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The Luberon France villages are nothing if not picturesque. There are limestone cliffs and gorgeous views from the hilltop village of Gordes. Picture the red and burnt orange hues of the hills and homes in Roussillon. And you cannot forget the lovely chateaux, vineyards, and, of course, lavender fields in this section of Provence.
To visit the Luberon villages is to absolutely fall in love with the place. And after an early autumn visit to this part of France during my 7-day South of France road trip, I can honestly say that it was well worth it and a highlight of my vacation.
So that is why I want to give you a run-down of the best villages of the Luberon in France as well as key items like when to visit, how to get around, and more.
And, as a bonus, I’ll give you my ultimate 1-day Luberon tour itinerary that you can steal for yourself!
- What is the Luberon in Provence?
- Luberon Villages Map
- Best Luberon Villages in France
- Best Things to do While Visiting the Luberon France
- Ultimate Luberon Tour Itinerary in One Day
What is the Luberon in Provence?
The Luberon region is a massif located in Provence in the South of France in the Vaucluse department. There are three mountain ranges here called the Lesser Luberon, Greater Luberon, and Eastern Luberon. There are also several valleys where you’ll find plenty of vineyards, dreamy villages, and more.
It is particularly famous as a place to visit during the lavender season in the summertime, especially for its sprawling lavender fields and charming towns in between.
And many of the Luberon towns actually have been awarded “Les Plus Beaux Villages de France,” or the “Most Beautiful Villages of France.”
It is a great place for a day trip to admire all there is to see in the Luberon!
Luberon Villages Map
See below for my Luberon Provence France map!
Getting to & Around the Luberon Valley in France
The Luberon isn’t really easily connected via airport or train station. However, you can fly into Paris, Marseille, or Nice and either take a train to Avignon or Aix-en-Provence and/or rent a car and drive. For flights, I love checking Skyscanner! Then, when it comes to renting a car, I like Auto Europe.
We ended up renting a car from the Avignon train station for our road trip and spent a day in the Luberon villages.
There is an alternative option if you do not want to rent a car. There are several Luberon tours you can take from either Avignon or Aix-en-Provence.
I love these day tours of the Luberon if you’re short on time and don’t want to rent a car, especially if it is just for the day.
However, if you want to go at your own pace and see smaller towns that these tours may not cover, it is a good idea to rent a car.
If you choose to rent a car, definitely download offline Google maps in case you lose service and/or don’t want to pay for a data plan for the day.
When to Visit the Luberon, France
I really can’t think of a bad time to visit the Luberon. Maybe in the wintertime, it is a bit chillier, and some more touristy things may be closed. However, the Luberon is truly scenic year-round!
If you want to come specifically for the lavender fields and want to see them at peak bloom, opt to visit between mid-June through mid-July. This is the prime time to enjoy the fields and take beautiful photos!
Just note that this is the most popular time of year to visit, so expect to pay higher prices for hotels and rental cars. Also, it can be crowded, and hard to find parking. Not to mention that it is the hottest time of year to visit Provence.
I ended up visiting in late September/early October during my Provence road trip, and it was perfect! There were hardly any crowds (except in towns with the weekly market!), parking was easy, and the weather was lovely.
The only downside was that lavender season was over. However, it was still stunningly gorgeous during this time of year with plenty of other flowers and even some of the leaves changing!
Best Luberon Villages in France
There are several little charming villages that dot the hillsides and valleys throughout the Luberon in France. These are some of the best Luberon villages in France to visit during your time there!
This is such a scenic town. In fact, it is so scenic that there is a viewpoint for taking photos of this little village.
Perched atop a hill, this limestone village can be seen from many angles, with its church and castle dominating the scene. But even within the city itself, the little alleys and cafes are endlessly charming.
It is no surprise, then, that is it on the list of Les Plus Beaux Villages de France.
Aside from the town itself, it is a short drive from the iconic Sananque Abbey that is known for its sprawling lavender fields in the summertime.
Where to Stay: Airelles Gordes, La Bastide
Market Day: Tuesday
Full of ancient stone buildings, this village is not only beautiful, but the views of the cherry orchards and vineyards below are next-level stunning.
