Last summer I wrote about my trip to the Luberon area in Provence, where I was invited to a friend’s house to stay for a week. Our friends were generous enough to invite us again this year at the end of May instead of the end of July, which worked out great. We enjoyed beautiful weather, with sunny, warm, and clear days, with temperatures in the mid to high 70sF, and the evenings and early mornings were crisp and little cool.
The highlight of the trip last year and again this year was visiting and discovering the nearby villages. Last year we visited and loved Lauris, Lourmarin, and Cucuron. This year we traveled up winding roads to discover Bonnieux, Lacoste, Ansouis, Gourdes, Mirabeau, and La Tour dAigues.
I captured some great images in the towns listed above and sharing them with you in a few blog posts. Today I am focusing on Bonnieux and Lacoste, two ancient, mountaintop villages.
Bonnieux, is a lovely, ancient hamlet with spectacular views of the Lourmarin Valley. We climbed up a steep passageway and came to the site of the 13th century church. On the small main street there were a number of galleries, a café, and a few restaurants with terraces overhanging the cliffs with drop dead views.
I strolled through another narrow street with old, stone homes with lush vegetation, trees, flowers and vines, and flowerpots. There was a much wider variety of flowers and plants blooming this year than last, including climbing roses, and Jasmin, which had a delightful perfume. I also loved the flowers sprouting from the rock cliffs.
The next stop, just 10 minutes away, was Lacoste, which was even tinier than Bonnieux. We passed through a stone arch with the words Portail de chevre, emblazoned on it. We walked further until we reached the very top where the remains of a 16th century chateau stood. The chateau was inhabited by Louis-Alphonse Donatien, better known as the infamous Marquis de Sade. Right next to the chateau is an intriguing bust by Yasuo Mizui of the Marquis de Sade, imprisoned in a cage (photo above).
I will follow up with additional blog posts about the villages of the Luberon in the coming weeks, so stay tuned.
Here’s an invitation to watch a very special tour. I am doing my first live tour for France.fr outside of Paris and traveling to Etretat, Normandy to film part two The Footsteps of Lupin.
The date is Wednesday, June 9 @10am EST (east coast time), 9am Midwest time, 7am, West coast time, and 4pm Paris time.
CLICK HERE to reserve your place.