A quick guide to the Lubéron
The Lubéron is a mountain range in central Provence. On the northern slopes is the “Petit Lubéron”, the more wild and untamed side with canyons and valleys and where holm oak, aleppo pine and scrubland dominate the vegetation. The highest summit is just 700m above sea level. On the southern slopes is the “Grand Lubéron” with a more Mediterranean climate, with pine trees and wild thyme, cherry orchards and vineyards. The highest summit on the southern side reaches up 1125m above sea level.
The Luberon National park
Much of the Lubéron terrain is a French National park. For a relatively small mountain range, the varieties in landscape are phenomenal: your Provence walking or cycling holiday will take you to the spectacular cliffs of the deeply encased and humid Aiguebrun valley, the 3000-year-old Buoux fort perched vertiginously over a 500ft sheer drop, the vast plateaus of lavender and truffle oak plantations, the high and exposed grassy ridges leading to the rounded summit, the deep and penetrating greens of the cedar forest.
Peter Mayle's Luberon
Peter Mayle really put this part of Provence on the map with his best-selling book ‘A Year in Provence’. He managed to perfectly capture on paper the Provencal art of living as he described everyday life in the surrounding villages. An ideal location for a Provence walking holiday, exploring trails and hidden country roads that link one perched medieval village to the next, meandering through narrow paved streets, taking the time to people watch with a coffee or a glass of local wine on a small café table in a village square.
A walking or cycling holiday in the Lubéron
The Lubéron has long been a holiday destination of choice for the French, Dutch and British. There are lots of holiday homes and plenty of abandoned houses, some just old stone ruins waiting to be lovingly restored. The region has kept its authenticity with its picturesque villages such as Bonnieux, Lacoste with the chateau of the Marquis de Sade, Gordes, Oppède le Vieux, Roussillon with its ancient ochre quarries and Lourmarin and row upon row of vineyards and cherry trees and lavender fields. A picture postcard image of Provence!
Travel simply: cycle Provence or walk in Provence
This part of Provence is easily accessible with train stations in Isle sur la Sorgue leading to Avignon and Lourmarin in the south for connections to Marseille or Aix en Provence. No car needed in order to explore the Lubéron, travel simply on foot or by bike, getting up close and personal with the Provencal way of life!