Touring the Pays d'Aigues by bike (West)
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Touring the Pays d'Aigues by bike (West)
Pertuis

Touring the Pays d'Aigues by bike (West)

Heritage and history
Local products
Waters and rivers
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A large loop of the south Luberon, on the western part of the route "Le Pays d'Aigues à vélo"; A serious treat amongst vineyards and castles!

« Whether you are lovers of spring mornings with scents of cherry blossoms, whether you prefer a summer tour in the warmth of the sunset or you worship the first frost glowing on the swaying vineyards of early autumn, every spin of the wheels on Pays d'Aigues is magical and amazing! In addition, on this large loop, at each town travelled to, refreshing stopoversand gourmet treats are necessary! » Dorothée Génin, Entertainer at Vélo Loisir Provence.


31 points of interest

  • Water and rivers

    The Eze, a torrential river

    This river which takes its source upstream of Bastide des Jourdans at about 20km, often dry in the summer, is however torrential and can experience flash floods after severe thunderstorms. The Eze is the natural drain of all the rain fallen upstream in Aigues. This is what happened in September 1993. The fire station that you see from the bridge was blocked!

  • Water and rivers

    Canal of the southern Luberon

    Completed in 1862, it is used to irrigate the plain of the Durance. It takes its water from the Durance upstream Pertuis, near La Loubière, and runs along the hills until Cadenet then Lauris. It supplies about 3200ha of land. You will also see the passing in a siphon under the Eze river, where it also disgorges, if needed.

  • Produits du terroir

    The "Pomme de terre de Pertuis" brand

    Legend has it that the potato was brought to the region in the late 18th century by a peasant from Tour d'Aigues named Job le rouge, back from Napoleonic expeditions. Before World War II, there were about 2000 ha, which helped feed many inhabitants of Marseille during the occupation. The yellow-fleshed potato is sold unwashed to promote conservation and the most cultivated varieties are the Mona lisa and the Samba.

  • Fauna

    Rare and discreet, I am ...

    The Apron (Zingel asper)! I'm smart and I remain very discreet. In the daytime, I stay at the bottom of the Durance and change into the colour of shingles to blend into the scenery and escape predators. At night when everyone is asleep, I go hunting for food. Even with such discretion, there are very few of my kind still alive. Only present in the tributaries of the Rhone (and nowhere else in the world), the Durance is one of my favourite playgrounds.

  • Water and rivers

    The Durance, a Provençal queen

    Taking its source at Mount Genèvre in the Hautes-Alpes, the Durance continues its course in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence to then establish the border between Bouches-du-Rhône and Vaucluse. The various hydroelectric constructions (like the huge dam of Serre-Ponçon) have significantly reduced its flow and its natural environment. The challenge today is to reconcile the production of electricity from renewable energy and the protection of the ecosystems of the stream.

  • Produits du terroir

    The agricultural plain of Villelaure

    The plain constitutes more than half the area of the town (1,275ha) which has long been neglected by fear of floods. In the 18th century, it was conquered on the river by building dams in order to control the Durance. A fruit and vegetable agriculture has developed there. 600km of canals allow each plot of land to be irrigated and drained. A mill, a factory (beetroot refinery), a power plant bear witness to the past use of the driving force of the water.

  • Patrimony and history

    ... and Lourmarin, a waldensian village

    Following the many crises faced by the region (wars, plague, starvation)at the end of the Middle Ages, the village is practically deserted. To ensure its repopulation, the Lord brought Waldensian settlers (followers of the spiritual movement) from the Alps. The territory experiences a true renaissance which was soon restrained by the persecutions of the religious wars of the 16th century and the end of the 17th century.

  • Patrimony and history

    Lourmarin, a hilltop village...

    Like many villages in the northern and southern Luberon, Lourmarin developed in a concentric way from the 11th century to the 16th century around a castle built on a small hill and its church. Now disappeared, the original castle was replaced by a belfry in the 17th century while the current Lord built from the late 15th century a much more adequate Renaissance house outside the village.

  • Produits du terroir

    Wines of the Luberon

    The vine occupies an important place in the Luberon with 3 AOP (European quality logo attesting regional origin): Luberon, Ventoux and Pierrevert. The Luberon AOP is entirely within the Park and covers nearly 3000ha. In red, white and rosé, there is something for every taste! With cooler nights in summer, the Luberon wines are balanced and elegant. The varieties of the vineyard: Syrah (Shiraz), Grenache for the reds and rosés, Vermentino and Grenache Blanc for the whites. See you at the many wine cellars!

