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Magnificent perched villages such as Bonnieux Gordes  Lacoste Menerbes

The 10 most beautiful Luberon villages

Luberon villages to visit in the South of France

Best villages of the Luberon: the hot spots

Bonnieux, the sentinel

Perched on its promontory, the village of Bonnieux offers a magnificent panorama over the agricultural plain of the Calavon valley, the Vaucluse mountains and the Ventoux. The great hundred-year-old cedars spread their branches at the top of the village, dominated by its 12th-century church, half Romanesque, half Gothic. Below, the New Church, a neo-Romanesque building erected at the end of the 19th century, stands tall.
The road climbs through the village before plunging towards the combe de Lourmarin, the only road that crosses the Luberon hill to reach the southern side, towards Lourmarin.

Don’t miss :
The walk along the steep paved streets to the top of the village.
The restaurant terraces with views of the setting sun.
The pottery market in April.

Market day : Friday.

Near Bonnieux: the Cedar Forest
6 kilometres away from the village of Bonnieux, the majestic Cedar Forest sets the scene for a relaxing escapade. In 1862, cedar seeds from the Atlas Mountains were sown to reforest the summit of the Petit Luberon. 160 years later, the imposing silhouette of these cedars offers a welcome shady refuge during the summer heat.

Gordes, a postcard setting

Gordes is listed among the most beautiful villages in France. Its picture is seen in so many publications about the Luberon that you might think you know what it looks like.
And yet, when the village suddenly appears around the corner at the top of the road, you will most likely be awed into silence by its beauty. Gordes displays its splendour at sunrise and sunset, perched like a lighthouse on the hillside, with its restanques and dry stone facades. Even after several visits, it’s hard to feel blasé. The souvenir photo from the Bel-Air rock is a must.

Don’t miss :
The maze of cobbled streets.
An aperitif on the balcony of the Cercle Républicain.
A cocktail drink with a view at Tigrr Gordes.

Market day : Tuesday.

Near Gordes : the Village des Bories and the Abbey of Sénanque
This makes for a great family outing : 4 kilometres from Gordes is a collection of dry stone huts called bories. They were built at the beginning of the 17th century as a refuge for peasants and shepherds. Children love to go from one borie to another, picturing the daily life of the time, spotting the bread oven, the sheepfold... They can even have a go at building a miniature borie.
The 12th-century Abbey of Sénanque is one of the three Cistercian “sisters” of Provence, with Silvacane and Le Thoronet. Monks still live, pray and work there, cultivating lavender and olive trees, and beekeeping.
Visits to the abbey, the monastic hotel and the shop also contribute to their income. In summer, when the lavender is in bloom, the photogenic nature of the abbey and its surroundings is another reason to visit.

Roussillon, the ochre temple

Perched between the Coulon valley and the Vaucluse plateau, Roussillon can also pride itself on being officially listed as one of the most beautiful villages in France. The brightness of its facades in warm shades of yellow, orange and red gives it a unique charm, attracting visitors from all over the world. It is also the heart of the most significant ochre deposit in the world.

Don’t miss :

Ôkhra, the Ochre Ecomuseum.

The views of the ochre cliffs.

Artisan workshops and art galleries in the village.

Market day : Thursday.

Near Roussillon: the Ochre Trail 
Ochre has been used as a natural pigment since prehistoric times.
Geology and human activity (the exploitation of the ochre deposit) have shaped a sumptuous decor. It is impossible not to fall under the spell of these impressive cliffs with their shimmering colours. The Sentier des Ocres starts just outside of Roussillon: it is an easy walk through a red-earthed setting worthy of a Hollywood movie.

Ménerbes, majestic scenery

Built on a rocky spur stretched out like a wave of stone, Ménerbes, also listed among the most beautiful villages in France, has always attracted artists and tourists.
The British writer Peter Mayle lived here; his life and struggles in the village inspired his best-seller, "A Year in Provence". Many more books followed, along with a stream of tourists attracted by the writer's tasty descriptions.
The painters Pablo Picasso and Nicolas de Staël are among the artists who fell in love with Ménerbes.

Don’t miss :
The house of Dora Maar, Picasso's muse, and its hidden garden across the street for a little quiet break.
The Tour de l'Horloge and its viewpoint over the valley, with the Ventoux and the Vaucluse mountains in the distance.
The panoramic terrace of Bistro 5, for lunch in a dream setting.

Market day : Thursday.

Near Ménerbes : the botanical garden of the Domaine de la Citadelle.

A fascinating walk that will appeal to plant lovers : the selection of plants ranges from medicinal to carnivorous, aromatic, wild edible... The garden spreads over 5 hectares in terraces: bring walking shoes and a hat!

