Gordes, Perched Village, Luberon Valley, All Things French

Visit Gordes, one of the Prettiest Perched Villages in Provence

Discover the Rich History and Culture of Gordes.

Gordes is a small village located in the Luberon region of Provence, France.

Visit Gordes, one of the Luberon's prettiest villages, known for its stunning hilltop location, rich history, and artistic expression. The village is home to just over 2,000 people (called Gordians). Gordes’ main industry is tourism, and the village continues to conserve their Roman heritage and medieval history (Gordes castle was built in the 12th century)

From my point of view, Gordes is a *must-visit* destination for anyone travelling to the south of France. The village is perched high on a cliff, 340 metres above the valley floor, and overlooks the luscious scenes of the Luberon, one of my all-time fabourite regions. Gordes has survived the plague, earthquakes, and bombings, and its beauty is heavily protected today. Residents do not use fences, all new buildings are made of stone, and only terracotta roof tiles are permitted. All electricity and phone lines are installed underground.

Gordes is a unique place that offers a lot to visitors. You can explore the village and its beautiful cobbled streets, visit the Le Château de Gordes and enjoy breathtaking panoramic views, discover the ancient fountains, take a tour in the caves below the village, check out the incredible views from the edges of the village, and experience the beauty of the Luberon region’s lavender fields. So much to see and do. Yay!

Gordes is also home to some of the best restaurants and hotels in the region. You can enjoy delicious local cuisine and stay in charming hotels that offer stunning views of the village and the surrounding countryside. Sounds like a visitor's paradise, oui?

Links to what you might want to get to first:

  1. Explore the treasures in and around Gordes
  2. Discover Gordes during the Lavender season
  3. Shop at fabulous markets
  4. Beyond Gordes: what to see while you're there
  5. Enjoy delicious cuisine in some wonderful restaurants
  6. Staying in Gordes: where Provencal charm meets luxury
  7. Fun Facts about Gordes: some things I didn't know
  8. What I loved about my time in Gordes!
  9. How to get to Gordes

Mes amis, this post includes affiliate links. I may earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you) if you purchase something through one of my links. Bien sûr, I only recommend things that I absolutely *love.

Gordes Highlights: Exploring the Treasures.

Gordes isn't just a village; it's a tapestry of historical and cultural wonders waiting to be discovered.

Each feature adds a layer to the rich narrative of this Provencal gem. Consider adding the following places to your itinerary when planning your visit to the region.

Gordes: Nestled in the Heart of Lavender Country.

As the warm summer sun bathes the landscape, Gordes becomes a haven for lavender enthusiasts.

The vibrant purple fields surrounding the village create a striking contrast against the blonde stone architecture, creating a visual beauty that has captivated artists and wanderers alike for centuries.

Senanque Abbey, a short drive from Gordes, is the epicentre of this lavender spectacle. The 12th-century Cistercian Abbey is surrounded by meticulously cultivated lavender fields, forming a postcard-perfect scene. Visitors can witness the delicate hum of bees among the lavender blossoms, contributing to the abbey's serene ambiance.

The lavender's essence permeates the village markets during lavender season, where local artisans showcase an array of lavender-infused products, from oils and soaps to interesting culinary delights.

In Gordes, lavender isn't just a sight; it's a fragrant journey into the heart of Provencal tradition.

Fly in a hot air balloon over the colourful landscapes of Provence in the South of France and the lovely village of Forcalquier. Absolute heaven! Discover more by clicking the link below.

Market Delights and Festive Highlights in Gordes.

Gordes isn't just a visual feast; it's a symphony of tastes, scents, and sounds.

Whether you're wandering through the weekly market, savouring local delicacies at the night market, or dancing to the tunes of the Music Festival, you're going to LOVE every minute of you time in this Provencal gem.

Weekly Markets:

Every Tuesday morning Gordes' weekly market transforms the village into a vibrant affair, filling the cobbled streets with an array of colours and aromas. From fresh local produce, artisan cheeses, and olive oils to handmade crafts and lavender-infused delights, the market offers a true taste of Provencal life.

Annual Lavender Festival:

From late June to early August Gordes hosts an annual Lavender Festival during the peak of the lavender bloom. The village transforms into a celebration of all things lavender, with exhibitions, workshops, and a vivid display of lavender products. Lavender Festival details.

Gordes Music Festival:

In Late July, immerse yourself in the melodic charm of Gordes during the annual Music Festival. The village becomes a stage for classical and contemporary performances, adding a harmonious note to the Provencal summer.

Here are some other events that take place in the village or surrounding region:

Wine & Olive Oil Fair:

This fair takes place on the first weekend in August and offers tastings, stalls, entertainment, and food. It is held in the Post Office car park.

Festival d’Avignon:

The Festival d'Avignon takes place in July and is one of the oldest and most famous festivals in France. It features a variety of performances such as theatre, dance, and music.

Lavender Festival:

This festival takes place (August 15) every year in Sault, near Gordes, and celebrates the lavender harvest. It features a variety of events such as parades, concerts, and tastings.

