Guide to Luberon Villages: Discover the Gems of Provence

Nestled in the heart of Provence, France lies a breathtaking region known as Luberon. With its charming villages, lush vineyards and stunning landscapes, it’s no surprise that this area has become a popular destination for tourists seeking an authentic French experience.

Whether you’re looking to explore quaint cobblestone streets or indulge in local cuisine, there’s a reason why these Luberon villages are highly sought after.

I spent a week in Luberon and fell under its spell. It’s the kind of destination that immediately makes you want to move there. I stayed in a lesser-known village that served as a great home base to explore all of the must-visit villages in Luberon.

Wondering what the best places to visit in Luberon France are? Have you heard of Gordes, Lourmarin and Menerbes? What about Roussillon, Lacoste, Cucuron? I’m sharing all the best Luberon villages to have on your radar.

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My Favourite Luberon Villages to Visit

house under tree canopy in villages in luberon

At the heart of Provence are the villages of Luberon. Lively or sleepy they all have one thing in common- you’ve got it- they’re all beautiful! Going from one to another with the most gorgeous countryside in between is a top reason to go to Provence. 

In France, they even created a prestigious title of Les Plus Beaux Villages de France or The Most Beautiful Villages of France to distinguish the most beautiful. 

The entire region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur has the highest concentration of these designated villages with a total of seven. Five of the seven most beautiful villages in Luberon can be found here.

Designated or not, here are some of the best villages Luberon has to offer!

The 5 Award Winning: ‘The Most Beautiful Villages of France’ Title

  1. Ansouis is a hilltop village surrounded by vineyards, that dates back to the 15th century.  
  2. Gordes sits in the most idyllic setting that is best admired as you approach it. An ancient fortress, built on a Roman foundation, is the central point of the village. From there, winding streets span outwards giving you incredible Luberon Valley views.    
  3. Lourmarin sits on a plain among olive groves, vineyards, and almond trees. It’s one of the loveliest to visit, with its many ancient fountains and winding streets. Tiny bistro tables and chairs spill out onto the cobbled streets begging you to sit awhile and enjoy a delicious meal.  
  4. Menerbes is a stunning hilltop village with sweeping views of vineyards, orchards, and Mont Ventoux. This once quiet medieval village was the setting of Peter Mayle’s book ‘A Year in Provence’ and is now on the tourists’ map. 
  5. Roussillon is unique due to its fiery red, orange, and yellow buildings due to the large ocher clay deposits. 

Beyond the Award-Winning: 4 Must-See Luberon Villages

  1. Bonnieux is a beautiful hilltop village that offers one of the best views in Luberon. Perched up high it’s an impressive village as you approach it due to the 12th-century church steeple that can be seen for miles. 
  2. Cucuron is best known for its stunning pool of water in the main square with towering 200-year-old plane trees. It’s so beautiful that it’s one of the scenes in the movie “A Good Year” starring Russel Crowe.
  3. Lacoste is unique in that the entire village is made from ochre limestone. The biggest draw to this frozen-in-time village is the restoration of the 9th-century Lacoste Castle by fashion designer Pierre Cardin who also hosts summer festivals. 
  4. Saignon is unique in that it features three castles, built by three different owners. Not unlike the other hilltop villages in Luberon, Saignon also offers spectacular panoramic views with the most impressive to Mont Ventoux, and on a clear day the Alps. 

4 Hidden Gem Villages in the Luberon

  1. Buoux is one of the tiniest villages you will find in Luberon. This off-the-beaten-path village is best known by rock climbers due to its rugged cliffs. The ancient fortress offers incredible views of the surrounding valley. 
  2. Goult is one of the lesser-known and visited villages, yet is quite lovely and quaint. Seek out the old town, where buildings were carved out of the rocky hillside. And, don’t miss seeing the iconic Goult windmill as it’s the perfect panoramic viewing of the picturesque scenery. 
  3. Joucas is a quiet sleepy village that’s often overlooked by tourists. There are attractions in this ancient hilltop village, it’s only full of cobbled steps and twisty alleyways perfect for getting lost. 
  4. St-Saturnin-les-Apt is a must-see for lovers of architecture. A castle ruins, a 10th-century Romanesque chapel, a 16th-century windmill, and ornate doorframes on even the modest of buildings. 

3 Routes to Add to Your Itinerary

  • Gordes to Joucas (5km) to Roussillon (5km) to St Saturnin les Apt (10km) to Goult (18km)
  • Menerbes to Lacoste (7km) to Bonnieux (6km) to Boux (11km) to Saignon (7 km)
  • Bonnieux to Lourmarin (14km) to Cururon (8km) to Ansouis (5km)

9 Things to Do in Luberon: Beyond Visiting Luberon Villages

1. Taste Luberon Wine at Some of the Best Wineries

green grape vineyards near best luberon villages in luberon valley france

Spread throughout the gorgeous countryside on your way from village to village you’ll find the Luberon vineyards and wineries.

