Six kilometres from Cavaillon, nestling against the northern slope of the Petit Luberon, the minuscule village of Maubec-Vieux sums up in itself alone everything that is the Luberon.

But let's not spare words when talking about the charm of this village. An old hilltop village surrounded by a sea of vineyards with long and slim cypresses stretching up to the sky. Beautiful stone houses with blue shutters lining the small, steep cobblestone lanes. A magnificent, 18th century clock tower. A small Baroque church from the same period, built with the noble materials from the immediate vicinity, with a bell tower and, inside, very pretty frescoes. And at the top, the castle, rebuilt in 1657 and again recently restored (but, alas, not open to the public). Maubec is most definitely worth a visit.

On top of that, you'll see a couple of curiosities.

On the road heading towards the old village of Maubec, behind a small, somewhat ordinary stone building, you will find a noria, a type of chain pump. This noria is a wheel set above a well and to which are attached small buckets that bring up the water and pour it into a tank. The noria in Maubec was driven by a donkey and was used to irrigated the surrounding farms up until not even 50 years ago.

And in the old village you might notice a fig tree growing right out of the side of a stone wall. Mother Nature can really be stubborn sometimes!

In fact, the town of Maubec is made up of the old village, which we have just been talking about, and the hamlet of Coustellet. There is a wide choice of restaurants, from pizzerias to gourmet establishments, all with terraces, its bakeries, burgers and bagels and also its two wine cooperatives and a distillery.  Maubec comes under the Côtes du Luberon appellation and produces white, red and rosé wines as well as an eau de vie and an oil made from grape seeds.

But above all, it's here that a fabulous farmers' market takes place on Sunday mornings from April to December and on Wednesday evenings in summer. What better place to get a bite to eat or provisions before heading off on one of the beautiful hiking trails that cross the Luberon?

The village of Maubec at the foot of the Luberon

The countryside of Maubec with a view over Oppède le Vieux

Provençal country houses in Maubec

Walk in the streets of Maubec

The 18th-century belfry topped by a statue of the Virgin

Donkey ride in Maubec

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