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Things to see and do around Gordes during your time there.

Gordes serves as a perfect hub for exploring the diverse wonders of Provence.

From geological marvels to historical villages and unique experiences like truffle hunting, the surrounding region offers a tapestry of activities for those seeking an enriching and memorable stay.

Explore the Ochre Trails in Roussillon:

Immerse yourself in a natural wonder just a short drive from Gordes. The vibrant, ochre-coloured cliffs of Roussillon create a surreal landscape. Wander along the marked trails to witness the changing hues of the earth. It's a photographer's paradise and a unique geological spectacle.

Visit the Village of Bonnieux:

A charming neighbour to Gordes, Bonnieux, perched on a hill, offers panoramic views of the Luberon Valley. Explore its ancient streets, visit the 12th-century church, and indulge in a leisurely lunch at one of the local bistros.

Senanque Abbey and Lavender Fields:

Extend your lavender-infused experience by visiting the Senanque Abbey. Besides the lavender season, the abbey's serene ambiance and stunning architecture make it a year-round attraction. Guided tours provide insights into the Cistercian way of life.

Visit Lacoste: A Village Steeped in History:

Venture to the nearby village of Lacoste, known not only for its medieval charm but also for its association with the Marquis de Sade. Explore the ruins of his castle and absorb the artistic atmosphere that permeates the village. I absolutely LOVED this village. It's perhaps not typical, but beautiful and not too busy.

Take a Balloon Ride over Provence:

For a truly unique perspective, consider a hot air balloon ride over the picturesque Provencal landscape. Soar above neighbouring villages, taking in breathtaking views of vineyards, lavender fields, and historic landmarks.

Discover a Truffle Hunting Experience:

Delve into the culinary treasures of the region by joining a truffle hunting excursion. Participate in the hunt with trained dogs and learn about the elusive truffle's significance in Provencal cuisine. Enjoy a truffle-themed meal afterward.

Gordes serves as a perfect hub for exploring the diverse wonders of Provence. Do yourself a favour and stay awhile.

Gastronomic Delights: Savoury Journeys in Gordes.

Indulging in the culinary scene of Gordes and its surrounding region is an adventure for the senses.

The local eateries, often tucked away in charming corners, offer a delectable journey through Provencal flavours. Expect to savour the finest olive oils, artisan cheeses, and, of course, the rich aromatic herbs that characterize Provencal cuisine.

Top Restaurants in and Around Gordes:

La Bastide de Gordes – Restaurant Pierre Gagnaire:

Perched on the cliffs with panoramic views, this Michelin-starred restaurant in the luxurious La Bastide de Gordes hotel offers an exquisite culinary experience. Chef Pierre Gagnaire's menu blends traditional Provencal ingredients with innovative techniques, creating a gastronomic masterpiece. Phone: +33 4 90 72 12 12. Délicieux!

Le Mas Tourteron:

Located in a beautifully restored farmhouse just outside Gordes, Le Mas Tourteron is known for its authentic Provencal dishes. The terrace overlooks the picturesque countryside, providing a serene setting to enjoy traditional flavours. Phone: +33 4 90 72 02 93 to make a booking and enjoy a wonderful experience.

La Trinquette:

La Trinquette offers genuine home-style cooking with locally sourced products, in a quiet little alley in Gordes. Milk-fed veal, new potatoes, artichoke puree, béarnaise vegetables to die for, fresh aromatic herbs, local cheeses, wine by the glass from the Luberon. Enjoy fast service and a friendly ambience. Phone: +33 4 90 72 11 62.

Restaurant L'Outsider

Whether you choose to sit under the exposed stone arch, or on the terrace to enjoy the Provençal sun, at Restaurant L'Outsider you'll enjoy local products chosen with care and dishes prepared with generosity, in a beautiful friendly atmosphere. You won't be disappointed. Phone: +33 4 32 50 27 52.

Dining in Gordes is not just a meal; it's a celebration of Provencal culture and flavours. These restaurants, each with its unique charm and culinary expertise, promise a gastronomic experience that lingers in the memory, adding a savory note to your visit..

Staying in Gordes: Where Provencal Charm Meets Luxury.

Finding accommodation in Gordes is like stepping into a dream, where each option is a unique chapter in your Provencal adventure.

From luxurious hotels perched on cliffs to charming 4-star retreats and even camping options immersed in nature, Gordes offers a diverse range of accommodations to suit every traveller’s preference.

For those seeking the pinnacle of luxury:

La Bastide de Gordes - A Palace of Tranquility:

Nestled within the heart of Gordes, La Bastide de Gordes stands as a testament to refined elegance. This five-star palace, perched on the edge of the village, offers breathtaking views of the Luberon Valley. Indulge in Michelin-starred dining, unwind in the spa, and experience unparalleled luxury. Enjoy the very best.

