Area & Activities

La Jassine is located in the Luberon Regional Nature Park and close to a multitude of small, picturesque villages, as well as famous, major cities, and other popular tourist sites.

 

Luberon Regional Nature Park

 

The Park was founded in 1977 to preserve the natural balance of the region, improve the living conditions of the villagers, and promote agricultural activity. There are tourist information centres, museums, as well as hiking, biking and nature trails.

 

The Luberon Mountain Range is divided from north to south by the Coomb that runs from Lourmarin to Apt. To the west the Petit Luberon forms a plateau carved by gorges and ravines. To the east the Grand Luberon has massive summits, the highest being Mourre Nègre (3691 ft). The northern face of the range is steep and rugged, whereas the southern face has sunny slopes planted with various crops. One of the characteristic sights of the Luberon are the drystone huts called bories. Although many were used for storage, some were inhabited at various times since the Iron Age.

 

Villages of the Luberon

The following is only a very small sampling of the many picturesque villages that dot the Luberon Mountain Range, each with its own unique charm.

Ansouis: The town is crowned by the Castle of Ansouis, which has been the residence of the Dukes of Sabran Pontèves for over one thousand years. The castle has a Romanesque Church and beautiful gardens.

Apt: A lively town located at the northern side of the Luberon Coomb. It is known for its crystallized fruit, lavender essence, and truffles. One of the most popular Provence markets is held here on Saturday mornings.

Bonnieux: A very picturesque terraced village that has preserved its rampart ruins. From a terrace there is a spectacular view of the Calavon Valley extending from the perched village of Lacoste to the villages of Gordes and Roussillon. Mont Ventoux is visible in the background. From Bonnieux, you can visit the Cedar Forest in the Luberon Park.

Cadenet: The ruins of an 11th century castle dominate the small town. In the main square is the statue of “The Drummer Boy.” It represents André Estienne, who was born in Cadenet in 1777 and served in Napoleon’s campaign in northern Italy in 1796. During the battle for the Arcole Bridge, his valorous drumming was mistaken for artillery fire by the Austrians, who retreated leaving the victory to the French.

Cucuron: A medieval village with thirteenth-century ramparts, gates, and towers. There is a lively market on Tuesdays next to the étang (pond).

Gordes:  This very picturesque village has become quite popular in recent decades. There is a Renaissance Castle that now houses the Vasarely Museum. Nearby there are several interesting sites. The Borie Village is a museum of 20 restored bories between 250-500 years old. There is also a Stained Glass Museum and a Museum of Oil Mills.

 

Lourmarin: Named one of the most beautiful villages in France, Lourmarin is dominated by its Castle, which includes a 15th century section and a Renaissance section.  The unique grand staircase ends with a slender pillar that supports a stone cupola. The terrace offers a lovely view of the village and the Coomb. The famous French writers, Albert Camus and Henri Bosco, who lived and wrote in Lourmarin, are buried in the cemetery. Walking tours in the steps of the two authors are offered by the Tourist Office.

 

Menerbes: A picturesque village on a promontory of the Luberon. In 1573 the Calvinists captured the stronghold and held it for five years. The square is dominated by the town hall’s bell tower. There is a 14th century church and the remains of a 13th century fortress that played an important role during the Wars of Religion.

 

Roussillon: The village is located in a very unique site on the highest of many ochre hills, composed of more than fifteen different shades of ochre. The village is built of the same ochre, blending into the surrounding cliffs. The stunning sites of the ochre cliffs bear picturesque names like the Needles of Fairies’ Valley and the Giants’ Way.

 

Vaugines: A charming little village with Renaissance buildings and a beautiful Romanesque Church. Jean de Florette and Manon des Sources were filmed in and around the village.

 

Other Major Cities and Tourist Sites in the Area (within an hour from the villa)

 

Aix-en-Provence: The beautiful old capital of Provence is an elegant city that boasts many fountains and old mansions. The Cours Mirabeau is the wide main avenue, lined with stately plane trees and cafés. It is the site of Cézanne’s studio and the Vasarely Foundation. The International Music Festival is held in Aix in July and August.

 

Arles: Arles was a Roman capital and boasts well-preserved Gallo-Roman ruins, including an Amphitheatre and a Roman Theatre. The cloisters and doorway of St. Trophime remain from its time as a major religious centre in the Middle Ages. Vincent Van Gogh painted more than 200 works in the Provençal countryside around Arles. The Camargue is nearby.

 

Avignon: The city is famous for The Palace of the Popes and the celebrated Bridge of Avignon. It is also the site of the world-renowned Festival d’Avignon in the summer, when the streets become filled with actors and theatre-goers from around the world.

 

Cassis: This busy fishing port on the Mediterranean is a popular place to enjoy the beach and the sea, as well as to hike along the breathtaking ridges of the deep inlets known as the Calanques.

The Luberon Regional Nature Park from the Villa
Vaugines
Lourmarin Château
Vaugines Church
Cucuron Étang (Pond)
Aix-en-Provence Fontaine de la Rotunde
Avignon Bridge
Arles Roman Amphitheatre
Avignon Palais des Papes

Activities

 

The villa is located in one of the richest and most vibrant parts of Provence. In addition to its natural beauty, it is a flourishing cultural region that offers a wide range of sightseeing activities and festivals.

 

Sports

Swimming, tennis, hiking, biking, rock climbing, golf, horseback riding, fishing.

 

Sightseeing

The sightseeing possibilities are endless, including Roman ruins, perched villages, castles, abbeys, churches, museums, and wineries.

 

Other Activities

Wildlife viewing offers the opportunity to see many varieties of birds and animals.  The Luberon Regional Nature Park offers many hiking, biking, and nature trails. Stargazing from the front terrace of the villa is breathtaking. Wine-tasting in the many wineries that produce the “Côtes du Luberon” is a popular pastime.

 

Shopping

The many picturesque village markets, antique markets, and unique shops and boutiques offer a shoppers’ paradise.

 

Restaurants

The villa is close to many fine restaurants that offer a wide variety of cuisine. The village of Lourmarin alone has approximately 15 restaurants, including the acclaimed Auberge La FeniPre and the Moulin de Lourmarin. La Petite Maison in Cucuron was awarded a star in the Guide Michelin in 2009.

 

Cultural Activities

The region hosts a number of well-known music and theatre festivals, including the Festival d’Avignon, the International Music Festival in Aix-en-Provence, and La Roque-d’Anthéron Piano Festival. There is a rich selection of theatre, concerts, art exhibitions, and other cultural activities to choose from.