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Gordes

The famous village perché (hilltop village) of Gordes is only a short distance from Fontaine-de-Vaucluse, but you need to wend your way south, east, and then north on D100A, D100, D2, and D15 to skirt the impassable hillside. It’s a lovely drive through dry, rocky country covered with wild lavender and scrub oak and it may tempt you to a picnic or a walk. How surprising, then, to leave such wildness behind and enter resort country. Once a summer retreat favored by modern artists such as André Lhôte, Marc Chagall, and Victor Vasarely, Gordes is now surrounded by luxury vacation homes, modern hotels, restaurants, and B&Bs, much patronized by chic Parisians. No matter. The ancient stone village still rises above the valley in painterly hues of honey gold, and its mosaiclike cobbled streets—lined with boutiques, galleries, and real-estate offices—still wind steep and narrow to its Renaissance château. Gordes’s year-round farmers’ market (Tuesday 8 to 1) is a grand event, offering more upscale wares than some of its neighbors—truffle-infused olive oil, charcuterie, locally made foie gras, and pretty Provençal linens.

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