Domaine de la Petite Isle - Serenity Amidst Vineyards:

Just a short drive from Gordes, this gorgeous five-star gem sits amidst vineyards, offering a tranquil escape. With generous rooms, a picturesque pool area, and a gourmet restaurant, Domaine de la Petite Isle combines opulence with Provencal charm. Everything you'll need is onsite.

Le Mas des Herbes Blanches - Timeless Elegance:

Tucked away in the hills surrounding Gordes, Le Mas des Herbes Blanches presents a haven of luxury. This Relais & Châteaux property showcases Provencal architecture, lush gardens, and refined dining. A stay here is an immersion in timeless elegance.

For a balance of comfort and charm:

Hôtel Les Bories & Spa - Modern Comfort in a Traditional Setting:

Offering a comfortable blend of contemporary amenities and Provençal charm, Hôtel Les Bories & Spa is a four-star retreat just a short stroll from Gordes. Surrounded by lavender fields, the hotel boasts a spa, gourmet dining, and a peaceful ambiance. Some kind of heaven.

La Bastide de Voulonne - Rustic Sophistication:

Situated in a beautifully restored farmhouse, La Bastide de Voulonne combines rustic charm with modern sophistication. The four-star hotel offers comfortable accommodations, a swimming pool with stunning panoramic views, and a restaurant showcasing local flavours. Stay a few days...

For those who prefer a more rustic escape:

Camping de Gordes - Nature's Embrace:

Camp amidst the natural beauty of Provence at Camping de Gordes. This camping site, located just outside the village, offers a serene escape with spacious pitches for tents and RVs (or campervans as I would say in Australia). Soak up the tranquility of the Luberon Regional Nature Park and camp in nature.

Choosing where to stay in Gordes is not just about accommodation; it's about immersing yourself in the essence of Provence. Whether you opt for the lavish comforts of a palace, the understated elegance of a four-star retreat, or the simplicity of camping under the stars, Gordes ensures that your stay is a seamless part of the enchanting journey through this picturesque corner of France.

Fun Facts about Gordes: Unveiling Hidden Charms.

Some things you may not know about Gordes.

Stone Whisperers:

Gordes' distinctive stone houses aren't just picturesque; they hold a secret. The village's architecture, with stones seamlessly stacked without mortar, serves not only an aesthetic purpose but also a practical one. This construction technique allows for natural ventilation, keeping the interiors cool in the scorching Provencal summers.

Star-Studded Pedigree:

Gordes has caught the eye of the film industry, making appearances in several notable movies. The village's captivating backdrop and medieval charm have graced films like Ridley Scott's "A Good Year," starring Russell Crowe. You can totally sit in the resturant courtyard where Fanny Chenal told Max Skinner (Russel Crowe) that she was 'too busy to ignore' him!

Artistic Inspirations:

Gordes has long been a muse for artists and creatives. The Belgian painter Pol Mara, captivated by the village's beauty, made Gordes his home. His works often depict the charming landscapes and architecture of Gordes, immortalizing the village on canvas. The Flemish-born painter's works are displayed across 3 floors of the Musée du Château de Gordes (Pol Mara Musée), making it a must-see for all art lovers. There are about 200 works showcased here including his last dreams and surreal endeavors.

Mysterious Bories Village:

Tucked away near Gordes is the Bories Village, an ancient settlement of dry-stone huts. These unique structures, dating back to the Bronze Age, were initially used by shepherds and farmers. The purpose and construction techniques of these huts continue to be a subject of archaeological fascination.

Culinary Time Capsule:

Gordes has its own culinary treasure in the form of the "Berlingot de Gordes." These colourful, diamond-shaped sweets have been a local delicacy since the 19th century. Made from a secret recipe, these candies are both a visual treat and a delightful taste of Gordes' sweet history.

I absolutely loved my time in Gordes!

The hilltop location of the village is breathtaking, and the views of the surrounding countryside are stunning.

The village is a unique and charming place that offers a lot to visitors. It has a rich history and culture, and there are many interesting attractions to explore, such as the Gordes Castle and the Saint Firmin Palace.

The Luberon region is famous for its lavender fields. You can experience the beauty of the lavender fields from around the last week of June to the beginning of August, and soak up the fragrant scent of the flowers. Even outside of the Lavender season, the Luberon is just exquisite to visit for its sheer beauty. In fact, I'd be unlikely to go during peak season. I went a bit after Lavender time (late Auguast) and it was still soooo busy...! Yikes!

I do so recommend that you visit Gordes if you’re traveling to the south of France. The village is a must-visit destination that offers a unique and unforgettable experience. You can explore the village’s beautiful rues, visit the Gordes Castle, and enjoy breathtaking panoramic views, discover the ancient fountains and the incredible vistas that peep through the narrow streets, as well as experience the beauty of the Luberon region’s lavender fields.

The region is also known for its excellent wines, and there are many vineyards in the area that offer wine tastings, plus you can enjoy delicious local cuisine and stay in charming hotels that offer stunning views of the village and the surrounding countryside.

Does it get any better?

I hope you enjoy your visit to Gordes as much as I did!

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