Ménerbes, a small, walled village in the Vaucluse Department, is one of the best known of the Luberon villages and rightly so. It's not only beautiful in itself, but the surrounding countryside is stunning as well. If you are making a tour of Provence, we highly recommend you add a trip to Ménerbes.
Peter Mayle put the village on the tourist maps in the 1990s when he moved to Ménerbes and wrote A Year in Provence--but today the village has nearly reverted back to the sleepy state in which Mayle found it in.
You'll find Ménerbes between Oppede (you'll want to visit old Oppede, Oppede-le-Vieux as well) and Lacoste, known for its castle once owned by the Marquis de Sade and a very compelling castle to walk around.
In the center of town is the Place de la Mairie, surrounded by 16th and 17th century buildings--and a little further on is the Place de l'Horloge, where you'll find a wine, truffle and olive oil education facility called Maison de la Truffe et du Vin du Luberon; in summer there's a small cafe/restaurant inside where you can taste these things. Between Christmas and new years a truffle fair is held here.
On the north end of Menerbes is Le Castellet. Painter Nicolas de Stael lived and worked here.
Just outside Menerbes, on the D3 toward Cavaillon, is the Domaine de la Citadelle winery which houses the Musée du Tire-bouchon (Corkscrew museum), with over 1,000 corkscrews to see.
Menerbes Street Map
Planning a Vacation around Menerbes
While the village of Menerbes might not suit the long-term visitor in itself, the villages surrounding it can't easily be covered in a week. I prefer to stay in a place in the Luberon and take day trips--the distances to each attraction from another aren't large, and the countryside is beautiful enough to keep the tourist from becoming bored with the landscape. Menerbes makes a good, central hub from which to operate this way, but the lodging is a bit sparce here.
Staying in Menerbes
Mas Serena is a highly-rated guest house to the north of menerbes, near the town of Beaumettes.
Le petit trésor du Luberon 100 feet from the center of Menerbes. It has a restaraunt and a terrace for those fantastic views of the Luberon.
Some describe Menerbes being inside the "Golden Triangle of the Luberon" . The main villages include Ménerbes, Gordes, Lacoste, Bonnieux, Apt, Roussillon, and Isle sur la sorgue.
Rental and Lease Cars: France offers an option to lease a brand new car with great insurance if you are staying three weeks or longer.
If you'd rather leave the transportation and explanation to the experts, Viator offers a good assortment of tours of the area. See the Tours of the Luberon.