Another on the list of Les Plus Beaux Villages de France, it comes as no surprise that you’ll be instantly charmed by its winding alleys and a 16th-century fortress.
This is also a great town for wine and truffle lovers, not only because of its surrounding vineyards but also because there is a wine and truffle museum as well as a corkscrew museum.
For another truly unique abbey nearby, be sure to check out the 13th-century Saint-Hilaire Abbey.
Where to Stay: Mas Des Cedres
Market Day: Thursday
It is absolutely insane how much the villages in the Luberon can change in a short distance. At one point, you’re admiring the hilltop limestone village of Gordes, and at another point, you’re rounding a corner to see an equally impressive village sitting atop vibrant red and orange ochre hills.
Roussillon is a very lovely, colorful village to visit and a must-stop on your Luberon tour. Not only is the city full of the gorgeous shade of ochre, but the ochre quarry is right next door, and there is even a path you can take to enjoy all the splendor yourself.
From the path, you’ll be able to admire the combination of fresh pine trees amongst red, yellow, pink, and orange shades of ochre along the path. There are also stunning views of Roussillon from the hike, and afterward, you’ll definitely want to wander around the town itself and admire the scenery and lovely architecture.
Like other towns on this list of the best Luberon villages, it is one of the Plus Beaux Villages de France.
Where to Stay: La Maison des Ocres
Market Day: Thursday
This gorgeous hilltop village is known for its beautiful castle of the Marquis de Sade which is the focal point of the town.
And while this is a lovely town with sundrenched 15th-century buildings, the castle was actually home to the person that the word ‘sadism’ comes from. Yep, there’s definitely some naughty history with the Marquis de Sade.
There was also a devastating massacre that happened here back in 1545. So while there is a dark past, this town is scenic to visit and feels like stepping back in time.
Where to Stay: Les Clos des Lavandes
Market Day: Tuesday
This town is full of lovely cafes and restaurants, making it a good stop during a day trip to the Luberon villages.
The village boasts amazing views of the vineyards and orchards in the valley, and it is also known for its two churches named “Vielle Eglise” and “Eglise Neuve” which mean “Old Church” and “New Church” respectively. While you can’t go inside of the older church, you can enjoy the lovely paintings in the new church.
It is well worth wandering around the village of Bonnieux to admire the architecture as well as enjoy some people-watching at a nearby cafe. And for bread lovers, definitely head to the Musee de la Boulangerie, which is a museum dedicated to baking.
Where to Stay: Les Terrasses du Luberon
Market Day: Friday
Slightly lesser known and lesser visited than many of the other Luberon villages like Roussillon and Gordes, it is a beautiful place with a gorgeous 17th-century castle and an old Medieval church.
Have some lunch at the Cafe de la Poste while people watching, and then walk around the agricultural terraces nearby. It takes about an hour to walk and is full of views.
Where to Stay: Villa Lumieres
Market Day: Thursday
Another on the list of Les Plus Beaux Villages de France, this lively village sits in the center of olive and fruit trees. There is also a Medieval and Renaissance castle from the 15th and 16th centuries to visit called the Chateau de Lourmarin.
And for wine lovers, this town is known for great wine, and there are quite a few vineyards and places to go wine tasting nearby!
Where to Stay: Ancienne Maison des Gardes
Market Day: Friday, but there is also an evening farmer’s market on Tuesday.
Known for having the largest weekly market, its Saturday market is bustling with vendors selling local soaps, cheeses, nougat, fruits, veggies, and more.
It is a lovely place to wander around and see locals and visitors alike tasting and purchasing delicious food and locally made crafts to take home.
This town is nestled right in the heart of the Luberon and is a little larger, making it a great place to spend some time wandering around and taking photos.
And if you’re a fan of candied fruit, then this is the place for you; the town is known as the capital of candied fruit!
Where to Stay: Hotel Sainte Anne
Market Day: Saturday
While there are many villages that feel like stepping back in time in the Luberon valley in France, Oppede may be the most authentic feeling.
This once abandoned town due to the crusades and conflict took its time to slowly grow back, and now you can wander around old ruins as well as enjoy the charming stone buildings and streets.
Admire the Notre-Dame-d’Alydon and castle as you take in views of the Luberon. It truly is like stepping back into Medieval France.
