Upon leaving the beautiful Abbaye de Sénanque last summer, we wound our way a few kilometers south to the hillside village of Gordes for an enjoyable lunch and some sight-seeing. Its perch high above the Luberon valley, paired with its unique cliff-hugging design, has earned Gordes a spot on the list of the Plus Beaux Villages de France, and as we approached, we were met by a breathtaking view that explained why.
Our lunch reservation was on the patio at L’Artegal, a lovely café located across from the St. Firmin church in the center of town. Unique items on a menu always grab my attention so I went for the dariole, a type of dish I had not heard of but I did know what crevettes and langoustines were. The shellfish were blended with eggs, creme, and spices, then cooked in a ramekin, and finally, served over a shellfish sauce. Simply divine. The kids went the safe route and ordered the duck, which was also very good.
After lunch, it was time to go sight-seeing. Okay. I admit it. Lunch was the only activity I had planned, which meant very little research had gone into compiling a list of must see’s in Gordes. We were winging it when this church entrance caught our eye, its unusual wall adornment above the door drawing us in. By now, the afternoon sun was at full strength so the cool of the interior would be welcomed.
Imagine our surprise and delight when we pushed open the church’s heavy wooden doors! Originally Romanesque in design, the church was rebuilt in the 18th century and dedicated to Saint Firmin, bishop of the city of Uzès. The colors were simply stunning. (I neglected to shoot a picture of the full space, so be sure to check it out here.)
In the square nearby, these traditional Provençal linens and baskets didn’t seem to mind the sun at all.
Charming cobblestone passageways offered more shopping opportunities…and plenty of exercise, too.
After a bit more meandering through the rocky village, we spied this sliver of green in the distance…
A spectacular view over the Luberon valley stretched out before us. Unfortunately, there was little time to linger because we had to head back “home” to Crestet. Next visit, I look forward to exploring more of this beautiful village, like that 11th-century castle dominating the top of the hill…
Maybe you have a favorite “most beautiful village” in Provence? Leave a comment about it!
Top photo courtesy of www.avignon-et-provence.com.