Home » Regions » Guided hiking & walking tours in the Luberon, around Gordes & other hilltop villages

Guided hiking in the Luberon mountains,
beautiful landscapes and charming Provence villages

 

From Gordes to Roussillon 

Gordes and Roussillon, along with Bonnieux and Lourmarin, are the most famous of these small charming towns in Provence that have contributed to the reputation of the Luberon region all over the world. On this gently walk, your local hiking guide will lead you during a half day trip from Gordes to Roussillon through a landscape made of rolling hills, vineyards, olive or truffle tree groves and pine woods. Walking in the Imergue valley at the foot of the Vaucluse Mounts, you will keep in sight on your right the range of the Luberon mountains on the horizon.

Walking time : 3.5 hours (not including the visit of 
« Roussillon former ochre quarries »)
Rating : easy 

The Gorges de Veroncle,
a half day trip from Gordes 

Not far from the picturesque Provence town of Gordes, your local hiking guide will lead you in the lowest section of the 5-mile canyon that the Veroncle river cut into the south-western bottom of the Monts de Vaucluse. What makes this short hike unique is that the cultural heritage is even more valuable than the one nature has left : we will see the remains of three of the ten watermills that were built between the 16th and 19th centuries. These old buildings are of a high quality in an area that is not easily accessible : dams, cutstone penstocks, retaining walls, large reservoirs and long canals carved out of the rock, and numerous millstones. A wild and beautiful spot.

Walking time : 3 hours 
Rating : challenging (some rocky passages, a few ladders)
Price (per person) : €60 (4 people) / €70 (3 people) / 
€100 (2 people) / €200 (1 person)

The ochre sands of Colorado

Through the former ochre quarries still visible to the north of the Luberon mountains, one of the most prodigious spot is called Colorado de Rustrel ; 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 : moderate
Price (per person) : €60 (4 people) / €70 (3 people) / 
€100 (2 people) / €200 (1 person)

 

Walking down the Oppedette Gorge

A tiny Provence village situated between the towns of Forcalquier and Apt, Oppedette, is a former Celtic-Ligurian oppidum. It sits above spectacular gorges carved out by the Calavon torrent, gorges that are not very deep but among the most beautiful ones in Provence & Côte d’Azur. During this short trip, your local guide will first lead you to several beautiful points of view over the mini canyon before taking you down into it, allowing a real exploration.
Another loop route, about twice longer follows the edges of the cliffs on the western rim to the southern end of the canyon, where a country road bridge spans the stream. 

Walking time : 3 hours (1.5 hour for the shorter route)
Rating : challenging (steep descent and ascent)

If you suffer from vertigo, it is in your interests to choose another hike.
Not recommended for children under 10.

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, known to have one of the most typical Provence markets. 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 higher, 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
Price (per person) : €80 (4 people) / €90 (3 people) / 
€135 (2 people) / €270 (1 person)

Buoux and the valley of the Aiguebrun

On a rocky spur high above the gorges of the Aiguebrun River lie the impressive ruins of a medieval fortified village called Fort de Buoux. Located in the heart of the Luberon mountains, this incredible site is a beautiful and peaceful place that the Neanderthal man chose to settle down, 50,000 years ago. It is a very special area due to the contrast between a cool and humid valley with lush vegetation and temperate climate plants, and a desolate plateau, covered with lavender fields and scrubby woods. Inside the 13th century fort, numerous medieval vestiges remain : defensive walls, watchtowers, dwellings, cisterns, grain stores and a church. And the hidden staircase is an alternative way down from the fort, but not for the faint hearted !

Walking time : 3 hours (short route without Fort de Buoux visit) / 5 hours
Rating : from moderate (short route) to challenging (steep and rocky sections)
Price (per person) : €80 (4 people) / €90 (3 people) / 
€135 (2 people) / €270 (1 person)

 

Walking 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 the long itinerary, your guide will lead you on the slopes of the Luberon up to the Cedar forest. On your way down, you will have a multitude of viewpoints over Bonnieux, and its very picturesque terraces. The panorama extends from Lacoste to Roussillon and Gordes, three of the most lovely perched villages, with Mont Ventoux visible in the background.

Walking time (including both villages’ visits) : 3.5 hours (short) /  5.5 hours (long) 
Rating : from leisurely  to moderate
Price (per person) : €80 (4 people) / €90 (3 people) / 
€135 (2 people) / €270 (1 person)

 

Gordes, its dry stone building
heritage 
and Sénanque Abbey 

During this walk, you will see one of France’s most beautiful little towns, Gordes, located less than 25 miles east of Avignon. And you will be able to discover the amazing rural architecture of Gordes surroundings : dozens of huts and other ancient farm buildings, such as cisterns, vats, ovens, and sheep shelters, all built in dry stone. Another major attraction is the Abbaye de Sénanque, nested in a narrow valley at the foot of the Mounts of Vaucluse, whose harmonious ensemble of buidings is considered as one of the purest examples of the cistercian architecture.

Walking time : 4 hours (not including the visit of « Village des Bories »)
Rating : moderate (stony ground)
Price (per person) : €80 (4 people) / €90 (3 people) / 
€135 (2 people) / €270 (1 person)

 

Walking up to the Mourre-Nègre,
summit of the Luberon mountains

On this itinerary starting from Castellet, a tiny village on the Luberon northern slopes, your guide takes you within two hours up to the top of the mountain. If the trail through the downy oak forest is steep, the result is worth the effort : you get, from the Mourre-Nègre (3,690 ft), a 360 view that allows you to gaze at all the summits of Western Provence – particularly the white limestone crest of Mont Ventoux – and, if not invisible in the heat haze, the Mediterranean Sea .

Walking time : 4 hours
Rating : challenging (steep slopes)
Price (per person) : €80 (4 people) / €90 (3 people) / 
€135 (2 people) / €270 (1 person)

The history of the Vaudois in the
Luberon 
and the Gorges de Régalon

This hike offers you the opportunity of learning about the history of the Vaudois (or Waldenses) in the Luberon in the 16th century. Beginning in Mérindol, a village by the Durance river, it takes you up to the stoney plateaus at the bottom of the Petit Luberon mountain. The final part is a descent through a narrow and spectacular canyon very special for its luxuriant vegetation, the Gorges de Régalon, where the walls rise 250 feet above the path. You will walk through a breathtaking passage that is only 30 inches wide and see a remarkable cave on your way.

Walking time : 5 hours
Rating : moderate (stony ground)
Price (per person) : €80 (4 people) / €90 (3 people) / 
€135 (2 people) / €270 (1 person)

 

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 breathtaking views, as far as Mont Ventoux and the Alps. Closer can be seen several perched villages : Lacoste, Roussillon and Gordes. After walking down through the narrow streets of the village, you roam the countryside made up of vineyards, orchards and meadows. Halfway, you reach Pont Julien, a 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 footpath 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
Price (per person) : €90 (4 people) / €120 (3 people) / 
€175 (2 people) / €350 (1 person)