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Landscapes of the Luberon Walk

from $2,499.00

Varied walking in the glorious Luberon National Park – inspiration for generations of poets, painters and writers. Wander through vineyards and olive groves to perched medieval villages and stay in delightful hotels, full of character along the way.

  • Reviews 22 Reviews
    5/5
  • Vacation Style Holiday Type
    Self-guided
  • Activity Level Easy plus
    4/8
All about the Landscapes of the Luberon Walk.

This 8-night walking holiday is based in the glorious Luberon National Park, taking in the lush Provencal countryside and its world-famous Villages Perche, with stunning views across mountains, valleys and plains. This is a land whose natural light and lavender-scented summers have inspired generations of poets, painters and writers from Petrarch in the C14 right up to modern-day, bestselling author Peter Mayle.
Your itinerary is a real treat for the senses, starting in the striking perched village of St-Saturnin, nestled on the edge of the Plateau de Vaucluse. Heading south you’ll pass cherry orchards (with white cherry blossom in spring) and take in wonderful aromas of pine forests, lavender and wild herbs, before arriving in Roussillon with its 17 colours of once-quarried ochre. Vineyards and olive groves dot your route as you head towards Les Imberts and the charming village of Gordes whose architectural delights and tiny streets full of shops and cafes are just perfect for exploring. With the Luberon hills providing an enviable backdrop, you’ll make your way to Fontaine-de-Vaucluse, with the option to visit the pretty riverside town of L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, before heading north across the Vaucluse plateau for your final day and stunning views of Mont Ventoux and the Dentelles de Montmirail.
We’ve hand-picked high quality hotels for you to stay in, all of which boast swimming pools in their extensive grounds. Your accommodation includes a C19 stately manor house with its own orangery and swimming pool; a charming hotel with heated outdoor pool and spa facilities including a sauna, hot tub and massage room; and a converted water mill whose millstreams are now a tranquil water garden. We’ve included four evening meals, so you’re free to choose from some great nearby restaurants on your remaining nights.

The tour package inclusions and exclusions at a glance
What is included in this tour?Items that are included in the cost of tour price.
  • 8 nights accommodation, hotel-to-hotel
  • All continental breakfasts and 4 evening meals
  • Services of your local Headwater representative
  • Route notes and maps
  • Luggage transfers between hotels
  • Walking transfers
What is not included in this tour?
  • Flights
  • Arrival & departure transfers (available on request, inquire for supplement)
  • Room upgrades and extra nights at selected hotels (inquire for prices and details)
  • Single Accommodation (available on request, inquire for supplement)

Highlights

  • Delightful walking through the timeless Luberon landscape
  • Heady mix of lavender, wild herbs, olives, pine and colorful flowers
  • Dazzling ochre cliffs; stunningly beautiful villages; endless swaying vines; superb views of Mont Ventoux
  • Wonderful regional wines and classic Provencal cuisine
  • Quality hotels full of local character, all with swimming pools
  1. Day 1 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)

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

    Today we’ll take you to mediaeval 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)

  3. Day 3 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 Sable d’Ocres, Breakfast only)

  4. Day 4 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)

  5. Day 5 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)

  6. Day 6 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)

  7. Day 7 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)

  8. Day 8 Day 8 Fontaine-de-Vaucluse to Pernes-les-Fontaines 14km/9mi/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)

  9. Day 9 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.

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Where you stay
Hotel l’Hermitage
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 swimming pool in the heart of the property.
Les Sables d’Ocre
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.
Mas de la Senancole
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.
Hotel du Poete
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.
Eating and Drinking

All continental breakfasts and 4 evening meals

While not the most sophisticated of the French cuisines, most dishes use the excellent tasting local fresh produce. Cooking à la Provençale uses local olive oil, garlic, peppers, tomatoes, courgettes, aubergines and wild herbs, all ripened by the sun to give an intensity of flavour. You can browse among the colours and smells, and make picnic purchases at the
lively local markets.The proximity of the sea makes fish and seafood an important element of the local cuisine. Regional dishes include the famous bouillabaisse, a rich fish stew served with aioli and rouille; the bourride – a lighter version of the bouillabaisse; pistou soupe (summer vegetable soup with a blend of garlic, basil and olive oil); authentic ratatouille, large colourful salads an delicious courgette flower fritters. Tapenade and anchoïade are savoury dips made with local olives and anchovies; pissaladière is an onion tart with olives and anchovies and is very likely to have come from the Romans.

