Walk up into the village
Have a wander around Goult, admiring the restored buildings made of stone and ochre, and enjoying a drink or lunch at one of the cafés.
The villages of Oppède Le Vieux, Ménerbes and Lacoste
Set against a backdrop of craggy limestone hills, these restored three villages are extremely pretty and always bustling. You reach Oppède le Vieux on foot, leaving your car in the parking space below the village. Narrow pathways lead up to the 12th century castle at the very top of the steep rocky outcrop on which the village is built. The drive between Oppède and Ménerbes is lovely, with vineyards on either side. Wander the little streets of Ménerbes with its mixture of pastel coloured and stone houses, and pop in and out of the chic boutiques you will find there. The final village in the trio, Lacoste, is probably the most attractive, perhaps due to the fact that it is less restored than the others, and in part to the fabulous views it has over the valley. During the 18th century its castle was home to the Marquis de Sade.
Visit Roussillon (8km) -
home to rock formations, and the most vivid red hued soil you will have ever seen. The colours span the spectrum of reds, oranges and yellows and are truly amazing. The village itself is a delight to wander around with its arty shops and lovely cafés.
This beautifully preserved village, perched on the hillside, has some lovely buildings and the most fantastic views. To avoid the crowds, go early for a morning stroll or visit in the evening and enjoy a leisurely dinner.
Visit the Village de Bories, just outside Gordes
The Village de Bories consists of the typical stone shepherd huts shaped like cones. Wander around and see how life was like many years ago.
Visit Apt on a Saturday for the weekly market
or between April and October on a Tuesday morning too. Once you are stocked up on fresh fruit, bread, olives, have lunch in one of the many cafés.
The Abbaye Notre-Dame de Sénanque
offers a tranquil and spiritual experience. Follow one of the guided tours around the monastery, which has been there since 1148. Go in June/July to see the full effect of the lavender fields in front of the Abbaye.
A breath of fresh air!
Lovers of the great outdoors will feel spoilt - the Luberon is a magnificent region for walking and hiking, cycling, and spotting all sorts of flora and fauna.
On Sunday, get up early and go to L'Isle sur la Sorgue
where there is the most amazing market that goes on until lunchtime. Home to the most number of antique shops outside of Paris, Sundays see the streets filled with antique dealers selling their wares, as well as a fantastic Provençal market where you can buy everything from fresh fruit and olives to handmade soaps and artwork.
Visit the Luberon from the sky
Near Joucas, you will find Provence Montgolfière who organises balloon flights in one of the most beautiful parts of Provence.
Play a round of Golf
Close to the picturesque village of Saumane, you will find a lovely 9 & 18 hole golf course.
The local vignerons attend the market at Coustellet, and you are able to have a wine tasting there. We found some lovely local wines at the market and then followed this up by visting one of the many local vineyards where you are able to purchase some fabulous wine at really competitive prices. Most of these wines are not imported into the UK, so it's great to see what else is out there.
Lourmarin (20km), in the Grand Luberon,
is a very pretty village, dominated by its chateau. Visit the chateau or explore the narrow streets lined with art galleries, cafes, and craft shops. Try the local sweet snack called gibassier which is a sweet cookie made with olive oil, shaped like an oval leaf and about a foot long.
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.
For a slight change in scenery, head to the Alpilles hills, about 45 minutes' drive to the west. St Rémy de Provence is a good place to start... a chic and pretty town, it was once home to Van Gogh. Follow the self-guided walking trail around the town - 21 signposts are dotted around the town, each with a reproduction of one of his paintings and an explanation in French and English.
Have a day out in Avignon,
the capital of the Vaucluse. Head for the car park called 'Parking Palais des Papes'. This underground car park is underneath the Palais des Papes square and so when you surface, you greeted with an awe inspiring view of the Palais itself.
Drive along the country roads that go up and over the Plateau de Vaucluse
to Sault, famous for its lavender fields. Go at the beginning of July to see the area awash in the colour purple, or go on 15th August for the Fete de Lavande, held in Sault itself.
Head to Banon, a small village famous for its goats cheese
wrapped in dried chestnut leaves and tied with a raffia ribbon. More than 600,000 banon cheeses are made each year! Make sure you try at least one during your stay.
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