I must admit, at first I wasn’t crazy about the village of Bonnieux. I thought it was a little too busy, a little rougher around the edges than some of my favorites in Provence. But after staying two weeks just below the village, I am now smitten.
Each day as I walked the steep street up into the village and took my time slowly exploring the narrow cobbled streets, I began to get this village. Now it is a part of me, a place I can’t wait to return to.
With cascading houses clustered on the side of a hill, Bonnieux is filled with cafés, excellent dining, boulangeries, and views, views, and more views. The photogenic walk up the 86 steps to the top is a must with views over the Luberon valley to Lacoste, Gordes, and beyond.
But the best is walking up the road behind the village against the Luberon mountain. Once you get close to the top, duck into the narrow alleys to explore and discover the charming doors, windows, and pots of flowers. You will have this all to yourself. This side of the village is even more stunning than the valley side.
There is no shortage of places to eat. As mentioned before, our new gold standard for the region is le Fournil. Also, la Bergerie is fantastic. And simple yet delicious Bretagne crêpes can be had at le Tinel crêperie.
Bonnieux is truly belle Provence. A place to return to again and again. A place that stays with you.
Le Fournil: Place Carnot; phone: +33 (0) 4 90 75 83 62; closed all day Monday and for lunch on Saturday.
La Bergerie: Chemin des Claparedes; phone: +33 (0) 4 90 75 89 78; closed Sunday evening and all day Monday.
Le Tinel: Place Gambetta; phone: +33 (0) 4 90 75 61 28.
L’Arôme: I have not dined here yet, but it looks wonderful. The most charming setting with tables spilling out onto a narrow street. 2 rue Lucien Blanc; phone: +33 (0) 4 90 75 88 62; closed all day Wednesday and for lunch on Thursday.