Of all the places to visit with James, Les Baux-de-Provence was a ‘must’. My first visit there had actually been with him, on a freezing, windy, Monday in early March 2012. It was out of season and James hadn’t been able to tour the chateau or see the amazing Carrières de Lumières.

I have written about Les Baux previously, you can click here to read its history and despite this being my 4th visit in just 9 months it was still wonderful to return.
Olive trees under the Alpilles on route to Les Baux-de-ProvenceGuided by ‘Arabella’, our somewhat erratic Sat Nav, we were taken on a stunning route across the plains of Les Alpilles. High limestone rocks flanked the chalky terrain which sprouted olive trees, scrub oaks and heathers.
Our twisting, turning route certainly
didn’t seem the fastest but it was beautiful. Finally we reached the lush valley The Valley below Le Baux de Provence, famous for its wine and olivesbelow Les Baux and the village became visible high on its rocky outcrop above us. We were fortunate to see Les Baux with few other visitors and bathed in brilliant afternoon sunshine. James marveled out how so much had been discovered about the history of this magical spot, the tumbled ruins being bought to life by the informative audio tour.
The Chateau ruins at Les Baux -de-Provence, Provence, FranceRuins of the chateau at Les Baux-de-Provence

Ruins of the chateau at Les Baux de Provence
From the Chateau we then visited the incredible  ‘Carrières de Lumières’, the Quarries of light. A breathtaking, projected video show in the caves of a former bauxite quarry by Les Baux. This cavernous space is amazing enough in its own right but light up by the art spectacle of the work of the artists Vincent Van Gogh and Paul Gauguin, even the biggest of art philistines can not help but be entranced.
Carrières de Lumières - inside the theater, a former bauxite quarry, Provence, FranceCarrières de Lumières video projected show of the art of Van Gough and Gaugin, FranceVincent Van Gough's art at Carrières de Lumières, near Les Baux de Provence, France
Paul Gauguin's art in the video show of Carrières de Lumières near Les Baux de Provence, France70 video cameras project the art of these two great men in a unique audio visual display. Both artists started their careers by painting northern French landscapes before spending nearly a year together in southern France in Arles, the Roman town a short distance from Les Baux.
As you stand and watch, you are totally immersed in this artistry. One scene fading into another on the walls all around you, on the floor and on the ceiling. Together with the evocative music your heart is stirred at such talent, both of the artists and the modern technology, which has created this drama! The writings of Van Gough and Gauguin at the Carrières de LumièresVincent Van Gough's vineyards at the Carrières de Lumières Provence, FranceArt of Paul Gauguin at the Carrières de Lumières Les Baux de Provence

Finally we tore ourselves away and were treated to a golden, twilight journey, back through the valley floor below Les Baux, abundant with olive groves and vineyards

Download the Lourmarin Travel Guide and the surrounding area of The Luberon, Provence here, do let me know your recommendations !