The Region

A ‘borrie’ or shepherd’s hu

The Luberon

Bonnieux churchView of BonnieuxThe Luberon is a range of mountains separated from the Vaucluse plateau by the Calavon River. It is well-known for its ‘perched’ villages – ancient communities sitting high on the hillsides with views across the valley. Some of the villages are famous – Gordes, Bonnieux, Ménerbes, Lacoste and Roussillon – while others, equally as delightful, are less well-known : Saignon and St Saturnin lès Apt in particular. Bonnieux, sitting on the southerly side of the Luberon valley rises in a succession of terraces up to a summit capped by the old church. Gordes, houses resplendent in honey-coloured stone, sits atop a dazzling hill offering breath-taking views of the whole valley. Roussillon startles with its rust and ochre landscape and village houses, glowing in the evening sunset. In all these delightful villages colourful streets and alleyways lead to attractive, often discreet, houses, vaults, fountains, gardens, and patios full of flowers. And each village has its own special character.

DSC00427There are many restaurants, cafés, galleries and boutiques in the villages for visitors to enjoy. Each has its own weekly market. Lacoste, a superb village facing Bonnieux, is dominated by the remains of the castle of the Marquis de Sade and brings together a series of old houses alongside colourful alleyways cut off by what is left of ancient fortifications. Ménerbes is another fortified village on the south facing slope of the Luberon which is built on the crest of a promontory. Again, one can browse through this lovely village. Together with Gordes and Roussillon it is classified as one of the 100 most beautiful villages in France .

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As well as sightseeing there are many activities to enjoy locally including horse riding, tennis, golf, kayaking and hiking. And during the summer months there are extensive programmes of world-class exhibitions, concerts, recitals and music and drama festivals.