Cordes-sur-Ciel is no ordinary hill top town, its medieval streets and buildings are literally in the clouds…
“One travels over the years without quite knowing what one is searching for, wandering amid the clatter, caught up with desires or regrets, and one arrives unexpectedly in one from those two or three places which await each one of us in this world. The traveller who, from the terraces of Cordes, looks at the summer night sky, knows that he needs to travel no further, because the beauty here, day after day, will remove any loneliness. “
So said Albert Camus, the French philosopher and writer who fell under the spell of this town in the sky like many artists over the years.
The town that touches the sky
Local legend has it that Cordes’ creation was overseen by the stars, the site chosen by destiny at the top of a hill known as the Puech de Mordagne, 100m above the surrounding river valleys.
Cordes, in the Tarn department, became formally known as Cordes-sur-Ciel in 1993. The name reflects the seasonal and very beautiful phenomenon in which the spring and autumn mists surrounding the foot of the Puech de Mordagne make the town appear to be floating above the clouds – Cordes in the Sky.
The town itself has a medieval feel though it is much older. With narrow cobble stone streets, spectacular arches and winding lanes of beautiful stone buildings, art galleries and craft shops it’s the perfect place to wander and watch the world go by from a terraced café – there are plenty in the town.
Parking for Cordes-sur-Ciel is in designated areas in and around, some leave you with quite a hike up the hill. If you don’t fancy that climb, park in an area inside the new town and hop on the tourist train which drops you at the entrance of the old town and then wander from there.