  • Patrimony and history

    Cucuron, a hilltop village

    Like most villages of the Luberon, Cucuron developed in the 11th century around its castle, here on the hillock to the west, where only the vestiges of the dungeon remain today. As of the 13th century, a new church was built to the east and the village then expanded towards it. Proof of these expansions, three city walls coming one after the other over the centuries. From the last one of the 16th century, you can still see a tower and two doors through which one can enter the old village.

  • Fauna

    Nesting boxes for Athena

    The number of cavities decreasing, nesting boxes installation increase nesting areas. The shape and dimensions of the box and entrance hole help in selecting the desired species! In Luberon, over 200 nesting boxes were built for the Little Owl species. Through these boxes the main parameters of its breeding behavior can be studied and monitored. Since their installation in 2005, the number of pairs of owls reproducing there has been increasing.

  • Patrimony and history

    The belfry of Cucuron

    Down the street, dating back to the 16th century and built on an old door having lost all defensive feature with regard to the expansion of the city walls, the construction of the belfry proves the strength of community life at that time in Cucuron. The old gate was raised and crowned with a stone bell tower. The belfry became the symbol of the growing civil power against the symbols of feudal and religious powers like the castle and the church.

  • Patrimony and history

    The basin pond of Cucuron

    This artificial pond located outside the medieval village was built as of the 15th century to supply flour mills. It was reduced to the current dimensions in the 19th century. following the disappearance of the mills. Changed into an ornamental pond, planted by these plane tree paths and now receiving the terraces of cafes and restaurants, this site offers a unique atmosphere and shade much sought after in Provence in the summer.

  • Patrimony and history

    The Étang PortalMoulin de l'Etang

    This is one of the two remaining doors of the fortification of the 16th century. You can still see the locations of the chains of the drawbridge. Also called "Portal of Cabrières" and formerly "Gate of Burlière" in reference to the name of the neighboring district. "Burlière", in Provençal, is the place where people play ball games. To the left, the wash house of the fountain of the pond is one of the 6 wash houses and 8 fountains of Cucuron. These places were where women found themselves and exchanged news of the village.

  • Produits du terroir

    Cave Cooperative Louérion

    In 1925, winemakers decided to gather in cooperatives to work together. After several mergers, the cellars of Lourmarin, Cadenet, Lauris and Cucuron created Louérion (name given to the Luberon by the Romans) in 2009. Today the cooperative extends over 950ha of vineyards in 15 towns of Luberon. The cooperative has 150 co-operators who produce about 47,000hl for different names. Some wines are produced in accordance with the specifications of Agriconfiance quality system.

  • Produits du terroir

    Olive oil, a Mediterranean symbol

    Imported in Provence by the Phoenicians, who founded Marseille 600 BC, the olive tree spread during the Roman era in the south of France. The olive harvest takes place from October to February. Depending on the variety, it usually takes 5 to 7kg of olives for a litre of oil. Olive oil is emblematic of the Mediterranean diet and is found in many typical dishes such as Tapenade (a traditional Provençal olive spread). In the Luberon, several mills will offer their olive oils, each with its own personality.

  • Patrimony and history

    The washhouse of Ansouis

    Typical with two basins - one for washing and a second one for rinsing with the arrival of water, that had to be very clean. The clothes were soaked in the water by the women, then scrubbed with "soap of Marseille" known to be one of the best detergents, then it was roughly struck several times to the “battoir” to evacuate the dirt and the soap. Rinsing required twisting and bending the laundry before draining. Some women made it their profession: The washerwomen.

  • Patrimony and history

    Ansouis, a hilltop village

    The village developed from the 10th century around the castle and the church (11th century) located at the top of a hillock. Positioned at a strategic intersection of old roads, Ansouis was the administrative and trading centre of a barony consisting of Cucuron, Sannes and Motte d'Aigues. Less influential (crisis of the 18th century), less populated (rural exodus of the19th century), the village has kept its dense urban form of the 16th century making it its charm and a rare and precious proof.

  • Flora

    The cycle of the vine

    In winter, the vine enters a sleep-like state. In spring, vegetative buds begin to develop – this is the period of growth for branches and leaves. In July, the leaves continue to grow and the flowers give grapes. In August, green grapes grow and mature, they turn either red or yellow. In the fall, grapes are harvested during the grape harvesting. Late in the season, the leaves will turn red, dry and fall.

  • Produits du terroir

    AOC Luberon, recognised know-how

    The AOC Luberon, created in 1988, is the result of recognized and proven know-how which is between very ancient traditions, carefully passed down from generation to generation, and the latest advances in technology and oenology. The appellation produces the three colors of wine: red, pink and white. All the AOC is nestled in the heart of the Luberon Regional Park and represents 3,220ha, and produces about 20 million bottles per year.

  • Water and rivers

    Etang de la Bonde

    The pond was created in the 15th century by Lord Fouquet d'Agoult, Baron of Sault, who decided to create a water reserve for the castle of La Tour d'Aigues, and then has an aqueduct made. The lake thus formed was for a long time the supply point for an irrigation network that supplied the valley of Aigues, contributing to the expansion of agriculture and the growth of the territory. Today, the pond is still used for irrigation and is a popular place for swimming.

  • Water and rivers

    The source of Mirail

    Use of the source of Mirail, upstream of the Motte-d'Aigues, dates back to the Middle Ages. Its unexpected presence in the middle of arid land has been the subject of rivalry and lust amongst the riparians of the Aigues. Source of drinking water, it quenches many small streams, direct tributaries on the right bank of the Durance, like Eze. Today it mostly feeds into the pond Bonde and therefore is used for irrigation by the network of the Canal of Provence Company.

  • Panorama

    Life is sweet in the shade of plane trees ...

    Aigues rests on the Luberon to the north and opens up onto the Durance valley to the south. This landscape with a gently rolling basin is energized by the alternating forests and vineyards. The villages of Aigues are located away from flood-prone areas, mostly on cliffs or hills and facing south. The valley, rich in building heritage (farmhouses, domains), highlighted by remarkable trees, is under increasing pressure from the living area of Aix en Provence.

  • Produits du terroir

    2,000 years of history of grapevines

    Contrary to popular belief, grape growing began here in the ancient times! Greek settlers brought the first vine stocks, but the Romans, great wine lovers, really developed viticulture in the Luberon and the Pays d’Aigues. In the Middle Ages, the members of the church among which great monasteries and Avignon popes were involved in promoting the work of the vine. The Luberon gained recognition in the 20th century as a quality local area for wine production.

  • Geology

    Pié Mont and Paléo-Eze

    Between Pertuis and Peypin-d'Aigues, in several places, you can see an accumulation of pebbles, pieces of rock torn from the mountains and slowly worn, rounded by their transport in a stream, a river. These pebbles correspond to the former course of a stream, a paleo-Eze flowing there, parallel to the current Eze but shifted 3 km to the east. We can also notice this ancient fossil valley across the landscape forming hills.

  • Fauna

    The European Roller, the blue bird

    Easy to spot thanks to its intense blue color, it can be seen on utility poles. It enjoys this vantage point in an open and sunny area to locate and dive down on its prey (large insects and lizards). It nests in tree cavities and leaves to spend winter in Africa when prey becomes rare, before returning in the spring.

  • Patrimony and history

    The castle of the Tour-d'Aigues

    From the 14th century. the castle transferred out of the medieval settlement on the present site. A castle was built in the 15th century around the first dungeon But during the 16th century, the castle and gardens were extensively reworked and expanded to become one of the finest Renaissance buildings in Provence. It was unfortunately looted and burned during the Revolution. The few remains were gradually restored since the 19th century, but nevertheless testify to this rich history.

  • Fauna

    The beaver lives in the Eze river!

    Protected since 1909, the European beaver lives in the Eze river further downstream since several years. 80cm long and 20 to 30kg, this nocturnal and aquatic mammal is a lumberjack, carpenter, joiner, miner and vegetarian, all together! With the construction of dams in drought, it contributes to the maintenance of plant and animal species related to the presence of water.

  • Patrimony and history

    In the streets of Ferrages

    "Ferrages" can refer to the whereabouts of the blacksmith and most likely here in "wet field" devoted to forage. At the time, the village was limited to heights and all wastewater flowed down the village, creating a wet field. This street has always been an absolute must. The horses could also relax in a barn that was in the current location of the town hall.

  • Patrimony and history

    Ecole-Mairie

    In 1833, a law making primary education compulsory. But how to pay the teacher, the house and rent a room for the class? In 1844, the council purchased a house that will house the school and the town hall, the premises are very old. In 1883, the Bastidonne offers her children a sewing school. It is curious that the teachers are paid 900 F to 1200 F year, while teachers receive only 700 F to 900 F ...

  • Savoir-faire

    One way to use the wind!

    Water-pumpers convert wind force into mechanical energy to make a water pump work. The rotating blades of the water-pumpers create a vertical movement of the pump in the water, thus activating the suction mechanism. Water can be pumped when the wind blows at 11km/h. In such a dry and windy region, no wonder that farmers of the Luberon wanted to take advantage of the Mistral and its average speed of 50km/h to irrigate their farmland!


Description

Mirabeau Square, with your back towards the Tourist Office of Pertuis, go around the fountain and go down to the left towards the Place du 4 Septembre. Turn left Place Jean Jaurès, go down to the right on the Danton street then the Cours de la République. At the stop sign, turn right on the Victor Hugo boulevard. At the roundabout, exit left onto the Jules Ferry boulevard. After the bridge, turn left on the VC15 de l'Eye and follow westward the markings of the bike route "Le Pays d'Aigues à vélo" (bike arrows with green dot) to Villeneuve.

