Roussillon tourism & sightseeing

Photo of Roussillon in Vaucluse

Visit Roussillon (Provence, France)


Roussillon is a village in the picturesque Luberon region of France about 15 kilometres north-west of Apt and in lovely countryside next to the Monts de Vaucluse.  It is listed as one of the 'most beautiful villages of France'. It is also the most visited village in the Luberon except Gordes, a few kilometres to the west and any visit to Luberon should allow time to visit the village.

Roussillon has been inhabited since neolithic time, then later by the Romans who also left their traces. The village is also well known for being home to Samuel Beckett during the Second World War.

Explore Roussillon

Roussillon is a lovely little Provencal village to explore with shady squares, fascinating architectural details, faded shutters, cats sleeping on windowsills - everything you hope for from a Provencal village. It has many beautiful houses, mostly constructed about 300 years ago...and also has its fair share of tourism related gift shops and galleries etc, like all the 'most beautiful villages of France' in the popular Luberon region.

Start by strolling along the streets that climb up through the village, and making numerous detours along the alleys to see the small squares hidden in the village. En route you will find yourself taking hundreds of photographs of beautiful architectural details.

The pleasure comes from simply exploring the narrow streets of the village. Although there are few 'important' historical monuments here, towards the top of Roussillon you reach the Church of Saint-Michel and a viewpoint with far-reaching views in all directions over the surrounding countryside.

If at all possible you should try and see Roussillon when the first sunshine of the day strikes the village, to see the glowing colours of the house at their most stunning. Of course, this will be quite early during the summer so you might prefer to visit in April or May.

Roussillon ochre mines

In Roussillon, the most memorable feature is not Roussillon itself, but the ochre mines below the village. The range of colours in the white-orange-red rocks is extraordinary, and the curiously shaped rock formations add further to the spectacle. It creates a fascinating 'out of this world' experience (like a miniature version of Bryce Canyon National Park, in the US).

The trail through this park is called the Ochre Trail. Although a visit doesn't take very long it is very impressive, does not cost much (about 2.50 euros) and is recommended. Various information boards along the trail explain both the rock formations and the plants that inhabit this unusual natural environment. You will also not be surprised if the Lone Ranger appears around the corner...

The colour of the rocks in the mines mirrors the colours of the houses in Roussillon village itself - the extraordinary colour of the houses in the village, tinted by the ochre that was once mined here, does give Roussillon a unique appeal quite different to the other villages in the region.

Attractions nearby

Roussillon and the surrounding area is covered in the guide to the Luberon. All three of the villages just to the south - Menerbes, Lacoste and Bonnieux  - are very well worth visiting, as are many other of the Petit Luberon villages.

Note: photos of Roussillon kindly contributed by theo van den boom

You can find more local travel ideas in the Vaucluse guide and the Provence guide.

See also:

Map of Roussillon and places to visit

Visit near Roussillon with France This Way reviews

... or see ALL recommended places to visit in Vaucluse

Tourist classifications

Roussillon is classified as a one of the most beautiful village in France (plus beau villages)

Address: Roussillon, Gordes, Apt, Vaucluse, Provence, 84220, France || GPS: latitude 43.902, longitude 5.2935

Plan your visit to Roussillon, Provence

Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby

  • Abbaye de Sénanque (Gordes): religious monument (7km)
  • Gordes: most beautiful village (7km)
  • Apt: recommended detour (9km)
  • Jardin de la Louve: remarkable garden (9km)
  • Menerbes: most beautiful village (10km)
  • Luberon: regional natural parc (15km)
  • Colorado Provencal: site of natural beauty (16km)
  • Venasque: most beautiful village (16km)
  • Gorges de la Nesque: site of natural beauty (16km)
  • Lourmarin: most beautiful village (16km)

Market days in Roussillon, France

Regular market(s) are held in Roussillon each Thursday. (Markets are held in the morning unless stated.)

The French version of this page is at Roussillon (Francais)