Beautiful Gordes Market in Pictures
Gordes, classified as one of the most beautiful villages of France. This famous hilltop town looks out over the Luberon National Park. You feel obligated to stop your car driving into the village as the village is arguably even more beautiful from the outside. The architecture here is similar to the bories village settlements where dry stone dwellings were made from rocks in farming land. You can visit some of these settlements nearby the town. All to say, Gordes Market is worth visiting if you’re in the area.
The colours of Gordes are more muted compared to some nearby towns such as Roussillon. However, it’s charm is sure to make you dream of picking up a paintbrush, especially in the early morning before anyone arrives.
The weekly market takes place on Tuesdays all year round. It’s becoming more and more popular with the growing visits to the nearby Abbaye de Senanque.
The market is classified as a Provencal market which means that you’ll find all kinds of quality alimentary and artisan goods. The stalls set up a little later than some markets- I find the hilltop towns tend to wake up a little slower. I suggest having a coffee at Le Cercle Republicain, the local no-frills café where you’ll witness the market workers catching up. Sit on the terrace and appreciate the view.
Architecture and Style
You’ll find vendors at Gordes surrounding the beautiful Renaissance-style castle that crowns the village.
This is the fountain in front of the entrance to the castle, where you’ll find the tourism office. When the fountain was used for washing, this was the heart of the village. Lots of gossip has been told around this basin! You can take a walk with a local guide at the tourist office for 5 euros to find out more about the village history.
I love the old photographs the town hall of Gordes has put up this year. They add yet another stunning and nostalgic dimension to this town.
Nougat sold by the magnificently bearded Jean. Every morning you can smell the burning caramel he cooks in his copper pot over a flame to coat his hazelnuts. Sometimes, if you’re lucky, you’ll catch him in a sly smile.
Savon de Marseille made with vegetable oil. The older they are, the more disfigured they become as the salt in the soap comes to the surface and the bars dry out. This allows the soap to froth more during use, making it a better quality. I love the bars for decoration as well.
Virginie, one of the fruit and veg vendors, is fanatical about her fruits. They have to be placed just so and my she does a fantastic job of making them as visually pleasing as possible! You can’t even talk to her early in the morning as she’s concentrating on displaying her quality produce.
Watercolours by one of the many artists displaying their work for sale at this market. If I had to pick one thing that differentiates this market from the others it’s that there are more artists here. Perfect for a morning perusing the stalls and a souvenir for home. One man painstakingly presses large sunflowers and sells them framed. Simple, and beautiful.
Henri sells an intoxicating combination of lavender and chilli bouquets. I have several of his different type of chilli bouquets hanging in my Provencal kitchen. Right now, you can buy fresh lavender in bouquets. Look how purple it is!
Don’t sniff too close- he may playfully try and poke your nose in the large sacks of lavender flowers! Sadly, I was a victim…at least I was smelling lavender all day…
Tapenades in Provence
All over Provence, you’ll see various types of local spreads for sale. They are most often eaten on little toasts for apéro. I have tried them all. These, are by far the best-jarred specimens. “Le Bob,” as we call him, has searched for the very best from all his producers. Each of his condiments is made by a different person, not in a factory, to ensure the highest care and quality. A MUST try is the cream of garlic or the crème d’archichauts à l’ail that you see here in the large jar. Also, the truffle pesto. Decadence!
When I was a Market Girl… Well, still am really…
On the right, you can see Bertrand from La Plancha Grill, always with tongs in hand. He makes stuffed Provencal tomatoes (you have to get them quick or reserve as they’re always sold out). Bertrand grills sausages for sandwiches and makes Provencal potatoes. Yum! This is where I used to work. His tomatoes aren’t quite as good as mine…
In front of him, you’ll find the stall of Etienne, local vigneron. His wine, Domaine Chapelle Saint Heyriès, is made right at the bottom of the village and he makes it himself. If you can’t make the market, you can visit his store. It doesn’t get any more local than that!
The yellow stand is where to buy the best olive oil around, from Franck et Marie. Ask to taste the different varieties and be amazed how different olive oil can taste! I like the strong, peppery stuff.
Olives sold by the brother of the owner of Les Delices du Luberon, a well-known company here in Provence.
Sheep in the streets!
Provencal patterns and tablecloths are heavily influenced by Indian designs. The trade of fabrics in Marseille allowed for this inspiration. A tablecloth is a colourful souvenir for home.
I love the roof of the above building. A tad bowed I’d say? It’s even more evident from far away.
Voila! The Gordes Market. If you’re in the Luberon, a worthwhile visit!
Book a Market Tour with Curious!
If you’d like to book a CuriousProvence Market Tour with me, send me an email! Tours in Gordes run from mid April to mid September. Tours go all year long at the bigger Isle sur la Sorgue and Saint Remy de Provence markets. At the end of the tour, we’ll have a picnic with rosé (of course) behind one of the stands. See Tripadvisor for reviews on my private tours.