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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 8–1) 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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