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xyz99 Jul 2nd, 2019 06:35 PM

Hard time selecting Luberon towns to visit
We'll be staying in Gordes for 3 nights in mid-Sept (with a car) and I think we are set on what to do/see the first 2 days.

#1 - Gordes, as we'll arrive sometime before lunch. So all afternoon Gordes + Village of the Bories
#2 - Roussillon, Colorado Provençal and Bonnieux
#3, now that's where I can't pick; here are the options we're considering:
a) Menerbes, Lacoste and Goult - or maybe just 2 of them
b) Menerbes and Lourmarin (as not a hill village)
c) Menerbes and L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue (as not a hill village + river)

What would you do? No matter where we end up going, we'll just stroll around, explore little streets and local stores, take lots of photos, chase the views. We always stop for a sit down lunch, so doing more than that in one day is not an option. I know everybody has their own favorites, please share them. Thanks.


greg Jul 2nd, 2019 08:42 PM

>>> #1 - Gordes, as we'll arrive sometime before lunch. So all afternoon Gordes + Village of the Bories
Pity. If this was summer, Abbaye Notre-Dame de Sénanque would be a logical addition.

>>> #2 - Roussillon, Colorado Provençal and Bonnieux
If you do the first two, then Saint-Saturnin-lès-Apt would be a more logical choice than Bonnieux.

>>> a) Menerbes, Lacoste and Goult - or maybe just 2 of them
Lacoste and Bonnieux face each other across a valley and makes a good combination. I love Lacoste. Unlike Ménerbes, it doesn't seem to attract big bus tour groups. Lunch at Cafe de France comes with a stunning view of the valley.

xyz99 Jul 3rd, 2019 07:46 AM

If I read this correctly, a better combination would be:
#2 - Roussillon, Colorado Provençal and Saint-Saturnin-lès-Apt
#3 - Menerbes, Lacoste and Bonnieux

Drive-wise, this does look better, with shorter drives and so more time to explore. I like it, thanks!

gooster Jul 3rd, 2019 09:07 AM

Look at your market days and adjust your schedule accordingly, is my suggestion. You want to hit at least one.

If you go to Bonnieux and Lacoste, there are some scenic wineries just below, including the one from that Russell Crowe movie. There are some nice to very nice restaurants right around there. Lourmarin is lovely -- if you want to make it a long day you can plunge over the hills and see the town in the early evening..

TDudette Jul 3rd, 2019 09:35 AM

I'm with gooster re Lourmarin--it's a nifty place.

xyz99 Jul 3rd, 2019 10:41 AM

On day 3 it's market day in Menerbes, so that's definitely our morning stop. And after that, it seems that we can't go wrong no matter what we decide. So maybe Lourmarin as both of you seem to like it? Where should we stop for lunch? Outdoor seating, good food, nice but not Michelin level nice. Thanks.

zoecat Jul 3rd, 2019 12:19 PM

Lourmarin is a beautiful village with great shopping and quite a few good places to eat. Friday morning market is excellent and Sunday is my favorite day for shopping and a long lunch. Parking is easy. Wondering through the town is a pleasure.

I recently had had a wonderful Sunday outdoor lunch at this restaurant-

The setting is lovely, service excellent, and we loved every single bite.

KarenWoo Jul 3rd, 2019 05:53 PM

I also recommend visiting Lourmarin! We have been there twice and really enjoy it. It's a very pretty town with many cafes, restaurants, and shops. We also visited the Chateau de Lourmarin, which I recommend. I don't think it will be crowded in mid-September. And we've never had problems with parking.

xyz99 Jul 3rd, 2019 06:26 PM

I think we have a winner!
I still like greg's suggestion because of the shorter drive, but it seems more people recommend Lourmarin than Saint-Saturnin-lès-Apt. I know I might change mi mind again...but probably not today :-)
And zoecat, that restaurant looks wonderful, thanks!

zebec Jul 6th, 2019 10:30 PM

Hi XYZ, if at Lourmarin market, the following are 3 food purchases that we would gladly cross an ocean again for:
1) the lemon pie sold by the young man at the foot of the stairs by La Rec(reation) restaurant. To die for, seriously.
2) the cherry tomatoes for sale by the 2 gals at the northern-most produce stand on the same, lower level (best ones that we'd tasted in decades---I was born on a tomato farm, so trust me).
3) on the upper level in front of the wine store, a lady sells pre-cooked dishes under the banner 'Popotes en Luberon'. Her ratatouille as well as her other offerings are outstanding in the truest sense of the word.
We actually delayed our departure after 9 days in Lourmarin, in order to visit that market a second time for re-purchasing of the above plus other local faves.
Bon Chance.
I am done. The discerning cochon.

xyz99 Jul 7th, 2019 04:34 AM

Ohhh, zebec, unfortunately our mornings in Luberon are Wed + Thu. Lourmarin market day is Fri :(
We'll get to see the Menerbes market on Thu - any recommendation there?
All your 3 food purchases sound delicious. I know nothing of life on a tomato farm, but I LOVE tomatoes (DH calls me a "fruit snob", and we all know tomatoes are fruits). I rarely like supermarket bought fruits, they are never sweet enough. We tried growing tomatoes on the terrace of our apartment building but they did not do well so I'm looking forward for some real ones in France. With a pinch of salt, they are the perfect snack.

zebec Jul 7th, 2019 07:41 AM

Sorry, been to Menerbes, but not on marche day.
If in Lourmarin, maybe also check out nearby Cucuron village--excellent place for lunch by its 'etang' water pool.
I am done. The Cucuron foto op.

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