If you are looking for a new way to freshen up your stay with a good dose of country air consider this hiking route. This two-day hiking trip will take you from postcard perfect Gordes to the market town of Apt, with an overnight stay in Gordes. You will definitely need a car traveling from Gordes to Apt, and then you can proceed on these hikes on foot. Start : Gordes. Trip Length : 11 miles. Time 2 days; each day’s hike is about 3 hours ( excluding picnic time).

A hike from Gordes to L’Abbaye de Senanque

Gordes is a beautiful medieval village perched on  the hills of the Luberon.

On day 1, park your car kind of early and start your hike on the Place du Chateau in Gordes. Take the second right to the right of the Provencal Cafe ( not the D15 to Murs) , which leads past La Poste ( post office) on your right. Go right at the Y-junction, with the cemetery on your left. Continue straight until the next Y junction, where you will have turn left down the road, lined with dry-stone walls – this leads to the D15. You will have to go straight, then make a turn left uphill at the signpost marked Fontanille campsite, and look for some mailboxes, then you will turn right. By that point you will have walked 30 minutes. Bear left by the Fontanille campsite and look again and look again for some mailboxes, then turn right. When you reach another fork, take the rocky path to the right. It eventually skirts left, but you have to keep going straight along a narrow path, with the fields to your right. When you reach a T- junction with a huge pine tree, turn right ( now you should have been walking for about one hour). After 492 feet, make a turn left down an uneven path. Cross the valley, keeping a farm entrance to your right. At the next fork, walk along a stony path. Near the Senanque Hamlet, you will reach a crossroads, turn right and go downhill into a wood. At the next crossroads, head straight along the vehicle-friendly road, which comes out on the D177. Cross the road to climb the GR6/97, a path ( 30m/33yds. downhill on the left) that leads to a crossroad with red and white marks. The path turns left downhill toward the Abbey.

Built in 1448, this is one of the trio of primitive abbeys known as “the Cistercian sisters of Provence“. To allow the monks to meditate undistracted, according to the rule of St-Benedict. The only ornamentation was the natural play of light on stone. The starkness of the monks’ dormitory, the church, cloister and warming house ( the only room where the brethren can warm themselves) are both truly moving and magnificent. I will add that the abbaye de Senanque saw much death and destruction before becoming the tranquil retreat it is today.

On the D177, look out for traffic and bear right to follow the sign to Cote de Senanque. Then you will have to turn right and descend a pebbly track with an amazing view onto Gordes. Back on the D177, fork left down a street 656 ft. Once you are back into the center where you can spend the night . The hotel des Bories ( http://www.hotellesbories.com) is Gordes best accommodations, a modern hotel in rough stone and was built around the core of an old Provencal mas. After the long hike dine at the cuisine du chateau , a very nice restaurant in Gordes’s epicerie ( Food Market), originally built in 1850s.

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