Explore the quintessential Provençal landscape of lavender fields and hilltop villages on this carefully planned tour, taking in the region's scenery as well as its historic sights. Visit ancient stone villages, quaint medieval streets and a rustic monastery, escorted by a local, English-speaking driver who can share an insight into the region.
This private half-day tour takes in the handsome medieval village of Gordes, which is set on a rocky outcrop, as well as the Abbaye de Sénanque, which sits surrounded by fields of lavender.
Your private driver picks you up from your hotel at the start of the day and takes you to the Village des Bories. Surrounded by olive trees, this small collection of stone houses, barns and bread ovens, all built without mortar, dates from the 18th century, but is more reminiscent of a prehistoric way of life.
The traditional corbelled building technique adopted here can be seen across the region. While it has been in use since the Bronze Age, it was generally only used for animal shelters or temporary dwellings. What makes this site so special is its far more permanent nature.
You only need a short time to explore the village before continuing on to the nearby Abbaye de Sénanque, an impressive 12th-century monastery where, in the summer months, you can see the lavender fields in full bloom.
The monks at the Romanesque abbey tend the lavender. You have the chance to visit the simple abbey church and elegant cloister as well as touring the lavender fields. Please be aware that depending on the year and its weather, the lavender will sometimes need to be trimmed or cut back in August.
Finally, you travel on to Gordes, known as the 'jewel of Provence'. The medieval village sits proudly on a hilltop surveying the Vaucluse plateau below. Here, you have free time to wander the narrow cobbled streets lined by handsome stone houses, discover the 11th-century castle, and find a spot for lunch before being driven back to your hotel.