The ancient fortified village of Bonnieux is perched high above the Combe de Lourmarin, dominated by the ancient church which marks the skyline. The village has a wonderfully Provencial appearance, and is a great base for walking and cycling holidays as well as the wider exploration of the Luberon area.
When you first arrive at your Bonnieux rental villa, the hike from the bottom of the village to the 12th century church, accessed by 86 steps, is a fine way to gain your bearings and see the best of the amazing views across the plains that stretch below the village. The walk takes you through arched tunnels, shaded alleys and twisting streets, showing you the finest sights Bonnieux has to offer. When you have finished looking around the church, the lush, green park just to the east is a wonderful place to sit in the shade and look out over the dramatic gorges that cut through the landscape. Bonnieux has a great range of little shops, restaurants and cafes to explore too, spread throughout the village.
Walking holidays are particularly popular from self catering Bonnieux accommodation, as there are a number of excellent trails leading from the village which connect to the national GR97 hiking trail which leads into the Luberon Mountains to the south. There is also a 100km cycling path running from Cavaillon to Forcalquier, which is easy to reach from a holiday home in Bonnieux, and takes in some of the many Neolithic shelters and tombs found in the Bonnieux area. Information on routes for hiking, mountain biking and horse riding holidays are easily available in Bonnieux, and there are many miles of trails to explore on foot or from the saddle. Especially popular are those that run through the man made Cedar Forest (Foret des Cedres), which can take you all the way as far as Cavaillon.
The wines grown on the Cotes du Luberon are simply excellent, and once you have cast your eye over the vineyard laden plains around the village, the Friday morning market must be your next stop, as you can buy cases of the finest wines for next to nothing.
The local market town of Apt is a fantastic place to visit from a holiday rental in Bonnieux. The bi-weekly markets, on Tuesdays and Saturdays, are renowned throughout the region, and attract buyers and sellers of the finest foods and crafts from many miles around. Apt is also home to some of the most impressive galleries and museums in Luberon.
The summer months in Bonnieux are almost impossibly long. Temperatures reach a monthly average of over 20˚C from May right through until the end of September, soaring to and average monthly temperature of around 26˚C for July and August. During this period, you can expect daily peaks to reach in excess of 30˚C.
Bonnieux is served by two airports, the small Avignon Airport (AVN) which is 45 minutes drive away, and the much larger and much more frequently served Marseille Airport (MRS) which is an hour from a Bonnieux property.