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Gréoux les Bains, France, Discovery of the Luberon

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The Luberon is a mountain range extending over the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence and the Vaucluse.

It includes 3 "mountains" (the eastern Luberon, the Grand Luberon to the east, and the Petit Luberon to the west) culminating at 1,125m (Mourre Nègre).

It is the subject of a Regional Natural Park and is known for its  rich heritage, as much natural, cultural, architectural as agricultural.

Greoux les Bains et la carte du Parc Naturel Régional du Luberon
Nature

- Rich and diverse natural environments ...

 

The Luberon has rocky (specify), open (low scrubland, dry lawns), agricultural (vineyards, orchards, lavender, market gardening, meadows, etc.), forest (representing more than 50% of the Park's surface), humid (rather rare and localized).


The allow it to shelter fauna and flora of an exceptional diversity : (1,800 plant species, 270 vertebrate animal species including 135 bird species, 17,000 insect species).
This is why it was admitted to the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Network (MAB) in 1997.

- The ocher masssif



A unique site in France, the ocher massif, a listed and protected area, extend over ten towns and nearly 25 kilometers. It was rewarded in the 2017 Eden "European Destinations of Excellence" competition.

These strange colored landscapes, in the heart of Provence, are the result of geological formations that have been subjected to erosion and industrial activity, as demonstrated by the tourist sites open to the public, such as the "Colorado Provençal" in Rustrel, the "
Sentier des Ocres" and the ocher ecomuseum in Roussillon and the "Mines de Bruoux" in Gargas.

For more general information on
the ocher massif, visit the Pays d'Apt website.

Ocres
Culture

- A privileged site for culture (literature, cinema, plastic arts) ...

 

This decor has inspired (and still inspires) many artists:

- in painting: Cézanne, Van Gogh, Gauguin

- in literature: "Classics" like Daudet , Giono , Mistral , Pagnol and more contemporary like Mayle

- in cinema: practically all of Marcel Pagnol's work has been the subject of a cinematographic adaptation, but not only : the "Le coeur des hommes" saga, L'été meutrier, Le hussard sur le toit, and many more...

- in music: numerous events take place in the summer, in particular the La Roque d'Anthéron piano festival

Architecture

- A specific building culture ...

 

From the dry stone hut (the "borie", symbol of the Luberon Park) to the aristocratic country house, passing by the dovecotes, the rural chapels, the fortified castles or the rural houses, the great variety of buildings testifies to the history and constraints of the natural environment imposed by the Luberon.

 

From Ansouis to Volx , discover the most typical towns and villages in the region, some of which are recognized as " Most Beautiful Villages of France "

la « borie », symbole du Parc du Luberon
Terroirs

- A land rich in scents and flavors ...

 

The Luberon harbors a unique domestic biodiversity , listed since 2010 as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It consists of products from:

 

arboriculture : Vaucluse is one of the first orchards in France, with several varieties of apples, pears, cherries, grapes, figs, almonds ... which can be made into jams or candied fruit (from the Aptian country ).

The Manosque Biodiversity House also offers a conservatory orchard.
market gardening : summer vegetables (tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant, peppers) in particular

olive growing : natural or transformed into oil, tapenade, tian, oulivado, cosmetic products ...

beekeeping : processed into honey, royal jelly, flower pollen, propolis, wax and derived products, but also cookies, confectionery, drinks.

aromatic plants : beyond the well-known lavender, the "real" Herbs of Provence consist of marjoram, thyme, savory, rosemary and basil.

truffle farming : It favours uncultivated, south-facing land, composed of limestone soils (as in Provence, particularly in the Luberon), and planted with holm oaks and downy oaks. The typical variety in the region is Tuber melanosporum, which is harvested using the "cavage" technique. The production period is from December to March.

viticulture *: the AOC "Luberon" is available in 3 colors (red, rosé, white) and mainly 4 grape varieties (grenache and syrah for reds and rosés, white clairette and white grenache for whites). More information on Les vins du Luberon .

Besides the famous "Pastis", the region offers other aperitifs to discover, always based on plants or fruits ( Rinquinquin , Noix de St Jean , Orange Colombo , Absente , Melonade, Gentiane de Lure ...)

More general information on the website of its tourist offices.

 

(*) Alcohol abuse is dangerous for health.

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