Tucked between the limestone cliffs of the Luberon Valley, this land of lavender, olives and honey soothes the soul and restores the spirit. The frenetic pace of Paris is left far (and fast – the TGV moves like the wind) behind. Unbelievably quaint and picturesque hilltop towns and walled cities replace the monolithic architecture of the city. Don’t get me wrong, if you want grandiose architecturally stunning sites; just visit the home of one half of the dueling popes in Avignon. I, however, prefer the solitude, solace and charm of the smaller towns. There are actually six départements of Provence, ranging from the mountains to the sea. The last time we were here we spent most of the time in the Var and Alpes-Maritimes (read: summer sitting beachside in St. Tropez, Cannes and Nice).
Come October, however, the tourists are gone, the locals back at work, children back in school, and highways and byways empty of traffic. This is the ideal time to visit the Vaucluse. All the wonderful names reside here: Avignon, St. Remy, Aix, Bonnieux, Arles and more. Our home for the next several days will be Lacoste. Perched precariously on a hilltop with stunning views of the surrounding valley, this will serve as our base of exploration. I will share more in the next few days