Where to Stay: Domaine Les Roullets
Market Day: Saturday
This gorgeous village is known for its stunning water basin in the main square. It is lined with towering trees, and there are lovely cafes and restaurants surrounding the basin, making it quite a picturesque view.
It even hosts its Tuesday market along the basin, which is super cute. Curucon is a lovely tucked-away gem that is fun to explore, especially if you walk up to the old castle ruins for the most spectacular view of the town.
This town is so pretty, it has even been featured in a couple of movies like A Good Year and The Horseman on the Roof.
Where to Stay: Le Pavillon de Galon
Market Day: Tuesday
Best Things to do While Visiting the Luberon France
This area of Provence is so lovely to visit, but now let’s talk about some fun things to do in the Luberon France!
1. Farmers Markets
I absolutely love a good French farmer’s market. Whether it is the lively Annecy farmers market or a tucked away market, there is something special about getting to sample local produce from the people who grow and make it.
Several Luberon villages have weekly markets to visit, as I’ve listed above. They are typically open pretty early on in the morning and close around 12:30 pm. So you may want to tailor your Luberon tour based on market days because these are a must-see.
We ended up visiting the Luberon on a Saturday, so we were able to go to the Apt market which was perfect with its fresh foods and cute decor…I wanted to buy everything!
Here is a great website I’ve seen with details on when the markets take place!
Some things to purchase in the area include Provence soap, lavender, local cheeses, fresh fruits and veggies, and all the beautiful textiles.
2. Lavender Fields
I think that is what has made the villages of the Luberon in France so famous. Instagram made us all ask ourselves where we could find these dreamy lavender fields that seem to go on forever.
One of those answers is definitely in the Luberon. Lavender season is between mid-June to mid-July and just make sure you have permission to take photos in the fields! Many farmers harvest those flowers to sell or make lavender products for sale.
While you’re driving around, there is also a Lavender Museum in the Luberon to learn all about lavender and how it got to be a big crop here!
Some local lavender farms to visit include La Ferme de Gerbaud with guided tours and La Ferme Aux Lavandes. Aside from the lavender farms, you can also spot lavender fields around Sault, Apt, and Gordes, as well as at the foot of Mont Ventoux.
There is even a Lavender Trail in Sault! And you cannot miss the lavender fields in front of Senanque Abbey.
Love cycling? This is, of course, a lovely place to do it! We actually saw a bike tour while we were at the Gordes Lookout!
Companies like Cyclomundo offer multi-day tours of Provence including time in the Luberon! Or you can rent a bike and head to see the area for yourself.
As the Luberon is the Luberon Natural Regional Park, there are definitely plenty of hiking opportunities. Aside from walking along the Ochre Path and Lavender Trail, there are ample hiking trails in the area.
Some fantastic hikes include the nice and easy but lovely Ceder Forest hike near Bonnieux, the Colorado Provencal hike that has views of more ochre, and the Gorges d’Oppedette hike.
Rent a kayak or canoe and float along the Sorgue River. You can book one at Kayak Vert and enjoy all the stunning scenery of the Luberon via the water.
6. Go Wine Tasting
You’re in Provence, so you know you can get some delicious wine! Grapes that are grown here include Grenache and Syrah, and you can find delightful red, white, and rose wines.
Some great wineries include Chateau Constantin near Lourmarin and Chateau la Canorgue near Bonnieux.
7. Explore Castles
We know there are so many great castles all over France, so, understandably, the Luberon in France is no exception. There are castles still in use to this day like the Chateau de Lourmarin and castle ruins like the Oppede-le-Vieux castle or Fontaine-de-Vaucluse Castle.
8. Senanque Abbey
Aside from its famous lavender fields, this is a lovely abbey to visit during your time exploring the villages of the Luberon. Just outside of Gordes, this Cistercian abbey dates back to 1148 AD.
It is stunningly beautiful even if you go outside of the lavender season, and you can tour the inside for €8.50. It includes a histopad which you can hover over certain signs and get more information on the rooms and even animated photos of what it looked like back in its day.
And, on your way out, you can even purchase some lavender products.
