Bonjour! Welcome to Gourdon, one of the most visited medieval villages on Cote d’Azur. It’s affectionately nicknamed the “Eagle’s Nest” thanks to the fact that it sits at the top of the high hill, proudly overlooking the surroundings. Besides breathtaking views, in Gourdon, you’ll find picturesque narrow streets full of old stone houses, small art galleries, craft shops, as well as a few historical buildings. Chances are very high that Gourdon will seduce you with its charm from the first steps! Stay with us and discover things to do in Gourdon village in France.
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Gourdon, France FAQ
Gourdon is located inland in the Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur region in Southeastern France. It sits on a hill at an altitude of 760m a.s.l. Gourdon is just a short drive from popular places like Grasse, Nice, Vence or Antibes.
Of course! It’s not without a reason that Gourdon became one of the most popular destinations on Cote d’Azur. It’s pretty, charming, well-preserved, and offers magnificent views. If you want to step back in time for a few hours and see how things might have looked in medieval times – Gourdon village is a perfect place for you.
Gourdon is best known for the spectacular panoramic views of its surroundings up to the Mediterranean coast and its charming old town. It was also named one of the most beautiful villages in France (fr. Les Plus Beaux Villages de France).
Short history of the Gourdon village
Gourdon history goes back hundreds of years. Thanks to its strategic location it was an important defense spot since Roman times, passed from hand to hand over the centuries.
The first fortress was built in the 9th century and the construction of the castle and fortifications started in the 12th century. After suffering severe damages during the Wars of Religion (1562-1598) it was rebuilt in the 17th century. The castle we can see today dates back mostly to that time.
In 1918 it was purchased by an American, Miss Noris, who decided to restore it and later open it to the public. In 1971 Gourdon Castle was classified as a Historical Monument. Over the last years, Gourdon village finally regained its peace and now proudly stands as a well-preserved testament to its past that enchants visitors.
Things to do in Gourdon, France
Gourdon village streets
Gourdon is a tiny medieval village and you don’t need a map to explore it. Just let yourself be carried away by the beauty of its winding streets and sooner or later you’ll discover every nook and cranny. Cobblestone streets, old stone buildings, cozy squares, art galleries, boutique shops, craft shops, restaurants… And of course breathtaking views of the surroundings! All of that is waiting for you in Gourdon.
Among Gourdon village streets you’ll find points of interest like Gourdon Castle, Place Victoria square, Gourdon fountain, Saint-Vincent church, Point de vue d’Azur viewpoint, and Tourist Information.
Gourdon Castle (fr. Château de Gourdon) is located right next to the entrance to the village. Unfortunately, since 2015 it’s been in the hands of a Parisian family and is no longer open for visitors. It’s quite a shame as inside there are (supposedly) magnificent gardens by Andre Le Nôtre, the main gardener of King Louis XIV who designed the gardens of the Palace of Versailles. To check if by any chance the castle has opened again visit chateau-gourdon.com website. Gourdon fountain is located right next to the castle.
Place Victoria square
Place Victoria is a square located at the end of the village, resembling a huge balcony. From there you can admire magnificent panoramic views over the coast and the valley. In the square, you’ll also find Gourdon Tourist Information. Interesting fact: this place is named after Queen Victoria of England who visited Gourdon in 1891.
If you’re a church person you can also visit 12th-century Saint-Vincent church (fr. Eglise Saint-Vincent) located behind restaurant terraces on Gourdon main street, Rue Principale. It’s best to look for a bell tower and follow it. An interesting thing about this church is that in the past it apparently liked being struck by lightning from time to. Once it caused the death of 4 people, and the second time the upper part collapsed causing significant damage.
Shopping in Gourdon
While wandering among Gourdon streets you can also visit some craft shops and art galleries and buy yourself a nice souvenir like perfumes, soaps, jewelry, glassware, artworks, nougat, or local bread. When hungry, visit one of the restaurants and enjoy a dinner with a nice view. For such a small village, there is a lot to do in Gourdon.
For the best views over the village be sure to visit Belvedere viewpoint. It’s located about 2km from the village, on road D3. There’s a dedicated parking lot on site where you can leave your car and then admire stunning views over Gourdon in peace and without a hurry.
Another great place to take a good look at Gourdon is located behind the lower parking lot, along D3 road. There you’ll find a large big space on a cliff, used for picnics and other outdoor activities. Walk along it and somewhere at the height of a high-voltage pole other great views over Gourdon are waiting.
