After a wonderful hike on the Ochre Trail, it was time to explore the town of Roussillon. Earning the designation as one of the most beautiful villages in France (Les Plus Beaux Villages de France), Roussillon is located in Languedoc-Roussillon region and dates back to 600 BC. Today, the village is known for its charming architecture and the colorful buildings in the hues of the ochre pigment famous in the region.
Roussillon is approximately a one hour and twenty-minute drive from Aix-en-Provence and a one-hour drive from Avignon. Upon arrival, I recommend parking at the Parking des Ocres lot, which is very close to the town (link here to Google maps). The photo above was taken from the parking lot if it helps!
You need to pay for this parking lot, but after three hours, my parking fee was only three euros. You can pay in cash (coins) or via credit card. Take note that the pay machine in the back of the parking lot only takes cash and coins, while the one at the entrance takes credit cards. Just make sure to keep your parking ticket on you so you can pay while heading back to your car.
I visited Roussillon in late August on a very hot (90 degree!) day. As I walked into town, I couldn’t help but notice the incredible, sweeping scenic vistas. Roussillon is perched on an ochre ridge, situated in a broad valley with the Monts du Vaucluse to the north and the Petit Luberon to the south.
As I entered the town, I was struck by the rustic, colorful buildings. Charmingly weathered, many take on the ochre hues that the town is known for. I highly recommend wandering through the small streets in the town. There are many lovely architectural details to discover and I imagine every visitor to Roussillon uncovers something different.
There are a few must-see sights in Roussillon that the town is known for. They include a beautiful 19th-century bell tower, the oh-so-charming town hall and the town church, Eglise Saint Michel.
After a good amount of wandering – and taking photos – I decided it was time to take a break for lunch. As I couldn’t find much information online in advance, I played it by ear and reviewed a few restaurant menus before settling on Le Bistrot. The restaurant had several ‘large salad’ options, which sounded perfect on a hot summer day.
Insider tip: Le Bistrot has both a front outdoor patio and a back patio. Ask for a seat on the back table and you will be rewarded with a beautiful view!
I opted for the salade du bistrot and it was INCREDIBLE! The salad was a delightful, unique combination of mixed lettuce, tomatoes, olives, green beans, fried mini ravioli, thick cut bacon bits and a poached egg on top. It was both decadent and not too heavy at the same time.
After lunch, I took some more time to explore more of Roussillon. I was just in awe of how beautiful this town is!
If you cannot tell already, I highly recommend a visit to Roussillon. It’s a must-see in Provence! If you’re feeling adventurous, I also loved hiking the Ochre Trail, which is adjacent to the village.
For more of my travels, click here.