Hilltop Villages of Provence

June 22nd, 2012

Close to where we are staying are two hilltop villages; Gordes and Roussillon.   I had heard of both of them while reading Peter Mayles book, A Year in Provence.  Gordes is perched on a hillside with the white stone buildings appearing to be rooted into the cliffs.  Historically villages were built on top of hills for defensive purposes. 

Gordes has a large village square with the original ancient castle and the fountain at its center.  Until recent times the fountain was the only source of water for the village.

The village is full of narrow cobbled streets that were fun to explore, but on a hot day, were a real challange.

We found a secluded cafe for lunch away from the crowds in the square.  There was a breeze and a beautiful view of the valley.   I forgot to take a picture of the food.  David had a tasty lasagna dish and I had a salad with roasted chicken and vegetables.

It also happened to be our anniversary that day, so we got a kind lady to take our picture together.

After getting lost in the hills, we finally found the village of Roussillon.  The earth pigment here has a reddish tint that was used to create the ochre colored paint favored by artists.  The village attracted many famous artists including Marc Chagall.


The buildings all have that warm red hue.  I love the contrasting blue shutters. 

David just had to take this picture of Restaurant David.

He also started taking pictures of what he is referring to as “The Dogs of Provence”.  They are everywhere, running freely and happily. 

We returned to L’Isle Sur la Sorgue for dinner at a restaurant called Bellevue that is right next to the river.  The trout, potatoes and ratatouille were excellent.  The flavors of Provence!

8 responses to “Hilltop Villages of Provence”

  1. We know all the places you describe and they are just wonderful!! Have a wonderful time in Provence! I am loving the pics!

  2. Susan says:

    I anxiously await each new posting from you. An anniversary in Provence….doesn’t get much better than that!! Many, many more happy years together.

  3. Happy Anniversary! I love these pictures. Provence is so beautiful and you are capturing it’s beauty perfectly! Keep having fun!

  4. Balisha says:

    I’m reading “A Year in Provence,” so I really enjoyed this post. Is there an art gallery or museum of Marc Chagall’s work? Happy anniversary to both of you.

  5. wow, what gorgeous photos! it looks so picturesque! great meal too!

  6. Pondside says:

    Ah, Penny, I’ve so enjoyed catching up on your posts. What a wonderful holiday you are having! My mouth is watering from the descriptions and photos of the food. I looked closely at every photo of countryside, town and apartment…..I’m holidaying vicariously! Thanks so much for sharing your lovely time!

  7. Big Dude says:

    Happy anniversary – it looks like you found a great place to spend it. I love seeing these little towns that can be more than 1000 years old and am really enjoying your photos. I’m guessing you didn’t see many Hummers driving around the streets of these villages. The fish meal looks delicious and I’m looking forward to our first eggplant so I can make Stu Hoffers ratatouille.

  8. Happy Anniversary, Penny. What a wonderful way to spend such a special occasion. Love all your pictures and am enjoying your trip right along with you. Thanks for taking us along.

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