Gordes Commune near Avignon, France

Gordes is a commune in the Vaucluse département in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region in southeastern France. The nearest big city is Avignon; smaller cities nearby include Cavaillon, L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue and Apt. It has a population of ~2,100 people.

During World War II, Gordes was an active resistance village and was later awarded a medal, the Croix de guerre 1939–1945.

Gordes was used to shoot some of the scenes for the Ridley Scott’s 2006 movie “A Good Year“, starring Russell Crowe and Marion Cotillard.

1. We arrived in Gordes around ~14:00 with a very fine weather, but it got cloudy real fast, so the second half of the photos are not as bright as this one.
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If you are driving then I recommend to leave your car at the hospital’s big parking lot a hundred meters away from the center of the commune.

2. Numerous restaurants and cafes are located around the main square.
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3. The facades of buildings are well maintained and advertising is kept to a minimum.
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4.
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5. This castle was built in 1031 and is currently used by the Office de Tourisme de Gordes. Inside you can find rooms with the history of Gordes, art exhibitions, etc.
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6.
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7. Let’s go inside the castle.
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8. In October the castle hosted an art exhibition by Eva Vorfeld.
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9.
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10. Eva’s Métamorphoses series, fantastic work!
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11. A view outside the castle’s window.
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12. Let’s continue our exploration of Gordes.
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For this next part of the journey we had to put our baby stroller back into the car and continue on foot.

13.
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14. Leaving the stroller behind was a good idea.
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15.
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16. The first viewing point, but the scenery is blocked by the houses. There has to be a better location.
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17. Still searching for a viewing point.
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18. Bingo!
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19. Vineyards as far as the eye can see, not many Olive trees.
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20. Here I swapped my 16mm ultra-wide lens for a 70-200mm lens, I knew I’ll have good use for it.
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21.
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22. An amazing spectrum of Autumn colors.
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23. I said this before, but Southern France is so much different from what you see in Tuscany.
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24.
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25.
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26. We went below the viewing point at the top, walked around a little and found more scenery.
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27. Notice the tiny people to the left of the building. That’s the best place to get a good look of Gordes. Most of the postcards and wallpapers with Gordes are usually shot from there.
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28. I wonder if anyone ever jumped into the swimming pool at the bottom left.
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29. The “Eglise Saint Firmin” church in the center of Gordes. It was open even while undergoing massive renovations. A front shot looks fine at the first glance.
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30. I wonder how and why it got into such a deplorable state!?
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31. We go out of the church and are back on the main stret, which makes a small circle around the castle.
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32.
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33. For every pizzeria in Italy you will find a creperie in France.
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34. Right near the castle you will find this beautiful “park” in front of the Gordes City Hall. It is also shared with the Gordes Hospital that is right next to the City Hall.
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35. It was empty in the middle of a Saturday. I didn’t have to try and crop people out, it was simply empty and beautiful.
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36. I wonder if local photographers use this location for photo sessions, weddings, engagements, etc.
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37. This is the recommended viewing point that I mentioned in photo #27. There are no fences or safety rails, just an open rock with the views.
There’s a special parking lot near it, but you are allowed to park only for 5-10 minutes. There’s also a big sign reminding you to lock your car and to keep valuables out of sight. A popular place for thieves to steal from tourists?
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Final Thoughts

We really liked exploring Gordes. It is very friendly with tourists and is easy to visit by car. Plenty of parking space near the hospital, plenty of places to eat and drink and of course the fantastic views! I encourage photographers to haul a telephoto lens with them, as there are many opportunities to use it.

Gordes was a short drive from Bastide Saint-Didier, a charming B&B that we were staying at in Saint-Didier. Check them out if you are looking for a beautiful and friendly place to stay in Vaucluse/Luberon.

These photos were taken on 22nd of October 2016.

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