There are some villages that look like they have been artificially built just to allow a photographer to take great pictures. A sort of model settlement where nothing looks out of place and everything has been considered right down to the last detail.

One such village is Cordes-sur-Ciel in Occitanie, Southern France. Perched on a hill like many of the beautiful villages of Provence, this one is a true hidden gem.

Located approximately 80km North East of Toulouse, Cordes-sur-Ciel litteraly translates to ‘Ropes in the Sky’.

Although it’s reasonably easily accessible, the village is a little off the beaten track. Small medieval cobble streets await you in a setting that’s straight out of a painting.

The village itself isn’t car friendly, and that’s part of the charm. There’s plenty of parking at the bottom of the hill and it’s only a short stroll up to the village. You can enjoy a coffee on the terrace at the top of the village where you can watch sleepy village life pass you by.

Life imitates art more than art imitates life

Oscar Wilde

There’s something about Provence that makes you question the pace of life that you normally operate at. The South of France reminds you that coffee is best drank sitting down and anything less than a two hour lunch break is sacrilegious.

In fact, there’s something existential about spending a week or two living like the locals do. Sip some wine, enjoy the wonderful food and remember to go for a ‘petite sieste’.

If you enjoy photography, you will have stumbled upon photography heaven in this village. You could almost close your eyes, shoot randomly in all directions and still obtain some great pictures.

In my opinion, one of the greatest tragedies is when people say that they have visited France, but what they really mean is that they have been to Paris. As nice as the capital is, you haven’t truly experienced France until you have set your eyes upon the villages and countryside of one of the most beautiful countries in the world.

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