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Kathy, Charley and Kelly's Best of Provence - Hiking in the Luberon
Kathy Wood (Kaydee)
A Circular Walk from Bonnieux to Lacoste
Time: Three hours (plus additional time to explore Lacoste)
Conditions: Some walking on roads; paths through vineyards, orchards, farms
and woods; some ascents/descents to/from these two villages.
Map: IGN Blue map - 3142 OT (Cavaillon)
This is a beautiful walk between the neighboring perched villages of Bonnieux
and Lacoste. We lived in this area for 6-1/2 months and got to know every
road, dirt road, and path in between the villages. This is our own route,
not from a guidebook.
The view from Lacoste toward Bonnieux and the Grand
- From the main roundabout at the bottom of the Bonnieux, follow the signs
to the school (ecole) and park in the lot next to the school and
in front of the Maison du Livre et de la Culture (library/community center).
- Walk down the small road passing the schoolyard; turn right on the path,
winding down past a few houses. The path bears left. Continue to follow
this through the woods, past some houses and then along a wall looking down
over a farm.
- Eventually you'll come to a road and a yellow signpost. Cross this road
and continue to follow the dirt road/path, winding through farmland, vineyards
and orchards until you come to another road near a house called "La Beguine."
Turn left on this road and walk a short distance until you see a path on
the right. You will eventually come to another road near a big ruin called
"La Maison Basse." Take this road just a short ways and then continue straight
on the "Chemin du Passet." You will see Lacoste up above. The road eventually
turns into a path and you will continue on a steep path up to the village,
coming up alongside the Lacoste village school.
- Take some time to wander around the village. Many of the restored buildings
now belong to the Savannah School of Art and Design, which runs a satellite
program here. Depending on the time of year, the terrace at the Cafe de
France is a good place for a rest, a drink, and maybe even a light lunch-and
definitely a fabulous view looking back over to Bonnieux. You can climb
all the way to the top of Lacoste and visit the ruins of the castle of the
Marquis de Sade. (The castle is now owned by designer Pierre Cardin.)
- Leave Lacoste just before the Protestant church (temple), taking a path
that descends to the D109 road below and the old "lavoir." Follow this curvy
road for a while until you reach "Chemin de la Bernarde" on your right.
Take this small road up a slight hill, passing through orchards and vineyards.
(The house where we lived is down a road on the left, signed "La Bastide
Vieille." On the right is a tall restored house with a sculpture of a big
head in the garden.) Just past this big house, turn left on "Chemin de Trigaud,"
a small road. You'll see Bonnieux ahead of you and the Petit Luberon mountain
on your right. Chemin de Trigaud runs into the D 109. Turn right on the
D109 and soon after take a left on the Chemin de la Gardiole. Then you'll
come to the path on the right (which you had descended) that heads back
up to Bonnieux. Return to the school parking lot the way you came.
The cafe Le Terrail (on the main square mid-way up the village) is a good
place to have a drink after your walk.
Looking up at Lacoste and its famous castle
© Kathy Wood, 2005
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