The views of Ménerbes, the Vaucluse mountains and the Ventoux are superb.

Wine lovers can follow up with a visit to the Musée du Tire-Bouchon (corkscrew) and a tasting of Domaine de la Citadelle wines.

Oppède-le-Vieux, the wonderful hideaway

Oppède-le-Vieux has a peaceful atmosphere, which can be quite appealing when the tourist season is in full swing in the Luberon.
Leave your vehicle in the car park of the Jardins de Sainte-Cécile, and walk along the path that winds its way up to the village among 80 species of local trees, shrubs and plants of the Luberon.
From the Place de la Croix, a passage under the belfry marks the access to the old village. The calades (cobbled alleys) zigzag upwards to the church and the castle. See if you can spot the old carved stone stalls.
At the top of the village, Notre-Dame-d'Alidon stands on its rocky peak, watching over the castle's ruins.

Don’t miss :
The animal sculpture workshop, at the entrance to the village.
Lunch in the shade at the Petit Café des Jeanne, on the square of Oppède-le-Vieux.
The Sunset Concerts (Les Concerts au coucher du soleil), at the end of August, outside Notre-Dame d'Alidon: the perfect plan for a summer evening.

Hiking trails near Oppède-le-Vieux

Several routes have been marked out for a walk or a bike ride, a great way to discover the landscapes and the heritage around Oppède. 4 circuits, ranging from 30 minutes to 2h30, are indicated from the car park of the Jardins Sainte-Cécile.

Best villages of the Luberon : the hidden gems


It might be less well known than its illustrious neighbours, however the perched village of Saignon, near Apt, has enough to turn heads. Starting with its imposing, well-named Bellevue rock.
Climb the stairway that leads to the top of the rocky outcrop. At your feet is the valley of Apt. In the distance, you will see the Mont Ventoux and the Alps. You can even spot Avignon, the City of the Popes on a clear day! Vertiginous and wonderful.
Take a stroll through the village streets, stopping to admire the old washhouses. Treat yourself to a drink at the charming Place de la Fontaine.

Market day : Thursday.

Don’t miss : the panoramic terraces of the restaurant Un Jardin sur le toit, at the top of the village, on the remains of a 12th-century castle, with a 360° view over the Luberon.


One of the hidden treasures of the Luberon, Goult is increasingly sought after. Take a walk through its delightful narrow streets, under its vaulted passages, and along its picturesque houses with stone and ochre facades.
Climb up to the Moulin de Jérusalem, which overlooks the village, and take in the breathtaking views of the valley.
Stroll through the Provençal market, where the potter rubs shoulders with the cheese maker. 

Market day : Thursday.

Don’t miss : the 15-minute walk from the mill to the Conservatoire des Terrasses and its natural amphitheatre, where olive and almond trees were once grown.


Lacoste is well-known for its castle, which was once the property of the sulphurous Marquis de Sade. The village has been extensively renovated thanks to the fashion designer Pierre Cardin. 

It retains an authentic atmosphere and an artistic aura: a branch of the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) welcomes students to Lacoste for a unique Provençal experience.

Market day : Tuesday.

Don’t miss : the Lacoste Festival, which is held every summer in the Carrières du Château du Marquis de Sade. It is dedicated to dance, theatre and opera. It is also a venue for the screening of many famous musicals.


Perched opposite the ochres of Roussillon, away from the crowds, Joucas has a unique charm. At the top of the village, the views across the fields of vines and lavender are breathtaking. The winding cobbled streets seem frozen in time. The church of Saint-Jean-Baptiste houses magnificent trompe-l'oeil paintings.
Make sure you have a pastis at the local café or a glass of champagne in one of the two five-star hotels in Joucas. 

Don’t miss
 : the Labyrinthe d’Art, an open-air art gallery showing impressive wood and stone sculptures by Mieke Heybroek and Ulysse Plaud.


The medieval village of Saint-Saturnin-lès-Apt is worth a visit for its authentic atmosphere, its ramparts and the remains of its castle.
Built on a rocky spur, topped by two windmills, it boasts exceptional views of the Luberon Regional Natural Park.

Market day : Tuesday.

Don’t miss : the many beautiful village doors listed as Historical Monuments: you will come across them as you stroll through the narrow streets.

So which is the prettiest village in the Luberon?

We will leave that up to you to decide.
The hilltop villages of the Luberon are a fascinating playground for anyone interested in the history, the light, the atmosphere and the landscapes of Provence.
Each of these Vaucluse villages has character. All of them are worth a visit for a stroll, a lunch or a trip to the market.


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