For our first ever trip to Provence we decided to base ourselves in Lourmarin, one of the most beautiful villages in Luberon Nature Park.
Situated approximately 40 minutes drive from Marseille Airport, Lourmarin is easy to reach and well placed for exploring many of Provence’s most beautiful places. We’d spend our mornings exploring pretty perched villages like Gordes, Menerbes and Roussillon, then enjoy relaxed evenings at the elegant pavement cafes of Lourmarin.
Our hotel, Le Galinier Lourmarin, was sensational and offered everything you’d want for a distinctly Provencal holiday. (More on this property below.)
Why visit Lourmarin?
Lourmarin is ranked as one of Les Plus Beaux Villages en France, which is essentially an independently assessed collection of small rural villages with a rich cultural heritage.
Now I haven’t been to all 157 on the list (yet) but if you asked me Lourmarin should be near the top of it!
Lourmarin looks like a quintessential Provencal village – think: honeysuckle-laced buildings, blue shutters, pavement cafes – but with an elegant bougie twist.
It’s small and charming but has just enough going on to make it a great place to stay in Provence.
Best things to do in Lourmarin
Some places in Lourmarin we loved are:
Cafe Gaby – A really well-priced cafe (for Provence!) with prime people-watching position in Place Ormeau and rather delicious burgers.
La Maison du Gibassier Boulangerie – A traditional artisan bakery known for their gibassiers – a shortcrust pastry biscuit that is popular in Provence.
Les Commissions Du Moulin – A delicious deli & trendy grocery from the people behind Le Moulin Lourmarin and Le Galinier Lourmarin. It’s a great place to grab coffee.
Le Moulin Lourmarin – A stylish hotel in the heart of the village with a restaurant that features a tucked away terrace & elevated menu by award-winning guest chefs. This is a great place to stay for couples.
There are lots of gorgeous fashion & homewares stores to check out, such as Boutique Alexine and a weekly market on Friday mornings that is considered one of the best in the Luberon. Arrive early to secure parking.
Château de Lourmarin – Presiding over the outskirts of the village is Provence’s first Renaissance château, the Château de Lourmarin . It’s open to the public if you wish to explore the 16th century architecture and views of the village. If you have a toddler like us, you’ll more likely appreciate the playground close by it!
Glaces Ravi – Hands down the best gelato in Lourmarin is found at Glaces Ravi. This artisan Glacier and Patissier have a couple of outposts in Provence.
Where to stay in Lourmarin, Provence
Le Galinier Lourmarin, a stunning Provencal country home turned boutique guest house, was our base in Lourmarin.
Located just a few steps from the centre of Lourmarin, Le Galinier features an 18th century farmhouse and a handful of outbuildings that have been converted into modern rustic rooms and apartments.
The property is surrounded by huge gardens that are sprinkled with heavenly scented jasmine, hydrangeas & verbena and dotted with hidden seating areas to relax and soak it all in.
I cannot explain how beautiful the landscape is and how softly the golden hour light fell on the biscuit-coloured buildings. Perhaps these reels (here, here and here) will help show you some of the magic of Le Galinier.
We stayed in a junior suite on the ground floor of the main house that was perfect for our family of 3. The junior suite had a private entrance (sweetly lined with straw hats) and a private terrace overlooking the gardens. Our son had a full-size single bed in the corner of the suite and we also had a small living area and handy fridge. Another option for families are the 2 & 3 bed apartments with fully fitted kitchens and laundry.
The decor is the perfect blend of vintage luxury. I loved how Le Galinier pairs traditional furniture like the antique wooden stools and woven chairs with modern comforts like super plush bedding.
A delightful continental breakfast is served on the terrace each morning on a table adorned with fresh flowers from the gardens. We also ducked to the handy boulangerie over the road for our own fresh pastries when we wanted just a quick bite to go.
For dinner, guest chefs use local Luberon ingredients in creative dishes that are served on the candlelit terrace. Evenings are enjoyed in the gardens, where a DJ provides the perfect soundtrack to digestifs of a weekend.
Places to visit near Lourmarin
There are lots of really special places within easy reach to Lourmarin. Our favourites were the perched villages of Bonnieux, Menerbes, Apt and Gordes. Don’t miss the chance to day trip to the Gorges Verdon and stop at the lavender fields of Valensole during the summer months. For a change of scenery, the nearby village of Vaugines is a charming spot for dinner.
For more on all these places, read my guide to the best things to do in Provence.
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