If you want to enjoy Gourdon’s green surroundings even more, you can go on one (or more) hikes in the area. A few marked trails start and end in the village, like the steep Path of Paradise (fr. Chemin du Paradis) which once was the only access route to Gourdon. For more information about trails please visit the Tourists Office or alltrails.com website.
Gourdon lavender fields
About 3.5km from Gourdon (5min by car) you can find wild lavender fields. It’s not a big area but especially in June it’s a nice spot for a pleasant walk among lavender, enjoying the nice scent. There you’ll find several mini lavender fields, two viewpoints with great views over the valley, and even a picnic space. It’s a pretty and hidden, peaceful place but those small lavender fields look nothing like famous ones from Provence.
Saut du Loup Waterfalls
Visiting Saut du Loup Waterfalls (fr. Cascades du Saut du Loup) might be another nice idea for extending your stay in Gourdon a bit. It’s a beautiful yet very small place located about 10km from the village and 5km from lavender fields. From the parking lot, a short hike will take you to an area with some waterfalls and a small lake among lush vegetation. Saut du Loup waterfalls look most impressive after heavy rains. Cost: 1€ for parking (January 2024).
How to get to Gourdon, France?
Gourdon is located about 40km from Nice, 15km from Grasse, 30km from Cannes, and 20km from Mougins. The most convenient way to get to the village is by car.
Where to park in Gourdon?
There are two parking lots in Gourdon. Both are free and located just a few steps from the entrance to the village.
To Gourdon by bus
Looks like there aren’t any direct buses to Gourdon from nearby cities or villages. The closest bus stop is located in Pont du Loup and from there you’d need to take a taxi to Gourdon.
To Gourdon by taxi
The most expensive option but also available from almost every place you might be on Cote d’Azur. For example, a trip from Nice will take only about 40min (€90-120), 30min from Antibes (€65-80) and 15min from Grasse (€35-45). To learn more about taxi connections that interest you visit rome2rio.com website.
To Gourdon with a guided tour
If you don’t want to put too much effort into planning, you can take advantage of the guided tours to Gourdon and let someone else take care of all the details. For a wide selection and well-reviewed tour options be sure to visit GetYourGuide or Viator.
Things to do in Gourdon, France – Summing up
Now you know what Gourdon and its surroundings are all about and why you should include it in your Cote d’Azur itinerary. It’s a charming medieval village where you’ll feel like you stepped back in time. Winding streets, old stone buildings, history, magnificent views, and nature all blend perfectly and make Gourdon an ideal place to slow down for a bit and enjoy the charm of the South of France. No matter if you’ll stay only for a few hours or if you’re planning on staying a bit longer and discovering the area more thoroughly – Gourdon will enchant you.
Our video from Gourdon
Our opinion about Gourdon
For us, a visit to Gourdon was a day trip from nearby Cannes where we lived for a few weeks. We visited the village two times – in late June and mid-October. We were quite surprised by the fact that in June the village was quite empty with just a handful of other people and in October it was very busy. According to our logic, it should be the other way around haha!
Overall we liked Gourdon and we think it’s a very lovely village with spectacular views but in our opinion, there are many more interesting villages in the area like Vence, Mougins, Valbonne, Peille, Peillon or Saint-Agnes just to name a few. Maybe it’s due to the fact that for us Gourdon lacked an authentic village feel. It just felt too touristy in many ways. But be sure to visit it and form your own opinion.
Restaurants, accommodations, and map
Check out various recommended places below.
Where to eat in Gourdon?
Here are your best, high-rated options in Gourdon:
Where to sleep in Gourdon?
Auberge Les Gorges du Loup
Nestled in the enchanting Gourdon village, Auberge Les Gorges du Loup offers a picturesque retreat with breathtaking views. This charming accommodation seamlessly combines rustic charm with modern comfort, providing guests with a serene escape. With its proximity to the stunning Gorges du Loup and the allure of the French Riviera, this place becomes a delightful haven for those seeking both tranquility and exploration.
Situated in the captivating region of Gourdon on the Côte d'Azur, La Cigale is a delightful accommodation offering a blend of charm and comfort. Surrounded by the picturesque landscapes of the French Riviera, the property provides a peaceful retreat for guests. With its cozy ambiance and convenient location, La Cigale is an ideal haven for those looking to experience the beauty and tranquility.
Accommodations photos source: booking.com