Lacoste, Vaucluse tourism & sightseeing

Photo of Lacoste in Luberon (Provence region)

Visit Lacoste (Provence, France)

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Lacoste is a small pretty village in the Petit Luberon region of Provence, between Menerbes and Bonnieux, perhaps best known for the castle of the Marquis de Sade that stands above the village.

Explore Lacoste

There are various places you can park in Lacoste, but the most useful is the main car park, the Parking Paysager, which is free and also close to the Lacoste Tourist Office. It is on the main road that leads north towards Apt from the village.

As well as the tourist office you can also see the Church of Saint-Trophime here in the Place de l'Eglise in the part the lower part of the village. The church has retained some parts of its original roman style but has mostly been transformed over the centuries, including a new entrance being installed in the 17th century.

Pretty stone houses in Lacoste historic centre

Exploring the old village is very straightforward, start by walking up the hill from the Place de l'Eglise to reach the original stone gateway into Lacoste, built in the 14th century then rebuilt in the 16th century and called La Porte de la Garde. Passing through this old stone entrance takes you onto a narrow cobbled street that winds up through the village.

There is little more to historic Lacoste than this one main street and several narrow alleys - but the street is an exceptional one and perhaps more than any other of the Luberon villages, Lacoste is unspoiled and not overly-renovated, and almost every building in the village catches your attention.

France This Way comment: I have seldom seen such a very high number of beautiful small houses and buildings in one place, or a more authentic feeling that you are really wandering through a village as it was hundreds of years ago. In Gordes (a very popular village just north of here) you would be surprised to see a herd of goats being led down the street towards you, but not in Lacoste!

One particularly noteworthy feature as you ascend through the village is the belfry, which has an impressive ironwork campanile. In fact the belltower dates from the 16th century but the campanile is quite a recent addition. Below the belfry on Rue de la Frescado you can see the other gateway into the centre of Lacoste, the Portail des Chèvres, allowing entry from the south and also rebuilt in the 16th century

At the top of the village, as the track becomes even more narrow, you reach the castle above Lacoste. This castle has superb views to the north and east, and was once home to the Marquis de Sade - the 18th century writer who spent many years in prison for his deviant and corrupt writings promoting sexual deviance (hence the word sadism derives from his name). The castle now belongs to Pierre Cardin.

The chateau is occasionally used for events and displays and is apparently open occasionally during the summer - but of the three times I have visited Lacoste the castle has always been closed so usually a visit involves seeing the outside only. Several modern statues interpreting the works of the Marquis stand next to the castle to mark this important historical connection for Lacoste, and there is plenty of space for a picnic.

View across castle walls in Lacoste

If you now return to the lower part of Lacoste you can leave the historic village and take a stroll along the main road where you can find a cafe with a terrace where you can sit and enjoy the exceptional views across the valley towards Bonnieux, a lovely way to finish a visit.

Attractions nearby

Here in the natural regional park of the Luberon it is the countryside and the quaint villages that are the main attractions. I do suggest in particular that you should visit the villages at Menerbes and Lourmarin, two of our particular favourites in the Luberon, and of course Gordes, one of the loveliest villages in France is just a few kilometres from Lacoste.

You can find more local travel ideas in the Vaucluse guide and the Provence guide.

See also:

Map of Lacoste and places nearby

Visit near Lacoste with France This Way reviews

... or see ALL recommended places to visit in Vaucluse

Address: Lacoste, Bonnieux, Apt, Provence, 84480, France || GPS: latitude 43.8331, longitude 5.27417

Plan your visit to Lacoste, Vaucluse

Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby

  • Jardin de la Louve: remarkable garden (3 km)
  • Menerbes: most beautiful village (5 km)
  • Roussillon: most beautiful village (8 km)
  • Gorges de Régalon: site of natural beauty (10 km)
  • Gorges de Régalon: site of natural beauty (10 km)
  • Gordes: most beautiful village (10 km)
  • Abbaye de Sénanque (Gordes): religious monument (10 km)
  • Lourmarin: most beautiful village (11 km)
  • Apt: recommended detour (11 km)
  • Abbaye de Silvacane (La Roque-d'Antheron): religious monument (13 km)
  • Jardin à la française du Pavillon de Galon: remarkable garden (15 km)
  • Luberon: regional natural parc (15 km)

The French version of this page is at Lacoste (Francais)