I have amazing memories of the village of Sivergues in the Luberon region of Provence. It’s Provence’s smallest village and going there feels like entering a lost paradise far from the beaten track. You’re greeted by a sign on the way in that says “fin de la route”—you are literally arriving at the end of the road, and the journey up to there isn’t the easiest either! Even the signs of modern life are charmingly dated—the village’s antique phone box is one of only a few hundred left in France.
There are just a handful of houses nestled among the rocky terrain of the Apt plateau and the lavender fields. My friends and I would often rent a big farm called Le Castellas, which looked down on the houses from the end of a dirt track. All we’d need was good food, gallons of wine, and some music.
The village dates back to a 5th century convent founded by Saint Castor of Apt, and some say the settlement’s name may come from the six virgins that lived there. It grew steadily and was home to around 200 people at the start of the 19th century, but now there are maybe two dozen who live there. Much more common are hikers coming to wander the trails along the Aigebrun river. We’d do the same, strolling down to the village of Buoux to fish wild trout, imagining the villagers who had done so for hundreds of years before us.
In the evenings we’d return, the dog panting from his swim in the river, and sit down a meal sprinkled with local ingredients. While lavender is the main crop, honey and wine are also made nearby, and we occasionally eyed up the goats that would wander the outcrops too! Watching the sun set over the hills was always the perfect way to draw the day to a close in this charming village.