While in Provence in September 2000 I stayed at the B&B in the home of M and Mme Jean-Christian Coppieters in Entraigues sur la Sorgue (northeast of Avignon). The owners are delightful and helpful. They provide a restful place to stay in a typical stone Provencal home with blue shutters.
is a delightful, if somewhat touristy, village in the Luberon hills. All of the buildings are the color of ocher, which was once mined in large quantities here. There is a path at the edge of the village where the ocher was mined. What is left are exotic and colorful rock formations. The village has many attractive shops, including those of local potters. I bought a lithograph from an artist, Francoise Valenti, whose gallery is on the main shopping street going up the hill. The best restaurant is the Restaurant David on the main street through the village. It is a gastronomic restaurant that has been in the David family for 3 generations.
is a nearby but less touristy village of restored Medieval and Renaissance buildings. Peter Mayle made it famous when he lived near here and wrote about his interactions with the local people. There are only a few restaurants and shops. Park you care in the lot at the edge of the village and take a stroll.
A cheese vendor with the (former) village church in the background
Me at the stand where I bought tablecloths, dishtowels, and napkins
My friend Bonnie Halpern ready to inspect the local ocher buildings and the craft shops
It is a delightful village centrally located in the Luberon Region. You will see it "perched" on the side of a hill with old church at the top as in the photograph at the home page of the village web site. Climb up by the church to enjoy the views. Wander through the many levels of the village to appreciate the old stone buildings. There are some interesting shops on the main street and in the lower part of the village.
The best restaurant in town is le Fournil on place Carnot. You will enjoy a gastronomic meal for a surprisingly reasonable price. Call ahead for a reservation, as it is small.
Don't miss the Roman pont Julien on the road between Bonnieux and Roussillon just south of the main highway through the valley (N100). The bridge is part of the road that is in everyday use. The only difficulty is that it is not wide enough for two cars to pass.
In October 1999 I stayed at the B&B "les Terrasses du Luberon" on the edge of the village. Each guest room fronts on a terrasse overlooking the valley and villages such as Lacoste and Menerbes. You can picnic on the terrace, and Madame lets guests use the kitchen where she serves breakfast.
is a perched village a few minutes from Bonnieux by car. The only commercial activity is a few cafes and restaurants, but the old stone streets and houses make for a delightful stroll in the past tense. The village is dominated by the ruins of the chateau of the infamous Marquis de Sade that was attacked by Revolutionary mobs in 1792.
is a dramatically situated perched village dominating the valley that has existed since the 11th century. It is officially considered "un des plus beaux villages de France". The drive up is windy, but the views of the valley from the edge of the village below the main square are well worth the effort. The village has been built up around the 12th-century fortified chateau, which now contains a museum of the artist Pol Mira. There is a large street market in the center of the village on Tuesday mornings. On two trips I enjoyed dinner at the restaurant of the Hotel le Renaissance next to the entrance to the chateau.
Be sure not to miss the Senanque Abbey north of the village, but beware that the road to it is narrow and winding. The abbey was built in the austere Cistercian manner in the 12th century and followed the Benedictine Rule. It is one of several in Provence the showcase this striking architectural style.
is a tiny village (population only 300) north of Roussillon. Many of the winding streets have steps and are too narrow for cars. The village church was reconstructed in the 1700's and has a painted Italianate trompe l'oeil interior. There is only a small hotel restaurant in the center of the village, but there are several luxury hotels on the road to Murs that overlook Roussillon and the surrounding valley. In September 2000 friends stayed at l'Hostellerie le Phebus, where we appreciated a sophisticated yet affordable gourmet dinner that was prepared with skill by Chef Xavier Mathieu and was dramatically presented to the guests by his staff.
A typical village street scene
The lavender fields of Provence in full bloom..This image reminds me of the postcard for sale throughout the region of the lavender in bloom in front of the Senanque Abbey near Gordes.