France is full of beautiful villages, and being France, has an association they can belong to; Les Plus Beaux Villages de France. There are 157 of these villages spread throughout France. They must have certain qualifications to become a member. Two of the main stipulations are that there is a maximum population of 2,000 inhabitants and has at least 2 protected sites or monuments.
Another type of town is a “perched village”. They are located high up on rocky crags, they look out over the surrounding countryside and were built with vantage points to defend against the enemy. Gordes is a great example of both a perched village and Les Plus Beaux Village de France.
Bill was excited to go to Gordes, I didn’t understand why he was so intent on visiting this town; he pretty much let me decide where we go each day. Today he wanted to be sure we visited Gordes. He had a plan.
After watching the movie “A Good Year” he decided we needed to visit the café in the movie. He after much research he found out it was filmed in Gordes and wanted to surprise me with lunch at this little café. Well, long story short the café is closed on Monday, which was the day we made our visit. We did find a wonderful lunch alternative overlooking the valley below the village, all worked out perfectly.
After lunch we headed north to visit Abbey De Senanque, famous for the lavender gardens surrounding this 12th century Cistercian Abbey. The abbey was founded in 1148 by an abbot and 12 monks. The legacy continues today, and the active abbey is still maintained by the monks. They harvest the lavender to make honey, soap, perfume and essential oils all sold in their visitor center boutique.