Climb to the Ruins of Fort Buoux in the Luberon
Visit the Fort Buoux Ruins
Fort Buoux, in the Luberon, is an ancient site that is definitely worth a visit. Lesser known than some of the main attractions of the Luberon, you’ll find yourself on a winding road, at this time of year (fall/winter) in the fog, that feels a little like the middle of nowhere. But this site was inhabited by pre-neanderthals, then Celtic peoples and the persecuted Vaudois from Piemonte. The site hasn’t been inhabited for about 300 years. The layers of history are fascinating even though all you can see now are remnants.
…Continue reading here for Ashley’s Curious Provence post (and beautiful photos) of their visit to the Aiguebrun (or Aigue Brun) River Valley.
A Long Human History
Fort Buoux is only 10 kilometres from the centre of Apt, but the clock turns back to another era at this remote fortress. Beneath an enormous cliff overhang (one of the largest in the Luberon) traces of human life have been carbon dated to prehistorical times. The original settlement on the plateau was a Celtic-Ligurian oppidum, the materials of which were then used in the 13th century to build a fortified hamlet high on this plateau. Persecuted Vaudois sheltered at Fort Buoux after villages were razed in 1545 (read more here).
The fortress and its village were built in several phases. You will find a series of ramparts, cisterns for water collection and storage, a church, a grave site, public buildings and the remains of other buildings. It’s about not a long walk (about 15-minutes) from the parking lot to the top of the outcrop, but there is a steeper section near the top.
Visitor Information Fort de Buoux
Le Fort de Buoux (website in French)
Tel: +33 (0)4 90 74 25 75
You need to buy a ticket to visit the Fort.
Hours of Operation:
Fort Buoux is open all year 10h – 17h
However, given the Fort’s location, it is dangerous to visit on rainy, snowy or windy days. The Fort is typically closed on those days so it is best to call ahead.
During summer months when there is a risk of forest fires the Fort may be closed as well. The phone number for the foresty service in the Luberon +33 (0)4 28 31 77 11.
Decent footwear is highly recommended as the cliff is rocky.
Stay and Eat
At the end of the road in the Aiguebrun Valley (not far from the Fort), you will find the Auberge de Seguins. The hotel, dormitory and campsite are open from March 1 – November 15th.
There is also a large restaurant and shaded terrace where you can enjoy hearty Provencal meals (note: it’s best to hike to the Fort first). Call ahead to book your table at this popular restaurant. Telephone: +33 (0)4 90 74 16 37.