Sunday, March 4, 2012

Roussillon, a Beautiful Village in the Luberon

I don't think we have ever gone to Provence without going to Roussillon, a village in the Luberon region about 35 miles southeast from our house in Sablet. We love the colorful houses in Roussillon, tinted by the ocher that used to be mined here; this makes Roussillon unique compared to the other villages in the region.

The Luberon region stretches 35 miles along a ridge of rugged hills from Cavaillon in the west to Manosque in the east and from the town of Apt south to the Durance River. Much of the area including Roussillon is protected in the Parc Naturel Régional du Luberon.

Roussillon is classified as one of the Plus Beaux Villages de France (one of the most beautiful villages of France). Roussillon sits above one of the world's largest known ocher deposits where 17 shades of ocher--violet, blood red, orange, yellow, and everything in between were once mined.

In the Luberon there are a collection of pretty hilltop villages and valleys with vineyards, orchards (olives, cherry and almond), and fragrant fields of red poppies, sunflowers and lavender. Roussillon is one of our favorites.

There is an amazing range of colors to be seen.

The curiously shaped rock formations add further to the beauty of the area.

Roussillon is located in a green pine forest set on bright red-ocher hills and is a distinct and beautiful sight to see from a distance. Roussillon is even more beautiful in the village, with colorful old buildings and narrow medieval streets.

Our favorite shop in Roussillon sells pretty stone-cast village scenes painted in typical colors. We have a number of his pieces hanging on the walls of our house in Sablet.

The clock and bell tower with a campanile overlooking the main village square.

The Librairie - bookstore in La Maison Tacchella to the left and the Hotel de Ville - town hall to the right in the main village square.

A passageway through the bell tower.

Another view of the clock and bell tower with its campanile set against a brilliant blue sky.

The ocher facades of the houses in Roussillon are beautiful - the colors vary from light yellow to dark red, accented by brightly painted shutters and doors. Many date from the 17th and 18th century.

The 11th-century Church of St. Michel. Nearby there are several places where you can find views in all directions over the surrounding countryside.

The interior of the Church of St. Michel.

Niece Leslie and wife Shirley pause in a stone passageway.

As you stroll around the village, make sure you look for the 150 year old grape vine in front of Restaurant la Treille.

A view back toward the main village square and cafés along the street. Although there are a number of eating places, we have not found any of them to be all that good. A weekly market is held on Thursdays throughout the year.

A pretty window with its bright red facade.

I love blue shutters and my camera finds them every time.

A view of the village from the parking lot near the cemetery shows the many colors of Roussillon.

Another brightly colored rock formation with its exposed ocher. One of the former ocher quarries can be visited via the Sentier des Ocres (ocher path) located next to the village, a walk of either 30 or 60 minutes through the old mining area.

You can see the ocher colors way off in the distance set against the green forest.

It is said that Roussillon is the second most visited village after Gordes in the Luberon region. Despite this, we have never had any problem finding parking close to the village.

The village is fairly small so it doesn't take very long to explore. It is easy to combine a visit to Roussillon with a visit to one of the other hill towns in the Luberon.

As I said, we never go to Provence without making a visit to the Luberon and to Roussillon. The pictures in this post come from three visits we made to Roussillon this past year.

Bonne journée mes amis et à bientôt.


  1. What a wonderful tour of Roussillon! I have never visited the village, but want to do so now more than ever. Beautiful photos. My favorite is the clock and bell tower. Have a wonderful week! Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

  2. I have French neighbours who visited there and they commented how beautiful it was with all the colour reds. One day we will take the day out and drive down to see it. Your photos are beautiful. Diane

  3. This has to be one of my most favorite villages to visit and I absolutely love to hike in the ocre park as I call it. I find it so utterly peaceful and it has this natural cool and damp feel to it. The colors are like no other you will ever see. Great photos as usual :)

  4. Veronique - When you return to France you must try to make it to Roussillon. It is very unique among all of the beautiful villages of the Luberon.

    Diane - Thank you! I hope you get a chance to come down and visit our part of France as I think you will really love it.

    Ashley - Agreed about it being one of my favorite villages. We try to make it to new places but we always seem to end up in Roussillon.

  5. You really captured the beauty of this lovely village! The coloured buildings and the azure blue sky,stunning!

  6. Talesfromagarden - Thank you so much! I try to make sure that my pictures reflect my affection for this beautiful village.