Luberon Experiences in Provence
What will you experience during your week with us in the Luberon?
The Luberon Experience is a one week immersion experience in this very special part of Provence, France. We offer a slower, more relaxing way of traveling, very unlike most group tours. Staying one week in one place means we can settle in and really get to know the local area. This isn’t a typical sightseeing tour… it truly is an experience, and we know it’s one you’ll always remember.
Experience a Village
Our week is based in the ancient hilltop village of Bonnieux. Bonnieux, with a year-round population of over 1400 people, is centrally located on the north side of the Luberon mountains and is considered one of the most beautiful villages in France. This is the village we call “home” in Provence.
Bonnieux offers panoramic views of the valley, farms and vineyards, neighboring villages, the Luberon mountains, and the 6263 foot peak of Mont Ventoux. The surrounding area is rich with discoveries including evidence of prehistoric life and a 2000-year old Roman bridge. Peter Mayle’s famous books about Provence were set in this area, and the 2006 movie A Good Year starring Russell Crowe was filmed just outside the village.
During a week with The Luberon Experience, our groups become part of village life. You’ll get to know local residents; enjoy the cafes and restaurants, shops, and artist galleries; and shop at the Friday morning market. Bonnieux will feel like home. At the end of the week, you won’t want to leave.
Experience the People
We’ve made a lot of good friends in the Luberon, and many of them are involved with our groups during our Luberon Experience week. You’ll get to know fifteen to twenty local people and will visit with several of them in their homes. Some of our friends are members of families who have lived in the Luberon for generations; others have moved here to pursue their dreams. You’ll learn about the life of a winemaker, goat farmer, artist, market seller, and small business owner; you’ll hear first-hand what real life is like in Provence. This is a very important part of The Luberon Experience.
Experience the Lifestyle
Life in Provence is meant to be enjoyed. There’s a different way of life in a small village in the French countryside, a different tempo and rhythm, different customs and ways of interacting. Our week will allow you to understand and appreciate these differences and to let the Luberon work its special magic on you.
We have the perfect living environment to enhance our experience. The Luberon Experience is based in a beautiful small guesthouse in the heart of Bonnieux. This traditional Provençal property is over 200 years old but has been restored to high standards of comfort and style. Our groups enjoy special attention from the friendly local hosts. You’ll enjoy the beautiful garden, the swimming pool, and the unforgettable view.
You’ll have plenty of unstructured time to enjoy these surroundings. You’ll be busy, but you won’t end each day exhausted. Our schedule is fulfilling, but not too full. There’s always time for relaxing and enjoying your vacation… and downtime when you can be away from the group. We don’t waste time on long day trips, driving several hours to another hotel, or unpacking and repacking like people do on many tours. We want to be sure you experience the life… not just see the sights.
Experience the Cuisine and Wine
France is known for its wonderful cuisine, and Provence has many local specialties that take advantage of the abundant fresh produce… melons, strawberries, cherries, apricots, tomatoes, zucchini, olives, lettuces, cheeses and more. Our meals are a highlight of our week and involve a variety of settings and styles. We have a bountiful breakfast at our guesthouse each morning and also enjoy our first and last night’s dinner there, cooked by our host and served family style.
Our picnics are especially popular. We have a special picnic after our Sunday market visit, featuring various foods purchased that morning from Kathy’s favorite sellers. Later in the week you’ll enjoy our picnic in the countryside, at a spot with a fantastic view.
We seek out a variety of dining experiences that capture different aspects of Provence. We’ll eat at simple cafes, small intimate bistros, award-winning restaurants, and private homes. If you’re interested to know more about Provençal cooking, you can help our friend Janice prepare the evening meal she’ll host for our group one evening.
The Luberon is a major wine region, surrounded by some very important wine-producing areas. You’ll sample a variety of local wines with our meals. Several outstanding wineries are located near Bonnieux. We’ll have special visits to two of the most interesting wineries, where we’ll be hosted by the winemakers.
Experience a Stress-free Vacation
We handle the difficult and time-consuming aspects of international travel for your trip. We’ve arranged ideal accommodations, selected wonderful restaurants, and planned interesting and unique daily activities. You won’t have to worry about driving on unfamiliar roads or dealing on your own in a foreign language. You won’t waste time unpacking, repacking and moving between hotels. You won’t spend much of every day in a bus or van. Instead you’ll have time to relax and enjoy unexpected pleasures.
Our trip is similar to traveling with a group of compatible friends. You’ll enjoy sharing time with an interesting small group of travel companions, but you’ll also have plenty of personal time. Our groups include a variety of travelers: couples, pairs and small groups of friends and relatives, and solo travelers.
Most important, you’ll have the advantage of two leaders who know the area very well. You’ll meet many of our local friends and visit our favorite places. We’ll sample the best of life in the Luberon: the outdoor markets, the towns and villages, the never-ending views. You’ll enjoy the food and wine, taste the cheese, and even have a chance to do some cooking. You’ll have an experience that wouldn’t be possible on your own, an experience far beyond that of most visitors to Provence.
See our itinerary to learn more about a typical week in Provence with The Luberon Experience. And take a look at this photo show, where you can see our groups experiencing the beautiful Luberon and a week they’ll always remember.
Click on the little arrow (below the photo, right) or on the thumbnails to move through the slide show.