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Please rate your favorite villages in the Luberon, France

Please rate your favorite villages in the Luberon, France

Sep 30th, 2009, 04:12 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,691
Please rate your favorite villages in the Luberon, France

My husband, our friend, and I will be spending a few days in the south of France in October (10th - 13th), based in St. Remy-de-Provence, and we want to take a day exploring the villages of the Luberon.

We're planning our adventures for Sunday, so we will start by visiting L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue for breakfast and the Sunday market. Next we want to visit the Village des Bories, Gordes (if it's not too crowded) and a drive-by of Senanque Abbey. After that, which other town(s) should we explore? They all sound interesting, for different reasons. We want to see them ALL.... but I know that's not possible. So we must decide. We need your help.

Would you please rate the following villages with your preference for visiting (#1 is best, etc..). Feel free to add comments.

Fontaine de Vaucluse

artstuff is offline  
Sep 30th, 2009, 04:51 PM
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On Sunday Roussillon, Fontaine de Vaucluse, and Gordes will be the only villages with shops that are open. They may be open in Lourmarin - we've never been there on a Sunday.

Lourmarin is too far away & if the shps are not open, it will not be as interesting - so I would not go there.

Fontaine de Vaucluse is not that interesting in Oct & it gets huge crowds on Sundays in June & Sept when we've visited. Lots of baby strollers - so I would not go there either.

Lacoste isn't much - so if you plan to walk around & see the town - it will be a very quick visit - so I would not go there.

Bonnieux is quite interesting - but shops will be closed.

Oppede le Vieux really doesn't have much commerce at all - but it is quite iteresting to visit on foot.

I like Goult because it is not touristy and has some interesting houses & streets.

Menerbes is a quick visit - perhaps just a drive-by.

We've been in Provence in Oct, but we've never visited the Luberon then (we've stayed there for 4+ weeks in June).

If you're going to the l'Isle sur la Sorgue market, then les Bories, Gordes, & Senanque - you may have a full day's worth of activity already. If you have time left, I would head to Oppede after Senanque & explore that village/ruins. Then over to Menerbes for a drive-through, then on to Lacoste via the D3 & D109 for an afternoon view of Bonnieux from a distance with the sun shining on it. No need to get out of the car anytime after Oppede. If you feel like visiting another village & have the time - then head to Roussillon for a final stop.

Don't just village-hop in the Luberon - enjoy the countryside. The area around Oppede, south of Menerbes, & over to Bonnieux is very scenic.

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is offline  
Sep 30th, 2009, 04:57 PM
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Lourmarin and bonnieux are my favorites, though most shops will be closed on Sunday after Labor day. I agree it's the area that is very scenic
cigalechanta is offline  
Sep 30th, 2009, 05:58 PM
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Lourmarin, and Forcalquier for markets. Forcalquier on Monday.
Barnum is offline  
Sep 30th, 2009, 06:24 PM
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Roussillon is very interesting and should have some shops open. We liked Loumarin - there is a chateau that you can tour - also quite a few shops and restaurants. I agree that the drive through Menerbes and Lacoste with a view of Bonnieux from a distance is nice. We were there in October, and enjoyed the fall color in the villages.
blh is offline  
Sep 30th, 2009, 06:33 PM
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Does anyone have suggestions where to stay in Lourmarin? I have been searching and there are very few B&B"s/hotels mentioned on Trip Advisor. We have explored l'Isle Sorgue and surrounding towns.
plufmud is offline  
Sep 30th, 2009, 07:30 PM
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This is hard but I think I will just say that Roussillon is my favorite. Are you really planning to try to do all this on Sunday or was Sunday just your starting day?
Happy travels!
mimipam is offline  
Sep 30th, 2009, 11:57 PM
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Roussillon and Gordes would be my choice. But I loved the whole region and I think you can't really go wrong whatever you choose. Enjoy !!
Suja is offline  
Oct 1st, 2009, 03:28 AM
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Hard choices- this is my favorite part of Provence. But if I had to choose, I would definitely visit Gordes (crowds or not, although I don't think it will be bad in October), then Roussillon and Oppede-le-Vieux. Since you are trying to squeeze it into one day and must return to St Remy, I think that's already a lot.
romana2 is offline  
Oct 1st, 2009, 04:57 AM
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Thank you for your responses so far.

Just to let you know, I'll be travelling with two guys who have absolutely no interest in shopping, so that's not a high factor for visiting the villages. I'm just thrilled they didn't balk about visiting the Sunday morning market ("There will be a place we can sit and have a beer while you shop, right?" my husband asks me).

We're mostly interested in the scenery, architecture and antiquities of the region. We like looking at "old stuff".

Any one else care to comment on their favorite villages?

artstuff is offline  
Oct 1st, 2009, 05:22 AM
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Hi artstuff, I would recommend Roussillon, quirky buildings, cafes and the ochre "mines", great little streets for lots of photo opportunities, also I loved Goult. There is a windmill right at the top of the village which you can actually drive to, the road gets narrower and narrower until you think you are going to get stuck and then lo and behold it opens up to a car park of all things!!! Goult certainly is less touristy and has a great feel to it. I would like to stay there one time that's how much it appealed to me.

