Lourmarin is a great base for exploring Provence’s beautiful Luberon region of the Vaucluse and beyond. Drive through the vineyards, olive groves and fruit orchards, stopping at the local wine château’s as you make your way to explore the fairy tale castles of the Luberon’s perched villages, quite magical!
The villages of the Luberon
The nearby villages of the southern Luberon are minutes from Lourmarin; Vaugines, Cucuron, Cabrières d’aigues and La Motte-d’Aigues.
To the north are the delightful perched villages of Bonnieux, don’t miss a tour of the Bread Museum here, then Lacoste, Ménerbes and Oppède; where you can step back into the past in the deserted ghost village of Oppède-le-Vieux. Goult and Joucas are close by and then the wonderful ochre village of Rousillon
with Gordes just across the valley;
where you should not miss a visit to L’Abbaye Notre-Dame de Senanque.
A short drive on, through the hills, will take you to Fontaine-de-Vaucluse, where the Sorgue River inexplicably takes its source from a mysterious ‘bottomless’ spring. Learn this thrilling story and visit the paper mill, then go on to L’Isle sur la Sorgue, hopefully planning to be there at the weekend so that you don’t miss its wonderful antique markets!
Local Luberon Wineries
Wine is grown in abundance in the Luberon, sample the vintages & renowned local rosés from some of our favourites:
Château Fontvert, Path Pierrouret 84160 Lourmarin Tel: 04 9068 35 83
Château la Verrerie, 84360 Puget-sur-Durance Tel: 04 90 08 32 98
Domaine de La Citadelle, Cavaillon Road, 84560 Ménerbes, Tel: 04 90 72 41 58
Domaine de Marie 400 chemin des Peirelles, 84560 Ménerbes Tel : +33 (0)4 90 72 54 23
Château La Canorgue the Route du Pont Julien 84480 Bonnieux Tel: 04 90 75 81 01 (Famous for being Chateau La Siroque in ‘A Good Year’)
There are many great wine tours, we loved the one offered by Avignon Wine Tour, read about it here
Lavender Fields & the Occitane Factory
The Luberon is synonymous for its rolling fields of fragrant lavender in the summer,
the inspiration for the Occitane Factory in Manosque, which is well worth including on your itinerary. It is a pretty 45 minute drive to get there and in addition to pampering yourself with their wonderful products there’s is a fascinating local story to discover.
The Luberon’s Bories
A drive north from Lourmarin towards Bonnieux takes you through the beautiful, narrow gorge Combe de Lourmarin. Further along on the D36, (about 7km from Lourmarin) is a large borie, a dry stone construction whose origins date back to Roman times (600BC). The Luberon region is famous for bories, here they mostly date to the 13th century. Their appearance looks as if they were built as small shelters for agriculture workers, in fact they were mainly constructed to clear the stones from the fields. To learn more, visit the Village des Bories near Gordes.
This incredible Roman Bridge, across the Cavalon River, dating from 3BC, can be found just after Bonnieux. If you take the D149, Route du Pont Julien, you will pass Château La Canorgue on your right, (Chateau La Siroque in ‘A Good Year’) and a short while after that on your left, before the main road, will be Pont Julien, it remains in remarkable condition!
Once you have meandered through the Luberon plan to spend some time in the wonderful Provencal cities like Avignon and Aix-en-Provence, within an hour from Lourmarin; more details next time!!!