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Walking in the Luberon Roussillon for Coffee

Although we always like to think that every day in Provence is warm and sunny, that isn’t the case. Winter in Provence can mean sunshine & blue skies one day, then heavy snow the next. See the photo of Simiane-La-Rotonde in the snow below.

When I threw open the shutters this morning, it really wasn’t screaming at me to put on my layers of lycra and head out on the bike for a ride, so I threw on my jumper, Jean’s, waterproof coat and walking boots and grabbed the dog-lead instead.


Julie headed out for a winter walk with her dog Millie to the perched village of Roussillon for coffee.

Continue reading here for this wintery contributor blog post by Vaucluse Dreamer. Wintertime (or anytime) there are terrific hikes in the Luberon, here are a few:

Walking Trails in the Luberon

There are many hiking trails throughout Provence, from the moderate Luberon and Alpilles hills to the steeper pitches near Mont Ventoux and the Dentelles de Montmirail. You can also choose to head to the coast either direction (east or west) from Marseille to find some beautiful hikes along the coast, although if you suffer from vertigo, some of these trails could be difficult. The standard hiking rules apply in Provence, as they should anywhere, good shoes, sunscreen, hats, water, a snack and a mobile phone.

Walk from Abbaye de Senanque to Gordes in the Luberon. A trail recommended by the Vaucluse Dreamer. According to Julie, this trail is good fun for dogs too.

Stroll along Mur de la Peste (The Plague Wall), a solid piece of Provence’s history. It was a  two-metre dry stone wall that ran for 27 kilometres. Over 100,000 people (some estimates as high as 126,000) died of the Plague in Provence between 1720 and 1722, including almost 50% of Marseille’s population, some 46,000 inhabitants. Built of dry stone and guarded the Mur de la Peste was to prevent the northern spread of the plague.

Gorges de Régalon slot canyon

Les Gorges de Régalon is located between Cavaillon and Mérindol, in the Luberon. The circuit is only 9km and offers a bit of everything in a three (3) hour hike. The walk starts at the easily accessible parking, where it is free to park, and you may even find a spot in the shade. The first stretch is a walk along a creek bed past a small grove of olive trees. Immediately after the olives, the trail heads straight into the gorge. The direction of the path is evident as the steep canyon walls close-in quickly. There is only one way forward, leaving no choice but to scramble over the rocks to follow the narrow corridor. This hike is not recommended for anyone with claustrophobia and not advisable on a wet day.

Ruins Fort Buoux Luberon

Visit the Fort Buoux Ruins. One of the lesser-known attractions of the Luberon the site is fascinating. In the fall/winter or the fog, it feels a little like the middle of nowhere. Once inhabited by pre-neanderthals, then Celtic peoples and the persecuted Vaudois from Piemonte. The site hasn’t been occupied for about 300 years. The layers of history are evident in the remnants. 

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Julie Whitmarsh

Julie Whitmarsh

Julie and her husband Andy started visiting the Vaucluse area 25 years ago & over the years have increased the amount of time they spend there with their growing family. She has a deep affection for the area, finding it is a great place to visit, where the whole family can relax and enjoy time together.

She longs for the day when she can ‘up-sticks’ from her home on Dartmoor & relocate to the Luberon and spend her days cycling, walking, visiting markets & brocante fairs and of course enjoying the local food and drink.

Her blog VaucluseDreamer gives her a space to highlight some of her favourite things about the area from places to visit to particular activities that she and her family all enjoy.

She hopes one day it will be a place where she can share the process of renovating a house in France, but at the moment that will have to wait.

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