A circuit around the Papal Enclave
There is a lovely circular route in the enclave that you can hike or cycle to explore this area between Provence and the former province of Dauphiné.
Alternating between small paths and asphalted roads, the circuit takes you up to Valréas and can be comfortably done either on a mountain bike or an all-terrain bike.
It takes you through typically Provençal landscapes smelling of sun-warmed garrigue vegetation and lavender. The sensory impression is made even more powerful by the topography, from the pre-alpine foothills to the giant Vaucluse range rising up and offering panoramic views over the mountains of La Lance, Garde Grosse and Mont Ventoux.
Riders, saddle up!
We’re off on a two-day horseriding course in the heart of the Luberon Natural Regional Park! At long last, I can put my feet back in the stirrups, savour the joys of galloping, and feel that sweet complicity with my mount from the very first day of the preparations. Cap Rando takes riders out on circular routes from the foot of the Luberon to the banks of the Durance, using the Mas de Recaute in Lauris as their base camp.
What an experience to look forward to! Riding through a variety of landscapes, from shady tracks to pine forests, breathing in the warm scent of wild scrubland and catching sight of lots of wading birds – like the grey heron – along the way.
Up, up and away!
Carried by the wind across ochre country
Get up some speed, lift off, and suddenly you’re soaring through the skies with a magnificent view of the Earth down below! From the ochres of the Luberon to the Dentelles de Montmirail, the Vaucluse spreads out its myriad colours and reliefs to be admired from the air by paragliders.
Everyone who’s tried it agrees that riding a thermal is a unique sensation. Whether yours is a tandem or solo flight for the more experienced, Vaucluse offers a superb spot for free flight above the village of Rustrel. So this summer I’m going to try paragliding for the first time, with Jok Air in the Luberon region. The take-off site is on the western slopes of the Plateau d'Albion. From there, I’ll take off from the cliff on a two-seater flight with my guide, and I’ll soar, weightless, over the village and then further across the Roussillon plain to the edges of Vaucluse.
Another way to feel the sensation of weightlessness is tree climbing. Améthyste in Lagarde d'Apt is the setting for this outdoor sport that combines agility with observation. Yes, that right. And no ;-) it's not the same thing as high ropes in the treetops (which I like a lot, too). For that, you need a certain amount of strength to lift yourself up among the trees and feel comfortable, more than ten metres up from the ground. They strap us into a harness, and – just as for rock-climbing – someone stays at the foot of the tree to make sure we’re safe during our climb. The rope trails are temporary, in order to preserve the trees, but also the wildlife and the original character of the site.
For those who want even more of an adventure, there are hammocks suspended at different heights among the trees where you can sleep. I’m told it’s an unforgettable experience, and I can well believe it!