The Prettiest Luberon Villages in Provence

The Luberon valley is characterised by its picture-perfect Provence villages. It is characterized by its hilltop villages, marvelous castles and ruins, and mountains framing the vistas from side to side. Here you can hike, cycle, explore, eat, and simply get lost in the charming atmosphere of the villages and surrounding countryside. Here are 10 of prettiest Luberon Villages you need to visit on your journey through southern France. 

The Prettiest Luberon Villages

In terms of beautiful villages, Luberon is blessed with many choices. In fact, 4 of the Provence villages mentioned below make it into the official list of Most Beautiful Villages of France.


Like many of the Provence best villages, Menerbes sits perched on a hill from where it once served as a stronghold and lookout point during the French wars of religion between the Catholic establishment and the Huguenot (Protestant) minority. Menerbes held out for 14 months against a Catholic force of 12,000 troops.

Vineyards and cherry orchards spread out surrounding Menerbes transforming the landscape as the seasons pass. Ancient streets remain peaceful and unchanged and only a trickle of eateries, bakeries, and shops serve the population of fewer than 1000 people. 

Impressionist painter, Nicolas de Stael once lived here at the chateau du Castellet. Pablo Picasso used to visit his mistress who lived here in Menerbes. More recently, Menerbes shot to fame as the home of Peter Mayle who in his best-selling 1989 memoir, A Year in Provence, mythologised life in the Luberon villages.

Make your way through the charming 16th-century alleys to see why it’s on the official list of the Most Beautiful Villages of France.

winding street in the village of Menerbes in Provence France
One of the most beautiful villages Provence offers, Menerbes rose to fame thanks to Peter Mayle’s memoir.

Isle Sur La Sorgue

This is one of the larger Luberon villages and the focal point is the tranquil Sorgue River that meanders through the heart of the village. You will be hypnotized by the water wheels still diligently powering away as the stream passes by. 

The café’s lining the waterside lend a romantic atmosphere to the already enchanting village but what draws the most attention are the antique stores strewn across town.

Isle Sur La Sorgue is renowned for its produce markets, flea markets, bargain shops, and vintage finds but also has plenty of chic boutiques. Isle Sur La Sorgue is one of the best Luberon villages for shopping.

cafe seatings around water at Isle Sur La Sorgue
Provence villages don’t come any prettier than Isle Sur La Sorgue aka the Venice of Provence.

Fontaine de Vaucluse

The Vaucluse Mountains serve as the backdrop to this tiny village and it is also here where the Vaucluse spring originates that becomes the River Sorgue that flows through the village.. The spring is over 200m up in the mountain and is one of the top places to see in the area. 

Hikers love the rocky surroundings but in the village, there is also plenty to see and do. Visit local craftsmen or the various museums and ruins. One of the attractions in the town is a house belonging to the poet Petrarch.

The Tour de France 2021 went through Fontaine de Vaucluse this summer on one of its stages.

The river Sorgue springs from Fontaine du Vaucluse in Provence
Thanks to these mountainous villages, Luberon roads are often chosen to be part of the Tour de France.


Easily one of the most beautiful villages in Provence, Roussillon sits in the central northwest of Luberon. It is unmissable and the towering cliffs packed with ochre deposits make for a spectacular feature. These red cliffs are starkly contrasted by the surrounding lush greenery and remnants of the quarries can still be visited. 

The town is bursting with art galleries and restaurants hidden in its alleyways. Make sure to visit the “Conservatoire des Ocres et des Pigments Appliqués” in an old ochre factory to understand more about this natural substance which made this town famous.

Local Color!

Legend says the area’s red tint is a result of a tragic love story. The Lord of Roussillon had a wife who cheated on him with a troubadour. The husband is unamused and serves her the lover’s heart for dinner. When she finds out what her amuse bouche really was, she’s aghast. She throws herself from the top of the cliff colouring the area below with shades of red blood for all time.

the coloured houses of Roussillon in Provence France
The pastel coloured hues of Roussillon make it one of the most beautiful villages in Provence.


Gordes is one of the most iconic hilltop villages in the valley and spills down the side of a massive calcareous hill. The focal point at the top of the hill is the Chateau de Gordes, standing proud after more than 500 years. 

In the valley below, vineyards dominate the landscape with interspersing small forests opposing the manicured farmland. It’s another one of the official Most Beautiful Villages in France.

The Gordes town market is one of the most popular events and takes place every Thursday morning. Vendors take to the streets around the castle to sell an assortment of linens, produce, crafts, and treats.

view of Luberon in Provence from the viewpoint
Not only considered the most beautiful village in Provence, Gordes has plenty to do for such a small village.


Peeking out just past the yellowing vineyards you will see provincial clay roofs, a couple of distinct belfries, and a dramatic framework of mountains in the back. The town is situated on two slight elevations, the village on the one and the Villa Medicis de Provence (a Renaissance chateau) on the other.  Lourmarin is another one of the official Most Beautiful Villages in France.

