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Last Updated: 31 May 2024

Welcome to the enchanting region of the Luberon, a true gem nestled in the heart of Provence, France. Known for its picturesque landscapes, charming villages, and rich cultural heritage, the Luberon is a destination that captivates the hearts of all who visit. In this post, we’ll take you on a journey through 10 of the most beautiful Luberon sites that you’re sure to fall in love with. From stunning natural wonders to historical landmarks, these must-see locations showcase the very best of what the Luberon has to offer. So pack your bags, grab your camera, and get ready to discover the magic of the Luberon!



What You Need to Know About the Luberon

The Luberon region in Provence is a captivating area celebrated for its natural beauty and cultural richness.

Adored by the French author Marcel Pagnol, it also served as a refuge for Samuel Beckett during World War II and inspired British author Peter Mayle, who enthusiastically depicted the region in his “Year in Provence” series.

The Luberon boasts a remarkable natural diversity, earning it the status of a Natural Regional Park.

Map of Luberon by French Moments

This picturesque region, located about 70 km north of Marseille, is approximately 60 km in length and 5 km in width. Its highest peak, Le Mourre Nègre, reaches 1,125 meters (3,691 ft).

The area is divided into Petit Luberon, which includes Cavaillon, Apt, and Lourmarin, and Luberon Oriental, which ranges in height from 280 to 976 meters (919 to 3,202 ft).

Around Bonnieux, one of the most beautiful Luberon Sites © French Moments
Around Bonnieux, one of the most beautiful Luberon Sites © French Moments

Known for its seismic activity, the Luberon experienced significant earthquakes in 1887 and 1909. Its chalky earth and dry Mediterranean climate foster a variety of ecosystems, irrigated by the Calavon River to the north and the Durance River to the south.

The region’s flora and fauna reflect a blend of Alpine and Mediterranean influences. It features olive, cherry, and almond trees, vineyards, and activities like silkworm and goat breeding and beekeeping. This diverse landscape is a haven for painters, hunters, and ramblers alike.


10 Luberon Sites You Should See

The Luberon has some charming villages that enjoy the title of “the most beautiful villages in France.” Some are world-famous: Gordes, Lourmarin, Ansouis, Roussillon, and Ménerbes.


1. Oppède-le-Vieux

Nestled on a rocky hill, Oppède is a village that perfectly embodies the charm and history of the Luberon.

Oppède-le-Vieux © French Moments
Oppède-le-Vieux © French Moments

Its medieval ruins, including the ancient church of Notre-Dame-d’Alydon, offer a glimpse into the past, while the lush greenery and terraced gardens provide a serene backdrop.

Wander through its narrow, winding streets and discover the blend of ancient architecture and natural beauty that makes Oppède a true hidden gem.

👉 Learn more about Oppède-le-Vieux on the blog.


2. Ménerbes

Perched on a ridge with sweeping views of the surrounding vineyards and valleys, Ménerbes is a quintessential Provençal village.

Ménerbes Guided Walk © French Moments
Ménerbes © French Moments

Its stone houses, charming squares, and historic sites, such as the Citadelle and the Corkscrew Museum, create an enchanting atmosphere.

Renowned for its artistic heritage and as a haven for writers, Ménerbes invites you to explore its picturesque lanes and savour the tranquil beauty of the Luberon.

👉 Learn more about Ménerbes on the blog.


3. Lacoste

Dominated by the imposing ruins of the Lacoste Castle, once home to the infamous Marquis de Sade, Lacoste is a village steeped in history and intrigue.

Walking in the countryside of Lacoste,Luberon Sites © French Moments
Lacoste, one of the most beautiful Luberon Sites in Provence © French Moments

The cobbled streets, ancient stone houses, and stunning views of the Luberon Valley make it a captivating destination.

The village is also known for its vibrant arts scene. The Savannah College of Art and Design hosts annual festivals and events that draw artists and visitors from around the world.

👉 Learn more about Lacoste on the blog.


4. Bonnieux

Standing proudly on a hillside, Bonnieux offers panoramic views of the Luberon landscape, from the Vaucluse plateau to the Mont Ventoux.

Bonnieux © French Moments
Bonnieux © French Moments

The village’s rich history is evident in its architecture, including the 12th-century church at its summit and the remnants of Roman bridges.

