Gordes makes a popular day trip destination from Aix-en-Provence, Avignon, and Marseille, and is often visited as part of a tour of the Luberon region. Most tours combine Gordes with the hilltop town of Roussillon, known for its ochre cliffs, and the 12th-century Sénanque Abbey, which has a backdrop of purple lavender fields. Gordes itself is best explored on a walking tour, which offers a more intimate glimpse into the Old Town.
Leave yourself enough time to visit the castle and browse shops selling handicrafts and souvenirs. Gordes makes for some beautiful photos and the best views are from a hilltop viewpoint opposite the town—pick up a map from the tourist office by the chateau.
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Things to Know Before You Go
Wear comfortable shoes—Gordes has steep hills and cobblestone lanes.
Be sure to pack sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses—summer temperatures in Provence can reach over 86°F (30°C).
The steep hills of Provence can be a challenge for wheelchair users and travelers with strollers.
How to Get There
Gordes is located in the Luberon region of Provence, 25 miles (40 kilometers) east of Avignon, approximately a 1-hour drive, and 45 miles (75 kilometers) north of Aix-en-Provence, from which its a 1.5-hour drive. Public transport in the area is limited so it’s best to either arrange your own transport or join a tour that lets you skip the hassle of car hire. The closest international airport is in Avignon.
When to Get There
Gordes is busiest during the summer months of July and August. To avoid the crowds, opt for an early morning or late evening visit, or explore Gordes out of season, when you can enjoy a more local experience. An atmospheric time to visit is on market day (Tuesday), while the castle is closed on Sundays.
The Luberon Villages
Gordes is one of a number of hilltop villages dotted throughout the Luberon region of Provence; most tours visit multiple villages in one day. Along with the ochre town of Roussillon, standout villages include Lourmarin, famous for its Renaissance castle; Castellet, which is home to one of the region’s oldest lavender distilleries; Bonnieux, where Ridley Scott’s movie ‘A Good Year’ was filmed; and Ansouis, another one of the ‘Most Beautiful Villages in France’.
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- Senanque Abbey (Abbaye Notre-Dame de Sénanque)
- Lavender Museum (Musee de la Lavande)
- Les Halles Market
- Rocher des Doms
- Palace of the Popes (Palais des Papes)
- Little Palace Museum (Musée du Petit Palais)
- Rhône River
- Avignon Cathedral (Cathedrale Notre-Dame des Doms)
- St. Benezet Bridge (Pont d'Avignon)
- Les Baux-de-Provence
- Montmajour Abbey (Abbaye de Montmajour)