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All information gathered first-hand, since 1995

The ridge-top village was reputed to be impregnable, but there are alway "ways" (see History, below) The church is perched on the east end of the ridge, the ancient chateau is perched on the end towards the west, and the Mairie with its 18th-century wroght-iron belfry (campanile) is in between.

Approaching the village from across the farmlands, you'll see ancient walls, towers, churches and chapels perched on the stoney cliffs, in the center of an area of bories. Inside the village, narrow streets wind up and down between lovely old buildings, and the square at the top of the village, with the Mairie, seems apart from the shops and activity of the lower village.

Through an arch at the top square beside the ancient Mairie (photo, 14k), you have a magnificent view out across the plains, with several distant villages visible, including Gordes to the north, and sights such as a small Notre-Dame-des-Grâces chapel and farmhouse just below where you stand (photo, 22k).

The ancient abbey of St. Hilaire is located about 3.5 km east-southeast of Ménerbes.
There are many of the fascinating dry-stone bories along the small roads and in the fields surrounding the village, some of them marked on the hiking maps.


There's a mushroom "farm" just out of the village (about a km to the east on the D3), using caves deep in the side of the solid-rock hillside.


The two dolmens near Ménerbes are the only two in the Vaucluse. The one dolmen accessible is at the side of the D103 road, 2 km east of the village (1 km east of the D109-D103 junction, and 100 m past the farmhouse along the north side of the road). If you're driving by, it looks like a culvert beside the road. Looking down, you'll see the ring of upright stones with the large stone-capped cover. The site was apparently at the base of the hill which has, over the centuries, half-covered the site. The built-up roadway also helped diminish the impact of the location, but the mystique remains.

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History of Ménerbes


First record, 1081 Menerba

Prehistoric: This region was inhabited continuously from the neolithic, through the bronze age to the middle ages. The only two dolmens in the Vaucluse are near the village (see above).

Gallo-Roman: The Roman occupation ended here with the Saxon invasions in the 6th century.

Medieval: One of the better-known rulers here was La Reine Jeanne (Queen Joan) in the 14th century.

The village was so well fortified it was considered impregnable. However, the Protestants of Scipion de Valavoire entered by ruse and occupied the village until 10 December 1578. The Catholics then applied similar methods to retake the village, while the previous invaders departed with flags flying and drums beating, declaring themselves undefeated.

Tourist Office

Tel : 04 90 72 22 05 ; Fax: 04 90 72 48 13



Aug (2nd half) - Fête votive



The Luberon en Vélo cycling path runs 100 km between Cavaillon, Apt and Forcalquier.


• GPS: 43.832264, 5.206166


IGN (1/25,000) #3142 OT "Cavaillon, Fontaine-de-Vaucluse"

Didier Richard (1/50,000) #14 "Luberon, Sainte-Victoire"

• Ménerbes is perched high up over fields and farms, and walks along the roads will take you past small woods and hills. There are many bories and interesting old buildings and sights in this region to make your walks interesting.
• Two hiking trails, one from the southern end of the village and one from a road west of the village, go south to the base of the Luberon mountains. An trail runs along the base of the mountains, between Robion and Oppéde in the west and Bonnieux in the east, and several other trails climb up through the forests onto the Luberon.

Transportation Ménerbes

Cavaillon - Bonnieux - Apt Bus 15.2

  • Vaucluse bus line 15.2 serves the towns and villages: Cavaillon, Les Taillades, Robion, Coustellet, Maubec, Oppède, Ménerbes, Les Beaumettes, Goult, Lacoste, Bonnieux, Gargas, Apt.
    The trip between Cavaillon and Apt is about 1h45.
    Cavaillon has links to Avignon, Aix-en-Provence and Marseille.
    See Beyond's Bus Schedules Page 02: Vaucluse Department for downloading Vaucluse bus-lines map and schedules (link for PDF files).

Cavaillon - Bonnieux Bus

  • Vaucluse bus line 15.2 serves the towns and villages: Cavaillon, Les Taillades, Robion, Maubec, Oppède, Ménerbes, Lacoste, Bonnieux. There are 3 buses a day: early morning, mid-day, evening.
    Cavaillon has links to Avignon, Aix-en-Provence and Marseille.

Department 84, Vaucluse Buses

  • See Beyond's Bus Schedules Page 2: Vaucluse Department for downloading Vaucluse bus-lines map [Plan global des lignes] and bus-line schedules [pdf for each line] (link for PDF files).
    • Avignon has train or bus connections to Aix-en-Provence, Arles, Nîmes, Saint Remy-de-Provence, Paris.
    • Cavaillon has bus connections to Aix-en-Provence, Arles, Saint Remy-de-Provence.
    • Pertuis has bus connections to Aix-en-Provence and Marseille.

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