Ménerbes is in the heart of the Luberon region, Provence. This sun-kissed little village perched atop a hill, is officially one of the prettiest in France. Discover its secrets and charms in our guide to Ménerbes…
What to see in Menerbes
Wander the narrow cobblestone lanes lined with 15th, 17th and 18th-century weathered stone houses. In this little town you won’t be distracted by postcards and lavender sachets for sale. It’s not flashy but it is beautiful. Most tourists tend to stay in nearby Gordes and Roussillon so Ménerbes is an ideal spot for lunch and a peaceful stroll through a typical Provencal village. There are two bakeries in the village and a general store. Just enough to pick up some snacks for a light lunch that you can enjoy on a bench in the shade at the top of the village in front of the 16th-century church Saint Luc.
Ménerbes was once the home of Picasso and the writer Peter Mayle, who captured the quintessential charm of Provence in his novels. Surrounded by vineyards, cherry and olive orchards, Nostradamus called the village ‘ a ship in an ocean of vines.’
At the foot of the village are the beautiful ruins of Abbaye de Sainte-Hilaire, a 13th-16th century Carmelite monastery. It’s in an idyllyc location, very quiet and serene.
Wine fans will enjoy the quirky Tire-Bouchon museum. Yes, a whole museum devoted to corkscrews. Over 1250 in fact, they range from simple to X-rated. At the end, enjoy a wine tasting session.
The Thursday morning market is small but full of local specialties , fruits, meats and cheeses. All the shopkeepers and stall holders are happy to have a chat with tourists to discuss their products, the area or any other topic!
The “Maison de la Truffe et du Vin” (wine and truffle institute) regularly stages truffle days which include truffle hunting with a grower and his dog. Indulge in aan ‘all truffle’ lunch followed by tasting of wines from the regional wine centre. It also stages a permanent exhibition on truffle growing.
What to see nearby
Roussillon, just 20 minutes by car, is the “Colorado” of southern France, a colourful village overlooking majestic ochre quarries and hills.
Just 5km from Ménerbes discover the pretty and exotic village of Oppede-le-Vieux
Bonnieux, a 15-minute drive, as seriously pretty town – with a bread-making museum!
I’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, the antiques capital of the south of France in a stunningly pretty little town (about 20km from Ménerbes