So you’ve made it off the tourist track into Gourdon, France. A small town that’s perfect for an afternoon, it’s full of charm and undisputed French character, but now what do you do and what should you see?
Aside from nodding a friendly ‘bonjour’ to the locals who sit on their balconies and stopping every two minutes to take pictures of the alleyways that are filled with sunrays and shadows, here are my suggestions.
1. Spy Medieval Street Art
The medieval town really comes alive on the first weekend of August. Around 5,000 visitors usually attend this celebration.
Locals dress up in traditional costumes and re-enactments entertain children. The historical streets are filled with jugglers, jesters and creative crafts. You’ll be able to find some modern twists on medieval street art too.
2. Wander in Gourdon
Gourdon is relatively small. You can probably walk the perimeter in less than an hour.
Streets criss-cross with lanes and alleyways lead to narrow stairs that bring you out onto squares. It’s pretty hard to get lost, though it can feel like you are when you’re in a seemingly never ending winding lane.
You’ll find a map at each end of the town, so just follow your instincts and see what you discover along the way.
3. Drink with the Locals
Order the waiter’s recommendation of a Grimbergen if you’re into your ales and beers.
For a more chic drink, sit back with a Martini on the rocks, the sun warming your skin and the quiet murmurs of French tickling your ears.
Admittedly it’s not a French drink, but it is a classic. Thankfully as you’re off the main tourist track, at least with overseas tourists, you really can spend as long as you like in one of the cute bistros.
4. Visit Les Jardins Zig-Zag
Have an Alice in Wonderland moment by following the signs for the Zig-Zag gardens. A unique use of awkward spaces, herbs and flowers fill corners and walls. Follow your curiosity down the winding lane and spot some of your pretty favourites.
5. Enjoy Church Views
Even if you’re not religious it’s worth visiting the round church at the top of the hill. It looks like a relation of the Notre Dame in Paris. The sound of a choir echoes around the street.
Peep your head inside to see them in all their glory, only to find an empty church and a CD on loop! You’ll find a smaller church on the edge of Gourdon that offers pretty views of the countryside.
6. Show Some Flower Power
From sweeping blossom trees and box trees on the street, to beautifully pruned rose bushes and brightly coloured flowers, you’re never far from nature in Gourdon.
Simply wander the cobbled streets and enjoy the pretty flowers that contrast so well against the limestone walls.
7. Go Car Shopping
Window shopping can be fun, especially in Gourdon. Some of the locals clearly embrace the town’s history. You’ll find lots of vintage cars. They make great photo opportunities, especially if you can find one that matches your outfit.
Have you been to Gourdon? Do you have anything to add?