SENIOR TRAVEL FRANCE



Seniors Find Bonnieux A Delight

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I have passed by Bonnieux several times having led tour groups to Provence but have never been into the village. It sits on a high hill and is one of the more visited small communities in Provence. The view from Bonnieux reaches out over plains, with vineyards, fields and cherry orchards. Further in the distance senior visitors can see additional medieval “hill villages.”  

It is small and senior travelers will enjoy strolling along the winding streets and the view over the plains. France has what are called “Les Plus Beaux Villages” and Bonnieux (pop. 1,300) rates among the finest.

On appelle ses habitants “les Bonnieulais” (that’s what the local folks are called). The region is called Luberon and I remember it well because my prof at Harvard had his summer home there.

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Bonnieux is a commune in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region in southeastern France. In the plain below the village stands the notable Roman bridge the Pont Julien built in 3 BC. I remember a pause at the bridge when our bus stopped there so that folks in my travel group could take photos.

The bridge is in great shape considering it was the first Roman road to be built in France. One thing is for sure in Provence. You could shoot photos by the hundreds and never run out of great scenery. Bonnieux dates back to 1103 when it was called Castrum Bonils, ‘the house where many crickets sing’.

La Provence Draws Senior Visitors

There are a number of small shops with pottery, artisanal items, and one with beautiful hand-woven wool items. For  you senior hikers, the Luberon is criss-crossed with walking trails. Just out of the village to the east, you’ll find signs along the road to the Fôret de Cèdres, cedar forest.

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 Check out the “vieille église” (old church) after climbing 86 steps. Take a fast hike from bottom to top, winding up through the narrow streets passing in arched tunnels beneath the houses, and you’ll earn the spectacular view, shaded by tall pine trees and magnificent centuries-old cedars.

I’ve been all over France and have seen many strange museums like a museum for corkscrew, perfume, Paris sewer, carnivals, erotic and bones. Bonnieux has a bread museum, the Musée de la Boulangerie which seniors may find of interest.

In La Provence senior travelers will enjoy visiting Bonnieux, Lacoste, Lourmarin, Goult, Arles, Gordes, the Abbaye de Senaque, La Fontaine de Vaucluse, L’Isle-sur-la-Sergue, Roussillon, Ménerbes, Vaugines, Cucuron, and Domine Faverot, market day in Bonnieux, the famed antique market in L’Isle- la Sorgue, hectares of gorgeous lavender fields and the plethora of sunflower fields all across the Luberon.

I don’t know of anyone who has been to La Provence who is not drawn back by its magnetism and warmth. Enjoy your time in Bonnieux. I know you will. jeb

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