Provence and Luberon Top Ten
I had such a lovely time in Provence and the Luberon, the following list would be my top suggestions when visiting. Obviously, there are many more as I have not seen everything in this region but this is a good place to start!
1. Parc naturel régional de Camargue
I learned just before going to France that there were flamingos in Camargue which was only about an hour from Aix-en-Provence. Even better, it was only fifteen minutes from Arles, which was on our list to go. I wasn't sure if we would actually see flamingos, you never know. But when we arrived, we walked around a corner and there they were. Hundreds of light pink flamingos, everywhere. It was one of the most spectacular sights I have ever seen. I was so happy! If you are in this area and it's the time of year for flamingos, you must go!
2. Carrières de Lumières
We read about the Carrières de Lumières online and it looked interesting but I still wasn't sure what to expect; old limestone quarry turned art exhibit. It was absolutely amazing! Near Les Beaux you will be able to visit the Carrières de Lumières. It is like being inside of an art piece and a song at the same time. Simply, it's beautiful and not to be missed.
3. Aix-en-Provence House
Funny to put a house on this list, but I'm not sure if I would have loved my time in Provence quite as much if the house wasn't so lovely. The views from the second floor were just breathtaking. Having dinner by the pool behind the aqueduct was so peaceful and gave time to take the much needed deep breath. We found our lovely house on Airbnb and it could not have worked out better.
4. Senaque Abbey
Founded in eleven forty eight, the Senaque Abbey is a must see on your trip. It is a quick stop and I cannot imagine how gorgeous this Abbey is when the lavender is in bloom. The monks who live at Senaque grow the lavender and have honey bees as this is their livelihood.
5. Provincal Markets
Many of the towns have market days. Be sure to look before venturing out to see what time the market is where you are visiting and which days. I very much so liked the market in Aix-en-Provence (pictured above). The fresh fruits, vegetables, cheese and flowers were beautiful and delicious. There were also a couple of vendors selling lavendar, I purchased a cute sachel to hang on a doornob from a sweet little old lady.
I think in the Luberon, Gordes was my favorite little town. It is exceptionally picturesque built into the hilltop. With a population of just over two thousand, it is quaint and not very crowded. The town itself is too cute and there are many shops, cafes and some restaurants. It has a very cute center and fountain.
Menerbes comes in a close second for me in the Luberon. Again, just a quaint little town, population almost two thousand. We went on the market day and it was just lovely. It is nice to spend the day hopping from one town to the next as it doesn't take too much time to go through each. Menerbes had a cute little cafe overlooking the valley, it was breathtaking.
If you ever have the pleasure of visiting Loumarin, you must go to Pizzeria Nonni. You need to make a reservation as the seating is numbered but the pizza was fantastic. The little town was adorable. Cute shops and a little square with cafes. I would love to revisit one day.
This was the largest town that we visited, population about fifty five thousand. It is known for inspiring Van Gogh's paintings and has quite the Van Gogh presence. Some of the Roman Monuments are now UNESCO sites, to include the amphitheater. There is a lot to see in this town and we were happy to spend some time here. It is not far from the flamingos, if you have time, it's a great stop.
This little town, population around thirteen hundred was different from the rest in the area due to the color of the buildings. There is an ochre quarry near this town, hence the coloring of their buildings being different from the rest of the area. Roussilon was very cute and had some lovely shops and a cafe with the most wonderful view.
I hope one day to revisit this area. There are many other little towns I would like to visit. It is hard when traveling to see everything a region has to offer, I felt as though this is a great beginning to the list.
Enjoy!! Bon Voyage!