Luberon - Vaucluse

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Luberon - Vaucluse

Vaucluse

Here is the interior of Provence. The boundaries of the Vaucluse are defined by the valley of the Rhône in the west, which provides irrigation for this land of fruit vegetables and reputed vinyards, The north of the departement has a unique story in that 4 of the villages of Vaucluse were hemmed in inside the “departement” of the Drome and have since been named the Pope’s Enclave just above Vaison la Romaine in the rocky Haut Vaucluse. The eastern boundaries are sculpted out of the Alps and the Mount Ventoux; while in the south one finds the Luberon, between Cavaillon and Pertuis which follows along the Durance River. The villages in this part are known to be charming so high up in the rocky chaine of the Luberon. Le Luberon. This is a land of castles, perched villages and craggy landscape. The Luberon is a place much sought after. Even before Peter Mayle and his bestseller Une Année en Provence famous people both in politics and show business came here to escape the curious crowds. Right in the heart of Provence, Luberon offers such historical and cultural sites as the Abby of Senanque and the typical villages of Gordes, Ménerbes, Lourmarin. In the midst of this rough countryside of deep crevices and terrassed slopes the Luberon inhabitants have made a living out of wine making and the cultivation of lavender native to this soil. The Rhône Valley and The Comtat Venaissin. From Bollene in the north to Avignon in the south,and passing through Orange, one must add Cavaillon and Carpentras to this fertile valley. These vast plains consecrated to agriculture heads the national production of fruit and vegetables. Here wine making is a tradition; it is the land of Côtes du Rhône, Côtes de Ventoux and Côtes de Luberon mostly classed A.O C, Chateauneuf du Pape along with Gigondas add prestige to the region without forgetting the fragrant Vacqueyras or Rasteau. Haut Vaucluse (Provence des Papes). This protected site, historically rich for more than 20 centuries is surrounded by oak and pine forests. The Dentelles of Montmirail, curious looking hills with sharp peaks eroded in a manner that resembles lace attract mountain climbing enthousiasts. Below the Pope’s Enclave the land is rich in truffles, lavender, honey and good wine. Here nature is strong and is respected by the inhabitants. This is the Provence made from the love of hard work and the knowledge that has been transmitted trom generation to generation.

Luberon

Between the Alpes de Haute Provence and the Vaucluse plain, the bold outline of the Luberon mountain rises up : this is the symbol of the area, a mountain which brings the area together rather than separates. From the valleys of Calavon in the north, to the Durance in the south, the natural link for these “pays du Luberon” which sway gently around its feet. This is the real Provence, full of character. A sweet dolce vita of a climate and pure clean air which just breathes the incredible contrasts between a rich, and variable natural environment : the blue strides of lavender, the subtle nuances of green in the forests, the flamboyant and blinding colours of the cliffs of ochre, or the austere white of the limestone hills. This is the living Luberon, where everything goes back to “man’s” relationship with the basic element, earth. The dry stone walls and bories, the imposing “bastides”, villages perched on the sides of hills between church and château of which some are extremely famous:Lourmarin, Gordes, Manosque, Roussillon..., and others less well known but nevertheless just as attractive, like Vaugines or Mirabeau, where “Jean de Florette” and “Manon des Sources” were filmed.... and lots of other places just waiting to be discovered.

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