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Luberon travel guide

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Visit Luberon (Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, France)

The Luberon region of Provence is famous the world over, for its outstanding natural beauty, with craggy limestone hills, olive groves and forested valleys but above all for the numerous beautiful medieval hilltop villages.

Luberon tourism

Bonnieux

It is above all the Luberon villages that we recommend you explore for it is in these villages and the scenery you pass through when travelling between them that the highlights of this beautiful region of the French countryside are to be found.

Several of the villages are listed among the 'most beautiful villages of France', and although they are often small each village has its own particular appeal and character - and almost all are very worth visiting!

The Luberon is also well known because of the books set in the region by the Luberon's most famous resident - Peter Mayle - such as 'A Year in Provence'.

This region of Provence is about 40 kilometres east of Arles and Avignon and to the north of Aix-en-Provence and falls in two departments of Provence: Vaucluse to the west and the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence to the east. To help your planning we look at each area separately below.

Luberon in Vaucluse

The Petit Luberon region, a 'sub-region' that includes several of the main highlights, contains many of the most visited perched villages within about 30 kilometres of each other, and is situated here in the Vaucluse.

MenerbesThe source of the Sorgue river at Fontaine de Vaucluse (not a perched village), most dramatic in spring when the river flow is at its peak but beautiful all year around, while the very popular and very visited Gordes is perhaps the most attractive of the Luberon villages when seen from the approach road.

The Luberon Regional Natural Park contains a small road that runs east to west and en-route passes by four very attractive villages - each also has exceptional views across the Luberon countryside: Oppède-le-Vieux; nearby Ménerbes, strung out along a hilltop; Lacoste, one street town leading to the castle of the Marquis de Sade; Bonnieux, tumbling down the side of a hill at the eastern end of the road.

Don't miss also the ochre mines and orange houses at Roussillon, best seen at sunrise if possible. A little way south is the ancient village of Lourmarin, also in a very attractive setting, and the small villages of Cucuron and Ansouis are nearby, and Saint-Saturnin-les-Apt is north of Roussillon

Luberon in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence

OppedetteFurther east the region attracts less visitors than the more westerly 'petit Luberon' but still has a great deal to enjoy.

Although it is true that there are less 'exceptional' towns and villages here there are also less tourists so it is a chance to see a more authentic Provence.

Among the highlights are the market town of Forcalquier, the nearby small villages at Lurs and the village of Mane, dominated by its citadel, the town of Manosque at the east of the region, and the hill town of Oppedette, best known for its scenic gorges.

France This way opinion...

RoussillonThis region is exactly how you imagine Provence to be, especially if like me you are a lover of 'Jean de Florette' or 'A Year in Provence' (who isn't?) and you will not be disappointed when you visit.

The close proximity of the villages to each other means it is easy to visit several in one holiday.

While visiting the Luberon area is highly recommended, for both the villages and the magnificent scenery, I would suggest that you avoid high summer if possible, when the crowds of tourists can become a little intense at times.

Spring and autumn usually have very pleasant weather and are ideal!

See also: 

Map of Luberon and places nearby

Visit near Luberon with France This Way reviews

Abbey of Senanque

Abbey of Senanque

Senanque Abbey is a roman style abbey in Provence surrounded by lavender fields and with many of the 12th century monastic buildings lovingly restored

Abbey of Senanque guide
Ansouis

Ansouis

The quaint medieval centre, the castle and the views from Ansouis make it one of our favourite Luberon villages

Ansouis guide
Bonnieux

Bonnieux

Less visited than some of the Luberon villages, the upper town in Bonnieux and the views from the top of the hill make it very pleasant to visit

Bonnieux guide
Cadenet

Cadenet

Cadenet is a small town in the south of the Luberon Regional Natural Park

Cadenet guide
Chateau de Lourmarin

Chateau de Lourmarin

The Chateau de Lourmarin is a castle on the edge of the village of the same name, with both medieval and renaissance elements

Chateau de Lourmarin guide
Cucuron

Cucuron

Enter Cucuron through one of its medieval gateways to discover a picturesque old town and lots of interesting houses

Cucuron guide
Extraordinary Museum of Georges Mazoyer

Extraordinary Museum of Georges Mazoyer

Museum featuring an eclectic collection of objects discovered in the ocean and various works of art by Georges Mazoyer

Extraordinary Museum of Georges Mazoyer guide
Fontaine-de-Vaucluse

Fontaine-de-Vaucluse

The highlight of your visit to Fontaine-de-Vaucluse is the wooded valley and river emerging from the rocks next to the village

Fontaine-de-Vaucluse guide
Forcalquier

Forcalquier

Forcalquier is a pleasant Luberon town with several interesting historic monuments

Forcalquier guide
Gordes

Gordes

The exceptionally pretty-village of Gordes is also one of the most visited villages in France

Gordes guide
Lacoste

Lacoste

The small village of Lacoste, one of the most beautiful in the Luberon, stands below the castle of the Marquis de Sade

Lacoste guide
Lourmarin

Lourmarin

Lourmarin is one of the most important scenic villages in the Luberon region

Lourmarin guide
Lurs

Lurs

The village of Lurs is small but has a great deal of character

Lurs guide
Mane

Mane

The citadel above the village is the principal monument in the small Provencal village of Mane

Mane guide
Manosque

Manosque

Ensure that your trip to the bustling town of Manosque includes a stroll up Mont d'Or for views back across the town

Manosque guide
Menerbes

Menerbes

One of our favourite Luberon villages, the streets of old Menerbes are overflowing with charm

Menerbes guide
Oppede-le-Vieux

Oppede-le-Vieux

Oppede might be less visited than the more famous of the Luberon villages, but a visit is still recommended - and the crowds rather less!

Oppede-le-Vieux guide
Oppedette

Oppedette

After a stroll around the historic village of Oppedette you can visit the Gorges d'Oppedette, a lovely local landmark

Oppedette guide
Roussillon

Roussillon

As well as the orange houses of the village you can explore the ancient ochre mines just below Roussillon

Roussillon guide
Saint-Saturnin-les-Apt

Saint-Saturnin-les-Apt

It is true that Saint-Saturnin-les-Apt is larger and less visited by tourists than many of the Luberon villages, but find the time and you will discover another scenic small town

Saint-Saturnin-les-Apt guide
The Ochre Footpath of Roussillon

The Ochre Footpath of Roussillon

The Ochre mines of Roussillon are eroded into beautiful colours and shapes and fascinating to explore

The Ochre Footpath of Roussillon guide
Village des Bories

Village des Bories

The Village des Bories, near Gordes in Provence, is a fascinating group of ancient stone dwellings and shelters

Village des Bories guide

More information

Market towns & days in the Luberon

All markets in morning unless otherwise stated

Below we show most of the important markets that are held all year around - but be aware that many of the smaller towns and villages will also have markets, in particular during the summer months.

Night markets are also popular, and great fun, but perhaps a more recent innovation than the more traditional Provençal markets!

Markets in Luberon - Vaucluse

Apt: Saturday
Avignon: every day except Monday
Cadenet: Monday
Cavaillon: Monday
Gordes: Tuesday
Le Thor: Saturday
Lourmarin: Friday
Maubec: Sunday
Pernes-les-Fontaines: Saturday
Pertuis: Friday
Roussillon: Thursday
Saint-Martin-de-la-Brasque: Sunday

Markets in Luberon - Alpes-de-Haute-Provence

Forcalquier: Monday
Les Mees: Friday
Manosque: Saturday
Valensole: Saturday

French version: Luberon (Francais)

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