Provence – Day 8 – Gordes → Lacoste → Bonnieux
Monday, June 13, 2022
On Monday, a pre-arranged taxi took us from the hill town of Gordes to the hill town of Lacoste for a short walk to the hill town of Bonnieux for our last two-night stay. We spent a little over an hour in Lacoste, walking up to the top of the hilltop town, visiting the Castle of Lacoste, and then wandering around to other spots before heading down out of the cobbled streets to start our walk.
Such old towns.
An iconic shot in Lacoste.
One of the ancient gates.
Just a pretty spot.
Besides being a beautiful hill town, at the top of Lacoste is the famous castle, dating back to the 11th century, modified over time, which was occupied by the (in)famous Marquis de Sade in the early 1770s. The castle was mostly destroyed during the French Revolution. In 2001, Pierre Cardin bought the castle, and started renovating. Each year, prior to his death in 2020, he organized a musical artistic festival to the west of the castle. The other remarkable thing about Lacoste is that the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) has a huge educational facility nestled into the ancient buildings for students to study abroad.
View through the ruins.
A note about trail signs. Many of the trailheads and intersections along the way are marked with yellow trail signs that are on wood poles with the location on top and signs on the pole in the direction of various destinations. In this case, we walked to the primary school, looking for a path with a "Lacoste" top sign and a directional sign marked "Bonnieux". We headed down the path.
About 350 meters into our walk and in now what was an open farmland area, we turned around for an amazing view of Lacoste on our left and Bonnieux on our right. We were right by a cherry tree orchard with workers picking cherries, and one of the workers smiled at us while we stood there taking pictures, and said to us something like, "quite a view, isn’t it (in French)," and we agreed.
Lacoste behind us.
Bonnieux ahead of us.
Soon after the orchard, we headed in the woods briefly, then out onto a grassy track, then onto a paved lane. We walked up to a Bastide home on our right, and ended up in a conversation with an ex-pat who lives in Luxembourg and vacations at this house every summer.
We continued on our way, following the step by step instructions, alternating between dirt tracks, shaded paths, and some paved or somewhat paved lanes. We ended our ≈ 4km walk at our B&B, Le Clos du Buis. With the sun and the heat pushing 90 degrees, that was plenty.
The B&B was right in the "newer" lower part of the town. We checked in and relaxed over our picnic lunch in the garden. Then we headed up up up for a walk to the oldest part of Bonnieux, then back for a shower, and dinner at L’Arôme at 7:30 pm.
Le Clos du Buis.
Looking up the street from our B&B.
The old part. We went up...
Good shoes a must on these cobbled and steep streets.
Looking back down on the "newer" part of town.
Mount Ventoux in the distance.