Saturday 24 November 2012

Autumn Colours of the Luberon

Maybe this is one of those things we say every year, like I can’t remember September rain like this or this is the hottest month of July when every year the seasons pass and resemble each other, but this year I have never seen so much autumn colour in Provence! We will see if this is just a memory problem next year as I have taken loads of photos and so comparative documentation will be available…

Here are a few of those photos and I am sure you will agree the colours are astounding. I have not tweaked or enhanced any of the pictures they are as the camera saw them. For the techies out there I am using a Nikon D5100 with an AF-S NIKKOR 55-200mm 1:4-5.6G ED and an 18-55mm 1:3.5-5.6G both very standard lenses so although the camera is a goodun here is proof that it’s the subject that really counts.

This post follows the one by Ginger and Nutmeg on Fall Colours in Provence and it was seeing theirs that I was inspired to show you mine. (No double entendres intended). However I do apologise to them for my somewhat similar title.

So here we go.

Les Couleurs d’Automne du Luberon
Autumn Colours of the Luberon 

Plane tree in Lourmarin
As you drive out of Lourmarin towards Bonnieux on your left is a beautiful house with this magnificent plane tree next to it. Perfectly proportioned it reminds me of a huge burning torch.

The village of Bonnieux and the Cherry Orchards
I posted a similar picture to this one on Twitter. The Cherry orchards provide a warmth to an otherwise cold atmosphere, I was a veritable danger in my car, slamming on the brakes every time a scene like this one appeared around a corner!

The Village of Lacoste and more Cherry orchards
Lacoste faces Bonnieux and for this shot I had to come back when the light was in the right place. Once again the Cherry Orchards steal the show.
The Yellow Tree
I could imagine this tree being the subject of a painting. The fallen yellow leaves contributed so much light that this tree stood out from all the others with their redder ones.

Vines near Menerbes
Yesterday morning I had a rendez-vous at the Domaine de La Citadelle vineyard for a wine tasting and visit including the extraordinary Museum of the Corkscrew which houses a huge collection of corkscrews from around the world and throughout the ages. As I returned to my car the sun did its thing and provided this rather evocative lighting on the rows of vines.

Oppède le Vieux
I wanted to get a few photos of Oppède le Vieux but it was completely in the shade. This picture however still works because the variety of colours bring it to life. You can see the sun shining in the valley behind!

The village of Lioux
If you drive from Gordes to Apt via the village of Murs you will be faced with this splendid tableau with the village of Lioux and the incredible cliff that towers over it.

Cabanon Pointu
Around the town of Forcalquier and in particular around Mane en Provence you can find these dry stone huts known as Cabanon Pointus (literally pointed huts) in Haute Provence and Bories further South, in particular around Gordes. Having flown over the region many hundreds of times in Hot Air Balloons I have spotted many Cabanons hidden in the woods, and this is one of the many!

And there you have it! A few of my favourite shots showing this years Autumn colours and to follow a few more but without commentary only a caption, just for "le plaisir des yeux" (the pleasure of the eyes).

Vines near Gordes

More Cherry Orchards

The Village of Menerbes

Vineyard near Gargas


  1. Thankyou for sharing these photos. I was in the Luberon in June and it is lovely to see the colours of the changing seasons (and wish I was still there!)

  2. Thank you for your comments Liv, it's hard to resist taking photos when the subject matter is so spectacular! Provence and Autumn go well together, but then again Provence is stunning in all seasons!

  3. Hi Philip, absolutely gorgeous photos! We are planning a trip this fall and would like to be in the valley for the changing colors -- does the timing change every year? Or does it change reliably during, say, the first week in November each year?

    1. Hello Jessica,
      thank you for your comment. The timing is never really the same, for instance normally at this time of year the lavender should be in full flower every where whereas on the Plateau d'Albion it is only just starting due to a very cold and wet start to the season. The seasons are never out of sync completely however and the autumn colours do last for a while.


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