Traveling through the countryside in Provence has been in our travel vault for a couple years now and we finally were able to do it. Timing of the trip was important as we wanted to visit the lavender fields that are in bloom for only a short period of time. Besides the lavender fields we visited beautiful wineries, walked around villages and drove on tree-lined roads. Aix-en-Provence was the perfect base to be able to visit some of the smaller towns in Luberon region. If we had more time, we would have venture North to Avignon and visit some surrounding villages around the Rhone River including some tastings in the region of Chateauneuf du Pape. Next time. For now, here are some highlights from our day trip!
Private Driver (Transportation)
Since we both don’t drive stick, we typically hire drivers while traveling in foreign countries. Yes, it can be expensive, but we value paying the money so we don’t have to worry about directions, car problems, getting lost and most importantly we just want to sit back and enjoy the ride! Our hotel (Hotel Cezanne) recommended Mathieu Fasius ( tel: +330649848324, email: firstname.lastname@example.org). He was a fantastic local driver with a nice Mercedes sedan. Mathieu helped come up with the perfect Itinerary for us and we much enjoyed our time with him. We also had Mathieu drive us the following day to Saint-Tropez which was our next destination. We stopped at a couple wineries while enroute to the beautiful seaside town. Highly recommend Mathieu!
Chateau La Verrerie
Chateau La Verrerie was the first winery we tasted at and it didn’t disappoint. Driving up to the estate, you felt like you were in a movie. The courtyard screamed “French Countryside” and made for a lovely welcoming into the tasting room. The staff onsite was very friendly and we got a tour of the barrel room prior to tasting. We explored a variety of rosés, whites and a couple reds. Our favorites were no surprise – the rosé. We purchased two kinds of rosé and the viognier. Typically viognier isn’t our go to order, but at Cheateau La Verrerie they do it right! Excellent winery and even better prices! Next time we are going to have to bring friends so we can purchase the magnum!
Aureto was the second winery we visited that day. It was a larger operation, but that didn’t discredit the wines produced. We bellied up to the bar and enjoyed the flight tasting with a very friendly lady who walked us through the varietals. Very nice whites and reds! Unfortunately due to Covid, they weren’t serving small bites with the tastings, but we managed to drink our calories to hold us over for a late lunch in Lourmarin.
Lavender Fields in Bonnieux
A lovely drive through Bonnieux takes you to the gorgeous lavender fields. The lavender is in bloom from mid-June to mid-July, though it can vary slightly from year to year depending on rainfall and temperature. We timed our trip perfectly as the lavender was going to be harvest the following week. Frocking through the lavender fields was one highlight from the trip. It was breathtaking seeing the rows of lavender with the beautiful French countryside villages in the distance. The smell of the plants were illuminating which distracted us from the bees that were flying all around. Not too worry – nobody got stung! Instagram photos don’t disclose that part of the experience! We warned you! If you ever get a chance to frolic through lavender fields – do it. Worth the drive!
Our final stop of the day was in Lourmarin for lunch and shopping. Lourmarin is a commune in the Vaucluse department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region. There are a lot of café terraces, restaurants and Provencal shops in this small quant village. We did some shopping prior to sitting down to lunch. Purchases included linens from AU FIL DU LIN – La Boutique, some jewelry at Gris Piedra and a market bag at a small shop (name unknown). We decided to eat at Café Gaby as there was a perfect table for two outside on the terrace and their niçoise salad looked tasty! Make sure you reserve a couple hours to enjoy lunch and walk around Lourmarin – it shouldn’t be missed!
Wineries Enroute to Saint-Tropez
As part of our transfer, we decided to stop at two wineries along our way to Saint-Tropez. Mathieu was our driver again for the day and it was a most enjoyable experience! Both wineries we went to were a little more touristy, but still enjoyable. We liked Domaine Peyrassol better than Saint Roseline. Saint Roseline was gorgeous, but the wines were just okay in our option. At Domaine Peyrassol, we enjoyed the tasting so much we didn’t get a chance to walk around the property to see the artwork. The grounds driving up to the Domaine were an experience in itself though!