Lacoste is considered one of the most beautiful villages in the Luberon Valley. It is situated high on a hill with a spectacular view of the Luberon. The chateau of the Marquis de Sade, can be seen on your way there and it is located at the highest point of the village. The origin of the chateau began in the 11th century. During the 1700’s it was owned by the family of the Marquis de Sade, who is well known for his scandalous escapades which landed him in prison and an insane asylum for nearly 32 years of his life.
In the year 2005, when I first visited this village, anyone was allowed access to just about anywhere around the chateau, but not in it. It had purchased in 2001 by Pierre Cardin and at that time was in the process of renovation. Now days you are not allowed to get as close to it as before. When I returned to Lacoste a few months ago and discovered this, I was really disappointed. I had enjoyed the free reign of strolling around the chateau and finding all the hidden treasures left behind over the centuries.
The village is still one of my most favorite places to visit, though. The cobble stone streets and the doorways proudly boasting the year 1600 bring you back in time when you visit. This is especially true if you visit in the winter when tourism is down and you could possibly be the only one there. The downside is that most of the stores will be closed. It is rather a treat to have the entire village to yourself, though.
Just a note about the weather-in the winter it is very, very cold in the Luberon, especially if the Mistral winds are blowing. Take care to dress warmly wearing not only a heavy jacket, but gloves, a scarf. In the summer, there will undoubtedly be crowds and it is very hot and humid. The perfect time to visit is either the fall or spring. I prefer the spring when everything is starting to bloom and green up around the Luberon. It can still be rather cold, though.
If you do happen to visit Lacoste, take advantage of the famous drive through the vineyards and seeing the little villages scattered about the area. Start out early, there is plenty to see in the Luberon Valley.
For more information on the Chateau de Lacoste visit http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Château_de_Lacoste.
If you want to see a few more photos of Lacoste, they appear on Flickr. To get there just click on the “More Photos” option under Recent Pictures.