Located in the heart of Provence, France’s mountainous Lubéron region is famous for its vibrant purple lavender fields, forested valleys, and ancient hilltop villages such as Saignon, Bonnieux, and Gordes. Walking trails wind through the largely uninhabited region, past hills, woodlands, and fields dusted with wildflowers.
You can explore Lubéron on a day trip from Aix-en-Provence, Avignon, or Marseille. The region’s hilltop villages—especially Roussillon and Gordes—are usually a tour highlight, and some excursions visit up to six villages in a single day. Day trips to Lubéron typically include a guided walking tour of each town and free time to explore, while some tours also visit nearby Provencal wineries. During the summer lavender season, Lubéron is a hotspot for flower-themed excursions, which visit impressive purple-coated locations such as the Senanque Abbey, the foothills of Mont Ventoux, and the Sault Plateau. For a personalized experience and more free time for photos, opt for a small-group or private tour.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Lubéron is a must-see for nature and culture lovers.
- Wear comfortable shoes—many villages have steep hills and cobblestone lanes.
- Be sure to pack sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses, as summer temperatures in Provence can reach over 86°F (30°C).
- The medieval villages and steep hills of Provence can be a challenge for wheelchair users; if needed, it’s a good idea to visit as part of a wheelchair-accessible tour.
How to Get There
The Lubéron region is located roughly 90 minutes by road from both Aix-en-Provence and Avignon, and two hours by road from Marseille. Public transportation is limited in the area, so it’s a good idea to rent a car or visit on a guided tour.
When to Get There
Summer (June through August) is the most popular time to visit, when the lavender fields are in bloom and Lubéron’s tiny villages are typically very crowded. During this time, many of the villages host lavender festivals and markets. Opt for an early morning or late evening visit to avoid crowds, or visit during winter, spring, or fall.
The Villages of Lubéron
Lubéron’s villages each have their own character and many are situated on hillsides, offering panoramic views of the Provencal countryside. The hilltop village of Gordes is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful spots in France, while Roussillon is known for its dramatic ochre cliffs. The village of Lourmarin is renowned for its Renaissance castle, and Castellet is home to one of the region’s oldest lavender distilleries.
The villages have other claims to fame as well: picturesque Bonnieux was the setting for Ridley Scott’s film A Good Year, while Lourmarin counts Albert Camus and Winston Churchill among its former residents. Gordes was a favorite of famous painter Marc Chagall, and the whole region featured in Peter Mayle’s bestselling novel A Year in Provence.