Gordes, France is located in the heart of Provence and facilitates an experience unlike any other in France. Due to its Roman beginnings—Provence was the first Roman province settled west of the Alps—the region has a unique culture compared to others within the south of France. And during our new France: Slow Road Through Provence walking vacation you’ll have the chance to experience much of this history while on a day trip to Gordes.
The commune of Gordes is located on a hilltop in southern France’s scenic Luberon region. It has served as an inspiration to artists like Marc Chagall and André Lhote, with its cobbled streets lined with close-set buildings that are made of honey-colored stone. History and beauty abound while walking the streets and it’s likely to stay that way, as any new buildings must be made from stone with terracotta roofs, all telephone cables are buried underground and no fences are allowed—just stone walls. You’ll have the opportunity to take all this in as you walk through the commune during your free time on our walking vacation, and also bask in the sprawling views of the valley below. You can even see Roman relics that still exist today like the ancient Roman road that runs through the town, connecting Apt and Carpentras.
One highlight for VBT Travelers is the walk from Gordes up to the nearby Sénanque Abbey, a 12th-century Cistercian Abbey set among lavender fields and oak groves in a small valley. Due to its unique placement in the valley, the abbey’s apse faces north rather than the typical liturgical east. Over the years the property grew and reached its heyday in the 13th and 14th centuries when the monks operated a handful of mills and granges on the property, as well as other estates within Provence. However, during the late 16th century the Hugeuenots looted the abbey and destroyed the monk’s quarters which effectively ended any residence at the abbey for hundreds of years before the abbey was resettled in 1854. Today, there is a small community of monks who live and work here cultivating honey and lavender on the abbey’s grounds.
To read more about France: Slow Road Through Provence vacation please click here. To request a walking catalog or learn more about any of our other exciting walking destinations from New Zealand to Yellowstone National Park to Italy and beyond, please visit http://bit.ly/VBTWalking2014. If you would like to reserve a vacation or speak with one of our Tour Consultants, please call 800-245-3868, available Monday-Friday from 8:30am to 6:30pm EST.