The Prettiest Villages To Explore In The Luberon Valley

Within the southeastern region of France known as ‎Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur (or just Provence!) lies the most spectacular area called the Luberon Valley. It is laden with authentic Provençal charm and beauty. I was desperate to seek out lavender and explore some of the prettiest villages in the Luberon Valley after being inspired by the lavender fields around London I have visited over the past few years.

I was not disappointed. The endless vineyards, orchards, lavender fields and villages that rest on high on hills create the perfect recipe for an unforgettable experience.

About The Luberon Valley

This region is a massif (a band of hills and mountains) formed of three mountain ranges. Tucked within the valley are the villages and land that cultivate the grapes, olives and lavender the region is known for.

The Prettiest Villages To Explore In The Luberon Valley

Gordes

Gourdes Luberon Valley  Provence France

Gordes is one of the most famous villages in the region and one of the most charming, not to mention beautiful! If you’ve ever seen the movie “A Good Year” with Russell Crowe, it was filmed here.

Gordes luberon valley Provence France

There are plenty of narrow, winding cobblestone streets that are lovely to meander. They lead to wonderful cafes, shops selling handmade jewelry, charcuterie and clothing as well as cultural spots of interest.

Cercle Republicain Gordes luberon valley Provence France

A quick stop for coffee at Cercle Republican gives tired feet a chance to rest for a few moments while the eyes can gaze upon the fabulous view from the seating area on the balcony in the back of the cafe.

Cercle Républicain: place du château, 84220 Gordes, France

Church of Saint Firmin Gordes luberon valley Provence France

The Church of Saint Firmin, patron saint of the village, was built in the 18th century and has gorgeous wood paneling and murals throughout. It’s a peaceful respite from the heat of the summer sun.

Abbaye Notre-Dame de Sénanque Gordes luberon valley Provence France

No visit to Gordes would be complete without a visit to the iconic Abbaye Notre-Dame de Sénanque.

The abbey was built in the 12th century for Cistercian monks who still live and worship there today. Guided tours are available and there is availability to stay there as part of a retreat.

I will admit that by the time we visited, this summer, the lavender directly in front of the Abbey looked like it had just been planted and was teeny tiny. The plants further away were much nicer.

Abbaye Notre-Dame de Sénanque: 84220 Gordes, France

L’Isle sur la Sorgue

Isle sur sorgue luberon valley Provence France

L’Isle sur la Sorgue is surrounded by the river Sorgue and has canals running through it. This pretty “island” town is a must-see.

Isle sur sorgue luberon valley Provence France

An entire day can easily be spent discovering unknown treasures in the many antique shops the town is noted for.

Isle sur sorgue market luberon valley Provence France

Every Tuesday and Sunday there is a bustling market that takes place in the center of town and the tangle of streets become lined with tables and merchants boasting wares such as

Isle sur sorgue market luberon valley Provence France

beautiful produce

Isle sur sorgue market luberon valley Provence France

gooey cheeses

Isle sur sorgue market luberon valley Provence France

And some of the most gorgeous rotisserie chickens I have ever seen.

And, of course, there are antiques and homewares in addition to anything else that can be imagined. We ended up purchasing an absolutely stunning silk/cashmere carpet that we promptly sent back to our home, stateside. It’s a beautiful souvenir that will forever remind us of our time in Provence.

L'Instant Appy Isle sur la sorgue luberon valley Provence France

We ended up grabbing food from the merchants to sustain us for the day but we did start our day off at L’Instant Appy with pastries, fresh squeezed orange juice and coffee to sweeten up the morning.

L’Instant Appy: 48B rue Carnot, 84800, L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue

Joucas

Joucas luberon valley Provence France

Joucas, nestled between Gourdes and Roussillon, is a lovely village paved with ancient stone streets and beautiful views of the region. Directly across the way is Rousillon with its golden ochre hue.

Joucas luberon valley Provence France

The 18th century church of St Jean Baptiste should not be missed as it has gorgeous paintings inside.

Joucas luberon valley Provence France

Lourmarin

Loumarin luberon valley Provence France

Loumarin is a beautiful village with lovely cafes and boutiques. It does get quite crowded, though, as we found out.

