Upon your arrival into Avignon, we will transfer you to your first hotel in the heart of the Luberon. Bonnieux is extremely typical of the region’s hilltop villages, described in Peter Mayle’s famous book, A Year in Provence. With its panoramic views out onto the Calavon plains, it is spectacularly set at 425m. As well as the twisting cobblestoned streets and lovely tiny squares, there are vestiges of its medieval history, including the original fortress, the ramparts, and the 12th century Romanesque chapel of the church. If you feel like warming up for your walks, you can climb the 86 steps of the old church at the top of the village – you’ll be protected by the shade of the 100-year old cedars. Dinner tonight is included at your hotel. (please note the CLASSIC+ itinerary starts in Menerbes and walks to Bonnieux on the first day’s walk)
Your first day’s walk is truly beautiful, with a great mixture of tiny paths and small forest roads, vineyards and a couple of the classic Luberon hilltop villages along the way. After a short transfer, we leave you at the property of the lovely Abbey of Ste Hilaire, nestled in a valley between vineyards, and scents of rosemary and thyme. From there walk through pinede forest to Lacoste, where the infamous Marquis de Sade lived in the 18th century (in the chateau, today in ruins but with a gorgeous panorama). The village is home to an art school and artist’s community today. At the end of the day, the hike brings you back into the village of Bonnieux for a second evening.
Your walk today starts above the typical countryside of the Luberon Valley, and wends its way through olive groves and vineyards and truffle forest from Roussilon. This Luberon hill village (we start you up high, so you can descend out of town), charming in and of itself with its winding streets and cafes and shops, is more famous for its incredible ochre mines – the surrounding red and burnt orange cliffs were mined for ages for the pigments for dyes, and are quite striking. From here you have a relatively easy walk on to Joucas through lovely countryside. Wander the streets of tiny but picturesque Joucas to your hotel and dinner this evening.
Today’s walk is one of the most beautiful. It starts at the Abbey of Senanque, a huge and beautiful 12th century Cistercian abbey, surrounded by lavender fields, and still active. It is nestled in a tranquil valley, so after your explorations there, your walk will get you warmed up as you climb away. After, descend on a tiny and picturesque path, lined with ancient stone walls into Gordes. This village is one of France’s rated “Prettiest Villages”, and has one of the most spectacular views of the region. Take the time while there to explore the bories village, on the outskirts of town. These traditional stone buildings dot the countryside of the Luberon. Then an easygoing path brings you back to Joucas for a second evening.
After breakfast, we transfer you back to Avignon train station in time for your further travels. Bon Voyage !
- 4 nights’ accommodation of the comfort level of your choice * CLASSIC, CLASSIC + or DELUXE
- Hotel taxes
- All breakfasts, 2 dinners (drinks not included with dinners)
- Orientation by phone with our Trip Manager at the start of the trip
- Transfer to first hotel from Avignon
- Transfer to Avignon at end of trip
- Transfers to start of the walks as described
- Luggage transfers from hotel to hotel
- Detailed maps and step-by-step route notes
- Uploadable GPS file of the route to use on a free APP in your smartphone **
- Regional information and advice
- Phone call support 7 days a week
* Price based on double room occupancy – please contact us for details on single room supplements
* Can be used without international internet plan (offline)