Making wine, particularly rosé, has been Provence’s specialty for a long time. The grapes and soil throughout the region vary a lot, but the hot, sunny and dry climate is ideal for the local wines. The local red grape varieties are used because they cope well with strong sun exposure and poor soils: Carignan, Cinsault, Grenache, Mourvèdre, Syrah, Tibouren and Calitor. The rosés are made out of the same varieties but the musts only macerate for a few hours so the fruits’ skin don’t darken the juice or release too many tannins.

Classification: Self-Guided
Activity Level: 2 (Leisurely/moderate)
Average daily distance on move on days: 14.25km (9 miles).
No. of dayswalking: 4
Terrain: Varied walking, mostly along marked paths (with some rocky sections) and quiet country lanes. There are a few ascents and some short sections where the surface may be loose so walking boots are highly recommended. From early July until end September, the local fire authorities restrict access to forested areas after 12 noon so early starts (8am) are advised.

Vehicle Support: This is a self-guided trip for those who prefer to walk independently, but with our assistance to take out the stress of the logistics and planning. We arrange your accommodations, provide you with a map and route notes so that you can walk at your own pace.

It is important that you are happy reading maps and following route notes, we make these as accurate as possible and they are regularly checked.

As this is a self-guided holiday there is no group and no leader. There may be others on the same departure date as you, but you will not be organised together. The route notes contain a 24-hour emergency assistance telephone number should you need it and in emergencies, the local representative is normally able to dispatch a taxi or pick you up themselves. They may wish to charge for this service.

Your itinerary is a real treat for the senses, starting in the striking perched village of St-Saturnin, nestled on the edge of the Plateau de Vaucluse. Heading south you’ll pass cherry orchards (with white cherry blossom in spring) and take in wonderful aromas of pine forests, lavender and wild herbs, before arriving in Roussillon with its 17 colours of once-quarried ochre. Vineyards and olive groves dot your route as you head towards Les Imberts and the charming village of Gordes whose architectural delights and tiny streets full of shops and cafes are just perfect for exploring. With the Luberon hills providing an enviable backdrop, you’ll make your way to Fontaine-de-Vaucluse, with the option to visit the pretty riverside town of L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, before heading north across the Vaucluse plateau for your final day and stunning views of Mont Ventoux and the Dentelles de Montmirail.

Overall Rating
5/5
Reviewed On 15/10/2019
5/5

Mrs Grief

This was our 7th headwater holiday but the first we had done on foot. Every holiday has been special in one way or another but this one certainly ranked among the best. The walks were excellent, carefully routed to avoid any distances on busy roads and include a lovely range of scenery. We enjoyed the sense of being right out in the countryside and away from the main tourist centres although there were several times when a café or bar along the way would have been welcome (We had to carry drink and snacks with us on each walk although we did find a bar open in Gargas on the first walk.) Coming from a particularly flat part of the UK we were worried about steep climbs but the inclines were generally quite gentle and we managed fine. The weather helped. At the start of October, it was warm and dry but with a cooling breeze. In the summer heat we could have found it more challenging! The route notes were very good, as long as we read the details carefully. We only lost our way once, adding a few extra kilometres to the walk into La Fontaine de Vaucluse.

The hotels were all of a high standard, Each had an individual character, all were very comfortable and the breakfasts were wonderful. We especially enjoyed the Hotel de Poete in Fontaine and the Hermitage at Pernes les Fontaines.

The Headwater rep, Joey, couldn't have been more welcoming or more helpful. He went out of his way to make sure we had the best holiday possible. He was always cheerful and fun to be with.





Reviewed On 03/10/2019
5/5

Mr Chancellor

Our walking holiday in the Luberon was an excellent way to experience the area and

Reviewed On 24/09/2019
5/5

Ms Field

Really Happy with the overall experience - & would recommend Headwater to others

Reviewed On 23/09/2019
4/5

Mrs Guthrie

A fine, challenging activity holiday with excellent back-up support re luggage forwarding, through-out the week. Idylic Provencal hotels and villages interspersed among vineyards and Olive groves galore. A region dominated by both limestone and sandstone cliffs clothed with dense forests and providing stunning views of the surrounding countryside.

Reviewed On 26/07/2019
4/5

Mr Henderson

Beautiful part of Provence to walk in despite it being atypically hot. In view of the high temps, not many hotels offered an early breakfast (07:30) to allow us an early start. If I was to do again then out of main season would be sensible.

Also some popular village restaurants get booked up quickly so having some contact details at the hotels could help smooth these difficulties

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