Gordes (the picture-perfect commune in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region in the south of France) is the stuff of fairy tales. My good friends got married there, and it was pure magic.
The wedding was at La Bastide de Gordes, the most beautiful hotel I’ve seen in my entire life. (pictured below) Part of the building is perched on the cliffs while the rest is burrowed several stories deep into the rock. It has a couple pools, a Michelin star restaurant, and is covered in priceless antiques and paintings.
a close up of the gardens
The History of Gordes:
- Gordes was believed to be a fortified Roman settlement.
- In the Middle Ages, the people spread out from the hillside to farm the land.
- The region of Provence was incorporated into the kingdom of France in 1481.
- During WWII, the village was known as for its active resistance and faced great retaliation by the Germans.
- In the reconstruction period following, it was home to many artists–most notably Marc Chagall in the late 1940’s.
I stayed at a lovely bed and breakfast, Mas De La Beaume.
(for a fraction of the nightly rate compared to The Bastide)
Since we traveled to celebrate our friends’ wedding, we stayed put longer than usual–a total of 3 days. It was slow paced, filled with long walks and great food.
The outside of our perfectly quaint room is pictured below. I’m convinced this little hut was once a tool shed. My husband hit his head on the ceiling every single night. That probably had a lot to do with the never ending table wine that followed us everywhere.
Little shops selling food and art are scattered across the city center. They sell local wines, cured meats, lavender honey, home goods, etc.
The view from the lobby of The Bastide.
The library bar of The Bastide.
Facts about Gordes:
- Gordes has a Mediterranean climate, so their summers are dry and hot and their winters are cool and damp.
- It’s a great place to grow almonds, olives, and grapes.
- There are a ton of great hikes throughout the hillsides, but simply taking the “calades” (narrow cobblestone walkways) can be an adventure too.
The local grocery store has a tiny window with the most insane view.
The people who call Gordes home are referred to as Gordiens.
the view of Gordes from Bel-Air Rock
To maintain their iconic look,
Gordes has strict rules for new construction:
- All buildings must be made of stone and terra cotta tiles.
- Contemporary fences are not allowed, only those built of stone.
- All cables must run underground.
- And the walkways are mainly paved with stone.
Color is all. When color is right, form is right. Color is everything, color is vibration like music; everything is vibration.Marc Chagall
Because of the threats the city faced in its early history, Gordes has an extensive system of underground tunnels, hidden rooms, and escape routes.
When the Good Lord begins to doubt the world, he remembers that he created Provence.Frederick Mistral