Time: 6h. Up: 390m. Down: 580m.
Distance: 22km. Difficulty: easy.

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Stage 89: Roussillon (342m) to Robion (150m)

Click and drag on map above to see area around trail. Click here for large zoomable map.

Although today's hike is relatively short, you might still want to start early today in order to have time for a leisurely lunch at a nice restaurant in Cabrières d'Avignon.

In the morning you will pass by the striking village of Gordes, probably the most popular tourist destination in the Luberon, then after lunch you'll head across the wide valley of the Coulon River to the northern edge of the Luberon hills where your goal is the formerly abandoned but now vibrant village of Robion.

Mid-October, for that is what the date will likely be, isn't peak season, so you probably won't see too many buses full of (mostly) overweight gawkers... but in the summer the Luberon is increasingly overrun with them. In a world of cheap mass tourism, too much beauty can be a distinct disadvantage.

And there are so many beautiful villages in the Luberon that people come by the hundreds of thousands to see them... and a certain percentage decide to buy houses here. Although strict development rules have thus far maintained the character of the area, some things can't be avoided... such as soaring property prices.

On the one hand, tourism brings large amounts of money into the pockets of the local inhabitants. On the other, their children often can't afford to buy houses here, and, since there is a low threshhold and steep progression for inheritance taxes in France, they increasingly also can't keep their parents' houses when they inherit. The long-term implications are not good, but it isn't clear what can be done.

Today's hike is identical with the GR6/GR97, except for the stretch from Gordes to Cabrières. From Roussillon head west, mostly along roads, to Gordes. Here leave the GR6/GR97 as they make a great loop to the north to visit the Abbaye de Sénanque (well worth a visit... but too far out of your way today), and head south-west to Cabrières. After lunch head west about 20 minutes to rejoin the GR6/GR97 and then go south for another several kilometers until you reach Robion.

Alternatives: if needs be you can have a taxi come from Cavaillon to pick you up or drop you off almost anywhere along the hike.
Map: IGN-3142OT Cavaillon.

The House to House blog... stage 89.

<A couple of representative photos from this stage will be added here after the hike>
In the meantime, click here to go to all of the H2H photos on Flickr.

GPS Track
<To be added during or after hike>

Room and Board Options
Lunch: there are a couple of good restaurants in Cabrières (a personal favorite is Le Vieux Bistrot).
Dinner and overnight: there are a number of B&Bs in Robion (for a complete list, see here). If none are available, you can go a little more than an hour along tomorrow's route to Oppède-le-Vieux, where there are several other options including: La Belle de Nuit (+33-(0), mob: +33-(0), several rooms, B&B), Le Mas de Cocagne (+33-(0), several rooms), and Le Petit Miracle (+33-(0), mob: +41-(0)79-410-9515, 16 rooms).

Getting There and Back
Roussillon: buses go several times a day to Apt from Avignon, Digne, and Marseille, where there are railway stations, and from Apt you can take a taxi the 10km to Roussillon (for taxi and bus information, see here, and for train schedule information, see the SNCF). Alternatively you can take a taxi the 25km to Cavaillon, where there is also a railway station (for taxi information, see here).
Robion: take a taxi the 6km to Cavaillon.
ViaMichelin Road Map and Driving Directions: centered on Roussillon, centered on Robion.

Background Information and Links
Many and various...

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