Listing what to do in the south of France would be a massive guide, so we picked up one specific location: the Luberon region. Why? The area has a perfect blend of lavender fields that make Provence famous, the charming Luberon villages, and because we always need a good dose of outdoor activities, the stunning canyon of the Gorge du Verdon. The five days of our Provence Itinerary take to some of the best of what the region can offer, and will you want to come back for more!

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Provence Itinerary

Here is our 5-day itinerary in the Luberon. You can start from Nice or Cannes in the French Riviera, or the cities of Aix-en-Provence, Marseille, or even Avignon, or Lyon.

This 5-day Provence Itinerary is an independent road trip, where you need to have your own vehicle for more flexibility on what to see and where to stop.

Day 1: Manosque

Driving from cities like Aix-en-Provence, Marseille, or even Nice, reach the city of Manosque. The millennia-old city sits in the foothills of the Luberon region and is a charming first stop while exploring the area. The narrow streets feature old houses, many lined up with colored shutters of green, blue, pink, orange, and more. Provence is known for its small and lovely villages, and while Manosque is a bigger city, walking in the old town is undoubtedly like stepping back in time.

Provence Itinerary 5 Days: Luberon Villages, Lavender Fields, and Verdon Gorge // Manosque colorful streets

Manosque colorful streets

This old four-hand blason is the symbol of Manosque, and be seen on the walls and ground entering the old city. The current name is a modern variation of the 978-recorded name of Manoasca in medieval Occitan language. A legend is suggesting that one of the older names of the city would be Manus Quartus, which means Four Hands – “Quatre Mains” in French, from which the name of the city would originate. We loved learning about the history of any city we visit, and Provence has no lack of it!

Day 2: Valensole & Lavender Fields

The small village of Valensole is a cute small plaza with an old water fountain and a couple of shops and restaurants. The main street crosses the village and tends to be busy with visitors. Head to the streets further up the village for more peace and quiet. There, you can feel a more authentic village life.

No trip to Provence is complete without a visit to lavender fields which makes the region famous for. From Manosque and especially around Valensole, fields after fields of lavender – as well as sunflowers – paint the landscape of deep violet and yellow hues. I have to say that I spent my teen years in Provence but had never seen these rolling purple hills myself. What a treat it was!

Provence Itinerary 5 Days: Luberon Villages, Lavender Fields, and Verdon Gorge // Valensole Lavender Fields

Valensole Lavender Fields

Day 3: Moustiers Sainte-Marie & Verdon Gorge Kayaking

Since 1981 Moustiers Sainte-Marie has been listed as one of the most beautiful villages of France. Founded in the 5th-century by monks, the small town in the Provence has a distinct architecture with the Chapel Notre-Dame de Beauvoir standing high in up the cliffs and over the village. A view worth the climb of the over 260 steps! But a walk will take you through narrow streets, the Sainte-Anne Chapel, an aqueduct, and more. Simply a delight! Plan to spend a couple of hours there as well, to give you the time to hike up and around.

Provence Itinerary 5 Days: Luberon Villages, Lavender Fields, and Verdon Gorge // Moustiers Sainte-Marie Village

Moustiers Sainte-Marie Village

Kayaking in the Verdon Gorge (Gorges du Verdon in French) is a popular activity in Provence South of France. With its turquoise-green color, you almost have to see it by yourself to believe it! Kayaks can be rented right by the Lake Ste. Croix (Lac de Sainte-Croix). The kayaking is relatively easy thanks to the lack of currents. Watch for potential winds that might pick up in the afternoon.

Provence Itinerary 5 Days: Luberon Villages, Lavender Fields, and Verdon Gorge // Verdon Kayaking from Moustiers Sainte-Marie Village

Verdon Kayaking from Moustiers Sainte-Marie Village

Day 4: Verdon Gorge Hiking

Hiking in the Verdon Gorge (Gorges du Verdon in French) is another popular activity, and several trails of various difficulties are available.

Among the better-known hikes is the Imbut Trail (Sentier de l’Imbut), considered one of the most beautiful in the area. The Imbut Trail is also one of the hardest, not because of its distance of 5 miles (8 km) but of the elevation drop of 1,115 feet (340 m) and gain of 1,312 feet (400 m). It takes usually between 4 to 6 hours to hike the whole trail, which has to be down in one direction as the exit section via the Sentier Vidal is so steep that you can only hike it up. Tough and challenging, but what a trail this was!

While kayaking over the turquoise water was a great experience, hiking along the river was the highlight of our trip to the Verdon Gorges. The scenery, the colors, simply astonishing!

Provence Itinerary 5 Days: Luberon Villages, Lavender Fields, and Verdon Gorge // Hiking in the Verdon Gorge

Hiking in the Verdon Gorge

Day 5: Verdon Gorge Scenic Drive

Driving along the Verdon Gorges is another way to enjoy the landscape, a scenic ride that will give you a different view of the area. A few small stopping places will allow you to peek deep down and feels like a bird!

View of the Verdon Gorge from the Lake of Ste. Croix (Lac de Sainte-Croix) in Provence South of France. With its turquoise-green color, the Canyon is one of the most beautiful in Europe, and no wonder why! I had seen many photos of that stunning hue but could hardly believe how incredible it was until we actually got to see it by ourselves!

Provence Itinerary 5 Days: Luberon Villages, Lavender Fields, and Verdon Gorge // Verdon Scenic Drive

Verdon Scenic Drive

The Gorges are an easy reach from the French Riviera and is popular with visitors, both domestic and foreign. What’s makes the Gorge so attractive besides its colors, is the fact that you can explore it in so many ways. Drive along the canyon from bird’s views of what is considered the second biggest canyon in the world, you can kayak for a close-up adventure, and hike down the steep and narrows cliffs for a less crowded experience.

Have you been to Provence? What was your experience there? Did you explore the area around Gorges du Verdon? Share your adventures with us and make sure to leave a comment!

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