Once in the village, you will fall in love with the cobbled streets lined with cafes and restaurants, everything from simple local cuisine to renowned Michelin-star dining.  Like many villages in the area, Lourmarin also has a famed market which is held on Friday mornings. 

Lourmarin is famous for being the home of Albert Camus, Nobel Prize winning French philosopher and author. He is also buried in Lourmarin after dying in a car crash at the age of 46 on his way from Lourmarin to Paris with his publisher.

donkeys in front of the Renaissance chateau at Lourmarin in Luberon Provence
Lourmarin is one of the best Luberon villages to explore if you have accessibility issues because it is not on a hilltop.


Time stands still in the village of Lacoste, one of Luberon’s smallest. Here you will wander aimlessly through the labyrinth of cobbled streets to admire the carefully restored houses and buildings that date back centuries.

The main attraction is the Château de Lacoste that sits at the top of the village overlooking the valley below. A hulking ruin, The Chateau de Lacoste was the home of the Marquis de Sade who spent considerable time practicing what he preached in its walls. When he wasn’t locked up in Paris, he spent time at his chateau pursuing the art of pleasure.

The Chateau was purchased by Pierre Cardin in 2001 and restored to be used as a concert space. It is open to the public from July to August and hosts art walks, concerts, and cultural events. 

Other notable things that happened in Lacoste over the years:

  • Lacoste was part of the French Wars of the Religion and the site of a well-known massacre of Huguenots.
  • The narrow streets of Lacoste made it perfect as a hideout for the French Resistance during World War 2.
  • More recently, Lacoste was the home of Sir Tom Stoppard, British playwright and screenwriter, who wrote Academy Award winning, Shakespeare in Love.
high stone walls in a lane in Lacoste in the Luberon in Provence
From the narrow streets of Lacoste, you can see in the distance, another of the villages Luberon is famous for.


You can’t miss the beacon of Bonnieux’s church tower, visible from miles away. Fitting, seeing as this has been a papal town for almost 500 years. The steep streets lead you through classic provincial houses and close to 100 steps take you up the Old Church, or La Vieille Église

A quirky attraction here is the Boulangerie Museum, dedicated to the art of baking and bread making. If that leaves you hungry, visit any of the marvelous restaurants in the town center serving delicious and fresh traditional meals. 

Bonnieux is officially one of the most beautiful villages in France as well. From the top of Bonnieux, you have a clear view of Mount Ventoux, nicknamed the Giant of Provence. Mount Ventoux has been made famous through its inclusion in the Tour de France.

Director Ridley Scott filmed A Good Year (2006), the screen version of Peter Mayle’s memoir A Year in Provence, in Bonnieux.

the church spire rising above the village of Bonnieux in the Luberon of Provence
Any Provence best villages list must include Bonnieux which is film-set perfect.


On the southern slopes of the Luberon mountain range is one of the liveliest small Provence villages in the area. Year-round the village attracts visitors who want to explore its medieval streets. You enter the old town through fortified gateways, like something out of a fairy-tale. 

The Church of Notre Dame de Beaulieu has a decorative bellower and magnificent nave that are not to be missed. The gardens of the Pavillon de Galon are also a hit, showcasing a contemporary take on iconic French gardens. In Place de l’Etang, the busiest part of town, you can enjoy the postcard-perfect image of colorful houses lined up around the pond. 

Cucuron also appeared in the 2006 movie, A Good Year.

The pond at Cucuron in the Vaucluse
Cucuron’s small pond lined with centuries-old plane trees make it one of the most beautiful villages in Provence.


When in Provence, you will seldom grow tired of the spectacular castles, fortresses, and ruins that most villages were built around. The castle of Ansouis is a splendid and well-preserved structure that is 1000 years old. The Sabran family that owned this castle were also powerful and well-connected in medieval times having produced, e.g., two saints, a Queen of France, Queen of England and a Pope.

Similarly, the gardens of the castle are tranquil and inspiring. Another of the village’s well known attractions is the quirky Musée Extraordinaire, a whimsical exploration of science, art, and geology through the eyes of painter and diver, Georges Mazoyer. It houses things he found on his dives as well fossils from the area.

vineyards in the countryside in front of the hilltop village of Ansouis in Luberon in Provence France
Provence villages like Ansouis are surrounded by vineyards and orchards adding to their picturesque charm.

Map of Luberon Villages

Here’s a map of Luberon Villages for your road trip in France planning purposes.

France Travel Tips

We stayed in Gordes and did day trips in the Luberon visiting Provence villages that were located close together. For example:

  • L’isle Sur La Sorgue and Fontaine de Vaucluse are a natural day trip from Gordes.
  • Menerbes, Lacoste and Bonnieux make another good cluster to visit.
  • Lourmarin, Cucoron and Ansouis are a good day trip on the far side of the Luberon Nature Park.
Map of suggested Luberon Villages to visit in Provence
Map of suggested Luberon Villages to visit in Provence


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