Gordes, a quintessential Provençal hilltop village, (one of the Plus Beau Villages de France) is really all about the view of the town from the approaching road and not much else, but what a view. On the drive up to town take advantage of the small parking area on the right side of the road for a quick yet stunning snap.
On a pretty Tuesday morning (market day in Gordes) in mid-May we noticed that we were following some sort of starlet whose drive up to the market was being filmed by the vehicle in front of her. We recognized her car, a vintage red Peugeot 304 convertible, and her wide-brimmed hat from an episode of Les Carnet de Julie whose charming and pretty host, Julie Andrieu, travels around France in search of traditional recipes. Wonder what she is cooking up in Gordes?
Although a gorgeous day and a pleasant market for those looking for soap, linens and other souvenirs, I can’t imagine what a cook found of interest at this mainly tourist market – few offerings of local specialties and an even smaller selection of fruits and vegetables or proteins.
A short distance past Gordes is the much photographed Abbey Notre-Dame de Sénanque, graced with tidy rows of lavender in front of the abbey. Be sure to stop and take a picture from above the abbey on the one-way road that leads down the hill as the road out does not afford the same views.
Continuing on the road north of the abbey, D177, Route du Mont Ventoux, we drove through the canyon of a pretty mountain area, Monts de Vaucluse, to the hilltop village of Venasque, also listed as one of the most beautiful in France.