Luberon: exceptional touristic qualities
The Natural Regional Park of Luberon is situated in the Massif of Luberon composed of three mountain chains the Little Luberon, the Big Luberon and the Oriental Luberon. Laying in-between the Alps and Mediterranean Sea, Luberon is famous for its exceptional touristic qualities: mild climate, beautiful landscapes and abundance of historic landmarks. Five of the villages of Luberon are listed among “The Most Beautiful Villages of France“. As for the nature, Luberon combines different types of landscape: garrigues (low, soft-leafed scrubland growing on the limestone in Mediterranean region), oak-woods, mountains and rocks and rivers and abundant flora and fauna. Luberon has 1500 species of plants (representing 30% of species growing in France), 135 species of birds (50%) and 2300 species of butterflies (40%).
The Luberon is a great destination for a walking vacation. There is an extensive and accessible network of walking paths and trails, linking villages that are often just a few miles apart. You don’t have to be a serious walker to enjoy hiking in the Luberon.
The countryside is absolutely beautiful with incredible, often unexpected variety. Walking paths take you through farms, vineyards, orchards and woods, past beautifully-restored homes and simple farm dwellings, up on the mountains, through the gorges, alongside massive cliffs. The area surrounding the Luberon mountains is a designated natural park. The countryside is rich with bits of history and evidence of life from other times, and on foot you’ll discover special places that aren’t in the tourist guidebooks. There are prehistoric caves, ancient bories, a Roman oppidium, old mills, 700-year old chapels, and abandoned villages.
The views are breathtaking, often extending 40 km or more. From various viewpoints, when the conditions are right, you can see Mont Ventoux, Avignon, the edge of the French Alps, Mont St. Victoire, even the Mediterranean Sea. And in between, there is a panorama of Provence spread at your feet. It is absolutely free, no admission fee and all you really need are the right pair of shoes, a good map and an adequate supply of water.
Winter, spring and fall are the ideal times to hike in Provence. If you hike in the summer, try to hike in the early morning or late afternoon, focus on shaded routes, and be sure to take plenty of water. Summer is typically a very dry time of year, and some areas may be closed for hiking due to risk of fires.