Roussillon, Provence: tourism & sightseeing
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', and is the most visited village in the Luberon except Gordes, a few kilometres to the west. Any visit to Luberon should allow time to visit the village.
Roussillon has been inhabited since neolithic times, 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.
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.
France This Way comment: the combination of Roussillon village, the views across the countryside and the adjacent ochre mines make Roussillon one of our favourite villages in France
Start your visit to Roussillon 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. You quickly reach the main square in Roussillon, a bustling centre of shops and cafes with the Mairie to one side.
Roussillon 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 many of the 'most beautiful villages of France' in the popular Luberon region.
The principal pleasure comes from simply exploring the narrow streets of the village and you will find yourself taking hundreds of photographs of beautiful architectural details - many of the houses in Roussillon are in various shades of orange, pink and red, making it quite unique among villages in the region as well as very photogenic .
Although there are few 'important' historical monuments here, in the heart of the village you can see a traditional clock tower with a campanile and towards the top of Roussillon you reach another square, with the Church of Saint-Michel with a 17th century facade 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, but don't worry if that is not possible: it is lovely all day!
Roussillon ochre mines
In Roussillon, one of the most memorable features is a visit to the ochre mines next to 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. See Ochre footpath of Roussillon for details
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.
As well as an inevitable visit to Gordes, all three of the villages just to the south of Roussillon - Menerbes, Lacoste and Bonnieux - are very well worth visiting, as are many other of the Petit Luberon villages.
The surrounding region is visited in our guide to the Luberon.
Map of Roussillon and places to visit
Visit near Roussillon with France This Way reviews
... or see ALL recommended places to visit in Vaucluse
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)