An “Essence of Provence” tour, starring the Luberon Regional Nature Reserve! Whether you’re a fan of stunning scenery, sport or great food, this little corner of the South is a genuine ode to freedom.
Clue de Mirabeau
La Bastide des Jourdans
Understanding the geology of the Luberon
Get ready for a warm welcome at Château de la Tour d’Aigues, where you’ll enjoy an illustrated introduction to the geological history of the Luberon before setting out to admire the reserve’s very-typical landscapes and relief. Drink your fill of scenery before visiting Château de la Tour d’Aigues and its ceramics museum. It’s lunch time already! Basking in a typical Provencal setting, L’Ormeau restaurant in Cabrières d’Aigues is a delightful little eatery serving tasty market cuisine – just the ticket for getting your strength up before heading back out into the reserve. Formerly covered by the Mediterranean Sea, the Pays d’Aigues area is a fascinating hub of geology and you’ll love the learning all about it thanks to your Luberon Regional Nature Reserve expert guide. Pause awhile to contemplate the birds dipping and swooping above… The day winds up with the “Cabrières d’Aigues and its geological gems” discovery rally, before you settle down for an evening’s relaxation at Domaine La Parpaille, a slow life guest house and holder of the prestigious Valeurs Parc Naturel Régional label.
Walk, look, taste
Hosted by the Luberon Côté Sud Tourist Office (make sure you book ahead), this exciting day out starts with a guided mountain walk in the heart of the Luberon, among the fossils and rifts that lend the area its inimitable character. The treats continue with the Oliversion olive mill in Cucuron. At 5 p.m., the lucky owners welcome you for a novel tour of the domain and homemade produce tasting – including olive oils of course. Next, it’s time to visit a Valeurs Parc Naturel Régional wine cellar: a dream opportunity to learn how to recognize the various local grape varieties and characteristic bouquet of the Luberon wines. Evening is already closing in and it’s time to make the most of Le Chat dans la Bastide, a Valeurs Parc Naturel Régional B&B and your gorgeous Provencal home for the night…
Stroll round Clue de Mirabeau
Your third morning takes you to Clue de Mirabeau for a guided tour of this magnificently simple but characteristic gorge – the oldest in the Luberon! As the sun blazes overhead, settle down comfortably at the Étang de la Bonde campsite pizzeria for a waterside lunch. Tasty! Next, you’ll head to the hilltop village of Ansouis, officially one of “France’s Most Beautiful Villages“, where you will follow in the footsteps of a professional Tourist Office guide through charming old Provencal paved streets. Drink in your fill of culture and heritage at the two museums and stop off to meet the local “Santon” figurine maker, awarded the Best French Worker title. Last but not least, treat yourself to a homemade ice cream from L’Art des Mets before heading to Moulin de Marchand for the night.
A cycle tour of local produce
Your 4th day kicks off on Place de la Vieille Fontaine in Ansouis. From here, you’ll venture out into the farmlands of the Luberon on your bike. The tour, entitled “Terroir & Olives“, invites you to savour a range of local produce and gain an insight into local artisan know-how. The richly-fertile plain of the Pays d’Aigues area is irrigated by the Canal de Provence. In the afternoon, you’ll enjoy a guided tour of the village of Cucuron, with tasting of Luberon wines at the Louérion Terre d’Alliance wine cooperative – a holder of the Valeurs Parc Naturel Régional label. Set down your bags at the Grand Jardin d’Elisabeth, a Valeurs Parc Naturel Régional B&B tucked away in the picturesque village of Lauris. Enchanting!
A taste of the wild
After a soothing night at this old stone Provencal country house, make your way down to the grounds for an introduction to edible plant picking courtesy of Lisette Bigi and the B&B owner Elisabeth Fink, who is also a dietician and nutritionist! The tour continues with a visit to the Jardin Conservatoire des Plantes Tinctoriales natural dye conservatory courtesy of the association Couleur Garance. The proud holder of the “Remarkable Garden” and Valeurs Parc Naturel Régional labels, this astonishing and particularly beautiful garden, growing natural dyes unique in Europe, is laid out on the terraces of Château de Lauris and gazes over Durance valley. A pretty picture indeed and fitting end to your stay.