Notre-Dame de Sénanque
A monastery amid lavender fields. The Abbaye de Sénanque, founded in 1148, is one of the Cistercian order's Provençal gems. Its style is soberly Romanesque, with slate roofs and a façade supported by powerful buttresses. The field of bright lavender in front highlights its forms. It is now a priory of the Abbaye de Lérins, with a small community of monks who offer guided tours of the buildings on condition
that visitors wear proper dress and follow the guide without straying. It's best to book at least 48 hours ahead.

L’Hôtel d’Agar
Christian Morand and Véronique Valton started renovating this Renaissance mansion and its remarkable garden in the 1990s. They are collectors of traditional and contemporary arts and have turned the place into a house of wonders where past and present meet in room after room. Book for a marvellously enjoyable visit.
58 rue Liffran, Cavaillon
Tél. 06 24 17 20 13

Le musée du Tire-Bouchon
A corkscrew museum! It boasts some 1200 corkscrews from all over the world, some dating back to the 17th century, collected by the Rousset Rouard family. It's at the Domaine de la Citadelle wine estate, so lovers of fine wines will be doubly spoilt by their visit.
601 Route de Cavaillon, Ménerbes
Tél. 04 90 72 41 58

Le château de Lacoste
The Marquis de Sade was the castle's last owner before it was largely destroyed during the revolution. He famously had a 120-seat theatre built in it. In 1992 the ruin was listed as a heritage site; then in 2001 it was bought by couturier Pierre Cardin, who set about restoring it. Every summer, with the help of Eve Ruggieri, Cardin organises the Lacoste festival of music, dance and drama in the stone quarries to the west of the castle.

Le village des bories
A stroll through time. A path between holm oaks takes you to a remarkable place, vestige of a rural lifestyle dating back to the bronze age. The restored village, listed heritage since 1977, consists of some 20 dry-stone huts ingeniously constructed with corbelled vaults – a strictly local building style, but one that reminds us how skilfully farming folk shape the land they live on.
Les Savournins Bas – Tél. 04 90 72 03 48

Les ocres de Roussillon
The ochre of Roussillon. Along the trails of the Sentier de l'Ocre and the wilder Colorado Provençal, you're immersed in the vivid colours of a sediment that settled in water long ago, solidified into rock, and finally, exposed to the air, created these strange and fantastic landscapes. Afterwards, head to the Conservatoire des Ocres to find out all about ochre and its uses.
Ôkhra Conservatoire des Ocres, Roussillon – Tél. 04 90 05 66 69

Le Château de Gordes
Houses huge exhibitions. This year, all summer long, the spotlight is on Muriel Rodolosse (see our What's On page). The Festival de Gordes offers some wonderful moments of togetherness with electro and pop at the Théâtre des Terrasses, and the Saison des Voix brings opera to the people. You can't be bored in Gordes!

Something to read
Jean-Pascal Hesse is writing a book about the Luberon, illustrated mainly by Gilles Martin-Raget. It will let the reader into the secret of houses he alone knows. Due out this winter.