By now, it is clear, I love visiting villages in Provence. Of all that I have visited, I chose my top 4 to highlight. So far I have covered Chataeuneuf-du-Pape (the must for wine lovers, Lourmarin ( A must of lovers of tranquility), and Cadenet ( A must for an authentic French village experience). They all are unique yet quintessentially Provencal. There are most likely no wrong villages to visit, It is Provence after all. I would recommend as well Sault, Orange, L’Ilse Sur La Sourge, St Remy de Provence, Lancon de Provence, Bandol, and Cadiere d’Azur. Though I haven’t been there yet, I hear amazing things about Lacoste, Roussillon, Apt, and Casiss. But for a true stunner of a village, you can’t beat Gordes.
Gordes, also in the Luberon is literally set into a hillside. If you didn’t have defined calf muscles before, a visit to Gordes will ensure you leave with them. To say it is hilly is an understatement. Parking is frightening at best and yes it is probably best to spare your ankles and wear flat shoes. But it is so worth it. Back in 2012, we arrived in Avignon and picked up our rented car. We piled in, ready to set off to Gordes. @benton8tor and I excited to see where some of the scenes from a Good Year were filmed ( the movies starring Russell Crowe is OK but scenery is stunning). My parents on this trip with us in 2012, were in the back. As we drove down the beautiful Provencal roads, more often than not surrounded by plane trees, I was super relaxed. “There is something wrong with the car”@benton8tor surmises. ” No there isn’t” I reply rather huffily. After all, I has markets to visit and wine to drink. “Do you hear that?” from Ben now certain a breakdown is imminent.I roll my eyes, my dad rolls his eyes and my mother pipes up “Yes Yes I hear it too! ” We stop they roll down to the window to discover the sound? La cigale or cicada one of the loudest insects in Provence. We still haven’t let them live it down.
We pulled into our B and B, La Burliere. http://la-burliere.com/ Normally, I prefer hotels but this place was spectacular. Our hosts were gracious, warm, and helpful. The property beautiful. Our room had a private balcony and my parent a private terrace. Each room was uniquely Provencal decorated with colours and artists of Provence. Breakfast every morning was delicious with homemade pastries, jams and juices. Seriously stay with them.
But onto Gordes for lunch. The approach to Gordes is nothing short of spectacular. There’s a perfect spot to pull over for pictures but if you are afraid of heights, well it is probably best to keep going
Gordes can be difficult to maneuver but it is full of shops and restaurants well worth the visit.Lavender is very easy to come by as is anything lavender scented.Gordes is a tourist attraction and caters to clientele with money so it can be expensive and busy. But worth it. Out lunch spot looked at first like a typical tourist store. Which it was selling local products. My mom wanted to go in to buy soap (which she did, several times) and we realized they had a patio out back.A patio that overlooked the Luberon valley with spectacular view. So we of course took a seat.I had a beautiful tomato salad. My mother had a ham and melon salad. Which became the bane of my existence as she swore it was so good that that is all she wanted to eat for the rest of the trip.Possibly forever. It has been 5 years, she still talks about it.
Gordes however does have many other restaurants and all that we tried were good. It can get busy and if looking for a quick snack it may be easier to try nearby L’Isle Sur La Sorgue. (also the McDonalds drive through gives beer, we didn’t eat there, just got beer) but for poking around and pure beauty, you can’t beat Gordes, so why not join, ’em?