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The Views from the Mourre Nègre are worth the Hike to the Top

One of the first things I fell in love with when I viewed the house for the first time was the kitchen window’s view. The Luberon Valley spread out in front of us with the constant sight of the tower on the highpoint of the Mourre Nègre directly ahead, even during the night, when it’s lit up.

It’s always been a tantalizing sight, and I know my neighbour’s mother (now in her eighties) still climbs up to it at least once a year to see the view.

…Continue reading here for the details and Julie’s photos of this 13km (8 miles) hike that starts just outside of the village of Auribeau in the Luberon. The summit is at 1125m, not as high as Mont Ventoux, but certainly at an altitude that provides a glorious view of the Luberon Valley and all the way to the Mediterranean (on a clear day).

Hiking in Provence and Côte d’Azur

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 in either direction (east or west) from Marseille to find some beautiful hikes along the coast, although some of these trails could be difficult if you suffer from vertigo. The standard hiking rules apply in Provence, as they should anywhere, good shoes, sunscreen, hats, water, a snack and a mobile phone.

Hiking and Mountain Biking in the Estérels  Some of the best family-friendly activities are free and right on our doorstep! Around 40 minutes’ drive from where I live is the start of the Massif de l’Estérels by Access Riviera.

Hiking the Gorges de Régalon in Provence: Les Gorges de Régalon is located between Cavaillon and Mérindol, in the Vaucluse. The circuit is only 9km and certainly offers a bit of everything. The walk starts at the easily accessible parking, which is free in the off-season. The first stretch is a walk along a creek bed and then past a small olive tree grove. Immediately after the olives, the trail heads straight into the gorge. The direct path is evident as the canyon walls close in, and there is little choice but to scramble along the rocks and follow the narrow corridor. This is not a hike for those with claustrophobia and unequivocally not on a wet day.

Mur de la Peste a Rocky Trail in Provence’s History. Today, the Mur de la Peste is seen mostly by hikers and dog walkers. Sections of the wall are still visible, and some areas are restored (approx. 6km) to demonstrate the enormity of this project and the desperate attempt to stop the spread of the plague.

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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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