Vaucluse (84360) Population: 3,302
Lauris is an ancient village, perched on a high ridge overlooking the Durance. The most dominant building is the vast 18th-century chateau, with its hanging gardens at the top of the cliffs. Market day Mon.
The heart of Lauris village is the Medieval part - the narrow streets and old houses grouped around the back of the chateau. Ancient stone doorways, old fountains and views out over the Durance valley make this a good village for a wandering-discovery visit.
The old village morphs smoothly into the newer part of Lauris, mainly aligned along the main street passing through the center. A sprinkling of shops and small businesses extend past the lovely town hall (Hotel de Ville). There's a collection of nice terrace café-restaurants on the street leading into the old town and extending out the main street ot the newer part.
There are several 18th- and 19th-century fountains in Lauris village. We liked this one with the double spigots from lions' mouths. And the next one with the lovely bronze swan [Photo-05].
There are also three ancient lavoirs (wash houses) in Lauris, including this nice one beside the church [Photo-06].
The original 15th-century feudal castle of Lauris was rebuilt as a less defensive chateau in 1702. It's not as romantic looking as the original, but still large and dominating, perched on the highest point at the end of the village.
The Lauris chateau is privately owned and not open for visiting. But the courtyard is open to the public, housing the Office de Tourisme as well as a few boutiques.
The lovely hanging gardens perched on the top of the ridge, with a magnificent of the Durance valley, can be accessed by the ancient stone steps leading down from the chateau courtyard, or by steps at the eastern end, leading down from the village.
History of Lauris
First record, 1079 Laurus, from the Latin for Laurier.
Perched on a defensible ridge over the Durance valley, the site of Lauris has been occupied from prehistoric times, through the Roman occupation through to the present.
The engraved Stele of Lauris, from the Neolithic, is on display at the Chateau de Lourmarin.
After the fall of the Roman Empire, Lauris became the property of the Bishops, then the Counts of Provence.
IGN (1/25,000) #3243 OT "Pertuis, Lourmarin"
Cavaillon - Pertuis; Aix - Apt
- Two Vaucluse bus lines serve the villages of Pertuis, Cadenet, Lauris and Lourmarin.
(A) Line 8 (Cavaillon-Pertuis) serves: Cavaillon, Cheval-Blanc, Mérindol, Puget, Lauris, Puyvert, Lourmarin, Cadenet, Villelaure and Pertuis. There are 4-6 buses a day; about 1h10 between Cavaillon and Pertuis.
(B) Line 9.1 (Aix-Apt) serves: Aix-en-Provence, Pertuis, Villelaure, Cadenet, Lauris, Puyvert, Lourmarin, Bonnieux and Apt. There are 4 buses a day. Distance: 2 hrs Apt-Aix; Pertuis is mid-distance for time.
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.