A long long time ago, I went on a trip to Europe. September 2013 to be exact. Now that it’s 2015, it’s time to start sharing some of my experiences! Today, I talk about Goult, the small town that I stayed in the Provence region of France.
Goult is the reason Richard and I went to Europe a while back. Well, my work was the reason and Goult was the primary destination. My previous company decided to host a working retreat in Provence, France for anyone at the company who wished to join. They picked Goult as the location where we would set up shop for a week.
We could bring our significant others and the hotel, some food, and a couple of team excursions were included. Richard and I paid for airfare and covered the cost of our stays in Paris and Barcelona before and after we went to Goult. Always looking for ways to cut down on travel expenses, Richard and I thought this was the perfect way to go to Europe on a budget.
Goult is as picturesque as they come
I knew that Goult would be wonderful. It’s the tiniest little town you can imagine. It sits atop a hill and overlooks the beautiful Provence region of France.
We were in Goult for 6 days. During that time, we were able to walk around the small town and gaze in awe at the age and beauty of the town. It was pretty sleepy overall, but there were a few restaurants, a bakery and a little grocery store.
One of my favorite things about southern France was all of the colors. Greens, lavenders, reds, and blues. All of them juxtaposed with the old stone buildings.
While we were in Goult, we mostly ate at the Chateau de Goult, where we were staying and had access to a kitchen. There were a few small restaurants such as this one.
Goult is home to a pretty big windmill. This was just a short 5 minute walk from where we were staying.
In Goult, there are alleys galore!
For being such a small town, Goult had plenty of winding roads to explore. We spent hours walking around and getting lost in the unique details.
It was so “Europe” in Goult. When I saw this moped just chilling in the alleyway, I couldn’t help but snap a pic.
As I mentioned, Goult sits on top of a hill. We rented a car to get from the train station (about 45 minutes from Goult) and this was one of the first hills we encountered. We nearly didn’t make it up, it was so steep! I’m glad Richard was the one driving while we were there.
Of course, no alley is complete without an alley cat. This little guy is just one of the few random cats and dogs that roamed freely in town.
We stayed in (potentially haunted) Chateau de Goult
The highlight of Provence was getting to stay in the Chateau de Goult. Dating back to the 12th century, the castle is OLD.
Throughout the years, the castle has had many purposes. From fortress to residence to school and now to vacation property.
The main outdoor area in the castle comprises of a courtyard, complete with small pool. Unfortunately, the week we were there wasn’t too warm, so we didn’t end up taking advantage of the pool.
The Chateau de Goult is full of interesting antiques. This statue greeted us at the door when we walked into the main building.
The main staircase was built in the 17th century. It’s magnificent. And large. And beautiful.
On the last night, we had team dinner in the Guard’s Room, which dates back to the 14th century and was part of the original fortress.
No fortress would be complete without a suit of armor hiding out in the corner.
While Richard and I didn’t have any weird sightings, a couple of people from our party independently reported ghost-like sightings or experiences. I guess if anything is going to be haunted, it would be a nearly 1000 year old castle!
The Chateau de Goult was a fabulous place to relax and spend the week. If you ever have a need for a large place to host up to 14 people in southern France, this is your place!
Cemeteries in France are Weird
A surprising thing that we stumbled upon in Goult was the cemetery. It wasn’t surprising to find a cemetery, but it was surprising to see how the cemetery was designed.
All of the graves were above ground in rectangular boxes. It’s probably not as uncommon as I think, but it had never occurred to me before that a cemetery might be designed this way.
One of my impressions of the cemetery was that there was just a lot of STUFF. Each grave had a lot of different plaques and trinkets on top of and around it.
The most delightful part of the cemetery (if cemeteries can be delightful) was the landscaping. All of the trees were trimmed like topiaries. It made me feel like I was walking around the set of Edward Scissorhands.
I didn’t pay to stay in Chateau de Goult, so I will keep things simple and just give the town and the chateau a simple star rating of 5 of 5. We were there for around 6 days and during that time, we were able to fully explore everything that was available in the town. It was a bit far from the nearest train station (45 minutes), which meant that renting a car was necessary if we wanted to be able to explore the surrounding towns.
While I may not go back, because I like to explore new places, if you are ever in the area, Goult is definitely worth the trip.
What do you think of Goult? Would you go to check it out for a day or a longer stay?