Altitude: 760 meters
Perched high above the Loup Valley, tiny Gourdon offers visitors one of the best views on the entire Riviera. The village is dramatic and popular with plenty of parking just below the main entrance. Numerous shops sell everything from scarves and wine to lavender and soap. If the weather is warm the skies will no doubt be filled with countless para-gliders, so grab a table at an outdoor cafe, order a glass of local wine, and watch as they buzz the rooftops.
WHEN TO GO:
You may want to visit Gourdon early into your trip (and during the day, the village shuts down completely at night). The exceptional lookout point at the southern edge of town (there’s a map built into the stone wall) can be helpful in getting a feel for the area.
BEST KEPT SECRET:
Chateau de Gourdon
Many tourists visit Gourdon each year, but few know about the gardens of the Chateau. Located at the western edge of the village, the perfectly manicured Italian gardens offer a welcome respite. There are also two very interesting museums inside the Chateau.
Chateau de Gourdon
Tel. 04 93 09 68 02
Fax. 04 93 09 68 97
Open every day from June 1st to September 30th from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.
From the 1st of October to May 31st – open from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Not open on Tuesday
The gardens at the Chateau de Goudon
Plan to drive through the dramatic Gorges du Loup, either on your way to Gourdon, or when you leave. The D6 follows the Loup river as it cuts its way through the narrow gorge, a popular destination for rock climbers, hikers, and spelunkers. The Cascade (waterfall) de Courmes is worth a stop. Located inside the gorge about 4 kilometers from the D2210, the 120 foot waterfall originates near the tiny, hidden village of Courmes.
BEST TABLES FOR LUNCH:
Auberge de Gourdon:
Comfortable and affordable, this restaurant/bar/tabac below the main village has a friendly atmosphere and a lively clientele. In warm weather try to get a table outside.
Price range – 25 euros
Route de Caussols
Tel. 04 93 09 69 69
Fax. 04 93 77 55 92
Open only for lunch
Le Vieux Four:
This relatively new establishment near the village entrance has garnered rave reviews since opening in January of 2006.
Price range – 30 to 60 euros.
Tel. 04 93 09 68 60
A small restaurant with ample outdoor seating that offers tasty, simple food with great views across the valley to the Mediterranean. Located on the Grand Rue in the middle of the village.