The Luberon – An Active Holiday Guide
The Lubéron Massif stretches from Cavaillon in the west to Manosque in the east, and from Apt south to the Durance river. The area is named after the main range, a compact massif which peaks at 1100 metres. Its oak covered northern face is steep and jagged, while the southern face is dryer and more Mediterranean in character.
Much of the Lubéron falls within the boundaries of Parc Naturel Régional du Lubéron. The area has some fantastic hiking trails and is great for mountain biking, rock climbing and paragliding.
The town of Apt is the most central base for an active holiday in the Lubéron, and has some great biking and hiking trails and superb rock climbing right on the edge of town.
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The Luberon Highlights
Parc Naturel Régional du Lubéron
Lubéron Regional park covers an area of 1200 square kilometres and includes a number of villages, Mediterranean forests, steep gorges and abandoned farmhouses reminiscent of Peter Mayle’s restoration project in his best selling novel, A Year in Provence. The area is ideal for hiking and mountain biking.
Information on the Parc Naturel Régional du Lubéron including details of the park’s more than 20 gites d’étape is available on the Parc du Lubéron website.
Marseille Provence (1 h 6 min)
Pharmacie de la Cathédrale, 17 Rue des Marchands, 84400 Apt.
La Poste, 82 Avenue Victor Hugo, 84400 Apt.
Taxi Anthony Dezou, Place Gabriel Péri, 84400 Apt.
Office de Tourisme de Aix-en-Provence
20 Avenue Philippe de Girard
Phone: +33 (0)4 90 74 03 18
The Luberon Activities
With its dry climate, rocky terrain and extensive network of hiking and biking trails, the Luberon is a hot spot for outdoor sports and active things to do.
Mountain Biking in the Luberon
Rad freeride trails in the Colorado Provençal | © Damien Rosso
Just 20 min outside Apt you’ll find some of the best freeride mountain biking in southern France. Head to a place called Rustrel in the heart of the Parc natural régional du Luberon and you can ride some super-fun trails through a unique landscape of orange-red rock formations known as the Colorado Provençal. This, the birthplace of freeriding in France, is famous for its dry dusty trails interspersed with jumps, drop-offs and berms. Ride through mini canyons complete with weird towering rock formations and fast, technical forested runs. This place will put a big smile on your face.
Rock Climbing in the Luberon
The vertical limestone of Buoux makes it a hot spot for rock climbing | © Flickr | Mathieu Péborde
The limestone cliffs of the Luberon have been well appreciated by climbers for decades. The perfectly pocketed limestone, the quality and variety of the routes, the range of difficulty, and the fact you can climb year round make the Luberon a top choice for climbing enthusiasts.
There’s great climbing the whole length of the Luberon Massif, but one of the famous spots is undoubtedly Buoux. During its heyday in the 1980’s Buoux was renowned to have some of the world’s hardest climbing routes. Although today’s climbers pushing the limit of the sport, Chris Sharma, Adam Ondra, et al, have gravitated to spots like Oliana in Spain, Buoux remains popular, and for good reason. You can climb year round, there are more than 500 classic limestone routes, and when you’re not climbing there’s a whole load of other fun activities to do in beautiful surroundings.