Bonnieux is simply one of the outstanding villages of Provence: it is gorgeous whether seen from afar or within its winding streets, and has wonderful views over the Luberon; it has great restaurants ranging from simple to 3-star; and it has a very picturesque market on Friday mornings.
The baroque and Renaissance detailing as you wander through the village are evidence of a monied past – in the 16th century the land belonged to the Popes and several bishops set up home in Bonnieux. As a result Bonnieux has a grandeur that sets it apart from its neighbours.
A remarkably preserved Roman bridge dating back to the 3rd century AD which you pass when you leave Bonnieux on the D149 as it reaches the D900. The Pont Julien is beautifully simple and elegant – the openings between the 3 arches seem to be there to create a sense of lightness, though in fact they were designed to let floodwater flow through without damaging the bridge.
Foret des Cedres
Take the road out of Bonnieux in the direction of Lourmarin and after 1 mile you turn right toward the Foret des Cedres. This is a walk or bike ride through the cedar forest along the top of the Luberon mountain. After a mile or so the cedars run out and the path continues all the way along the flat top of the Luberon with marvellous views to north and south.
Market day is Friday in Bonnieux, which makes it an ideal day to visit. Bonnieux market starts around the new church at the bottom with textiles and clothing, and winds on past the roundabout with the colourful bags and hats, and then up a level to the square and all the flavours, smells and colours of Provence.
Our Bonnieux restaurant recommendations:
Things to know
- For a towering view: walk up to the old church and cedar park at the very top of the village and gaze out over the plain that extends as far as Avignon.
- For children there is a good playground at the foot of the village.
Things to note
- While it may be possible to park in the centre of Bonnieux on the street (if you get lucky) there are carparks at the bottom of the village for visitors and this is the easiest option in summer.