Gordes tourism & sightseeing
Visit Gordes (Provence, France)
Gordes is a lovely traditional Provencal 'village on a rock' with narrow cobbled streets that wind ever higher through the tall, ancient houses to the church and castle that stand above the village, with views across the Luberon mountains and region. It is often said to be the most photogenic of the Provencal villages - no mean accolade, given the competition. And it is the most visited of all the villages in the region.
An important part of the attraction of Gordes is the view of the village when it is seen from across the valley. From here you can appreciate the whole village running in terraces down the slope of the hill, with carefully planted Italian Poplar trees and plants breaking the whiteness of the village. This (on a sunny day) is one of the great views of France!
The highlight of Gordes is...Gordes itself. It is a simply lovely, traditional Provencal hilltop village, and has a myriad of narrow and cobbled streets that wind their way ever upwards to the church, castle and fine views that await you at the top.
Many of the houses, in the white stone of the region, are now pristinely restored and often include impressive stone doorways and windows, and interspersed with luxury shops and restaurants (especially around the village square).
France This Way comment: the village itself, while very attractive, almost fails to live up to the high expectations that the view as you approach has prepared you for. In some respects the number of tourists in Gordes mean it is not so evocative to explore as some of the others in the region such as Menerbes or Lacoste - but a visit is still highly recommended!
The castle, the most important historical monument in the village and also now carefully restored, was originally built in 1031 (or earlier, its exact origins are unknown) and then rebuilt in 1525. It is now an imposing monument with its high stone walls and round towers.
Inside Gordes castle there are several impressive features including a grand renaissance staircase and ornate fireplace, it also houses a museum of art exhibits and the Pol Mara art museum - the trend for displaying art in the castle was started by artist owner Victor Vaserely who rented the castle for a long period during the 20th century.
As with all of these stunningly attractive Provencal perched villages, visiting Gordes outside high season is preferable.
Abbaye de Sénanque is a beautiful 12th century abbey in the valley near Gordes (and still has resident monks). Squeezed between lavender fields and hills, with simple architectural lines, this is to me a 'perfect' abbey.
After following the road the few kilometres from Gordes to the abbey, be sure to find time to carry on a few more kilometres along the same road - it is one of the most scenic roads in the region, as it winds its way through the craggy hills of the petit Luberon.
Village of the Bories. Sitting on the edge of the Vaucluse mountains, the bories are ancient stone dwellings, dating back up to 3000 years. The Village of the Bories is now classified as a National Monument, and is a fine example of such a village, with numerous buildings, sheep-pens, bread ovens etc to explore: see Village des Bories.
See also our Luberon travel guide for lots more scenic villages close to Gordes.
Map of Gordes and places to visit
Visit near Gordes with France This Way reviews
... or see ALL recommended places to visit in Vaucluse
Gordes is classified as a one of the most beautiful village in France (plus beau villages)
Address: Gordes, Apt, Vaucluse, Provence, 84220, France || GPS: latitude 43.911, longitude 5.201
Plan your visit to Gordes, Provence
Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby
- Abbaye de Sénanque (Gordes): religious monument
- Roussillon: most beautiful village (7km)
- Menerbes: most beautiful village (9km)
- Collégiale Notre Dame des Anges (Sorgues): religious monument (9km)
- Venasque: most beautiful village (10km)
- Jardin de la Louve: remarkable garden (13km)
- Jarditrain: remarkable garden (13km)
- Pernes-les-Fontaines: recommended detour (15km)
- Apt: recommended detour (16km)
- Gorges de Régalon: site of natural beauty (17km)
Market days in Gordes, France
Regular market(s) are held in Gordes each Tuesday. (Markets are held in the morning unless stated.)
The French version of this page is at Gordes (Francais)