The LUBERON HILLTOP VILLAGES
Luberon is the name of this magic mountain range,
famous world wide, enriched by its stones, its castles, its luminosity
This is the real Provence, full of character.
A sweet dolce vita of a climate and pure clean air which just breathes
the incredible contrasts between a rich, and variable natural environment
: the blue strides of lavender, the subtle nuances of green in the forests,
the flamboyant and blinding colours of the cliffs of ochre, or the austere
white of the limestone hills.
It is the place of choice for many artists (painters, sculptors, writers,
Mostly on the northern part, on the side of the hills,
several picturesque villages are perched, overlooking the valley. In
order to protect themselves from pillagers, the inhabitants, during
centuries, have patiently built, stone by stone, their houses, closed
to the seigniorial castle.
Nowadays this charming villages, with their tiny narrow
streets and amazing shaded squares are classified among the most beautiful
ones in France.
Nevertheless, each one has its own personality and its own attractive
Lourmarin : It nestles in the middle
of vineyards, olive groves and almond trees. A very animated village
in the summer due to its numerous cafe terraces, restaurants and boutiques.
You can admire its medieval / renaissance castle, its temple, its interesting
pigeon house, its provencal bastides, its "boîte à
Albert Camus, winner of the Nobel Literature Prize, lived and wrote
here and was even buried here.
Bonnieux : this large, attractively-terraced
village situated on a promontory offers a lovely view of Calavon valley,
from the hilltop village of Lacoste, which castle was formerly occupied
by the Marquis de Sade, to the edges of the Vaucluse Plateau.
View on a roman bridge along the way
Roussillon : It owes its name to the
reddish (roux) colour of its houses. The village is lovely from the outside,
set in a deep green pine forest on bright red-ochre hills but even more
spectacular inside, with the colourful old buildings and narrow medieval
streets. From the terrace the view on the ochre cliffs, composed of
16 or 17 different shades is spectacular.
You can also go for a walk following the "Giants' Causeway, among
jagged rust-red cliffs, relieved by a scattering of pines and evergreen
It is a wonderful place to have a lunch : this touristic village offers
a wide variety of restaurants.
Gordes - Panorama : This very beautiful
old village is perched on the southern edge of the high Plateau de Vaucluse.
It seems to be an unbelievable "stone cascade" : the stone
houses are built in tight against the base of the cliffs and others
are perched on the rocks above, and all together are topped by a 12th-century
Between the sites, your driver-guide will explain you
many things about the history, the tradition, the natural environment...
You will be able to stop as much as you want to take pictures, or just
to breath the fabulous scents of the provencal plants...
8:00am Pick up at your hotel or ship in Marseille
9:15 Discover the charming village of Lourmarin, considered to be among the most beautiful ones of France, with its Renaissance castle
9:45 Drive through the Luberon mountain range to reach the lavender fields (Blooming end of June till mid-July only) and then the hilltop village of Bonnieux, from where there is an astonishing view on the Calavon valley
10:45 Gentle hike down the coble stone streets of Lacoste, crowned by the fortress that once belonged to the famous Marquis de Sade
12:00 After a glance on a very well preserved roman bridge, lunch in the reddish village of Roussillon and stroll
02:15 View on the picturesque hilltop village of Gordes
03:00 Drive back
04:00 Drop off
The schedule can be changed depending on the arrival/departure times of your ship or according to your wish if you stay in a hotel.