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Your walking tour of Provence starts in Merindol. The village is situated 18 km south-east of Luberon on the southern border of the Vaucluse and the Bouches du Rhône. It is 200 metres above sea-level and boasts views across the vast plain of the Durance right to the gentle hills that hem in its southern limit.
After leaving the historic centre of Merindol you enter Luberon’s “Lavender Country”: a mass of colours between the sun, the sky, the Lavender and the Provencal Colorado. For your first day, you will walk through Gorge de Regalon in the Parc Régional du Luberon. The park is packed with unspoilt nature, impressive mountains, and wild forests. You will discover lovely old villages along winding roads, many with castles, forts, ruins, towers, and other geographical and historical sites.
If you’d rather take a shorter route today, look for the Cheval Blanc, La Roquette walk. It’s an easy 10km/3h 30 min stroll.
To reach Lauris, you will walk along a small mountainous track, surrounded by nature. The landscapes and truly lovely and the atmosphere is peaceful. You will pass through superb small villages surrounded by hills and plateaux, lit up by the French sunshine. The wind is lavender scented, adding to the relaxed feel of the place. It’s really worth experiencing!
“One of the most beautiful villages in France”, Lauris sits atop a rocky ridge between the Durance and the Luberon Mountain. Perched on its cliff, Lauris offers an amazing view across the Durance valley, the Alpilles range and the Luberon. Like the figurine on the prow of a ship, the centuries-old château rises straight from the rock. Its striking form is adorned by superb hanging gardens, pools, and charming lakes. A few kilometres further along, you will arrive in Lourmarin. This charming village is an authentic Provence. Outside the village is the stately 15th-century Chateau de Lourmarin. After visiting Lourmarin, climb the “Sommet de Gibes” and continue until Buoux.
The small village of Buoux is situated among the rolling hills in the heart of the Parc Naturel Régional du Luberon. Due to its geographic situation, the village has played a naturally defensive role since prehistoric times. The Buoux Fort at the top of the rocky spur is a monument to this role in history.
During this stage, you will walk along the irregular contours of the Aigue-Brun river. You may choose to explore some of the natural caves you will pass, and admire steep cliffs: a paradise for rock climbing enthusiasts!
Saignon has the most distinctive silhouette of any Luberon village, with its natural rock pillars jutting up between houses. It acts as a signpost high above the town of Apt, perhaps leading to the name Saignon, which comes from ‘signum’, Latin for ‘sign’. When you leave this pretty village, take the time to gaze over at Montagne de Lure. On a clear day, you may even catch a glimpse of the Alps and even Avignon: a wonderfully majestic view. In the middle of this stage, you will pass “Les Ochres Provencal”, a cluster of impressive fiery red and yellow-green cliffs.
Apt is situated in the heart of the Luberon Nature Park, between the mountains of Vaucluse and Luberon. This pleasant city, so typical of Provence, is well-reputed for its local products; it even boasts the classification of “site remarquable du gout” (a place of wonderful tastes). Settle in, try some of the local wine, and relax after your French walking holiday.
We can arrange extra nights anywhere on the itinerary after your last walking day. We can also arrange a station or airport transfer.