Hilltop Villages and Castles in the LuberonOur first stop this morning will be at the village of Lacoste dominated by the impressive Château du Marquis de Sade. Perched high above the Luberon valley it overlooks the village of Bonnieux. The castle, partly in ruins, is being restored beautifully by designer Pierre Cardin; the huge quarries next to it are used as a magnificent theater for concerts. We will drive through the village up to the castle. Afterwards we'll go to Ménerbes, a natural fortress, famous for its stronghold of 16th-century Calvinists - and for Peter Mayle's books on Provence. One of the most beautiful villages of France, Ménerbes has numerous testimonies of a rich historic past such as the 12th-16th-century citadel, 16th-century mansions, and the 14th-century church.
LUNCH: We invite you to our very special place (surprise) for a delightful lunch with wine.
After lunch, we'll drive up to the top of the beautiful village of Bonnieux for a spectacular panoramic view with Mont Ventoux in the distance. Nestled in a beautiful park shaded by huge cedar and pine trees, the 12th- century "Old Church" stands high above the entire region. Walk down the narrow streets leading to the 19th-century "New Church" and enjoy Bonnieux' architectural and artistic wealth: medieval tower, 16th-18th-century mansions, passageways cut into the rock, small places with water fountains, galleries with talented artists, ceramists, jewelers, and even a lady who creates exclusive hand-knitted garments! Then we'll stop at Pont Julien, a 1st-century Roman bridge named after Julius Cesar.
DINNER: Free evening for dining out.
these links to learn more about each day of the "Cultural &
Gourmet Delights in Provence" tour
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