Home » Multiday tours » A variety of day hiking trips through the Luberon country & its hilltop villages

 

11 choices of hiking trips through the Luberon country and its hilltop villages

 

     

    

      

    

  

   

 

    

 

 

                                                                                                                  Saignon          

 

Half-day trips through the Luberon mountains and hilltop villages

 

 

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
Season calendar : year-round (summer : 8am – 11am only, not allowed on fire risk days)

 

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
Season calendar : year-round (summer : not allowed on fire risk days)

 

 

The ochre sands of Colorado Provencal

 

Among the former ochre quarries still visible to the north of the Luberon region, one of the most prodigious spot is called Colorado Provencal ; it shows fascinating landscapes, sculptured over the ages both by nature and 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
Season calendar : year-round (summer : 8am – 11:30am only, not allowed on fire risk days)

 

 

 

 

Gorges de Régalon

 

Starting from the Durance valley, this hike first takes you up to the foothills of the Petit Luberon mountain. You will walk accross an open landscape, very stony, where sheep herding has been practised for millennia. Before the slope becomes too steep, you will be on your way down a narrow and dry valley. In the final part of your descent, you will roam through the scenery of a spectacular canyon, ever narrower, and very special for its luxuriant vegetation: the Gorges de Régalon. In places, the walls rise 250 feet above the path and somewhere else, the distance that separates the two rocks in between the water made its way is barely one meter!

 

Walking time : 3 hours
Rating : moderate (stony ground)
Season calendar : year-round (summer : not allowed on fire risk days)

 

 

From Gordes to Roussillon, in the heart of Provence

 

Gordes and Roussillon, along with Bonnieux, Ménerbes and Saignon, are the most beautiful of the Luberon hilltop villages where you enjoy life by walking down cobbled streets or savoring a terrace lunch. Midway between the towns of L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue and Apt, these medieval villages have contributed to the reputation of this Provence region in France and all over the world. On this gentle walk, your local hiking guide will lead you during a half-day trip from Gordes to Roussillon through landscapes made of rolling hills, vineyards, olive or truffle tree groves and pine woods. Walking at the foot of the Monts de Vaucluse, you will keep in sight on your right the range of the Luberon mountains on the horizon.


Walking time
 : 3.5 hours 
Rating : easy 
Season calendar : year-round (summer : 8am – 11:30am only, not allowed on fire risk days)

Ochre trail in Roussillon not included.

  

  

Gorges de Veroncle, a half day trip from Gordes 

  

Not far from the picturesque Provence village 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 : you will see during your walk 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)
Season calendar : year-round (summer : 8am – 11am only, not allowed on fire risk days)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the Luberon Mountains

 

Day trips through the Luberon mountains and hilltop villages

 

 

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
Season calendar : year-round (summer : 8am – 11am only, on a shortened itinerary)

 

 

 

The dry stone heritage of Gordes and Sénanque

    

During this nature 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 Monts de Vaucluse, whose harmonious ensemble of buidings is considered as one of the purest examples of the cistercian architecture.

 

Walking time : 4 hours
Rating : moderate (stony ground)
Season calendar : 1/1 – 6/15  &  9/15 – 12/31

Visits of Village des Bories outside Gordes and Abbaye de Sénanque not included

 

 

 

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 across 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)
Season calendar : year-round (summer : 7:30am – 1pm only, not allowed on fire risk days)

 

 

 

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 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 that were 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)
Season calendar : year-round (summer : can be very hot, not allowed on fire risk days)

 

 

 From the terraced village of Bonnieux 
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. You marvel at this mosaic of a landscape for an hour and a half and reach then Pont Julien, a 2,000-year old Roman bridge that spans over the Calavon river. Before the quaint village of 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 red colored cliffs of the former ochre quarries.

 

Walking time (including the visit of villages) : 6.5 hours
Rating : challenging
Season calendar : 1/1 – 6/30  &  9/1 – 12/31

Visit of ochre museum (Okhra) outside Roussillon not included.

 

 

CONTACT

Click map of Provence
to get an overall view of the region

Top