Lioux is one of those villages that is not on the tourist trail but is the essence of real Provence. It is the perfect place to trek around in the beautiful, remote countryside of the Luberon, where the natural beauty just soothes and calms any disquieting thoughts and the cares of the day are quickly whisked away by the sights, the sounds, the scents, the gentle Provençal breeze.
There are no restaurants or shops in this sleepy little village. But Lioux is definitely worth a stop to have a view of la mairie, or town hall, against the magnificent cliff known as la Falaise de la Madeleine.
Not far from la mairie is a path that takes you up and around to the top of the cliff. We started to venture up the steep, rocky path, and about ten minutes into our trek, we came upon a feast for our eyes. Here was a beautiful lavender field, hidden in the hills. We continued hiking up to discover more fields of lavender, one after another. It was hard to contain our excitement.
It only takes about twenty minutes to get to the top of the lavender fields before ascending onto the cliff. Just hiking this twenty-minute part alone is worth it. But if you have the time and the energy to do the entire circular route, which includes walking across the cliff and descending back down and around to la mairie, it takes a little over two hours. The views from the top of the cliff are very rewarding as you would imagine.
By the end, you will have worked up quite an appetite for sure. Having a picnic on the top of the cliff would be a fantastic idea! Another option . . . .
If you do an early morning hike in Lioux, you can time your visit to the nearby village of Joucas for lunchtime to eat outside at Bistrot la Terrasse (a reservation would be a good idea). Joucas, a village I am in love with, deserves a post all of its own for another time. But trust me, you must eat at la Terrasse, especially in the evening.
More sights on the “secret” lavender trail.
And a few more lavender fields nearby on a road between Lioux and Roussillon.
La Terrasse in Joucas has changed! We are sad to say that we can no longer recommend this lovely place for the food, namely the omelettes that we use to dream about. Good omelettes no more! It’s still a great place to stop for a drink or perhaps, if you don’t care to be wowed by the food, a light bite in the evening to enjoy the ambience. Let’s hope the new owners bring back the good food to match the ambience. We miss the little dog too!