Population: approx. 2130
Distance from Uzès: 76 km (1- 1½ hours)
Market Day: Tuesday morning
Gordes is one of the most photographed villages in France along with Roussillon. The limestone houses all seem to be built and stepped into the rock on the one side of the hill giving amazing panoramic views over the Imergue Valley. As you drive towards the village, most days, you will notice a lot of vehicles including buses pulling up by the side of the road in a small parking area and people with cameras in hand all vying for the perfect snap of the village. If you miss that opportunity, as you leave there are further vantage points to pull into off the road.
Part of the charm of Gordes is that the stonework gives the village a unified and quite homogenous look, unlike many other places where it is actually the marked lack of uniformity between building styles and materials that appeals. Whilst it was never destroyed during the Wars of Religion, it was largely destroyed by the Germans in 1944 and has been rebuilt and many buildings restored.
The centre is dominated by the old château near the main place where the Tuesday market is held. There are many narrow lanes to wander down and discover small shops and cafés hidden away. Whilst it is very much a tourist hot spot and derives its main income from the many visitors throughout most of the year it is a different story in winter when many businesses take their vacation and finding a place to eat can be a struggle as we found in January one year.
The views from the paths leading around to where the some of the more recent houses demonstrating considerable architectural feats are well worth seeing or of you prefer to sit and people watch there are a number of cafés and wine bars opening onto the main square.
Parking is well catered for and whilst it is not free, cars can be parked at the bottom of the village or you can drive on further and go to the top car park off the road to the left once you reach the main square and see the imposing tower of the old château in front of you.