Most are small, unassuming, and family-run, yet are always welcoming for an impromptu visit. However, brush up on your French as English is not widely spoken.

If you want a more formal wine-tasting experience, seek out the larger wineries. There, you’ll be served by English-speaking staff and can sip along with nibble on some local cheese, but it comes at a price and a dear one at that! Don’t let the cost deter you, pick one and enjoy. 

Here are a few vineyards in Luberon worth seeking out: 

2. Eat at Some of the Best Restaurants in Luberon

dining under vines in a village as best things to do luberon itinerary

Oh yes, dining in Luberon is a top thing to do!

Whether it’s a tiny unassuming bistro or a Michelin-starred restaurant (and there are a lot of them!) it will be the most delicious food you’ve ever tasted. Likely since restaurants in Luberon are all farm-to-table using only local ingredients and what’s in season. 

The cuisine in Provence is simple, rustic, and superb – it’s all about letting the ingredients speak for themselves.

One stand-out restaurant I recommend is Maison de la Truffe et du vin du Luberon in Menerbes. It features the star ingredient, the truffle, and it’s in every dish.

Lourmarin is the best village for its café culture and beaucoup de restaurants. Here you’ll find a great mix of Michelin-star restaurants and classic French bistros. C’est magnifique! 

3. Visit a Daily Market Somewhere in Luberon

framed art in market stall at market day aix en provence

Market days in Luberon are the best way to experience life in Provence. There is at least one Luberon village market day every day of the week. Even the sleepiest of villages come alive on market day.

From early morning until noon feast on the freshest fruits, vegetables, cheese, bread, wine olives and olive oil. Pretty flowers, the finest of French linens, brightly coloured ceramics and even clothes and household items, depending on the size of the market, can be found. Of all the Luberon things to do, this was by far my favourite!

4. Go Shopping at Some of the Best Antique Stores in Luberon

antique white pottery plates stacked on white cabinet in luberon provence

If visiting Provence during spring to autumn you’re bound to stumble upon an outdoor antique or flea market on le weekend.

I love slowly strolling through, hunting for treasures. In almost all cases, I don’t find anything I can safely tuck away in my suitcase to bring home. Maybe it’s the dreamer in me, as I find it so fun eyeing what I might buy if only I had a pied-à-terre in France. 

Some of the larger antique and flea markets in Luberon towns can be found in Avignon and Orange. Second, only to Paris, I’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue is the village to go for the best selection of antiques in Provence. Speaking from experience, get there early, as it draws huge crowds on both Saturday and Sunday. 

5. Get Active and Do Some Biking or Hiking in Luberon

red ochre cliffs with trees found in Roussillon in le luberon provence

The best way to take in the beautiful scenery in Luberon is by bike or on foot. There’s an endless network of walking and bike trails that takes you past farms, vineyards, ancient mills, and maybe even the odd ruins.

Most trails are marked making it easy to navigate even if you’re not a local. Just venture out and see what you might find. 

One of the best hiking trails can be found in the village of Roussillon at Le Sentier des Ocres because of its distinctive red cliffs created by the world’s largest ochre deposit.

And, for serious bikers, the famed Tour de France climb of Mont Ventoux is a must. Or, a fun way to get around to those villages that are nearby is to rent e-bikes (to reduce that uphill workout).

6. See a Natural Wonder in Luberon

green water under tree in from natural springs in villages in Luberon Provence

The main draw to the village of Fontaine de Vaucluse is to seek out the largest natural springs in the world.

Jacques Cousteau tried to determine the depths of this beautiful spring and failed. The only known probe has made it to 308m, but it’s thought that the spring comes from somewhere much deeper.

All of the rainwater from Luberon forms a catchment of 1100 sq km. The deep blue crystal clear springs water feeds into the Sorgue River. 

The secret is out and unfortunately, this is no longer considered a hidden gem of the Luberon. Expect big crowds at this regional natural park as it’s a popular spot for families. Kayak rentals are available and this is considered a top thing to do in Luberon.   

7. Find the Luberon Lavender Fields

purple lavender field in luberon france

If you want to see lavender in bloom, go to Provence between late June and early August when it’s harvested. The peak lavender season in Provence is July. When lavender is not in bloom you can still visit lavender farms and distilleries in the Luberon Provence.

