The Luberon’s principal town, Apt is surrounded on three sides by sharply rising plateaus surrounding a river that runs through town – the gateway to Haute-Provence. Synonymous in France with cherries, and surrounded by orchards, Apt is a natural trading post, and remains a town of services. Its Saturday-morning farmers market is thrilling, but otherwise Apt is where you go to get your car fixed or gather hiking information. A couple of good hotels, restaurants and regional-park dioramas notwithstanding, Apt is dull and decidedly unglam, though not entirely charmless. It makes a good-value base for mid-budget travellers, particularly day hikers and cyclists, who appreciate its location. Up the hill, lavender grows.