Set off on a tour through the Plus Beaux Villages de France in Provence! In Luberon’s nature, dotted with remains of the past and lavender fields, allow yourself to be lulled by the song of the cicadas. Marvel at the charming mountainside villages, admire the vivid ochre colours of Roussillon, lose yourself in the atmosphere of Manosque and Apt, so peaceful and yet brimming with vigour and sunshine.
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Capital of the melon that bears its name, visitors to Cavaillon will find the heart of a town camped on a green hill and with historical heritage that can be discovered by strolling through its narrow streets. Greek and Roman, the remains in this episcopal city of the medieval period retain the traces of its rich past. Don’t miss the Roman Arch of Cavaillon, its cathedral and its synagogue of exceptional Provencal architecture, the style of which is only found in Carpentras. Head a few kilometres down the road to visit the peculiar Village des Bories. Adjacent to Gordes, this open-air museum is made up of around twenty dry stone huts typical of the region and formerly used for local agricultural purposes. Spend the evening in Gordes.
Star of the Luberon, a favourite place for many artists, Gordes is distinguished by the exceptional charm of its white and grey stone houses that cling to the mountain. Stroll through this little jewel of stone and be sure to visit its castle-fortress which dominates the village. Next, go to admire the unmissable Abbaye de Sénanque. Still active, this 12th century Cistercian abbey amazes with its architecture and its position nestled in the hollow of a valley, in the heart of lavender fields. Continue on to Roussillon where you can stay overnight.
Roussillon, city of ochres, is undoubtedly one of the Luberon’s must-sees. Under a sun bathing its radiant rocks, enjoy a walk on the trail of ochres. You’ll be captivated by the contrast of colours that stand out from the lush pinewoods and the deep blue sky in a palette of shades ranging from light yellow to flaming red. It’s little wonder that this exceptional site has seduced so many artists. You’ll see how the intense shades of the village walls contrasts with the sober stone walls of Gordes. Stroll through the town’s picturesque streets to feel the softness of these warm tones and be sure to visit the Conservatoire des Ocres to understand the process of pigment extraction. Then head to Manosque.
Life is great in Manosque. An ancient city, the birthplace of Giono preserves the ancient ramparts of the city from medieval times, as well as the Sauverie and Soubeyan gates of the 13th and 14th centuries. The heights of the Mont d’Or hill outside the city offer a superb panorama across Manosque. In Forcalquier you’ll find the charm of Provençal streets and shaded squares, medieval homes and charming people. Lovers of old stone should stop to visit the citadel ND de Provence, the cathedral, the 12th century Franciscan des Cordeliers convent and the 17th century Convent des Visitandines.
Leave Forcalquier and head to Apt. Renowned for the quality of its gastronomy, Apt is a town that will delight your taste buds. But this is not the only thing of quality in the town of candied fruit, which is a joy for both eyes and spirit. Stroll the streets of squares and fountains and magnificent mansions to savour one last breath of the relaxing Luberon air, against a backdrop of colourful mountains and cicada song.
MyTripTailor Tip: Don’t miss the famous Apt Place de la Résistance market if you are in Apt on Saturday morning.
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