This tour is designed to take a circular route - so you can start from any of the villages on here! It's not a rigid driving tour, but a scenic route allowing you to take your time to discover this beautiful region of Provence.
- Villages on the driving tour:
For me personally I would start the tour from the perched village of Lourmarin, a beautiful village located in the southern side that presents two rises, one housing the village and the picturesque Renaissance chateau on the upper level. From there, you can drive the stunning road that joins this much-loved village with the famous “Golden Triangle” of the perched Luberon villages.
Lourmarin → Bonnieux
So from Lourmarin cut through the Luberon mountains through a canyon on the D943 to drop into the classic views of the Luberon perched villages. The first village you will come to is Bonnieux. The location of this village is perfect as it is close to several other notable Provencal villages with the bonus of being less touristic. The village has kept all its authenticity, its steep sloping streets, its fountains, its old church - or upper church, a mix of Romanesque and Gothic - and a view that is worth the climb of those steep and ancient stone stairs.
Bonnieux → Roussillon
From Bonnieux take the D149 and D108 up towards the colourful village of Roussillon.
As you drive closer to this village the natural ochres will shine through and are reflected in the village house colours. If you park here then you will be able to discover the ochre trails and marvel at the natural occurrence of such vivid colours!
Roussillon → Gordes
From Roussillon you will travel along to one of the most famous villages of the Luberon, Gordes. Take the scenic and less used route to arrive via the Abbaye de Sénanque, firstly take the D169 out of Roussillon then turn onto the D102. Then turn right onto the D2 and left onto the D4 that climbs up to the pretty (but small) village of Murs. The road turns into the D15 and make sure to not miss the sharp right hand turn onto the D244! Follow along this road to the D177 at which point you will have signs pointing you to the picture perfect Abbaye de Sénanque. It is a perfect spot to pause and take a look around this magnificent set of buildings and the monks that still work and live there.
Once you have had your fill of history go back up the small road from the Abbaye and head to the centre of Gordes. It is one of the most well-known hilltop villages in the region and, due to its privileged position and exceptional charm, has been named as one of the most beautiful villages in France. It is no wonder that Gordes is a hub for art lovers, with its stone buildings perched on the cliffs offer sweeping views of Provence.
Gordes → Ménerbes
Following on from the busy and beautiful Gordes travel south to Ménerbes on the D15, D2 the D103 through Beaumettes. Ménerbes is a medieval, picturesque and beautiful stone village perched atop a long ridge on the north side of the Luberon mountains. Inside the village walls, the streets reveal a rich heritage with 16th and 17th century architecture, with most of the streets inside the village being very narrow, winding between the buildings.
After you have discovered the village streets within the medieval walls travel back towards Bonnieux and Lourmarin passing through the stunning village of Lacoste with its narrow street and castle at the top that is still lived in!
Ménerbes → Lacoste
To get to Lacoste take the D109 and you will arrive in this beautiful little village that is very quiet during the summer with its castle at the top of the hill.
From this tour you will have discovered the most beautiful hilltop villages of the luberon and the roads crisscrossing between them. To discover this region properly you need to take your time, everybody finds something different when driving around - whether it be a stunning lavander field or some hidden village that you would otherwise never go through.
Of course, there's no right way to drive around Provence, and often getting lost can be part of the fun, the only rule to remember is to enjoy yourself and make the most of the beautiful scenery and roads that can be found in the area.
If you want to make this tour even more fantastic and unique why not rent a classic car with Provence Classics. They have a range of classic cars that are amazing to drive around this stunning landscape and give you an experience to remember!
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