Our first stop on our tour of the perched villages of Luberon was the lovely hillside village of Lourmarin. About 70 kilometers south of Marseille in the heart of Provence, lies lovely Lourmarin, a quaint village known as the final resting spot of Albert Camus. Founded over a thousand years ago at the slopes of Luberon Massif, Lourmarin is a sleepy town most of the year until the herdes of tourists arrive mid-summer and wake the town up.
The hour and a half drive to Lourmarin from Marseille was full of laughter and gorgeous views of the lush countryside of Provence. We passed brilliant yellow fields of fennel, vineyards, orchards and olive groves. The only disappointment of the drive was that the famous lavender fields which symbolize Provence were not in bloom yet. Apparently that does not happen until summer time but it is a spectacular sight to see. So beautiful that I know I’ll have to someday see it for myself.
Entering the city is like walking through a maze. Winding, narrow cobblestone streets meander up and down the hill like a jigsaw puzzle. Each and every turn was a new delight with hidden surprises such as a pretty pot of flowering plants, a rustic antique window ajar or a beautifully hued building of yellow or orange.
Since it was still relatively early in the day, we had the entire village to ourselves to explore. Cafes and boutiques were just beginning to open their doors and welcome customers for the day. The fragrance of the countryside swept gently through a light spring breeze. The sky was a brilliant shade of deep blue. It was simply serene.
Lourmarin is a very picturesque place with lots of Provencal charm. If you want true Provence, then this is the place to go.
“One of the secrets of a happy life is continuous small treats” – Iris Murdoch
I adored the tiled rooftops and the creeping foliage growing up the sides of the old buildings. As usual, I also loved the windows and couldn’t resist taking lots and lots of photos of them.
“We travel, some of us forever, to seek other states, other lives, other souls” – Anais Nin
The town was relatively sleepy as it was the end of April and the tour buses hadn’t arrived to swarm the town and take away its charm. In my opinion, it was the perfect time to visit Provence.
“Life is meant to be lived, and curiosity must be kept alive. One must never, for whatever reason, turn his back on life”. – Eleanor Roosevelt
“Pleasure is very seldom found where it is sought. Our brightest blazes are commonly kindled by unexpected sparks”. – Samuel Johnson
We left Lourmarin and headed back into Fred’s taxi for our next stop, Bonnieux. I could hardly wait to see the next town. It was going to be a busy day with my camera.