Return to the Luberon
2018 Dates: May 5 – 12
This trip is designed for members of our Travelers Circle and their travel companions.
Bonnieux and the Luberon have become home. We now have our own place in the village, and if you add up all our time there, it’s approaching four years… but every trip still gives us an incredible thrill. Whether we’re leading a Luberon Experience group or simply enjoying family time in this place we love, the familiarity and quiet comfort of this enchanting valley in Provence offers a marvelous starting point for special friendships, experiences, and discoveries.
We developed our Return to the Luberon week at the request of many people who joined us for The Luberon Experience and wanted to come back to explore more of this beautiful area. We had a wonderful time with our “Return” groups in 2013, 2015 and 2016, and we’re looking forward to welcoming more of you back to Bonnieux and introducing you to other special places in and beyond the Luberon.
There will be a real sense of homecoming when you return to Bonnieux and Le Clos du Buis. You’ll have a warm welcome from Pierre, Celine, Sophie and other friends you’ll remember from your previous time in the Luberon. And we always look forward to hosting the group for aperitifs one evening at our home in Bonnieux, right across the street from Le Clos du Buis.
Here’s just a sample of what we have planned for this special Return to the Luberon week:
- A return trip to the Sunday morning market at L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, followed by our traditional market picnic. (Charley will host an optional visit to Fontaine la Vaucluse—the source of the River Sorgue—if anyone prefers a different experience.)
- Explorations of nearby villages not visited on our Luberon Experience trip (St. Saturnin-lès-Apt and Goult).
- A day on the south side of the Luberon mountain, including the villages of Lourmarin and Cucuron, a tour of the privately-owned Chateau d’Ansouis, and a truffle hunt and tasting. (The outdoor movie/date scene in “A Good Year” was filmed in Cucuron.)
- A day trip to the famous wine town of Chateauneuf-du-Pape, including a tour and tasting at a premiere winery and a memorable lunch at a very special restaurant.
- A day trip to the isolated and rugged area northeast of Apt. We’ll visit the wild and rocky gorge at Oppedette, the beautiful gardens at the 12th century abbey at Valsaintes, and the special village of Viens. We’ll picnic at a panoramic spot in Viens.
- A private visit to the famous Louve garden, hidden away in our own village of Bonnieux.
- The opportunity to visit outdoor markets at St. Saturnin, Bonnieux and Lourmarin.
- A tour and tasting at an artisan “fruit confit” producer.
- A fun game of boules with local friends.
- Several options for short walks or longer hikes.
- Free time for relaxing at Le Clos du Buis and enjoying the village.
- And many surprises!
Instructions for viewing the slide show: Click on the side of the photo (an arrow will appear) to move forward or back in the show.
From Our Travelers
Here’s what some of our “Return” travelers (2013, 2015 and 2016) had to say about their week:
“Kathy, Charley and our group were wonderful, fun people. I loved the entire experience – the food, the villages, the French people, everything!” (Sharon from Georgia, USA)
“I loved our day on the south side of the Luberon: the personal tour by the owner of the chateau, the beautiful lunch location, and the great fun at the truffle hunt.” (Mark from Ohio, USA)
“Le Clos du Buis feels like home! I feel so welcome here.” “I loved every minute of the trip.” (Lisa from Queensland, Australia)
“I loved it all. I could not believe how wonderful the meals were! It was great seeing new places and revisiting old ones.” “Getting together with your French friends make this a very special experience.” (Diane from Arizona, USA)
“I most enjoyed the wine tasting and lunch in Chateauneuf-du-Pape.” (Richard from Arizona, USA)
“The Luberon and Bonnieux are beautiful, warm and welcoming. I wish it could be home.” (Sandy from New South Wales, Australia)
“As we got closer to Bonnieux and got a glimpse of Bonnieux for the first time since our first trip seven years ago, we both had this serendipitous feeling of ‘ahh, this is it – what we fell in love all that while ago.’ The Luberon area is a little piece of heaven on earth – it is beautiful like nothing we have experienced before and has this simplicity of life about it. No wonder this is where we want to spend my time in France.” (Cheryl and Ron from Alberta, Canada)
“My favorite day was Sunday: the market at L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, seeing the Pont Julien again, the poppy fields, Goult, the ancient house of Michele Mattei, and a special dinner in Bonnieux. Every meal in Bonnieux and the south of France is great!” (Ginger from Wisconsin, USA. She brought her husband Mike with her on her Return trip.)
The pick-up and drop-off point for Return to the Luberon is the Avignon TGV station. We’ll meet the group at 2:00 pm on the first Saturday and drop-off the following Saturday morning to support trains after 10:00 am.