Luberon & Surrounds, Nov/Dec '12

Well... I'm not sure if this is all entirely the Luberon, but that's what we're calling this segment of the trip, so... wink

After what was probably the last of the summer down on the coast, the time had come to return inland and see if we could cope with the winter conditions and add to our experience of Provence by exploring this more Southern Part. The timing was also chosen to kill a few weeks before (hopefully) returning to the Alps for a spot of skiing.

The question seemed to be answered that early in the season, in this part of France, it's chilly, but not unbearably so. Nice!

A word of warning though: you'd think Something-les-Bains would be a top choice for a winter's break. Thermal spa to enjoy and all that? Hmmmm... not so. We were very disappointed that all these spas seemed to be for medical purposes only. No tourists allowed to come and poach themselves in the steaming waters. Doh! sad

We had wanted to visit the Gorge du Verdon in summer but this just didn't happen, so was very glad to drive thought there a few times in this stint. It has to be said that this really is the highlight of the region. Amazing even in the dim light of a winter's day - surely a walk in the gorge will be a 'must do' experience on a balmy summer's day? Or a bicycle ride along the rim of course! grin

14:00

Driving through Gorge du Verdon. Really, really bad light today. Oh well - will just have to return in a few days wink

15:55

Arrived just in time: sunset from Gréoux-les-Bains.

10:35

From today's ride: Lac d'Esparron, village of the same name & the crystal clear Verdon river by Gréoux-les-Bains.

14:00

Short walk from Gréoux-les-Bains along the river Verdon. Found a little public workout area here. Great idea!

12:00

Back at the Gorge du Verdon, but sadly on another cloudy day. Amazing place, trying to do it justice with some HDR.

13:20

Fisheye makes it look like I'm metres from the edge here, but got vertigo back home just looking at this. #SheerCliff

13:40

When driving a road with a 200m+ sheer drop on one side it would be handy not to encounter any stray goats! wink

10:35

Random autumn colours.

11:10

Met a big dog on the road, caused us to slow right down. Smart! This was round next corner, could have been messy!

11:30

Heading back to the Gorge du Verdon. Bit nippy now... look at those icicles. Love the road carved from the rock too.

11:45

Ah! So this is what the Verdon looks like in the sun! Shame it's really low winter sun. Next time in summer for sure!

12:10

Wanted to do a long walk here in summer but didn't make it. At least we've had a quick look at river & tunnels now.

14:40

Llamas!!! (Apologies to any Alpacas if I've incorrectly identified them) wink

16:23

Stunning day for a ride through Alpilles regional park. Felt more like a summer's evening than middle of winter! smile

10:20

Today's hike: Sommet des Fourcats. Just a walk to the top of the nearest big hill. Great day & pretty nice views.

13:20

Had to cover quite a distance over 'baby head' rocks. Not the easiest terrain. Be very careful not to roll an ankle!

15:10

There is a trail here... honest!

14:37

Another sunny day on the bike, but with wind & cold you cannot see. Brrrrr... Still, great views of & from Bonnieux.

11:25

Above Les Baux-de-Provence. Shame about today's cloud - was a beautiful blue sky as I cycled past couple days ago.

13:25

Lunch in St-Remy-de-Provence. Nice village but a grey day outside so random snaps where we found a little colour.

11:40

Looking South from the hills above Apt. There's Mt Ventoux in it's winter coat. No cycling up there for a while now!