Aubenas les Alpes
Departement of the Alpes de Haute Provence - Pop.: 60 inh.
Take the N100 south of Forcalquier and then right on the D5. It's after St Michel l'Observatoire.
The very small peaceful village of Aubenas is located in the magnificent area of Forcalquier, in the heart of a sublime natural environment where the palette of colours is dictated by the passing seasons under one of the clearest skies in Provence.
At the end of a very narrow road fragrant with lavender, that runs through this marvellous Luberon region immortalised in the writings of the well known author Jean Giono, you will no doubt be expecting to find a "village". Aubenas les Alpes is not quite a village.
On this vast plateau, with its incredibly pure air, you will first encounter the impressive railings of a park, at the end of which, half-hidden under the majestic trees, stands a sublime manor in perfect condition (private property, not open to the public.
Further on you will find two or three beautiful stone houses on a terrace of dry-stone gravel, shaded by age old chestnut trees. One of these houses is a former presbytery dating from the 17th century (with a baluster stairway and plasterwork fireplace), adjoined to a superb little church with a three bay bell-cot (12th century!) .
You will be surprised to learn that Aubenas, a small seigneury dating back to the 15th century, still has a few houses from the 16th century boasting beautiful mullion windows with lintels.
Around the village the vast fields of lavender will perfume your summer days. Vast cultivated fields, plateaux, crests and rolling hills, cypress and cherry trees...
you are in the Luberon Regional Natural Park!
You are also lucky enough to be very close to the C.N.R.S' Haute-Provence Observatory where you will be able to observe and get close to the stars, comets and planets...(Visit every Wednesday at 3 p.m.).
What to see:
Château with feudal foundations altered in the 16th and 17th cent.(can be admired through the railings!).
Notre Dame de l'Assomption church (12th century).
Paraire Hamlet (for its Renaissance-style houses).
Numerous fine looking windmills in the area.
Bed & breakfast and &tables d'hôtes.