PROVENCE & THE LUBERON

7 day independent luxury tour A land of remarkable lighting and contrasts, that is the dazzling Luberon, a subtle mixture of Mediterranean and Alps. Discover the villages clinging to the sides of the textured hills, the exceptional flowers and their aroma and above all the magical sites such as the Colorado Provencal, the villages of […]

7 day independent luxury tour

A land of remarkable lighting and contrasts, that is the dazzling Luberon, a subtle mixture of Mediterranean and Alps. Discover the villages clinging to the sides of the textured hills, the exceptional flowers and their aroma and above all the magical sites such as the Colorado Provencal, the villages of Viens and Buoux and the Forest of Cedars. This is a special landscape famous with artists over the centuries and this holiday takes you on a grand circuit of the region with its nature, its history and its villages. This is walking in France at its best.

Day to Day Itinerary

Day 1

The Antiques capital of Provence L’Isle sur la Sorgue

Your walking tour begins in Isle sur la Sorgue, one of the prettiest towns in Provence, surrounded entirely by the green waters of the Sorgue river. The quays are lined with antique shops and cafés while the town’s Sunday market is a feast for all the senses. Dinner and night included in l’Isle sur la Sorgue at the hidden and intimate La Prévôté guesthouse in the centre of town.

Day 2

From ancient walls to a towering village Fontaine de Vaucluse>Gordes
– walking time about 4 hours and 15min. – 13km – +450m/-200m
Short transfer to the town of Fontaine de Vaucluse, where its mysterious spring has attracted poets, scientists, and travellers from around the globe. Your walking path climbs through brush and cedar forests and up to a stony plateau, from where the views extend to the entire Luberon range. You walk alongside a “plague wall”, a portion of a 30km wall built in 1721 to prevent the plague from reaching the Provence of the Popes. You reach Gordes, your base for two nights, listed as “one of the most beautiful villages in France”, its homes rising out of the Calavon valley and perched vertiginously on a rocky spur (Tuesday market). Dinner and night in Gordes at the spectacular 5* Bastide de Gordes. 

Day 3

To an 850 year-old abbey surrounded by lavender Gordes>Senanque>Gordes

– walking time about 3 hours and 15min.- 10km – +250m/-250m
Your walking tour continues along hidden paths to Sénanque Abbey, a jewel of 12th century architecture. Built in 1148, the abbey has housed an order of Cistercian monks for over 850 years. A guided tour of the abbey will allow you to visit the medieval parts of the monastery. Your path then climbs out of the Sénancole valley, with breathtaking bird’s-eye views of the abbey. Your descent back to Gordes is just as scenic, walking along ancient stone walls and among bories – dry stone dwellings. Dinner on your own and and night in Gordes.

Day 4

Lacoste and Bonnieux, villages from A Year in Provence Goult>Lacoste>Bonnieux

– walking time about 3 hours and 30min. – 11km – +315m/-250m
A 10 minutes taxi transfer takes you to the authentic stone village of Goult. With wide sweeping views you walk along a shelf path above the Calavon, passing the ruins of bories and farmhouses. You reach Lacoste, crowned by the ruins of the castle of the Marquis de Sade, (in)famous for his writings that would send him to prison for half his life, ideas that would spawn a widely-used term drawn from his name… Dipping back into the valley you make your way to Bonnieux, a picture perfect Provençal village, on top of which stands a 12th century church surrounded by century-old cedars. Meander through its cobbled streets and relax on the terrace of a café overlooking the valley and the mountains beyond. Dinner on your own and night in Bonnieux at the guesthouse oasis La Maison Valvert. 

Day 5

The cedar forest Bonnieux>Cedar Forest>Bonnieux

– walking time about 3 hours, 30mn – 12km – +400m/-400m
A pleasant and gradual climb through the forest leads to the ridge of the Petit Luberon mountain. By the time you reach the top the views extend from the snow covered Alps to the north to the Mediterranean Sea to the South. At the top of the mountain is a plateau, where you stroll under the canopy of a majestic cedar forest, the perfect place for a picnic. On a seldom-used path with wide-sweeping views of the Luberon you drop down to the plains for a leisurly return to Bonnieux. Dinner on your own. Night in Bonnieux. 

Day 6

The shining south face Bonnieux>Lourmarin

– walking time about 3 hours, 30mn – 10km – +300m/-400m
You climb up to through the heart of the Luberon mountain to reach its crest, where the view suddenly extends towards the southern face: tiny villages that dot the foot of the slopes and in the backround the Sainte Victoire mountain, Cézanne’s muse. The strong scent of Mediterranean brush — aromatic herbs and pine needles roasting in the sun — accompanies you as you wind your way down to the village of Lourmarin. Listed among the most beautiful villages in France, Lourmarin boasts a handful of narrow streets lined with elegant houses, old fountains and cafés. Dinner included in town and night in Lourmarin at the exquite Côté Lourmarin guest house. 

Day 7

Vineyards of the southern Luberon Lourmarin>Cadenet>Lourmarin

– walking time about 3 hours, 30mn – 10km – +150m/-150m
The Southern Luberon is known for its châteaus and vineyards, setting the scene for your penultimate walk. With 5 walks under your belt, this last one will feel like a breeze as you make your way to the village of Cadenet. Unassuming and authentic, the pretty village of Cadenet is the perfect setting for your last Provençal lunch before looping back to Lourmarin. Dinner on your own and night in Lourmarin.

Day 8

 Au revoir! Lourmain>Avignon or Aix en Provence

Transfer from Lourmarin to either Avignon or Aix en Provence by taxi, your choice. End of your Provence walking holiday.

Tour Rating Easy to Moderate

Relaxed walking on good walking trails. Daily distances of up to 5 hours and gentle hills only. We presume that you are in good health and have enough endurance for distances of up to 15 km.

 

Airport Transfers.

By train via Paris to Isle sur la Sorgue. Otherwise fly to Nimes or Marseille then train to Isle sur la Sorgue.

 

 

 

 

Schedule & Price 

Every day from mid-March to end-November

Price per person CAD $2550
Single Room Surcharge $1500
Extra nights pre or post tour $220

 

 

This tour includes:
  • 7 overnights in 5*hotels and luxurious B & B’s, in double rooms with private facilities
  • 7 x breakfast, 3 x picnic lunches, and 4 x dinners
  • All daily transfers as noted in itinerary
  • Luggage transfer as required
  • Detailed route-book per room
    7 day emergency service line