The most famous lavender field in Luberon is the Senanque Abbey, near the beautiful village of Gordes. Beyond Senanque Abbey, here are the other top places to see the pretty purple lavender fields, with a handy GPS: 

  • Bonnieux GPS location: 43.823517, 5.307929
  • Lacoste GPS location: 43.844829, 5.283633
  • Menerbes GPS location: 43.833376, 5.204666
  • Saignon GPS location: 43.861839, 5.425994

8. Take a Day Trip from Luberon

With Luberon being central in Provence, it’s well placed to venture beyond and see top cities. Outside of Luberon, here are the best day trips that are less than one hour:

  • Aix en Provence – is a beautiful lively Provençal city that is chockfull of pretty fountains and winding side streets
  • Avignon – a designated UNESCO World Heritage site, this “capital” city of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region is full of history and architecture. A top thing to see in Avignon is Pont du Gard, an aqueduct built by the Romans over 2,000 years ago 
  • Venasque – designated as ‘The Most Beautiful Villages in France’ it lies just outside of Luberon and on your way to Mont Ventoux

9. Join a Fun Tour in Luberon

  • Go truffle hunting! Hunt for truffles at a Provençal truffle plantation and go behind the scenes of the world’s most secretive business. Learn how truffles are cultivated and how truffle dogs are trained. 
  • Stomp some grapes! Try grape stomping in Provence and enjoy a delicious buffet as well as olive and truffle oil tastings.

Where is Luberon Located in France?

You’re excitedly planning a trip to Provence. But you keep coming across different names like Vaucluse, Provence, Luberon, and Avignon and are now confused as to exactly where you are going and what’s the difference. So let’s break it down, and I’ll keep it real simple. 

The Regions and Departments of France

  • France is divided into 13 administrative regions, like Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur (or in English Provence Alps French Riviera). For ease, many just refer to Provence, the Alps, and the French Riviera area  
  • Each region has a prefecture, which is a chosen city that acts as that region’s representative. The prefecture for Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur is Avignon
  • Those 13 administrative regions are divided into departments 
  • The Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur has 6 departments: Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, Hautes-Alpes, Alpes-Maritimes, Bouches-du-Rhone, Var and Vaucluse France 

Part of the department of Vaucluse is Luberon. Luberon is considered the heart of Provence. Much of Luberon, almost 600 sq km, is made up of a massif. A massif is a group of mountains, and Luberon has 3 ranges: the Lesser Luberon (le Petit Luberon), the Greater Luberon (le Grand Luberon) and the Eastern Luberon (le Luberon Oriental).  

Where is Luberon France? Your Le Luberon France map

map of Luberon in heart of Provence
Map of Luberon

The location of the Luberon is in central Provence. To locate it on a map of France, simply look along the bottom of the Mediterranean coastline for the city of Marseille.

About 30km directly above Marseille is the beautiful city of Aix-en-Provence. And, viola about 10km above Aix you’re in Luberon Provence. 

Where to Stay in Luberon, France

Let’s start with where I stayed, in Maison Leontine, a gorgeous restored 2-bed, 2-bath home with outdoor dining and pool in the quiet, authentic village of Cabrieres d’Avignon.

This lovely stone village that has been around since the 1100s makes for the perfect home base to explore the best villages in Luberon. I daydream of returning to gorgeous this villa again.

From luxury châteaux to cozy guest houses, I’ve rounded up the very best Provence accommodation options in Luberon. 

Hotels in Luberon

  1. La Bastide de Marie, Maisons et Hotels Sibuet is an 18th-century hotel with a pool surrounded by vineyards in Menerbes 
  2. Le Jas de Joucas Hotel-Restaurant is located in the Luberon National Park in Joucas with mountain views and an outdoor pool 
  3. Le Jas de Gordes – is located in the Gordes countryside with an outdoor pool and extensive gardens
  4. Le Maison de Lourmarin – is located in an ancient stone home in the old town of Lourmarin and has access to a restaurant and shared lounge and kitchen

Holiday rentals in the Luberon Region

  1. Sparkling Cobble – 1-bedroom rural home in Gordes with a shared swimming pool 
  2. Ochre Orchard – 3-bedroom home styled in traditional Provencal white and grey is situated in the countryside near Roussillon 
  3. La Maison en Pierre – is a 4-bed, 4-bath home that sleeps up to 10 guests with private gardens, an outdoor pool, and dining in Oppede le Vieux village

FAQ About Luberon, France

hook with basket, cutting board, linen in location luberon provence

How to get to Luberon?

To get to the Luberon you can either fly into Marseille or Paris international airports. From Paris take the high-speed TGV train from Paris to Avignon and rent a car.

What is the best way to get around Luberon?

The best way to get around Luberon is by car allowing you to go village-hopping on a whim. There are buses, but the timing and frequency are limited.  

When is the best time to go to Luberon?

The best time to go to Luberon is April to June and September to October. To see the lavender in bloom time your visit from late June to mid-July.

How much time is needed in Luberon?

Ideally, 5-6 days is enough time to stay in Luberon to explore many of the villages, visit a winery, and eat at several of the restaurants.

As a Holidaymaker

The Luberon region of France is a hidden gem that offers an abundance of activities for travellers to explore. From hiking to wine tasting, from quaint villages to breathtaking views, there truly is something for everyone in this stunning region.

It’s what dreams are made of.

I hope you found this Luberon Guide helpful in planning your trip. Next, access my Travel Guide for France page. It’s your one-stop shop making your trip planning very easy.