Roussillon Provence | What to See and Do

Written by on July 6, 2015 in Provence-Alpes

rooftops-of-roussillon

Roussillon is the quintessential Provence town. Perched on a hill from which you can enjoy the most astonishingly beautiful views of the surrounding National Park du Luberon. It isn’t a big town, there are less than 1500 inhabitants but go there in the summer months and you’ll discover many more people wandering its pretty, winding little streets, taking in the views and taking lots of photos!

It is classified one of the most beautiful villages of France (Les Plus Beaux Villages).  It’s not hard to see why. Every street is a photo opportunity, every shop lures you in with the prettiest of doorways. There are plenty of cafés, bars and restaurants and this is definitely a place to while away a few hours, relaxing, enjoying the atmosphere and people watching. There is a house with a painted door and if I’ve seen it once on the internet, I’ve seen it a hundred times; it seems everyone who visits just can’t resist trying to capture its prettiness. And, in case you haven’t seen it yet here it is!

roussillon-painted-door

An homage to Ochre in Roussillon Provence

roussillon-ochre

This town is famous for its ochre deposits, it’s one of the biggest in the world, or ‘sentier des ocres’ as it’s called in French, that surround the village. Every house seems to have a little of the ochre-infused landscape melted into its walls, from pale lemon to vibrant orange and blood red and every colour in between. The ochre used to be mined here for use in dyes, this doesn’t happen anymore, the natural pigment has been replaced by cheaper synthetic versions, but you can still visit the former mine and take a walk through the ochre landscape, discover the old wash tanks and ochre mills. There is now one last ochre plant in operation, not too far away in Gargas.

Huge red cliffs stand tall and imposing, you can’t help but liken it to Ayers Rock in Australia or the landscape of Colarado US, in fact it’s often called the “Provencal Colorado”. There are plenty of panoramic view points including one just outside the village that overlooks the rooftops.

roussillon-Brad-Pitt's-WineVisit early in the day or late afternoon to avoid the mid day heat and afterwards enjoy chilling out at one of the many cafés or bars in the town. There are some great shops here, gorgeous little boulangeries, quirky souvenir shops and wine shops, I passed one that had boxes stacked just inside the door which had labels reading “Brad Pitt’s wine”. Because, yes, Brad and Angelina rather sensibly live close to this little bit of paradise on earth in a beautiful chateau with a vineyard where they produce wine.

Go at the end of the day to see the architecture of Roussillon at its best, the warm last, long rays of the sun cast shadows and make the colours zing. Enjoy with a glass of local rosé (Brad’s or not!) and simply let the sights, scents and sounds of Roussillon enchant you.

 

Want to see more photos of gorgeous Roussillon Provence? Just click here to check out our photo gallery with lots more, bigger photos!

Website for useful information: www.provenceguide.com

Get there and getting Around
By Car: Roussillon is easily reached by road and there’s a car park at the top of the hill.
By Train: There’s no station in the town, it is protected and modern development has pretty much passed it by since the 1940’s. The nearest station is Cavaillon from where you can catch a bus (No. 15.3 to Roussillon town).
Tour: Book a mini bus tour, there are lots available if you search on the internet. I visit with Provence Reverie.
Good hotel close by: Les Sables d’Ocre (about a 15 minute walk from Roussillon)

Tags: ,

Related Articles

South of France and Lavender tour of Provence

A nine-day tour of the south of France in July taking in the lavender fields of Provence which are at their blooming best… Medieval villages, magnificent castles, cafés with tables and chairs spilling out onto cobbled streets and little squares. Narrow streets lined with pastel coloured houses, shops and galleries. Gastronomic good, wonderful wines and […]

Continue Reading

Menton | Mediterranean charm and gastronomy

When life gives you lemons, it’s time to visit Menton. You can be sure that someone there will find a creative use for your fruit. Shops in the bustling traffic-free Rue St Michel teem with products from candles, soaps and soft toys to food and drink. The town’s claim to be lemon capital of the […]

Continue Reading

Gorbio | Stunning medieval village in Cote d’Azur, France

Gorbio, France is a hilltop medieval village, high-up above Menton, in the south-eastern corner of the Côte d’Azur. This picturesque village is a secret place, seemingly forgotten by tourists. As with other historic perched villages, Gorbio has an impressive view, 354 meters above the Mediterranean Sea. You’ll find it in the craggy mountain side of […]

Continue Reading

Antibes is always a good idea!

To paraphrase Audrey Hepburn’s famous quote, “Paris is always a good idea,” I have felt the same way about the enticing old town of Antibes since I first set foot there … let’s just say many decades ago. These days there are a lot of changes happening in the vieille ville. Progress is catching up […]

Continue Reading

The Picasso Museum Antibes

UK arts writer, Tony Cooper, looks in on the Picasso Museum in Antibes on the French Riviera. It’s an area that was loved by the iconic and controversial 20th-century artist… I’m a regular visitor to France and I’m off on yet another great adventure to what I class as my adopted country travelling to Antibes […]

Continue Reading

Subscribe

If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Subscribe via RSS Feed

Comments are closed.

Top