Self-Guided Hiking Tours

France | Provence: Hill Towns of the Luberon

Stroll through the chateau country of southern France.

France
  • 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 characterise the Vaucluse region of Provence, France .

You will 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 chateaux 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 will then make your way to Gordes, famous for its sixteenth century chateau, 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 post-card perfect Cistercian abbey surrounded by lavender fields located in the Senancole Valley.

By single track and country roads, you will 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 Chateau La Canurgue, or take a cooking class in the village of Bonnieux. (Optional.) Spend your last two nights in Lourmarin, a quintessential Provençale town with great shopping and restaurants.

Trip Itinerary

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 (breakfast and dinner included).

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 tracks 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 ancient shepherds’ dry stone (mortarless) huts. Enjoy a local homemade breakfast overlooking the inviting pool. Dine on your own tonight at one of many outstanding Provencal restaurants. (Not included.)

Start from your hotel for your loop hike that takes you to the enchanting Abbaye de Sénanque, a 12th century Romanesque edifice. Return to your hotel to relax poolside. Dinner is on your own tonight. (Not included.)

A short taxi transfer takes you to your trailhead today, where you will hike to the famous hill town of LaCoste for lunch and then onto Bonnieux. Your quaint hotel is located amongst the vineyards, a 5-minute walk to town center. Dine on your own tonight. (Not included.)

Take the day off from hiking. We suggest a cooking class in the local area and wine tasting in the afternoon. Dinner is on your own; take a taxi to the famous village of Ménerbes for dinner and perhaps enjoying a wine tasting along the way. Return to your hotel.

A short taxi transfer to your trailhead near Bonnieux’s cedar forest offers you a boost in elevation gain. At the trailhead traverse across of the Combe de Lourmarin. From the top you will 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 included.)

Your final hike begins right from your hotel and loops back to Lourmarin. Ascend through farm roads passing by olive groves and vineyards to the feudal chateau in Cadenet. Enjoy strolling amidst the plentiful shops. Dine on your own tonight. (Dinner not included.)

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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Brittney Clarke

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