Ultimate Luberon Tour Itinerary in One Day
Okay, we’ve discussed all the best Luberon villages, things to do in the Luberon, and even getting there and around. Now, let’s lay out an awesome Luberon tour itinerary that you can do in a whole day.
I’ll preface this by saying that I really enjoyed using the Luberon villages day to transition from our time in Avignon to our stay in Aix-en-Provence. So in this itinerary, we’ll start in Avignon and end in Aix-en-Provence.
Note that we did this on a Saturday, so that dictated where we went for a farmer’s market. In this case, we visited Apt which was fantastic! But if you want to go on another day or your schedule permits something else, then by all means replace Apt with another town on their market day!
Stop 1: Depart Avignon and Head to Senanque Abbey
Grab a coffee and head out from Avignon and straight to Senanque Abbey to kick off your full-day tour of the Luberon villages.
You’ll quickly pass by Gordes Lookout and then descend into a steep valley where the abbey lies. There is a small lookout before you get to the abbey, and you’ll be dazzled by all of the sprawling lavender fields.
It is a good idea to get to the abbey when it opens to have fewer crowds and get your day started at a good time to make it to a market!
It opens at 10 am, and it took us about 45 minutes to explore that and admire the fields.
Stop 2: Gordes Lookout
Next up on the Luberon itinerary is to stop at Gordes Lookout for some photos. It is a gorgeous place to sit and enjoy the views, but be mindful, as the parking next to it is small and it can get busy.
But take some photos and enjoy the scenery before hopping back in the car to the farmers market!
Stop 3: Apt Farmer’s Market
As we did this trip on a Saturday when the Apt market was open, we decided to add Apt next. However, if you’re here on a Tuesday, then you could go to Gordes and explore their market. Again, just alter this a bit depending on which day of the week and market you want to visit.
Us, we got to Apt before noon and had plenty of time to walk around, sample various kinds of cheese, smell freshly made soaps, and even purchase some tasty things to snack on later.
Apt has quite the market, and you can certainly find plenty of great things to try, buy, and enjoy. But don’t forget to take a bit of time to wander through the town as well! There are beautiful little alleys and lovely buildings to see!
Stop 4: Roussillon
You can’t come to the villages of the Luberon in France and not visit this amazing ochre village. There is ample parking down the hill, and once you reach the top, your jaw will drop at the views.
Be sure to take some time to wander the town and hike along the Ochre Path. They have a trail that lasts about 35 minutes and another that lasts 50 minutes.
Stop 4: Bonnieux
Drive through the charming town of Bonnieux and stop at Chateau la Canorgue for a wine tasting. This chateau is super beautiful and the wine is a delight, making it a great stop on your itinerary.
The tastings here are also free which is amazing! But it is a good idea to buy a bottle or two of wine to have later on when you get to Aix-en-Provence.
I loved the AOC Luberon Rose as well as the La Canorgue IGP Mediterranee.
Stop 5: Lourmarin
I’ll be honest this town was my favorite town to drive through. It really is stunning! The tree-lined street that ran through the town was incredible, and the Chateau de Lourmarin was large and beautiful.
But we mostly drove through here, which I recommend, so as to get to Chateau Constantin for another small tasting.
Tastings here are €15 each but is free if you purchase 2 bottles of wine. The wines here were certainly delicious, and they even age some in terracotta!
I enjoyed the Rose, Chardonnay, and the AOP Luberon with Grenache and Syrah.
Stop 6: Cucuron
I’ll be honest, we were about to wrap up our time in the Luberon when we stopped at Lourmarin and Chateau Constantin, but when the woman leading our tasting told us about the charming town of Cucuron nearby, we couldn’t miss it.
It was a short drive from the chateau, and we fell in love with the place. There were next to no tourists when we went in the late afternoon in October, and we enjoyed the peaceful basin.
Also, the views of the late afternoon sun over the city from the castle ruins were spectacular. It was a great place to end before heading to Aix-en-Provence for the night.
This is everything you need to know about the Luberon France including how to get there, the best ways to get around, things to do, the best villages, and even a full Luberon tour in a day you can do on your own!
I fell head over heels for the Luberon villages in France, and I know with a visit there you will too!
Which village would you most like to visit?
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