8. From Aix en Provence: Luberon Villages Full-Day Guided Tour
Visit the village of Gordes This morning, head out to the village of Gordes, classified as one of the most beautiful villages in France. Facing the Luberon mountain range, the village is composed of small paved streets, known as calades, where it feels so nice to get lost in. To mostly appreciate this unique village, magic operates in spring and autumn as summer is very crowded by the number of visitors. Admire the Senanque Abbey After the visit of Gordes, it will be time to take you to the beautiful area of Senanque to admire the Cistercian abbey of Senanque where you will take time for a photo stop. In July, the Abbey is surrounded by magnificent Lavender fields. The Abbey is still home to a community of Cistercian monks that follow the rule of Saint Benedict. Cultivation of lavandin, of olive trees, production of honey, visits of the abbey, hospitality and monastic shop permit the monks to live but also to maintain and restore the monument. Free time for lunch After the visit, it will be time to stop in a local village for lunch. Don't hesitate to ask your guide for suggestions. Roussillon & The Ochre Trail Your tour from Aix en Provence continues with the visit of some of the most beautiful villages of the Luberon region. The villages of Lourmarin and Roussillon are next on your program. Roussillon is a typical hilltop village located just above a rock formation called the “Provencal Colorado“. Here, you will have some time for personal discovery that will allow you to stroll down the village or walk along the “ochre path", a 30 minute walk. The Ochre Trail Discover one of the main highlights of the village of Roussillon, the Ochre Trail, an easy walking trail that takes place in what used to be an Ochre Quarry. Extracted during the 18th century, the mining has now stopped but the location is quite stunning. The natural Ochre pigments mixed with the sand of the cliffs constitute a mineral landscape made up of Iron Oxide that creates colors ranging from bright yellow to violet. Before returning to Aix en Provence, finish with the visit of Lourmarin. Lourmarin The village of Lourmarin is quite unique. As you stroll the winding streets, the architecture in the village reveals its many riches: from the Renaissance to the Baroque period, from Classicism to the 19th century, the houses in Lourmarin highlight the incomparable know-how of those builders often little known to the general public. Located in a gorgeous setting that is surrounded by olive and almond trees, the village has attracted numerous artists and writers such Henri Bosco and Albert Camus. Again, enjoy some time in the village where options include the visit of its ancient castle. The village was the source of inspiration for Peter Mayle’s “A year in Provence”. After the visit, it will be time to return to Aix en Provence.