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CIRCUIT 2 – Provençal villages

The Luberon is a massif with lush vegetation and exceptional fauna that has earned the status of a “Regional Natural Park”. It is a region that has kept its authenticity. Beautiful villages with their picturesque streets and alleys, castles, many vineyards, beautiful hilly landscapes. The Luberon massif stretches over 60kms from west to east with a peak at 1125m. This tour only concerns a part of the Luberon


The village is famous for its castle classified as historical monument in 1973, but also for some celebrities who lived there such as Albert Camus (writer). It will be partially burned and destroyed in 1545, but gradually rebuilt to have its current profile.

Classified as « One of the most beautiful villages in France », it is very attractive for tourists. You will walk through the many narrow streets that lead you from small squares to fountains, dotted with art galleries, bars, restaurants and beautiful shops that highlight the beautiful typical houses. In addition to its beauty, the village is animated all year round with festivals, concerts and large and wonderful market on Friday mornings.

The castle was the first Renaissance style castle built in Provence, its construction began in 1480, in a medieval style and then in 1526, the superb Renaissance facade was added to the castle. From the 17th century it was abandoned, to be saved from ruins in 1920 by a wealthy industrialist (subject to a fee).


One of the most beautiful villages in France and one of the most visited in the region. Clinging to a rocky promontory, Gordes overlooks the plain and the valley offering a breathtaking view of the Luberon mountain. The village grew from the 11th century around the fortified castle to become a real fortress protected by ramparts in the troubled times of the Middle Ages. During the renaissance the castle was redesigned and enlarged. At the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century the population declines following great upheavals: Earthquakes, diseases , a weakening of agriculture, the war of 14-18. It is only from the 1950’s that the village is revitalized, helped by a multitude of artists who settle there seduced by the beauty of the place. In addition to strolling through the small cobbled streets with donkeysteps (low and long steps that made it easier for the donkeys to walk) to admire the buildings and the panorama. 

– Near Gordes, the Abbey of Sénanque, a Cistercian monastery since 1148, still inhabited by a community of monks. Lavender has been cultivated here since the end of the 1960s. (paying and guided visit)

– 4 km from Gordes, Le village des Bories (entrance fee). Restored towards the end of the 60s and classified as a historical monument in 1977.  The village was built at the beginning of the 17th century by piling up loose stones (without cement, lime or earth) extracted from the ground during the conquest of new land to cultivate in order to compensate for population growth and avoid famine. As a result, thousands of tons of limestone were used to build multiple constructions such as walls, terraces, enclosures, etc… and these houses (the bories) were used as temporary housing: as a refuge for shepherds and shelters for peasants. All these constructions contributed to the identity of the landscape of the region.


To see absolutely : the ochre path in the heart of the village of Roussillon (paying entrance). You will see breathtaking variations in ochre colours, because the village of Roussillon, classified among the most beautiful villages in France, is located in the heart of the most important ochre deposit in Europe… This village is a picturesque maze of alleys and squares. Ochre is everywhere, in the landscapes, on the facades of houses but also in the heart of the premises that this industrial adventure brought to life until the 20th century. Many art galleries, exhibitions, craftsmen and artists are located in the village where a stroll is essential.