As I mentioned in a recent post, we went on an excursion to Cassis when we were in Aix-en-Provence. On our way back, I asked the van driver for more information about their trip to the Luberon villages. He offered us a discounted rate to fill the last two seats in that afternoon’s excursion, so off we went to Lourmarin, Roussillon, and Lacoste.
The flower draped stone buildings on the winding streets in Lourmarin were picture perfect. We spent the majority of our limited time there learning about lavender bottles (lavender stalks that are bent to cover the flower heads and embellished with ribbons) from a true artisan. Of course, a few had to come home with me.
Roussillon is famous for its ochre cliffs that have been mined for a millenium. All the buildings in town sport different tones of this warm mineral. I would have liked to have had enough time to do the walk further in the cliffs to explore these formations in more depth.
The castle at the summit of the village of Lacoste is the former home of the evil Marquis de Sade, now owned by fashion designer Pierre Cardin. There is really only one steep, cobbled road that winds its way down to the foot of the hill through the thousand year old village.
While I would have appreciated at least twice as much time in both Lourmarin and Roussillon, this excursion was the only way we could have possibly seen three villages in just one afternoon. Yes, we could theoretically have rented a car, but seeing our driver thread the needle down narrow streets reinforced our conviction that this is a task best left to those familiar with the region. What are your favorite Luberon villages? Any hair-raising driving in Provence stories to share?