The history and beauty of Gordes has made it a tourist hotspot in the heart of the Luberon and Alpilles in Provence. It’s an architectural gem, a picture-perfect Provençal hilltop village with its cobbled lanes and stone houses that spiral up to the château overlooking the Luberon’s valley and mountains. Countless artists have called it home: Marc Chagall, André Lhote, Victor Vasarely and Pol Mara who has a museum devoted to him.
You can visit Palais Saint-Firmin’s semi-troglodyte cellars and grounds, the Bories village, small drystone huts which sheltered shepherds, the Cistercian 12th century Sénanque Abbey deep in the Sénancole Valley surrounded by fabulous and heady lavender fields. Simply magical.
Gordes is surrounded by other Provençal villages and outstanding sites: L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue and its antique shops, Roussillon and the Ochre Trail, Ménerbes, its wine and truffles, Fontaine de Vaucluse and its spring bursting from the bottom of a 230m high cliff… Great ideas for trips a stone’s throw from our location to make memories in the Luberon.
TOURISM & LEISURE – THINGS TO SEE AND DO
A fortified village overlooked by a Renaissance castle built in its centre. Staggered cliffside houses, steep cobbled lanes, a little square with a fountain, manors, the village radiates an incredible natural harmony where stones reign supreme.
• The château
It has been here since 1031 and was rebuilt in 1525. The well-preserved and tastefully-restored castle’s architecture blends the turbulent Middle Ages with the new Renaissance lifestyle. The hearth in the staggering ceremonial hall was listed as a Monument Historique in 1902 followed by the entire castle in 1931.
• The Bories village
Group of small round buildings that epitomise Provençal agriculture. Crop storage site. This village is a rural habitat site
• Cistercian Sénanque Abbey
Working monastery founded in 1148.
• Palais Saint-Firmin and its troglodyte rooms
Built by man, carved into the rock and testament to the village’s artisan trades in the Middle Ages.
• Moulin des bouillons
Gallo-Roman site presenting the history of olive oil and savon de Marseille in the Mediterranean.
• The Summer Festival
• Glass and Stained Glass History Museum
7000 years of history, from the glass bead to the window, stained glass to solar cells. 600m² museum in 3ha of grounds with sculptural installations by Frédérique Durand.
• Fantastic view of Gordes from Bel Air rock car park (on the right on the way up to Coustellet) Views of Gordes’ surroundings from the village as you walk the streets.
• Countless art galleries and potteries to visit.
• Weekly market 8am-1pm and Côtes du Ventoux wine festival in August.
• Gordes Summer Nights Festival August 3rd-13th outdoors.
Rambling in Gordes
Gorges de la Véroncle: mill ruins that used the Véroncle’s water before the earthquake in 1909.
Gordes Maquis Memorial Trails 1942-1944 Le Petit Palais d’Aglaé is just metres from the Blue Trail. A 3.5 hr walk covering 9.5km that introduces you to another side of Gordes village’s history.. (www.cheminsdeparc.pnrpaca.org)
PLACES TO VISIT NEAR GORDES
• La Muse – Vaud history museum. Museum presenting archives about the history of this religious minority.
• View of the Durance Valley and south side of the Petit Luberon from the top of the old château.
• Farmer’s market on Monday 4pm-11pm in July/August and weekly market on Saturday 8am-1pm.
• Bird observatory.
• Durance riverside walk and birdwatching and walk deep in the garrigue.
• Mérindol Thursdays: free apéro concert in the village in July/August.
• Tuesday morning botanical walk.
• Fantastic views of Oppede le Vieux and Menerbes.
• Saint-Veran Cathedral and Cloister.
• Romanesque cathedral which was the episcopal seat for the Cavaillon diocese for centuries. Its interior is staggering. Be sure to visit it and the lovely little cloister.
• Comtat synagogue and Jewish museum.
This 18th century synagogue in the old town is a remarkably-unspoilt building that’s incredibly original and has recently been restored. It lies in the heart of the Carriere ghetto, meaning “street” in Provençal. The architectural shape of Comtat synagogues, only upheld in Cavaillon and Carpentras, is one-of-a-kind.
• Hôtel Dieu Archeological Museum.
Collection of items related to the occupation and urban development of Cavaillon and Western Luberon from Prehistory, Antiquity, the Middle Ages right up to modern times.
• Hôtel d’Agar.
• Year-round temporary exhibitions.
• Weekly market Monday morning 8am-1pm – Farmer’s market 5pm-7pm April-October.
• Melon Feria July 11th and 12th.
• Night market and jazz night every Thursday 8pm-11pm 14/07-15/08.
• Film events 24-27/09.
COUSTELLET / MAUBEC
• Farmer’s market – April-November and every Sunday and Wednesday evening in July and August
• Late August: Book festival with exhibitions, second-hand book sellers, plays, poetry
• Lavender Museum– influence of lavender on the region
• Plague Wall – over 4km trail
• Romanesque Saint-Vincent Parish Church
• 13th century château rebuilt in the late 16th century after the Vaud episode
• “Cedar forest” educational trail
• Saint Eusèbe Chapel
• Oratory to the Virgin Mary
• Conservatory of Ochre and Applied Pigments
• The Ochre Trail
• St-Hilaire Abbey
• St Blaise Chapel
• Maison de la truffe et du vin du Luberon
• Corkscrew Museum
• Dolmen de la Pitchoune
• Jane Eakin’s house
ISLE SUR LA SORGUE
• Collegiate church
• Tour d’Argent
• Hôtel Campreddon – art museum
• Water wheels
• Street markets and farmer’s markets on Thursday and Sunday 6am-2pm.
• Farmer’s markets May-September 5.30pm-7.30pm.
• River market first Sunday of August.
• Artisan market on the first Saturday of every month April-September 10am-7pm.
• Flea market every Sunday.
• La Brocante flea market, antiques dealers and night market at Easter and on August 15th.
FONTAINE DE VAUCLUSE
• Gouffre de La fontaine – Sorgue spring
• 14th century château ruins belonging to the Cavaillon bishops
• Romanesque 6AD Notre Dame de Saint Veran Church
• Ruins of a Roman canal over the Sorgue
• Santon Museum
• History Museum – Appel de la Liberté
• Gouffre open-air museum
• La Cristallerie des Papes glassblowing
• Pétrarque Library Museum
• Paper mill
• Le Thor
12th century Notre Dame du Lac Church
Porte du Douzabas gate and belfry
Le Thouzon caves
• Oppèdele Vieux
Lovely little village on top of a rocky spur where you can visit the feudal castle ruins and church dating back to the 12th century
Stunning little village where you’ll love strolling among its 13th century lanes and ramparts
Beautiful village opposite Bonnieux. Attractions: The ruins of the Marquis de Sade’s château, 12th century church and cobbled lanes
Next door to our hotel, explore the magical little village and visit the Plague Wall, a staggering 25km-long drystone wall built to protect the Comtat Venaissin from the plague in the 18th century
Magical village opposite Roussillon which, like Gordes, is made up of cobbled lanes where you can wander and explore its 13th century St Jean-Baptiste Church
– First up is the fabulous medieval-meets-Renaissance Château de Gordes
– Sunday morning market in L’Isle sur La Sorgue
– Tour of the traditional villages around Gordes (Bonnieux, Lacoste, Joucas)
– The Roussillon ochre trail
– Cavaillon Cathedral and Synagogue
– La Fontaine de Vaucluse spring
PETIT PALAIS D’AGLAE
Route de Murs
84220 Gordes – France
Tel : +33 4 32 50 21 02
Coordonnées GPS :