While traveling is off the table for most of us right now, it’s still fun to dream about the next time you’ll be able to go on an international trip. Visiting Provence in the South a France is always a great option. Consider heading to some off the beaten path areas. Provence is filled with small villages that are sure to delight when a trip is possible again. In the meantime, we hope to provide some travel inspiration by sharing these hidden hilltop villages of Provence with you. – HiP Paris
Provence is famous the world over for its postcard-worthy villages. While a village experience shouldn’t be missed on a visit to Provence, it can be difficult to enjoy the more popular ones, due to the sea of tourists that descends upon them every summer. Get off the beaten path and savor a real taste of the South of France at these lesser-known, but equally beautiful hidden hilltop villages of Provence.
Crowning a hill in the beautiful Luberon National Park, this pretty village offers a pleasant alternative to the famous villages of the area like Lacoste and Ménerbes. As you wind up the cobbled streets that circle the hill, you can take in pretty stone houses, a reconstructed Jerusalem Mill, Romanesque churches, and breathtaking vistas. Go on Thursdays to catch the open-air food market.
Also found in the Luberon, this picturesque medieval village clings to the southern slope of the Monts de Vaucluse. Generally bypassed by visitors heading to nearby Gordes or the Notre-Dame de Sénanque Abbey, the village has managed to retain its authenticity. After wandering the village’s narrow lanes, climb up the hill to visit the remains of its original medieval citadel, which also offers a sweeping panorama over the valley.
Perched dramatically on the large rock of Bellevue, this village certainly offers belle views of the surrounding countryside, vineyards, and lavender fields. The town boasts the remains of three castles as well as vine-laden houses, ancient ramparts, medieval chapels, gurgling fountains, and a traditional washhouse.
Simiane la Rotonde
If you want to catch a glimpse of Provence’s world-famous lavender fields from a different vantage point than the popular tourist meccas, consider visiting this historic hilltop village. The picturesque town is also home to a rare rotunda castle, Château de Simiane-la-Rotonde, in addition to crumbling ramparts, art galleries, and artisanal boutiques.
This little-known village in the Vaucluse department sits on a rocky promontory overlooking the Nesque gorges. Away from the tourist path, this offbeat village allows you to discover authentic Provence. It features cobbled streets, castle ruins, and a section of the Mur de la peste, a wall built in 1720 to contain the plague. You can enjoy stunning views from its heights, You can also hike further into the gorge.
Located in the heart of the Verdon Natural Regional Park, this hamlet offers sensational views. The village sits under a rocky spur. It overlooks the Point Sublime, a jaw-droppingly beautiful perspective of the Verdon Gorge, “France’s Grand Canyon.” After you’ve soaked up the soaring panorama, take a wander through Rougon’s tiny lanes where you can admire its clay-tiled houses and small château. Nearby are two historic stone bridges that cross the river, Tusset and Carajuan Bridges. The village serves as a good jumping-off point for exploring the incredible gorge.
- Looking for more Provence content? Check out a different side of Provence: Arles, Camargue, & Les Alpilles
- If you want to admire the lavender fields in Provence, take a peek at this guide
- Want to get out of Paris for a weekend? Consider Marseille!
Written by Lily Heise for HiP Paris. Looking to travel? Check out Haven In for a fabulous vacation rental in Paris, France or Italy. Looking to rent long-term or buy in France or Italy? Ask us! We can connect you to our trusted providers for amazing service and rates.