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Guided hiking in the Luberon mountains and piedmont



From Lacoste to Bonnieux,
two hillside villages of the Luberon

For centuries, they have been standing face to face, each one on its hill, at the foot of the Luberon mountains. From Lacoste, dominated by the imposing ruins of a castle which belonged to the Marquis de Sade, you will walk across olive groves and truffle plantations, vineyards and lavender fields, enjoying the local color that set the charming ambiance of Peter Mayle‘s novels.  On your way to Bonnieux, you will have a multitude of viewpoints over its very picturesque terraces. Once there, you will get a panorama that extends from Lacoste to Roussillon and Gordes, three of the loveliest perched villages, and as far as Mont Ventoux in the background. 

Walking time : 3.5 hours 
Rating : leisurely

The heart of the genuine Luberon :
the hidden Aiguebrun valley 

You would be very lucky to come upon this spot nestled in the foothills of the Luberon mountains: the tiny Upper Aiguebrun valley and the hamlet of Sivergues, snuggled above, are off the main tourist routes. Yet, the place is very special, peaceful. Its imposing cliffs are known by rock climbers. And if only a few dozen people live in the area today, it has been occupied by men for at least 50,000 years. The feature that makes it so special is probably the contrast between this cool and humid valley with lush vegetation and temperate climate plants, and the desolate plateau above, covered with lavender fields and scrubby woods, so parched in summer.
A gem to discover !

Walking time : 3.5 hours 
Rating : leisurely


The ochre sands of Colorado

Through the ancient ochre quarries still visible to the north of the Luberon, one of the most prodigious spot is called Colorado ; it shows fascinating landscapes, sculptured both by nature and by man, in a palette of colors, varying from saffron yellow to blood red and including white sands as well. In addition to the breathtaking views you will get from the pathway, your guide will show you some of the last remains of the ochre industry and provide you with interesting facts about this economic activity that flourished in the region of the Luberon during the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Walking time : 3 hours 
Rating : leisurely

Guided hiking in the Luberon mountains and piedmont



A singular walk through
the intriguing Mourres rocks

The Mourres rocks  can be found to the north-east of the Luberon, next to the charming town of Forcalquier. It is a fascinating site, where can be seen several hundreds of strangely shaped rocks : some look like giant mushrooms, others like big weird muzzles. As you climb up to the highest part of the trail, you enjoy a beautiful view of the Alps on the horizon. And before the end of this circular walk, your local guide will allow you to enjoy discovering a few Cabanons Pointus, these picturesque traditional dry stone huts whose unique outline is specific to the Forcalquier area.

Walking time : 4.5 hours 
Rating : moderate

On the heights of the Petit Luberon

The Petit Luberon is the western area of the Luberon range. Although lower than its neighbour, the Grand Luberon, it looks more mountainous, because of the great number of its steep rocky cliffs, ravines and gorges. On this long route on its southern slopes, your walking guide will lead you from the foot to the ridge of the mountain through a mixed and often low vegetation (scrubland, pine groves, holm oak woods) ; then, on the summit plateau, you will walk accross a Cedar Forest formed from tall Atlas cedars planted in the 19th c. Back amid a more open environment, you will have the opportunity to admire beautiful boulders or other massive rocks, before starting your descent into the valley.  

Walking time : 6.5 hours 
Rating : challenging (2,000 feet elevation gain, 14 miles)

From Bonnieux, a terraced village, to Roussillon, standing on its ochre hill

At the foot of the Luberon mountains, Bonnieux, one of the largest villages, rises in tiers on a hillside. From the top, you enjoy panoramic views, seeing as far as Mont Ventoux and the southern Alps and, closer, the famous perched villages of LacosteRoussillon and Gordes. After walking down through the narrow streets of the village, you roam the countryside made up of vineyards, orchards and woods. Halfway, you reach Pont Julien, a 2,000-year old Roman bridge that spans over the Calavon river. Before Roussillon comes out, the trail on which your guide takes you snakes its way accross wooded hills. To top it off, a dramatic walk on a pathway starting in the heart of the village allows you to discover the wonderful colored cliffs of the former ochre quarries.

Walking time (including the visit of villages) : 6.5 hours
Rating : challenging