Distance from Uzès: 86 kms (1-1/2 hours)
Market Day: Thursday morning
I have lost count of the number of times that I have visited Roussillon over the years, but I never grow tired of seeing the amazing red ochre cliffs and the canyon of vertical clefts they form as it is so unexpected and unusual.
Apparently Provence was at one time submerged under water and the sand deposited contained iron and as it oxidised, up to 17 different shades of ochre were produced. As a result the houses in this lovely perched village are all in different shades of red and are much admired and it is one of the most photographed villages in Provence along with Gordes.
The very best views of the red ochre cliffs that I have experienced were when staying at the lovely Hotel de la Poste as the windows of its dining room and some of the room terraces directly face them.
However, there are many other vantage points as you enter the village and it is worth walking up the mediaeval narrow streets lined with local artisan wares and several art galleries, past the lovely clock tower with its intricate wrought iron to reach the panoramic lookout platform.
There are many choices of places to eat and drink given the small size of the village itself and parking can be an issue in peak tourism season and is mainly of the pay type. However, observing the amazing cliffs with the sun directly over them at sunset, whilst sipping a glass of wine or an aperitif is very special and dare I say “priceless”.
Near the cemetery there is a signpost for the Sentier des Ochres which is a walk through the ochre hills that takes just over half an hour with signs giving details of the various flora and fauna native to the area. It does have a small cost associated, but is free for children and is closed when it rains.