The Luberon is a fascinating region, idyllic to discover while driving through France.
It offers abbeys, fortresses, and typical hilltop villages nestled in lavender and olive plantations. It is a place of sensuous landscapes covered with cherries orchards and vineyards. It's also the perfect place to enjoy good food, good wine and farniente.
Below, you will find a list of the most famous Luberon villages. On our Provence tours, we'll make sure you know which ones are worth visiting on and off the beaten path. We'll also explain how to avoid the tourist traps. We usually plan a full day in Luberon for people spending at least a week in Provence.
Luberon Landscapes - ©Benoit Dignac - ADT Vaucluse
Situated on a hilltop, Roussillon became a protected village in 1943, so it hasn't been tainted by modern development. The distinctive feature of the town is its red color due to the deep ochres used to build the houses. Roussillon feels warm and welcoming. The Sentier des Ochres (The Ocre Trail) will take you on a journey through the different shades of red. Roussillon is also a departing point for the hot air balloon rides in the Luberon.
Roussillon colorful Houses - ©FJFY
Gordes is considered one of the most beautiful villages in France. Perched on a hilltop and nestled into the rock with the Renaissance castle of Gordes at its very center, this village has born witness to the region's past of glory and sufferings. Gordes is a popular tourist attraction because of its extraordinary location, history and renowned expensive restaurants and hotels. Therefore, we are somehow reluctant to include it in your daily suggested itineraries, but we will tell you where to take the best picture of the town. We also take you to several other picturesque hilltop towns in the area which are far less crowded.
Gordes Hilltop Village - ©FJFY
Discovering the Provencal region and the hilltop villages such as Roussillon and Gordes in a hot air balloon is an expensive but unforgettable adventure!
We’ll also take you to an excellent French winery in the region of Luberon, where they make an exquisite rosé wine aged in oak barrels. Even if they're not as famous as other French wines, the Luberon wines are worth a detour.
Situated on the hillside, Bonnieux gracefully unravels around its church Eglise Haute, built at its highest point. After touring the city, you can wander through the adjacent cedar forest, Forêt de Cèdres, where you will get a gorgeous view of the Vaucluse mountain chain.
Pottery Market in Bonnieux, Luberon - ©FJFY
Bonnieux is particularly known to have inspired the British author, Peter Mayle, for its best seller A year in Provence. For instance, the restaurant where the main character goes for lunch is still open: it is called Café de la Gare.
Our Tips for a great time in Luberon
Luberon is one of the major tourist attractions in Provence and this can be a put-off for independent travelers. This is why we have spent a lot of time exploring every little town and trail in Luberon, so that we can recommend the most authentic and peaceful places to our travelers. Moreover, we visit our good friends living in Gordes every year and keep ourselves well-informed about the latest news from the region. You can take a look at our Provence Self-Drive Itineraries for more information about touring the region.
Fall in Provence - ©Benoit Dignac - ADT Vaucluse