"The Luberon" applies to a long, low, forested mountain range and a large regional park in the Vaucluse department in the South of France. The Luberon mountains are low, with the height along the ridge around 1000m, rising to a peak of 1125 m at Mourre Nègre in the eastern part. The heavily forested range is distinctive, however, as it stretches along prominently above a wide, flat plain of only 200 m elevation.
The overall location of the Luberon park and mountains is in Provence, 20-80 km east of Avignon and 20-60 km north of Aix-en-Provence. The geographical center of the park region is more or less around the town of Apt.
The Parc Régional du Luberon roughly follows the mountain range east-west, but extends out further north-south, bounded by the Durance (south) and Calavon (north) river valleys. This is a regional park, not national, and the boundaries follow some unusual contortions to meet the political and economic needs of the local communes.
The Luberon is a beautiful region for visiting, by car, foot, bicycle or horse. The mountains and forests are beautiful. There are scores of lovely, ancient villages, many with castles, forts, ruins, towers, and other geographical and historical sites. Our photo here is perched village of Saignon (beside Apt) with a view of the Grand Luberon and the highest point at Mourre Nègre.
This is a region for the dry-stone bories that link the present with the past.
The Luberon mountain range is about 60 km long and only 5 km wide. It stretches east-west along the north side of the Durance river, and is divided into two parts: the Petit Luberon at the west and the Grand Luberon at the east.
The west and east parts are divided by the narrow Combe de Lourmarin, a narrow canyon that cuts through the mountains just north of Lourmarin. A very pretty, and twisty, road goes through the canyon, linking Lourmarin to Bonnieux and the other picturesque villages along the north side of the Luberon mountains.
Our photo here is of canyon rocks about 1.5 km north out of Lourmarin. Just beside this point is a beautiful little 17th-century arched stone bridge, the Pont des Vaudois.
The image of light and shadow formed by ravine contours on the north flank of the Luberon is supposed to evoke the image of a giant elephant. We hadn't actually noticed it, but were just gazing at the forested hillside from St Martin-de-Castillon when a local gentleman offered that information. So, here's the photo — what do you see?
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The Luberon en Vélo cycling path runs 100 km between Cavaillon, Apt and Forcalquier.
• GPS: 43.821451, 5.450339
• Petit Luberon. The GR6 and GR97 (Grande Randonnée) trails cross the Petit Luberon at the western end of the range. Both trails go north from the Luberon at the village of Robion, up past Lagnes.
• Where the GR6 crosses the Petit Luberon and continues on south, the GR97 traverses the southern slopes all the way to Lourmarin. Other hiking trails follow along the top of the ridge, and connect the ridge with the villages along the northern and southern boundaries.
• Grand Luberon. The GR9 and its variations traverse the Grand Luberon from, roughly, the villages of Lourmarin and Buoux in the west to Montfuron and La Bastide-des-Jourdans in the east. Again, the main trails follow along the top of the mountain range, with branching trails going up and down the slopes.
Transportation Luberon Mountains
Bus information is given the Travel-Bus page.