Listed as one of France’s “les plus beaux villages”, Gordes features as one of the must-do visits on almost every guide to Provence on the Vaucluse side. It’s domineering chateau in the perched centre is well frequented by tourists and is used as the town hall and a venue for artist expositions and other events. Pol Mara’s paintings are housed here permanently and Marc Chagall (one of many famous artists) once called it home.
What is particular to this village is at first its sheer number of flat, light-grey stone walls that greet vehicles heading to the centre of town (top of the hill). They lead you all the way up to further enchanting buildings and streets waiting to be discovered by foot. Parking can be challenging so the earlier you find it the better (even if you may have to pay up to 4 euros for the day).
There are some posh restaurants and a distinguished 5-star hotel here (Bastide de Gordes). Be prepared to walk up and down some hills too, to see the old cobbled stone paths and stone wall houses. There is a jaw-dropping look-out point too, with views stretching across the valley below it and onto Cavaillon. Just follow the lane to the right of pharmacy.
My family and I had a lovely meal just across from the chateau entrance at Les Cuisines du Château restaurant (04 90 72 01 31) but it was not child-friendly (no childrens’ menu). My children (7 and 11 years old) had to eat a half portion of an adult’s meal but they were fine with that (salmon and quinoa). I ordered a Thai salad that was made with soy noodles and prawns and lots of coriander. My husband ordered the plat du jour which was guinea foul sautéed in thick, gooey sauce (I dont know how better to describe this but it was amazing) and their style of Ratatouille (veggies chopped into small cubes and cooked to oblivion and oh so very Provençale). Both my children had adult sized desserts (adults had a coffee) and the bill came to just under 70 euros for the 4 of us (without wine) which I found reasonable considering the ambiance and location.
A visit to Gordes can be combined with a visit to Lourmarin or onto closer-to-Avignon villages like the stunning Fontaine de Vaucluse and the canals’ town of L’Isle sur La Sorgue (2 hours from Cotignac). Best way to get there: drive in the direction of Barjols, head to La Verdière, then go through Ginasservis, Vinon-sur-Verdon, Mirabeau, La Bastidonn, Pertuis, Cadenet, Lourmarin, Bonneiux, Goult and finally arrive at Gordes. Bon voyage 🙂