Self-Guided Hiking Tours

France | Provence: Hill Towns of the Luberon

Stroll through the château country of southern France.

France flag
  • Provence
  • provence
  • Provence
  • Provence
  • Provence

Trip Highlights:

  • Smell the bouquet de France as you wander through vineyards, orchards and lavender fields.
  • Watch the late afternoon sun play upon the stone walls of the region's numerous chateaus.
  • Dine on delicious Provençale food and wine.

Experience souleu e terraire, ‘the soul of the terrain’, as you walk amongst vineyards, historic villages and the famous lavender fields that characterize the Vaucluse region of Provence, France.

Enjoy a great combination of countryside walking through farms, vineyards, and orchards, while rambling along herb-scented hillsides toward golden-hued villages. Provence’s landscape and light will enthrall you just as it did Van Gogh and Cézanne. Relax in quintessential châteaux and country inns while indulging on artisanal, Provençale food and wine.

Our eight-day hiking tour through Provence begins in a renovated French farmhouse just outside of Lagnes, near L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, famous for its antique dealers, and Fontaine de-Vaucluse, the birthplace of the Sorgue River. You then make your way to Gordes, famous for its sixteenth century château, its primitive limestone dwellings called bories, and a reputation as one of the most picturesque villages of the Luberon. Spend a night in Gordes then hike to the Abbaye Notre-Dame de Sénanque, a picture-perfect Cistercian abbey surrounded by lavender fields in the Senancole Valley.

By single track and country roads, you hike to the village of Bonnieux. This region was brought to life by Peter Mayle in his book, A Year in Provence. Indulge in wine tasting at the Château La Canurgue, or take a cooking class in the village of Bonnieux. Spend your last two nights in Lourmarin, a quintessential Provençale town with great shopping and restaurants.

Trip Itinerary

Choose from our standard itinerary or customize the trek by adding or subtracting days. We are happy to offer harder or gentler hikes where possible.

Travel independently to Avignon. We will schedule you a taxi from Avignon train station to Lagnes, about 9 kilometers away. Overnight at a country farmhouse with rooms in warm hues of ochre and gold, and an extravagant table d’hôte. Dinner is included tonight.

A short taxi ride leaves you at Fontaine-de-Vaucluse (the emergence of the Sorgue River) to start your lovely hike to Gordes. Hike on single track and farm roads taking you to the first picturesque hill town of Gordes, perched on the edge of the Vaucluse Plateau. Overnight at a 900-year-old restored Borie House, named after the stone shepherds’ huts. Dine out tonight.

Distance: 6.5 miles. Elevation gain: 1500 ft.

Start from your hotel for your loop hike that takes you to the enchanting Sénanque Abbey, a 12th century Romanesque edifice. Return to your hotel to relax poolside. Dinner is on your own tonight.

Distance: 5.5 miles. Elevation gain/loss: 820 ft.

A short taxi transfer takes you to your trailhead, where you hike to the famous hill town of Lacoste for lunch and then on to Bonnieux. Your quaint hotel is located amongst the vineyards, a five minute walk from town center. Dine out tonight.

Distance: 5.5 miles. Elevation gain: 350 ft.

We suggest taking a cooking class and visiting a winery. Dinner is on your own.

A short taxi transfer to your trailhead near Bonnieux’s cedar forest offers you a boost in elevation. At the trailhead, traverse across the Combe de Lourmarin. From the top, enjoy some of the most spectacular views of the Grand Luberon. Descend into the lovely town of Lourmarin. Enjoy the first of two nights in a nice hotel in town center, with a world-renowned restaurant. Dinner is included tonight.

Distance: 5.2 miles. Elevation gain: 1500 ft.

Your final hike begins right from your hotel and loops back to Lourmarin. Ascend via farm roads passing by olive groves and vineyards to the feudal chateau in Cadenet. Enjoy strolling amidst the plentiful shops, and dine out for your last night on the trek.

Distance: 6 miles. Elevation gain/loss: minimal.

Take a taxi to Aix-en-Provence or Avignon and a train to your departure city.

Provence: Hill Towns of the Luberon | France

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Travel and the Coronavirus for Ryder-Walker Guests

Ryder-Walker is monitoring the coronavirus outbreak and acknowledges that there is growing uncertainty about the safety of traveling right now. Currently, our guided and self-guided treks are on schedule to run. Should travel restrictions be implemented by local or global authorities we will post updates on this link.

For more information please visit the websites of the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.