Walk from the Provencal town of Apt via vineyards and forest trails to Bonnieux, a beautiful French village perched at 400m above the Luberon Valley.
This walk starts in the French town of Apt. Leaving the town on quiet tarmac roads, you will pick up the GR9 footpath which winds through forest of pine and oak before entering a zone of vineyards and fruit orchards. There are fine views into the Luberon valley along the way, with the imposing summit of Mt Ventoux visible in the distance. Around halfway, the route joins the GR de Pays du Tour des Claparedes which will take you to Bonnieux, a lovely hilltop town on the edge of a plateau above the valley. The middle section of the walk involves some steep (but short) climbs before the final descent to Bonnieux.
Look out for the distinctive red and white waymarks of the GR9 trail, and the red and yellow markers of the Tour des Claparedes. These waymarks are usually placed at eye level on trees, telegraph poles and other objects along the route and they offer reassurance that you are following the right trail.
The paths on this walk are largely good, and consist of a mix of footpaths, farm tracks and trails. Please do take care to avoid passing cars when walking on the short sections of tarmac road.
Sturdy footware (ideally well-worn walking boots) are recommended as there are some sections of rocky terrain to negotiate.
Apt is famous for candied fruit; the technique of preserving fruit with sugar in times past meant that the delicious flavours of oranges, grapes and cherries could be enjoyed through the winter months. There are several small shops close to the Place Gabiel Peri where you can taste this local specialty before you begin the walk.
The Church of St Anne
Apt's Church of St Anne (formerly a cathedral) dates back to the 11th Century and offers some respite from the heat in summer months. The church became a pilgrimage site in the middle ages as it was reputed to have been built on the site where Saint Auspice, the custodian of the relics of St Anne, was buried.
Food & Drink
Please note that there are no places to stop and eat/buy food on route. Be sure to take enough food and water for the day (and remember to take additional water in the hot summer months). We recommend purchasing a packed lunch from your accommodation in Apt. Alternatively, there are several shops clustered around the Place de La Bouquerie and Place Gabriel Peri where you can pick up snacks and drinks. The restaurants in Bonnieux get busy during the high season, so you may wish to call ahead to book a table. See your tour Information Pack for more details for our restaurant recommendations.
There is a local bus service (Ligne 15.2) between Apt and Bonnieux, however only certain departures include the village. See www.vaucluse.fr for more details.
This tour is available on the folowing itineraries: