Why is it so special and what to see and do while visiting?
Lourmarin has long been one of Provence’s favorite villages. A simple stroll around its cobblestone streets in almost any season, and you’ll understand why. Nature lovers, foodies, and history buffs alike, will fall in love with this Southern Luberon gem. It seems to have it all—location, history, charm, unique boutiques, art galleries and a fabulous mix restaurants. Locals and tourists alike flock to its vibrant Friday morning markets, known to be one of the best in the region.
There is no argument that Lourmarin ticks all the boxes for visitors in search of Provence’s earthy magic– and for many, there is no need to go much further. In the summer months Lourmarin’s streets fill with billowing sundresses, charming hats, market bags and the clink of cool glasses of rosé. A 12th century castle presides over the village, its beautiful stones perfectly lit in the evening light. In the village you will notice typical Mediterranean architecture in its winding narrow streets, lovely old restored houses, and well shaded public squares where you can immerse yourself in Provençal ambience.
The beauty of Lourmarin is that it’s vibrant, living all year long unlike some of the other popular tourist villages that lose their luster outside of the warm months. More than anything though, Lourmarin has an unmistakable vibe– relaxed yet upscale, sophisticated without being stuffy, authentic and elegant. It’s hard to love a place that exudes all of that goodness.
As one of our very own favorite spots in the region, we thought we would share a little of why she has been fairly named one of the most beautiful villages in France.
Location, Location, Location
Situated in the heart of the Luberon Regional Park in Provence, at the foot of the Luberon Massif, this picturesque village makes a perfect home base for a stay in the region as most of the area’s main sites are easily accessible. Lourmarin is only 30 mins from the beloved city of Aix-en-Provence and under an hour from the TGV Train Station or the main International Airport (MRS) in Marignane. As you approach the village from any direction, it emerges beautifully out of surrounding fields of olive, vineyards and olive groves.
Lourmarin’s history is long and rich, some believe dating back to Neolithic times, but its famous in particular for its Renaissance castle, nicknamed “La Petite Villa Médicis de Provence.”
Two famous writers, Albert Camus and Henri Bosco also succumbed to the charm of the village and contributed to its fame. Both are buried in the village cemetery. The more recent famous author of “A Year in Provence,” Peter Mayle, was also a Lourmarin lover and could often seen frequenting its local establishments.
Provence is of course known for its famous outdoor markets but Lourmarin’s ranks among the top. It’s big, but not too big and overflowing with very high quality regional specialities– from the freshest fruits and vegetables, cheeses, tapenades, linen clothing and handmade jewelry. Sure you may pay a little more than at some of the other local markets but beauty has a price and everything that comes out of Lourmarin seems to approach perfection. There is nothing quite like a slow meander through the streets ending the morning at any of the village’s little cafe or even better, a light lunch under a shady tree.
What to Do in Lourmarin
Besides the beauty of just wandering it’s pretty streets (which is a joy in and of itself!), there are many things to do in and around Lourmarin.
Chateau de Lourmarin (12th century fortress and 15th century chateau)
- La Cave du Chateau – located in the bottom of the Chateau
- Chateau Fontvert
- Château Constantin
- Chateau La Verrerie
- La Cavale
Visit nearby villages: Within short drives you can visit several of the surrounding villages– Cucuron, Vaugines, Tour d’Aigues or venture through the stunning Combe, a canyon drive separating the Petit and Grand Loberon to visit the popular villages of Bonnieux, Menerbes, Gordes and Roussillon.
Hiking and Biking: There are endless country roads and established trails for those who want to see the countryside in an active way. Rent a bike
Don’t miss the outdoor market: every Friday morning until 1pm
Visit the markets in other villages on other days of the week – schedule here
Yeah – Well known small dance festival which takes place on the terrace of the Chateau de Lourmarin – first weekend of June
International Piano Festival at La Roque d’Anthéron – July to August
The Restaurant Scene – Something for Everyone
The name of the game in this village is to eat outside at one of its many restaurants. Nicely set tables seem to spill out everywhere, giving this village its festive atmosphere. Whether you are looking for a simple bistro, a great pizza or a Michelin-star restaurant, Lourmarin will have it all.
Some of our favorites:
Where to Stay
Luxury Villa Rentals in Provence, France
As the luxury property rental market has exploded worldwide, renting a luxury villa in Lourmarin has become the preferred choice for accommodations in Provence. Only Provence has the largest selection of luxury properties in the region.
Benefits of Luxury Villa Rentals near Lourmarin
One of the many benefits of renting a luxury villa in or near Lourmarin (or its surrounding villages) is having a genuinely private yet authentic experience in Provence, complete with in-home chef services. Some of Only Provence’s villas are within the village itself.
Browse luxury villas in Lourmarin here:
Below are some of the few great benefits of a luxury villa over other traditional accommodation options.
- Personalized experiences such as private chefs and organized tours and activities;
- Privacy and exclusivity;
- A dedicated villa manager and staff;
- A sense of feeling at home while staying in a private luxury villa;
- Private luxury villas are ideal for groups of families or friends traveling together.