1- When reachingthe town hall of Villeneuve, continue on Jean Moulin avenue towards the village centre. Turn left Forbin de Janson street (D975). 200m further, continue to the left, then after another 200m, turn left again on Chemin des Curates. A little further down, turn right on Chemin de Versailles. At the roundabout, go across and reach Cadenet following the signs "Le Pays d'Aigues à vélo".

2- From the Cadenet tourist office, at the Tambour d'Arcole Square, move right onto Cours Voltaire, go past the town hall then the church and continue 2.8km towards Vaugine Cucuron (D45).

3- At the stop sign, turn left (D135), then turn right to reach the village of Lourmarin (D943). Return to point 3, turn left (D45). At the stop sign, go straight to Vaugines. Do not miss the Chemin des Garrigues to the right. 800m further, turn right then left. At the stop sign, turn left (D27) and reach the place de l'Etang in Cucuron.

4- Go straight to the tourist office, turn right (D56). At the stop sign, turn left (D27), then right towards Ansouis. 250m further, take the Chemin de l'Agnie to the right and continue. At the stop sign, come out on D37, turn left and reach the tourist office at the foot of the Ansouis village.

5– From the tourist office, go left on the small road in the Grand Pibaraud area. Turn right at the Y-shaped junction and 370m further, turn right on Chemin de l'Abouaud Brinde. Come out on D37 and take left towards the Etang de la Bonde. Turn left (D9) and then right (D27). Pass the entrance of the pond and 500m further, turn right (D37). Turn left and continue on Chemins des Escabots and continue to the right (D120).

6- At the crossroads of the D165, continue across and at the Y-shaped junction 250m further, take a left. Turn left and in front of the high school, take the right of way to come out on the Boulevard de la République. Turn right and reach the Jean Jaurès Square and the castle of La Tour d'Aigues.

7– Leave the castle to the left, continue on the Boulevard de la République and turn left on the Antoine de Très street towards Pertuis (D956). Continue 350m and turn left on the Boulevard de la Libération (D35). Go onto the right and cross the Eze. Go to the Mirabeau road and turn right towards La Bastidonne (D165). Further at the Y-shaped junction, continue on the left onto La Bastidonne.  

8- At the La Bastidonne town hall, turn left twice on Rue des Ferrages and Rue de Fonvieille. Go left under the bridge. then continue west. Reach Pertuis and at the stop light, turn left on the Ledru-Rollin Boulevard (D975). At the next crossroads, continue straight until Cours de la République (stop light at the small roundabout). Turn right to go to the Tourist Office of Pertuis.

  • Departure : Tourist Office, Place Mirabeau, former town centre of Pertuis
  • Arrival : Tourist Office, Place Mirabeau, former town centre of Pertuis
  • Towns crossed : Pertuis, Villelaure, Cadenet, Vaugines, Lourmarin, Cucuron, Ansouis, Sannes, La Motte-d'Aigues, Saint-Martin-de-la-Brasque, La Tour-d'Aigues, and La Bastidonne

Altimetric profile


Recommandations

This route follows streets opened to public traffic; so under all circumstances, it is therefore essential to respect the highway code. Wearing a helmet is highly recommended, for children as well as for adults!

For the more athletic ones: from point 6, its possible to continue with this east loop of the route "Le Pays d'Aigues à vélo" (a total of 97km).


Information desks

House of the Luberon Regional Nature Park

60, place Jean Jaurès, 84400 Apt

https://www.parcduluberon.fr/accueil@parcduluberon.fr+33 (0)4 90 04 42 00

In the heart the old town centre of Apt, the House of the Luberon Regional Nature Park welcomes you in a town house of the 18th century. The permanent exhibition of the geology museum has a rich collection of fossils evidencing the geological history of the Luberon.

On sale at the shop: books, maps, guidebooks, games, posters... 

Open Monday to Friday from 8:30 am to 12:00 pm and from 1:30 pm to 6 pm (and on Saturday, depending on the program).  Free admission.

Find out more

OTI Luberon Sud Tourisme

Le Château - BP 16, 84240 La Tour d'Aigues

https://www.luberon-sud-tourisme.fr/contact@luberon-sud-tourisme.fr+33 (0)4 90 07 50 29

OT Pertuis

Palce Mirabeau, 84120 Pertuis

http://www.tourismepertuis.fr/+33 (0)4 90 79 15 56

Access and parking

At 22 km north of Aix-en-Provence, through the A51.

Parking :

Car park of Dévalade, on the edge of the Lèze, on the west side former town centre of Pertuis.

Accessibility

Cycle sport
Emergency number :114

Source


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