belfry and bell tower, The chapel St. Blaise of the eighteenth century.
Located on the banks of the Durance, in the heart of Provence, this village is a Provencal celebrity. Ancestral home of the famous revolutionary Mirabeau, he has also lent its stones and its payasages for the film “Manon des Sources” History and People, this place bathed in sunlight will surely seduce you.
To see : River Durance and originality of the remains of his old suspension bridge (gantry monumental neo-Roman); The imposing castle (private); Porches and beautiful fountains; Wine bouquets.
The medieval houses and Renaissance, the Church of the XII, the ruins of medieval castles, wash houses and chapels of St. Lawrence and St. Antonin create a timeless atmosphere. A must-Luberon hilltop village. Those who climb the alley calade to the top are rewarded with a 360 ° panorama. Bicycle tours and walking through the village in which to stop for a drink in the square. Every summer, the artist Michel Leeb organizes the festival Oppède.
To see : Church of Our Lady of Dolidon (or Alidon) located at the top, The ruins (tower and walls) of a medieval castle and remains of ancient workshops. You can see the remains of the fortifications by walking through the old village, Le Moulin Saint Augustine opens its doors to lovers of olive oil.
Located in the Regional Park of Luberon, Roussillon is, after Gordes , the second most visited village in the Luberon and deserves the ranking of “Most Beautiful Villages of France”.
The village is built on top of a cliff of ocher and offers visitors a perfect harmony of colors with stone roofs and facades impregnated with the same red tone as surrounding landscapes. He fired a long time its wealth from the exploitation of natural pigments contained in its ocher earth until the advent of synthetic dyes.
We must discover the history of this industry by visiting Ochre Conservatory and colors in a former factory ocher. We learn all about the exploitation and processing of ocher and there is organizing regular training courses. To follow as well, the footpath (paid) at the heart of old quarries that reveals the beauty of color and exuberance of the warm colors that stand out from those offered by an intense green Mediterranean vegetation.
The route cyclo “The Ochre bicycle” allows you to find gently shimmering landscapes of the Luberon.
Hilltop overlooking the town of Apt which was once the sentinel houses Saignon wrapped around his rock. Some embrace the rock with cave dwellings that can be seen from the plain.
The walker is guided through the streets, leading to the church St. Mary the twelfth century and the rock of Bellevue where you can admire the view over the Luberon mountains.
Certainly a charming village which still flows in the square, the fountain, dear to the Provencal !
Le Pays de Sorgues
Situated between Mont Ventoux and the Luberon hills, the Sorgues – Monts de Vaucluse is fed and watered by the Sorgue river of clear water with a thousand arms, which made the country an oasis of greenery and freshness.
L’Isle sur la Sorgue has become since 30 years a capital of antiquing : The antique “villages”, the antique fairs and markets on Sunday made its reputation. Every year, Easter and August 15 are unmissable for lovers of the object, the unusual, the beautiful. In total 800 exhibitors sites exploded across the city, make this event one of the largest in Europe.
A little further...
City water, city of art, in the imagination of each city was built and developed around this dual identity. But Aix is a city that knows how to combine different eras and cultures.
Open to the world, it is a city with human dimensions which live in perfect harmony a preserved heritage and the city of tomorrow. Here, everything is color and sensations: light of heaven, golden stone facades, transparent green fountains, shaded by plane trees, surprises nights of festivals … Aix en Provence welcomes you …
In the 14th century, seven popes and two anti-popes have succeeded in Avignon in Provence! It is understood that the city has become a political and spiritual capitals of Europe, and it still houses a considerable wealth largely classified “World Heritage” by UNESCO.
In the 17th century, Avignon remains a crossroads between Italian and French art and continues to attract many artists. Haven, Avignon is thriving and attracts foreign clerics, artists, traders, bankers and even political outlaws like Petrarch in the 14th century. The arts are booming.
Avignon is in three weeks, the biggest stage of the show alive in Europe. The “In”invested the legendary stage of the courtyard of the Palais des Papes which occurred at the time, Gerard Philippe, but also theaters, chapels and cloisters of the city.
With over 40 shows in twenty places, the Festival d’Avignon is one of the oldest and most famous theater festival in the world.
The French Riviera
The Riviera is located in the South of France, it covers the departments of Var and Alpes-Maritimes, it is part ofProvence. The Riviera has several advantages that all promote tourism. First an exceptional climate, the sun is there many days of the year and the temperature is remarkably mild in winter. Then the simultaneous presence of the sea, the Mediterranean and mountains of Alps. Indeed, the Riviera is surrounded by the Southern Alps with peaks reaching 3000meters. The Alps Niçoises overlook the Mediterranean. The Alpine foothills around the town of Grasse rise above 1700 meters. All offer views of landscapes and of exceptional quality with strong colors and cheerful.
Les Maisonnettes de Lourmarin
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