Avignon & Hilltop Villages of the Luberon Region

Just about an hour northwest of Aix-en-Provence is the medieval city of Avignon. You'll find centuries' worth of fascinating history here, as this is where Pope Clemente V moved his court in the 14th century. For several decades after that, it was the seat of the Catholic popes.

Spend the day exploring the city on a walking tour. Visit the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Le Palais des Papes (Palace of the Popes) and the Pont Saint-Bénézet medieval bridge, subject of the famous 15th-century song "Sur le Pont d’Avignon." You'll also visit Avignon Cathedral, Doms Garden, Saint Pierre Basilica, and the Place de l'Horloge, Avignon's main square. 

Next, explore the Luberon region, known for its countryside vineyards, orchards, and postcard-worthy hilltop villages. Then, travel leisurely to L'Isle Sur la Sorgue, famous for its outdoor weekend markets, antique stores, and old wooden waterwheels churning over the Sorgue River bisects the city. There are few better spots to enjoy a relaxing lunch than here in this picturesque town!

After lunch, head to Gordes, arguably the most beautiful of all the hilltop villages in the Luberon. Its fortified castle dominates the skyline of Gordes, and from its winding cobbled streets, you can look out to wide views over the valley and surrounding hills. From Gordes, it's just a short drive to the Abbey of Notre-Dame de Sénanque, a Cistercian abbey founded in the 12th century. 

Discover other things to do in Aix-en-Provence, plus more unique experiences in Provence and interesting historic activities in France.

Itineraries with Avignon & Hilltop Villages of the Luberon Region

Culture, Food, and History Tour of Provence - 8 Days

In just over a week it's possible to see all the highlights of southeastern France's most stunning region: Provence. This is a whirlwind tour that includes visits to its most beautiful cities, hill-top villages, national parks, and vineyards. You'll spend time in the oldest city in France, travel between the towns of the UNESCO-listed Luberon, and more.

Luxury, Art, & Food in France: Paris & Provence - 10 Days

This luxurious ten-day itinerary hits all of France's highlights: food, art, culture, and the French lifeblood—wine. From historic landmarks in Paris to small-town charm of Provence's hilltop villages, there's no shortage of things to do. Learn to prepare a three-course meal at a countryside chateau, sail to the Frioul Islands on a private boat cruise, and ease into a casual south France pace of life. 

Food & Wine Tour of Provence: Avignon & Bonnieux - 5 Days

On this outdoorsy tour of Provence, you'll mix gourmet experiences with active pursuits. Start the trip in medieval Avignon, then take a tour of the Luberon on an electric bike before learning how to cook (and eat) like a local at a Provençal cooking class. You'll finish with a full-day tour of local wineries. Cheers!