Saturday morning market at Manosque
It's market day at Manosque on Saturday, with the large Place du Terreau taken over by stalls. There are also other markets in the town such as the food market on the Place de la Mairie.
Anyone for tennis?
Grab your racquets and wander up to the tennis courts in Montfuron for a knock-up.
Making a splash
Sailing and windsurfing are on offer at the Plan d'Eau des Vannades lake, 4km east of Manosque beside the Durance river, as well as lake swimming.
Set aside an afternoon...
for a breathtaking scenic drive along the Gorges du Verdon, one of Europe's most beautiful river canyons, about 25km long and up to 700 metres deep. Start at the eastern end of the Lac Sainte Croix, with its stunning turquoise water coloured by minerals, and wind your way up to the town of Castellane, stopping frequently for photo opportunities!
Keen walkers will feel spoilt - the house is on the eastern edge of the Luberon area, a magnificent region for hiking and spotting all sorts of flora and fauna. The GR4 hiking trail passes through Manosque, so you could pick this up and head west to Pierrevert or east to Gréoux-les-Bains.
Dine 'Chez Eric'
Walk up to the village for a fabulous meal at Chez Eric, the well thought-of restaurant in Montfuron. Enjoy a glass or two and don't worry about driving home!
Discover the work of Manosque's favourite son
Jean Giono (1895-1970) is perhaps Manosque's most celebrated former resident - his paintings depict early 20th-century life in Provence. Giono's birthplace is 14 Rue Grande, near the town's main gateway Porte de la Saunerie, and you can view his works at the Centre Jean Giono on the ringroad.
On your bike!
Hire a bike in Forcalquier and join the 'Luberon en Vélo' cycling path which runs 100km to Apt and Cavaillon. There are also plenty of shorter circuits (!) and lots of detailed information and maps are available from the tourist offices to help you plan.
The local tipple
Allocate a designated driver, then head to nearby Pierrevert for some wine-tasting at the Cave des Vignerson de Pierrevert - they produce reds, whites and rosés, with the main grape varieties being Grenache noir and Syrah. They also sell a range of Provencal specialities such as tapenades and patés, as well as olive oil.
at the 18 hole course at the ‘Golf du Luberon’ in Pierrevert, about 10km from Montfuron.
is available nearby at Cereste or Manosque. All ages and abilities are catered for. Enjoy the lovely Luberon countryside from the saddle!
Canoe or kayak
down the Durance river between Villeneuve and Manosque, either with a guide or self-guided. This stretch includes some rapids, and at some times of year when the water levels are high white water rafting is also available.
Give the kids a great day out
at the Verdon Aventure site between Manosque and Vinon sur Verdon. There is an animal park, a treetop adventure course and mini-golf to keep everyone entertained. Paintballing also on offer. Open daily during July and August; during other months only open for the afternoon at weekends.
Perched on top of the eastern end of the Luberon massif, Montfuron looks out over the valley of the Durance river. A cluster of stone houses surround the village square and to the west the ruined château looks over the village. There is a beautiful stone church and the Saint-Elzéard chapel which dates back to the 12th century and is classified as an historic monument. To the north of the village is a restored windmill dating from the 18th century which is particularly special as it is still operational. To visit the interior, the keys can be borrowed from the town-hall (Mairie). From the windmill, you’ll have a magnificent view over the surrounding countryside, over no less than 6 départements!
The Ochre Villages
Starting from Apt, in the heart of the Luberon valley, take any of the roads north and you will find yourself in an area whose vast natural ochre deposits were quarried for centuries. The quarrying has now stopped but the area still attracts people who come to marvel at the vivid hues of this quite surreal landscape. The colourful ochre is displayed to full advantage in the lovely village of Roussillon, where the buildings range from pale yellow to deep red. Rustrel is a golden coloured village that overlooks the ‘Colorado Provençal’, a range of hills and ochre quarries crossed by well-marked footpaths. Look out for the ‘fairy chimneys’, a river of sand, and various other striking formations caused by the quarrying!
take a tour around the imposing, golden stone château with its romantic gardens. Or, for something different and interesting for children, visit the ‘Musée Extrordinaire’ - dedicated to ‘underwater life’, an underwater cave has been created with the help of blue stained glass windows.
Have you visited Le Pastre?
Click here to suggest a Great Thing you've done nearby ...