I found Bonnieux a bit bland, not a lot of colour on the shutters etc.

Sure Fontaine de Vaucluse is very busy but actually quite interesting. The paper mill was very informative and well worth a visit. It is the closest (I think) to Isle sur la Sorgue. We were there on a Sunday, quite late in the afternoon (around 4.30pm) and there were still quite a few people, this was September time. I wouldn't rule this one out. Some of the villages as previously suggested can be done with a drive by!!

good luck, don't push yourselves otherwise it just becomes a "tick that one" experience rather than actually enjoying them.

schnauzer is offline  
Oct 1st, 2009, 08:49 AM
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>>There will be a place we can sit and have a beer while you shop, right?" <<


Villages & especially larger cities can feel kinda drab when shops are closed. When you walk by a shop when it's open, you'll see it lit up & a pretty window display. When shops are closed, the owner will turn off the lights and often pull steel bars or ugly aluminum shutters over their pretty storefronts to protect the store from vandalism. Cafes are often closed too.

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is offline  
Oct 1st, 2009, 09:35 AM
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plufmud, in Lourmarin:

cigalechanta is offline  
Oct 1st, 2009, 10:45 AM
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In Lourmarin we stayed at Les Olivettes and loved it. We stayed in Zidane, which is the smallest and is quirky but we loved it. Joe and Elizabeth are great and one of them came each morning with fresh bread and croissants. (We special ordered choc. croissants so we got our fix each day without going out.) It is a short (5 min.) walk to the village. I have never stayed anyplace else in the village but would definitely return to Les Olivettes. lesolivettes.com CJ
CarolJean is offline  
Oct 1st, 2009, 04:06 PM
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We stayed at Villa Saint Louis recommended by cigalechanta. We enjoyed our stay very much - it is very convenient - right in the center of town. It is a lovely house with large rooms which we very much enjoyed.
blh is offline  
Oct 1st, 2009, 04:22 PM
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cigalechanta & blh,

I went to the website for Villa Saint Louis and found it was in French. Surprise ! I can translate fairly well and can probably email a reservation request in French, but I was wondering if they speak any English?
historytraveler is offline  
Oct 1st, 2009, 08:04 PM
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My google toolbar translates the French to English. To answer your question, the owner's daughter speaks perfect English. I wrote all my e-mails in English, and they were answered in English. We were there in 2002, so I don't know if her daughter is still living in Lourmarin or not. Actually, the owner was away when we were there, and her daughter was taking care of the B&B while we were there. The owner returned the day we left.

Here is the translation for the home page:

Bed and Breakfast of charm
for over 20 years ...

Former coaching inn eighteenth century, the Villa Saint Louis is located in the heart of Lourmarin one of the most beautiful villages of southern Luberon.

Come summer breakfast on the terrace in the shade of ancient plane trees and relax in the large walled garden listening to the murmur of the old water tank. You can appreciate the calm in the heart of the village of Lourmarin, knowing that in a moment you may find yourself on the terrace of one of the famous bars and restaurants in Lourmarin.

More than just a bed and breakfast, Villa Saint Louis offers to live in his world full of history where time has stood still.

You will understand the Villa St. Louis, bed and breakfast in Loumrarin, aimed at those who are sensitive to the authenticity and small pleasures of life.

La Villa Saint Louis, guest house in Lourmarin, offers five comfortable rooms on the second floor. The decoration is a subtle mix of objects and furniture from different eras. All rooms at the Villa St. Louis are equipped with bathroom, WC Solo, television and telephone.

La Villa Saint Louis also has a free WiFi Internet connection for occupants.

Rates of 65 and 75 euros per room
Breakfast included

Feel free to contact us for more information on availability and rates or by phone at + 33 (0) 490 683 918 or by email through the form here.
blh is offline  
Oct 6th, 2009, 07:14 PM
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Thanks cigale for the hotel suggestion~will check it out.
I ALWAYS read your Paris entries.

We are trying to decide how many days to spend in the Loire Valley before going to Provence. We are mainly interested in Vouvray wines and maybe 1 or 2 chateaus.
plufmud is offline  
Oct 7th, 2009, 08:22 AM
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If that's all you're interested in while in the Loire, then 1 full day is fine. Personally, of the many many areas in France that we've visited - the Loire countryside is the least scenic. Love the Chateaux, however.

I can purchase lots of Vouvrays in my area of the US. Are you really sure it's worth sacraficing 1 or 2 days of your (probably too short) vacation just to have some Vouvray and see 1 or 2 chateaux??? If you're visiting Paris, how about a day trip to Versailles or one of the other Chateaux around Paris??

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is offline  
Oct 7th, 2009, 08:53 AM
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This is our second trip to Provence and Paris. We have a few days to explore another area before a week in Paris. We have also considered Lyon, Marseille, or Nice. Based on your travels which would you choose?
plufmud is offline  

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