Our next day in Provence was spent in cruising through the Luberon, a hilly and rugged region in eastern Provence. We started the day in Isle-sur-la-Sourge before touring Roussillon, and Buoux.

There are few official tourist sites in the Luberon. The real attraction is simply wandering through the small cities and enjoying the markets−which is exactly what we did.

The first thing we encountered in Isle-sur-la-Sourge was one of the cities many waterwheels. They’re massive, probably 10-12 feet in diameter and absolutely covered in algae. They almost looked furry. It was kind of cool and kind of gross.

Waterwheel in Isle-sur-la-Sourge

Waterwheel in Isle-sur-la-Sourge

Several Decades of Algae Growth

Several Decades of Algae Growth

The church is Isle-sur-la-Sourge was unique for what we saw in Provence. The baroque interior was absolutely magnificent.

Notre-Dame des Anges

Notre-Dame des Anges

Notre-Dame des Anges

Notre-Dame des Anges

We could have easily spent hundreds of dollars walking through the market. There was an amazing collection of spices, cheeses, crafts, and other other items we only wish we had room for in our suitcase. Luckily for us, however, the temperature starting going up and we were called back to the air conditioning in the car.

Canal Running Through Isle-sur-la-Sourge

Canal Running Through Isle-sur-la-Sourge

Our next stop was Roussillon, a town on top of a hill that is known for its ochre, which also gives the town its distinctive red color.

Red Clay Buildings of Roussillon

Red Clay Buildings of Roussillon

Countryside Surrounding Roussillon

Countryside Surrounding Roussillon

Hill City of Roussillon

Hill City of Roussillon

We started to hike through the Ochre cliffs, but decided that we didn’t want to risk getting covered in red dust (like all the other hikers we’d seen). There was also a museum just outside the city dedicated to ochre, but we decided to move on.

In between Rousillon and Buoux we stopped at Pont St. Julien, an ancient Roman bridge that up until 2005 was still functioning for auto traffic. Originally built as part of the major artery connecting Italy to Provence, its an impressive demonstration of Roman architectural skill having lasted over 2000 years.

Pont St. Julien

Pont St. Julien

Vic and Beth at Pont St. Julien

Vic and Beth at Pont St. Julien

Pont St. Julien

Pont St. Julien

If you ever visit Provence, I strongly suggest you avoid driving through the city Bonnieux. We managed to get stuck driving through Bonnieux’s tiny streets. Of course if you want to Buoux, you probably have to drive through Bonnieux to get there.

Buoux is home to a ruin castle from the Middle Ages. It sits atop a massive rocky plateau and would have been absolutely impregnable. Today, there’s very little left of the actual structures. Much of the ancient castle is simply stray rocks laying about in piles, but some restoration work is beginning.

Cliffs Surrounding Buoux

Cliffs Surrounding Buoux

Cliffs Surrounding Buoux

Cliffs Surrounding Buoux