The Roussillon Ochres : What a Magical Place !
Roussillon is the next Hilltop Village after Gordes when you do the ” Valley Tour” clockwise. Roussillon is just 15 minutes from Mas des Etoiles by car.
The countryside is gorgeous as everywhere else. Before arrival you will see a lot of cars at one point : It is the famous “Pépinières Appy”. You are at the place where all the most expensive houses of Luberon use to buy their garden best trees and plants. They also have a gift shop with well selected objects. You can visit but this is going to reduce your available time for Roussillon.
Before Roussillon you will also notice some agitation and excited people running everywhere. And then , on the left a sizeable lavender field ( blooming from the end of June). It is probably your first ones. There are others in the valley ( Please ask us) but yo might wait for the “Lavender Tour ” we have conceived around Sault , Valensole which is the best on the way to “Gorges du Verdon “. In late August you also have spectacular sunflower fields on the way.
So, you end-up in Roussillon which is on a red rock amid a nice pine forest. It has similarities with Sedona, AZ. There are many parkings, but take the first place available ( you always have cars going away).
The Sentier des Ocres , we are not going to describe it.It is in all the guidebooks with lyric descriptions. The most important point is the contrast between the blue Provence sky, the quality of light and the greens of the pine trees. Just, Magic. It is in all the guidebooks. Be careful about the opening hours. In general it loses surprisingly early, depending on the season.
The visit can take one hour ( Unless you are a fanatic, the longest trail does not bring much and it is better to save your time and maybe plan to hike a bit in Colorado Provencal, which is large and offers exceptional landscapes.
“Roussillon ochres are stunning. Suddenly you stare wide-eyed, you are in Colorado !”
Roussillon Village is in itself a piece of Art with a little campanile, a wonderful Town Hall etc … You will appreciate by ourselves. The village itself is very much worthwhile. Everything looks small and there you are like in a corner of Disneyland. It is as colored in red (like the ochres) as Gordes is all made with white stones. You have to go up to the church and the sight-seeing point. But it is not very long. Visit ( and make a short prayer) the church. It is naive art, very pretty.
You also have Art galleries and all kinds of fancy “Epiceries ” etc … Sometimes guests come back with a painting which is not so good and paid a lot. So, be careful not to engage your money too much ! One hour time should be enough.
For the restaurants, there is one we can definitely recommend : It is “Restaurant David” at Hotel “Clos de la Glycine”. You cannot miss it, it is right in the center square. Good for lunch and for dinner. There are many “bistros” intown. But be careful, have a look at Tripadvisor and prices before engaging yourself.
There is a lot of advertisement for Conservatoire des Ocres, which displays color powders and explains the History of Industrial Luberon. In general, you won’t have time to do that in your arbitration.
A last recommendation , if possible, don’t go there at peak hours. When it is quiet it is much more enjoyable.
In conclusion, Roussillon is really the second must-see site after Gordes and you will not be disappointed.