The Luberon Valley is a gently folded landscape resplendent with vineyards, abundant fruit trees and timeless perched villages. When I am there I never want to leave. Have you ever contemplated moving somewhere else and living a totally different life? Especially when you are visiting somewhere that has filled you with immense joy? Maybe on a ‘Robinson Crusoe island’ where crystal, blue water has lapped over your toes as your feet have sunk into warm, white sand or on the majestic slopes of a ski resort or amongst the mysteries of an ancient city? Normally, much as we might like to dream, however hard we try to rationalize a decision to make such a dramatic move, we end up deciding “this place does not fit into my life.” In truth, for most of us it is your life that does not fit into this place”, but could it…….?

Provence’s Luberon Valley is quiet alluring  and I think I could easily make my life here amongst the cobblestones and vines

Bonnieux across the vineyards, Provence, France
and in the summer, endless fields of fragrant lavender.

Bonnieux Lavender, Luberon Valley, Provence, France
Of couse the place that speaks most to me is Lourmarin. In returning there again I feel as if I am stepping towards making ‘my life fit into this place’Click for location map of Lourmarin  The lavender by Chateau in Lourmarin, Luberon. Provence, France
But why? I already live under a cornflower blue sky, surrounded by beauty, in a house full of locally picked sunflowers, very close to rolling vineyards and the dramatic beauty of the Carmel coastline. In Provence, everything is scaled down, so less convenient. Tinier houses, smaller cars, which cost vastly more to run, twisty, narrow roads that turn errands into journeys, terrible car parking, mostly requiring a considerable parting of cash, shops that close daily for 2 hours, some which hardly ever open and on Sundays, where the whole entire community stays in and ‘rests’. Most significantly it isn’t even on the same continent as my children and special friends, although much closer to all those ‘lovely Brits’ I hold so dear but still, don’t I already live somewhere very special?
I do, but at the same time, this other place in southern France, fills a part of my soul which only it can. It is breathtakingly beautiful,
Shutters of Lourmarin, the Luberon, Provence, France
it is utterly enchanting and I have totally fallen in love with it. The meandering cobblestone streets and golden stone buildings,
Streets of Lourmarin, the Luberon, Provence, France
the ambience,
Lunchtime in Lourmarin, the Vaucluse, France
its’ rich sense of the past.
The church in Lourmarin, the Vaucluse, France
The markets,
Baskets for sale in the Lourmarin market, Luberon, Provence, France
Cheeses for sale in the Lourmarin market, Luberon, Provence, France
Dried fruits for sale in the Lourmarin market, Luberon, Provence, France
And staying in the oldest property in Lourmarin, dating back to 1573, how could one not be entranced?
Pulling back an ancient door way,
Street entrance to oldest home in Loumarin, Provence, France - 1573
stepping across a cobbled courtyard,To our door in Lourmarin's oldest house, 1573
opening a worn, wooden entry door which as it creaks open seems to whispers its secrets of the past to you.
Entrance to oldest house in Lourmarin, 1573
Climbing the well trod stone, stairway, it is almost like living in a fairy tale….
Stairs to a Lourmarin appartment
A doll’s size apartment where probably scullery maids used to dwell, overlooking the clay tiled roof tops down onto the bustling little town below.
Terrace view in Lourmarin
Listening to the clock chime every hour just as it has done for centuries.
The Lourmarin church clock
Lourmarin clock tower at night
Becoming immersed in this captivating place, when on a drive to the grocery store this is part of your journey,
Avenue of trees in Lourmarin Provence France
with heart stopping views,

Vineyards of Lourmarin, Provence, France

and sights that make you gasp.

The vineyards in Lourmarin , Provence, France
So perhaps it is no wonder that despite all of its quirky foibles, my love affair with Lourmarin endures.
For it is here that I find peace. I realize that peace is not a place, real peace is a state of mind but maybe to achieve it you need to be able to spend time in the right ‘place’ for you. Perhaps that’s why people buy homes somewhere else; condos by the beach, cottages in the country, cabins in the mountains. It doesn’t mean being there every day of the year but for some of the days of every year, ‘fitting your life into that place…’

Download The Lourmarin Travel Guide for more information about this beautiful region