After visiting Provence and its many hilltop villages the first time in 2018 there were three little towns that truly stood out for me. Oppède-le-Vieux, Ménerbes and Bonnieux feel non touristic and have those magical Provence vibes that make you fall in love with the area forever longing to come back. They are located right next to each other about 10 minutes drive apart in the beautiful Luberon region. The drive alone is the most perfect in the world. Make yourself a playlist of french songs and just take the drive from Oppède over Ménerbes to Bonnieux through wine fields and along the Luberon mountain chain with the most stunning views. For über romantic feelings do it during sunset. There’s nothing better! Well maybe strolling through the alleys of the villages themselves or having a glass of ice cold Rosé and some cheese while resting on a bench.
This past week we stayed near Avignon which is about 45 minutes drive from the three villages. But I knew I had to come back, so we planned a whole day around showing our friends those romantic places and views. We started with Oppède-le-Vieux in the morning and even though it’s not big the views are stunning. Especially if you hike up to the church (it’s not hard, I did it in Castaners once) you have a wonderful sight of the Luberon region. One of my favorites is this little street with pink houses and of course the view when you walk into the village.
Afterwards we went to Ménerbes where you can find small local shops and my favorite Boulangerie Roche & Fils. They have the yummiest petit fours with seasonal fruits that I can’t resist to eat one of everyday in Provence. Ménerbes must be my number one favorite. It’s just so lovely to walk through the alleys of cute Provence architecture and find hidden courtyards or little water wells. The big accumulation of french blue shutters is also a fact to love this village as the perfect Provence scenery.
On the way to Bonnieux I would recommend to stop at the La Bastide De Marie for some Rosé (if you’re not staying there – it’s the most gorgeous hotel). Bonnieux is perfect for an evening visit since it’s the biggest of the three and there are a lot of restaurants to choose from. But first of all make your way up slowly to the top of the town. You’ll have wonderful wide views of the Luberon once again and the best sights down the village. If you didn’t have enough Rosé yet, I would stop at Le Wine Club by D. We did that instead of the Bastide and it was lovely to sit in their little courtyard toasting to a wonderful day in Provence.
For food I would have loved to try La Bergerie after seeing the truffle pizza on Rosie’s Instagram, but we were too late with our reservation, so keep that in mind. Le Fournil and Un P`tit Coin De Cuisine are great restaurants for French cuisine and a romantic atmosphere. One more place I have to mention near Bonnieux is the Chateau La Canorgue where the movie ‘A good year’ was filmed. You can’t access the Chateau itself, but it’s also a great place for wine tasting. Please don’t think I drink a lot, I’m blue after one glass (it‘s the maximum). Provence is a huge exception for me since it’s just the best wine and there are so many great locations. And always keep in mind that one person has to drive. Santé to a magical evening under the stars of Provence in one of the most beautiful villages – Bonnieux.