“Stuff your eyes with wonder; live as if you’d drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It’s more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories.” – Ray Bradbury
Out of all four perched villages of Luberon that we visited during our day trip through Provence, the most spectacular and majestic one of all was Gordes. Built high atop the rocky slopes of the Monts de Vaucluse, the village of Gordes is the crown jewel of Luberon and is a magnificent site to see.
We left Bonnieux driving past iridescent fields of yellow fennel, virgin vines and orchards anxiously anticipating the first sight of Gordes. The prized purple lavender fields had yet to bloom yet their dark green leafy foliage was abundant and expectant of what was to come within the coming summer months.
The weather was fair. Not too hot yet a little too cloudy for fulfilling my aspirations of photographing the countryside. It was nearing the end of April yet like most parts of the Northern hemisphere, Spring was stubborn and late. Trees were still relatively bare, flowers were just beginning to bloom and those brilliant purple lavender fields that I had my heart set on seeing were barren of any hint of color.
The perched village of Gordes dates back to Roman times with a deep history of war, conflict and strife. Today, Gordes is known as one of the most beautiful villages in France and a walk through the narrow, steep cobblestone streets will surely be a treat.
The biggest surprise during our visit to Gorges was the fabulous local market. Every Tuesday morning, local vendors set up their colorful stalls around the castle at the center of the village, offering a wide variety of eye-catching delights. You can stroll through the open-air market and sample french cheeses, local wines and sausages while perusing the gorgeous tables of handmade linens, soaps, baskets and clothing. It is a wonderful place to spend a morning and then grab lunch at one of Gordes many outdoor cafes.
The vendors were setting up their stalls just as we were arriving and after a delicious lunch at one of Gordes lovely outdoor cafes, we were certainly going to do some shopping. It wasn’t hard to find a place to eat good food nor was it difficult to decide what to order. Of course I had to have a salade aux chèvre chaud and a glass of icy cold Côtes de Provence.
After lunch, it was time to walk a bit and explore the town. As tempting as it head straight to shopping, the bustling market could wait until right before it was time to go. I knew I would be buying a lot of gifts and didn’t want to carry everything around with me while we were sightseeing.
If you go
Here is a helpful website on Gordes and all its offerings.
The Magical Markets of Provence (Here is my post on the Gordes Market)