Luberon Villages Why Visit Beautiful Gordes?
Every time we come to our home in Sablet, in the Provence region of France, we head toward the Luberon mountain to visit one or more of the small hilltop villages in that area. Many times, Gordes is one of the villages we visit, especially if we are touring first-time visitors around Provence.
Beautiful Luberon Villages
Gordes is a beautiful old village about 1 hour southeast of our home in Sablet. The small village (pop. 1773) sits on a rocky outcrop of the Vaucluse Mountains and dominates the plain and Calavon River Valley, offering a view of the Luberon mountain across the way.
Cubist painter André Lhote discovered Gordes in 1938 followed by Marc Chagall, Victor Vasarely and other artists who visited and summered in Gordes. More recently Gordes gained fame as one of the locations for a movie filmed in the region, “A Good Year” starring Russell Crowe. Continue reading here for the contributor blog post by Michel of Our House in Provence.
The Tuesday morning market – Ashely shares tips on where to have coffee and her photos of the market.
Perched on a hilltop, Gordes is remarkable for its dry-stone walls. The village core sits proudly at the top of a rise making it one of the most photographed places in the Luberon. This town is practically a required pilgrimage stop for anyone who wants to say they have “been to Provence.” It’s little wonder that Gordes is on the list of the Les Plus Beaux Villages de France.
Village des Bories is located just 1.5km outside of Gordes. The hamlet is a collection of restored dry stone structures that once formed an 18th-century village called “Hameau des Savournins.” Some of these buildings are large enough to stand in, yet others you can barely get into. The bories are interesting to see as there is a variety of architectural styles even though the builders all worked with the same natural stone. These huts (les cabanes) were used for all manner of domestic function: animal shelters, villager’s homes, bakehouses, a silkworm factory, grain storage and more. Don’t miss the tiny reference library with artifacts collected from Gordes and the surrounding area. The site was registered as a national historic Monument in 1977.
Bories (bore-eze) are igloo-shaped huts made of dry stones, with nothing to hold them together. They are scattered all over the Provencal countryside. Most of them come in two sizes: small; to shelter a shepherd, or medium-sized, to shelter a family. They were prime Neolithic real estate. Read more about Bories the Stone Heart of Provence.
The Pol Mara museum located in the old castle
Chapelle des Pénitents Blancs (art gallery)
Near to Gordes is the Sénanque Abbey (a Cistercian abbey from the 12th century). The Abbey can be a mass of people at the height of the lavender season, with everyone attempting to get that perfect shot of the lavender rows framing the Cistercian monastery. However, in the off-season, this part of the Luberon is magical for hiking.
Abbaye Notre-Dame de Sénanque