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Landscapes of Luberon Walk

DAY BY DAY ITINERARY- WHERE YOU STAY

Hotel l'Hermitage ***

Pernes les Fontaines (Days 1+8)

This 19th century residence, transformed into a hotel, feels like an old family home. It is set amidst 2 hectares of grounds bedecked with fountains, many species of trees, and an orangery. The Hotel l'Hermitage is about 4km outside Pernes-les-Fontaines.

The hotel also has a saltwater swimming pool in the heart of the property.

Further details on the hotel website.

Day 1 Arrive in Pernes-les-Fontaines

Arrive at your hotel, located just north of the town of Pernes-les-Fontaines.(Staying at Hotel l'Hermitage, Breakfast only, evening meal at a local restaurant)

Day 2 Pernes-les-Fontaines to Roussillon 16km/10mi/4.5hr

Today we'll take you to medieval St-Saturnin on the edge of the Plateau de Vaucluse. Start the day with a stroll through its narrow streets up to the sprawling chateau ruins which overlook the village and offer your first superb views over the entire Luberon valley. Then head south through classic Provencal countryside - vineyards, cherry orchards, fig trees, olive groves and fragrant lavender - enjoying a magnificent panorama across the Apt plain. Pass the village of Gargas, home to the vast Ochre Mines of Bruoux and continue through pine forest along ochre-red tracks, before descending into Roussillon.(Staying at Les Sables d'Ocre, Breakfast only)

Hotel Les Sables d'Ocre ***

Roussillon (Days 2+3)

Just a 10 minute walk outside Roussillon, this modern hotel is surrounded by landscaped lawns and has a relaxing pool area. The good sized bedrooms are decorated in rich Provencal colours.

Further details on the hotel website.

Day 3 At Roussillon

Roussillon is famous for its streaked ochre cliffs and is the starting point of the Ochre Trail. It's also considered one of the Plus Beaux Villages of France, with the winding streets full of brightly coloured houses in wonderful shades of red, pink, orange and yellow. You could, perhaps, visit the perched village of Bonnieux, full of art galleries, pavement cafes and little restaurants just perfect for lunch. (Staying at Les Sables d'Ocre, Breakfast only)

Day 4 Roussillon to Les Imberts 16km/10mi/4.5hr

You set off today through vineyards, passing the Domaine de Tara wine estate before following footpaths and quiet country lanes with fabulous views south across the Luberon valley and north to the perched village of Gordes. After a short climb along pine-scented footpaths, you'll descend into Les Imberts where your hotel awaits with a swimming pool and spa. (Staying at Mas de la Senancole, Half Board)

Mas de la Senancole ***

Les Imberts (Days 4+5)

Located in Les Imberts, just a few kilometres from the famous perched village of Gordes, with its mediaeval castle, and the Village des Bories open-air museum, is the Mas de la Senancole. Along with a garden and a heated outdoor pool, the property also offers guests a spa featuring a sauna, hot tub and massage room. Each room is decorated in the Provencal style and features air conditioning, tv and a minibar, some also have an outdoor seating area. Next door is the hotel's restaurant L'Estellan which serves regional dishes with a contemporary twist.

Further details on the hotel website.

Day 5 At Les Imberts

Just a few kilometres away is the picturesque hilltop village of Gordes, one of the region's most famous and another of France's Most Beautiful Villages. Made up of wonderfully photogenic houses, terraces and gardens, Gordes is dominated by its Renaissance chateau, which also houses a museum. Explore its streets, crammed with cafes, restaurants and shops. (Staying at Mas de la Senancole, Half Board)

Day 6 Les Imberts to Fontaine-de-Vaucluse 11km/7mi/3.5hr

You begin today following quiet lanes past olive groves and vineyards before arriving at the mediaeval village of Cabrieres-d'Avignon with its golden stone houses and old castle (now a private residence). You'll then head up into the hills under the shade of beautifully scented pine forests, past a section of the 27km-long Mur de la Peste, a wall built by locals in 1720 in a vain attempt to stop the spread of the Plague. Continue over the north edge of the valley for spectacular views of the whole Luberon. Descending, the views switch to look north across the Vaucluse, as you head into Fontaine-de-Vaucluse.  (Staying at Hotel du Poete, Breakfast only)

Hotel du Poete ***

Fontaine de Vaucluse (Days 6+7)

Owned by a celebrated wine producer and occupying a converted water mill by the River Sorgue, is the wonderful Hotel du Poete. Offering modern rooms and a peaceful atmosphere while at the same time being centrally located in the popular village of Fontaine-de-Vaucluse, the hotel also has an outdoor swimming surrounded by millstreams which have been turned into a tranquil water garden.

Further details on the hotel website.

Day 7 At Fontaine-de-Vaucluse

Today you can explore the village, home to the Fountain of the Vaucluse (the biggest spring in France and the fifth largest in the world). You'll also find the crumbling ruins of the castle of the Bishop of Cavaillon, a museum about the Resistance and a number of lovely cafes and restaurants. Or why not visit the 'island city' of L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, surrounded by the clear waters of the Sorgue River? With its many riverside shops and cafes it makes a good choice for lunch.  (Staying at Hotel du Poete, Breakfast only)

Day 8 Fontaine-de-Vaucluse to Pernes-les-Fontaines 14km/8mi/4.5hr

Ascend through pine and oak forest, then out across the Plateau de Vaucluse for stunning views of Mont Ventoux and the jagged peaks of the Dentelles de Montmirail. Head down through cherry orchards to popular St-Didier; perhaps enjoy a drink before your transfer to Pernes-les-Fontaines. (Staying at Hotel l'Hermitage, Breakfast only, evening meal at a local restaurant)

Day 9 Leave Pernes-les-Fontaines

Please note that September is the hunting season in Provence. We provide reflective day-glo jackets for customers wishing to walk through the woods/forests on the main hunting days (typically two per week); however alternative road routes will also be offered.

WALKING GUIDE

Varied walking mostly along marked paths (with some rocky sections) and quiet country lanes. There are few ascents and some short sections where the surface may be loose so walking boots are highly recommended. From early July until mid September, the local fire authorities restrict access to forested areas after 12 noon so early starts (8am) are advised.



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