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CIRCUIT 7 – Provençal villages


Pretty small Provencal village perched on a hillside. It is accessed through the « combe de Lourmarin », which is the only passage that crosses the Luberon and separates it in two. The village is dominated by its old church of the 12th century combining Romanesque and Gothic elements. The houses date for the most part from the 16th century and are high up because at that time men and animals lived together in a Mediterranean tradition, the extension of habitats could only be done high up. On the ground floor there is a stable for animals, a dwelling on one or two floors and an attic. You will enjoy the superb panoramic view of the plain. 


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.