Luberon part 2- Violet as the lavender
Updated: Feb 11, 2022
I am a city person, without a doubt. Still in the mid-winter, all I wish to do is to take a step back to the summer and be surrounded by the violet fields of Luberon.
Do you, my loyal readers, who follow my reviews, remember my article about Luberon and its magnificent villages?
Let's roll back in time to September, beginning of the Autumn
I continued my journey in Luberon, discovering other villages, cities, castles.
We started the tour by visiting one astonishing caste from the Middle Ages." Le chateau de Lacoste". It is located on the hill in the village Lacoste. it is charged with history and tales, and during 1769 and 1772, the scandalous Marquis de Sade remained there, although he stayed only for short terms, for summer holidays, when he came to visit the village Lacoste. The castle feels like inhabited by his spirit. It is mysterious and seductive.
This haunting atmosphere is felt especially outside the castle's square when you view the spectacular sculptures incorporated in the landscape.
It is so theatrical as the flamboyant persona of Marquis de Sade, that it just makes sense that there would be an arena in the courtyard. Every summer, takes place there a theater and music festival
Inside the castle, the rooms are furnished and designed by the Fashion creator Pierre Cardin 1922-2020, who bought the chateau in 2001. It is a fusion between old style and modernity, with an eclectic choice of furniture. The decoration is imbued with excellent and refined taste.
Returning from village Lacoste, I discovered the city Apt. It is the capital of Luberon. I got lost in those historical alleys aromatized in the scent of the Provence. They create an authentic atmosphere of the Middle Ages.
People celebrated the abundance of various candied fruits and spices among other goods, in a grand traditional, famous market spreads out all over the city, each saturday morning.
The gothic roman cathedral and the clock tower are prominent. At night the town hall was marvelously lightened
At night I advise you to eat in "Au Platane" restaurant. It is a bit hidden in a corner, and once you sit on its terrace, you will be immersed in the charm of the Provence. The Mediterranean flavorful dishes and the distinctive decoration will make your evening very pleasant and offers you ,to live the "Provence experience"
It is all about the lavender.
Closing your eyes and thinking about the Provence you are laying in fields of dreamy lavender. Who can resist the natural remedy cure of this sweet-smelling plant with purple magical flowers?
Luberon has a heart of lavender that attracts many visitors from all around the world,
To experience the process of the creation of the lavender aromatic perfume and oil, we drove to the distillery "les Agnels"
The visit there was an enlightening experience infused naturally with this lavender aroma. Downstairs there is the factory where you can see the machines used for producing the lavender plants into that silky oil. Upstairs you can watch a short movie which explains you visually a lot about the process from when cutting the lavender in the fields till the oil preparation. It is also the story of Raymond Agnel, who founded the distillery. He was passionate about the lavender and devoted his life to it. He has always defended the real quality of the lavender as a natural product and not chemical.
You can shop various cosmetic and healing products of lavender, beautifully displayed and at moderate prices in the boutique.
As I visited the place in Automne, It was just after the pic of the blossoming lavender. But even if the fields weren't violet by the time of my visit ( inside the distillery, "Les Agnels",the feast of the violet lavender was full-on.)
It was very nice to have a few concentrated lavender oil bottles in my bag and assure that this inspiring aroma would stay with me.
The village Roussillon
It is not another classical Middle Ages French village.
It is a special one, like no other. It is famous for its unusual ochre colour.
The brown, orange, red pigments give the houses this unique, striking tint.
This village, classed as one of France's most beautiful villages, attracts many visitors and tourists from all over the planet. The town offers you 50 shades of red and brown exposed in the green nature surrounding it.
Strolling in the village's lanes is walking in a vivid drawing. The colours were so bright and cheery. The weather was ideal for the promenade.
Mid Automne, it felt smooth and relaxing, being surrounded by this charming scenery.
We had a nice stop for lunch in the restaurant la Treille, located in the heart of the village.
Ochre is not just a distinguished colour that makes the village looks like a dream. There was a history of why and how this village got this tint.
The village proposes to experience this outstanding landscape in two different sites that accomplish one another.
Le Sentier des Ocres.
There are two ways to walk that will reveal some unforgettable sights, alongside explanations about the geology and the place's history.
I enjoyed the walk there very much. The visions stuck in my mind a long time after I left the site.
The second site Okhra, offers to experience painting in these different shades of Ochre. There is a detailed explanation both visually and theoretically about their source. You notice the variety of tones of ochre, and you can practice using these colours. There are activities such as workshops for groups of young and adults.
After staying a few hours in Roussillon the world started to be painted in these fiery shades, and believe me, it boosts up the energy,
I came home with a few bottles of lavender oil, ensuring that it would keep the heartwarming well- being that it nourishes, and each time I put some drops on my hands, I remember my visit to the wonderful Luberon where nature and art meet.
Where to stay
I stayed in Hotel " Saint Anne" in the city Apt. It is a charming family hotel. Very closed to the city center and it is comfortable and authentic. I would say that it feels less than a hotel and more as a lovely private villa. The owner of Saint Anne was very friendly and welcoming. Sitting in the terrace and having breakfast contributed to this well being atmosphere.
The tourism season in Luberon starts in the spring and ends toward October. Please check the dates and opening of sites in the tourism office web page of Luberon.
Text and images- Niva Josef