Stroll through the terraced streets, visit the local markets, and enjoy the delightful cafés and restaurants that showcase the best of Provençal cuisine and hospitality.

👉 Learn more about Bonnieux on the blog.


5. Goult

A charming and lesser-known village, Goult is a perfect blend of history, culture, and natural beauty.

Most Beautiful Luberon Sites - Goult © French Moments
Most Beautiful Luberon Sites – Goult © French Moments

Its well-preserved historic centre features the imposing Goult Castle, the ancient windmill of Jerusalem, and a network of picturesque alleys.

The village is also home to the unique Conservatoire des Terrasses, which showcases the traditional agricultural terraces that define the Luberon landscape.

Goult’s tranquil ambience and stunning views make it a peaceful retreat for visitors.


6. Gordes

One of the most iconic and photographed villages in the Luberon, Gordes is perched on the edge of the Vaucluse plateau, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside.

Its narrow streets wind through beautifully restored stone houses, leading to the impressive Gordes Castle and the Saint-Firmin Palace Caves.

The village is also a cultural hub, with art galleries, museums, and vibrant markets that reflect the rich heritage of the region.

👉 Learn more about Gordes on the blog.


7. Roussillon

Famous for its striking red and orange ochre cliffs, Roussillon is a village that dazzles with its vibrant colours and artistic flair.

Roussillon Guided Walk © French Moments
Roussillon Guided Walk © French Moments

The ochre quarries, which were once a major industry, now provide a stunning backdrop for the village’s colourful houses and charming streets.

The Sentier des Ocres (Ochre Trail) offers a scenic walk through the vivid landscape, while the village itself boasts art galleries, craft shops, and delightful cafés.

👉 Learn more about Roussillon on the blog.


8. Saint-Saturnin-lès-Apt

Overlooking the Calavon Valley, Saint-Saturnin-lès-Apt is a picturesque village known for its rich history and scenic beauty.

Saint-Saturnin-lès-Apt © French Moments
Saint-Saturnin-lès-Apt © French Moments

The ruins of the medieval castle and the ancient windmill at the top of the village provide panoramic views of the surrounding vineyards and orchards.

Explore the charming streets, visit the local market, and discover the traditional Provençal lifestyle that makes Saint-Saturnin-lès-Apt a delightful destination.


9. Saignon

Perched on a rocky outcrop, Saignon offers stunning views of the Luberon Valley and the town of Apt below.

Saignon © French Moments
A general view of Saignon © French Moments

The village is characterized by its medieval architecture, narrow streets, and tranquil squares. The 12th-century Romanesque church and the ruins of the ancient fortress add to its historical charm.

Saignon is a perfect place for a peaceful stroll, with its beautiful gardens and hidden corners inviting you to relax and enjoy the serene atmosphere.


10. Rustrel Colorado

Known as the “Colorado of Provence,” Rustrel Colorado is a unique and breathtaking site featuring vivid ochre formations reminiscent of the American Southwest.

The vibrant hues of red, orange, and yellow create a surreal landscape that is perfect for hiking and photography.

Rustrel 15 © French Moments
Colorado of Rustrel © French Moments

The former ochre quarries have been transformed into a stunning natural park, offering visitors a chance to explore the striking rock formations, scenic trails, and panoramic vistas that make Rustrel Colorado a must-see destination in the Luberon.


Find out more about the Luberon

How to get to the Luberon

Ménerbes Luberon © French Moments
On the way to Ménerbes and Cavaillon © French Moments
  • Car. The Luberon is easily accessible by car from Provence’s main cities, Marseille, Toulon, and Avignon, as well as from the cities of Lyon and Montpellier through an excellent network of motorways, the French “autoroutes”.
  • Air. If you travel from Australia or America, you could take a flight to Paris Charles de Gaulle, and travel by TGV from the airport station straight to Avignon and rent a car from there.
  • Train. The TGV from Paris-Gare de Lyon takes less than 2.45 hours to the TGV station of Avignon.




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Bonnieux Luberon Provence © French Moments

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About the author

Pierre is a French/Australian who is passionate about France and its culture. He grew up in France and Germany and has also lived in Australia and England. He has a background teaching French, Economics and Current Affairs, and holds a Master of Translating and Interpreting English-French with the degree of Master of International Relations, and a degree of Economics and Management. Pierre is the author of Discovery Courses and books about France.

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