Nestled in the foothills of the Monts de Vaucluse in Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur and close to some of the best-known hotspots in the south of France, Luberon is the perfect Provençal palette.
Jaw-droppingly pretty hilltop villages, light and colours that have inspired artists for years and delicious produce that feeds not only the mouth but also the soul. Add in a wide choice of outdoor activities and centuries-old heritage to discover and Luberon, in the Vaucluse département, might just become your next favourite French destination. Here are 10 reasons to come and explore Luberon.
1. Close to all the major highlights
Located an hour from Marseille Provence Airport and 45 minutes from the TGV train stations in Avignon and Aix-en-Provence, the Luberon lies alongside the A7 motorway to the west and the A51 motorway. The Luberon is ideally located to discover all the major sites of Provence; the Popes Palace in Avignon is half an hour away, The Pont du Gard, 1h, the gorgeous calanques beaches, also 1h…
2. Authentic villages among the most beautiful of France
One very special feature of the villages in the Luberon is that they are built on the hilltops or into the slopes of the Luberon and the Monts de Vaucluse ranges. Whatever village you may decide to explore, you will find yourself with a panorama over the valley or amidst olive groves, vineyards and shrub oak.
The views from the perched villages are unique. They take your gaze to the most celebrated ranges in the south of France: Mont Ventoux, the Dentelles de Montmirail, Alpilles, and Sainte-Victoire mountain… Besides, the Luberon has 5 villages labelled among the Most Beautiful Villages of France, Gordes, Roussillon, Lourmarin, Ménerbes and Ansouis.
3. Preserved nature in the UNESCO Biosphere – Natural Regional Park
Luberon Coeur de Provence lies in the very heart of the Luberon Regional Natural Park (PNRL), a rural territory of outstanding beauty, recognized for the quality of life, heritage and scenery one can find there. The park covers 1,850 km²; altitudes range from 70 meters to 1,125 meters at the peak of Mourre Nègre in the Greater Luberon range. The Luberon Regional Nature Park was integrated into the network of Biosphere Reserves in 1997.
4. Land of colours
A riot of colours, that’s how we can describe Luberon. Every season comes with a new palette. The Ochre sites obviously, which offer a virtuoso display of fire and light all year round. One will discover pastel colours of almond and cherry trees and the blazing red of poppies in spring. The golden green of the olive oil or the precious black of truffles in winter. Vivid oranges and reds of vineyards in autumn. Or the dark blue of the lavender fields in summer. The region was particularly noted for the cultivation of Dyers’ Garance (madder) whose roots produced a powerful red, which made the Vaucluse so prosperous in the 18th and 19th centuries. Until the middle of the 19th century, Vaucluse Garance alone accounted for half of the world’s export production!
5. A rich cultural heritage
History has left its imprint on the villages and their surroundings. Vineyards and olive trees, which continue to shape the Luberon countryside, were first planted by the Greeks and the Romans (Cavaillon, the Via Domitia…). Since ancient times, this area has undergone many different influences including the arrival of the Popes in Avignon, the Waldensians, who came from the Piedmont and populated the countryside, Jewish populations, who were protected here in 4 major cities in Vaucluse…
6. A strong gourmet identity
Destination Luberon is the land of genuine, fresh food and flavours! Olive oil. Wine. Fruits and vegetables, sun-gorged and full of flavour, are inspiration to local chefs who prepare Provençal dishes with a legendary flair. Meet people at the markets, during a cooking class or while foraging for wild edible plants…
7. A paradise of outdoors activities
So many things to do, from mountain biking, climbing and Via Ferrata for experienced athletes to family outings on bicycles, hiking with a donkey or canoeing… Outdoor activities in beautiful countryside are an opportunity for shared emotion and discovery. There is preserved nature, iconic sceneries, trails, peaceful and revitalizing places, sweet fragrances, the blue of lavender and the white of omnipresent stones… and on both sides rivers (Sorgue & Durance). Inhabited rural territory of outstanding beauty, recognized for the quality of life, heritage and scenery.
8. Ideal to slow down and take care of yourself
You need some time off… You are looking for peaceful moments? Luberon can be your haven of rest. Yoga classes, spas, swimming pools, relaxation and nature, here you will find all you need to chill… Take the time to relax peacefully and recharge your batteries as you make the most of the spa centers, with their facilities dedicated to pure pampering. Spas, massages, relaxation areas are available throughout the Luberon.
9. Land of arts and artists
During and after the Second World War, the sunlight and climate in Provence began drawing increasing numbers of artists inspired by the perspectives and the very special light here. They created works that have since made history. They contributed to giving new life to the villages which had been left to their own fate after inhabitants left for the valleys or the cities.
The Nobel Prize Albert Camus settled in Lourmarin, Chagall stayed a few years in Gordes, as well as Victor Vasarely who had his museum in the castle. Samuel Beckett stayed in Roussillon. Nowadays artists are still inspired by the Luberon, and come to enjoy one of the many artists residencies and art galleries.
10. Genuine Provence
The destination Luberon lies within the Luberon Regional Natural Park and is the ideal spot to unwind and enjoy! A destination of quality tourism full of magic moments spent on site exploring farmers’ markets, cycling, enjoying an apéritif in an outdoor café under the shade of centuries-old plane trees, musical concerts under the stars, hiking in breathtaking countryside… As a couple, with friends or family, come and enjoy all the activities Luberon has to offer and live unforgettable moments at the heart of Provence.
Bonus: Take a break during the Rugby World Cup!
The organizers of the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France are determined to set new standards in social and environmental responsibility, inclusion and legacy for this major sporting event. With this in mind, they are targeting four key pillars:
- Fostering a circular and sustainable economy
- Committing to education, training and employment
- Respecting and protecting the environment
- Ensuring inclusion and sharing.
Essential values that Luberon destination fully identifies with. More than a quarter of the competition matches will take place in the Provence-Alpes-Côtes d’Azur region, less than an hour’s drive from the Luberon. Why not use the event as an excuse to come and explore this territory, this veritable jewel in the South of France?
Useful information and brochure downloads: https://www.destinationluberon.com/pratique/brochures
Lead photo credit : Discover authentic Provence in Luberon ©fmr_travelblog
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