Loumarin luberon valley Provence Fran

It is also home to Lourmarin Cemetery where Albert Camus, the second youngest recipient of the Nobel Literature Prize, is buried.

Cimetiere de Loumarin: 84160, Loumarin

Other Things To Do In The Luberon Valley

Chateau La Coste – Le Puy Ste Réparade

Chateau La Coste France

We really enjoyed sampling the wines and wandering about Chateau La Coste Winery.

Chateau La Coste Winery France

This property is unique because there are art and architecture installations throughout the grounds in addition to gorgeous wines and cuisine being served at the restaurants on site.

Chateau La Coste Winery France

We had a wonderful time tasting wines after swanning about the grounds. We ended up bringing back several bottles.

Chateau La Coste Winery France

As a bonus we drove through the colorful village of Le Puy Ste Réparade on our way to the winery.

Le Puy Ste Réparade France

L’Art Glacier – Ansouis

Ansouis Provence France

Will travel for ice cream. Always and always. L’Art Glacier in Ansouis is really hidden away but totally worth looking for. It’s overwhelming as there are dozens of flavors to choose from. Perennial favorites such as vanilla and chocolate mingle along with unusual flavors like chestnut, rose and thyme.

l'art glacier ansouis luberon valley Provence France

I had to have the lavender…when in Provence, yes? I also tried the lychee and chestnut. All were amazing.

l'art glacier ansouis luberon valley Provence France

This is by far the best view I have ever seen from the vantage point of any ice cream establishment I have visited. And there have been many. The glorious fragrance of rosemary was clinging to the warm air from the numerous plants scattered about. The scent…the view and the ice cream are all something I will never forget.

Where To Stay In The Luberon Valley

There are a dizzying amount of accommodations throughout the valley ranging anywhere from Airbnb properties to luxury resorts. It really just depends on your budget, where you want to be and what you’re intentions are. We really enjoyed our time at Le Phebus and Spa, a Relais & Châteaux property in Joucas, and found it to be a good base to travel from.

Our suite had a lovely balcony that was nice to come back to at the end of the day and a large sitting area with ample seating.

There is also the Michelin awarded restaurant, La Table de Xavier Mathieu, on site that has a beautiful view overlooking the outdoor pool area and the gorgeous surrounding vistas of the Luberon Valley.

The restaurant uses produce grown directly on the property in the preparation of its cuisine.

The food was fresh with beautiful flavors.

In addition to the outdoor pool, there is an indoor pool, spa, hot tubs and even a hammam. Unfortunately, we were out all day so sadly I never had a chance to use them but everything looked very nice. We did take time to play tennis in the evening, though. It was a lovely way to end each day.

The next time we return to the area I would love to maybe move around a little more within the villages and include a stay at La Bastide de Gordes. It looks amazing.

A Few Tips For An Enjoyable Holiday

  • Hiring a car is a necessity for exploring the villages in the Luberon Valley. These towns are flung about and there is very little public transport.
  • A small car is recommended because parking can be extremely tight and larger cars may have trouble fitting into spots. Ask me how I know. This holiday was actually the first time we have ever rented a vehicle and driven on our own. It was quite an accomplishment for us!
Roussillon Luberon Valley Provence France
  • Wear (or at least pack!) comfortable shoes. There are many hills, steps and uneven footpaths throughout the villages. And consider wearing breathable clothing and maybe even a hat. Hot and hazy was the name of the game while we were there. Fortunately, the heat was dry and the evenings were cool but the days were scorching.
Luberon Valley Provence France

I hope you enjoyed this little tour of some of the prettiest villages to explore in the Luberon Valley.

Talk travel with me! What inspires your holidays? Let me know in the area below.

Thanks for reading! Cheers!

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3 thoughts on “The Prettiest Villages To Explore In The Luberon Valley

  1. Your photos are amazing. I could almost smell the melons they looked so fresh and delicious. This is exactly what I picture whenever I think of Provence. I may never get to Provence but I feel as if I have already enjoyed a trip there. Thank you for sharing your trip.

  2. There are so many pretty villages! I remember trying lavender ice cream in Cassis…very interesting flavour but I don’t think I would have it again haha

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