Visit Roussillon (Provence, France)
Roussillon is a village in the picturesque Luberon region of France about 15 kilometres north-west of Apt. It is listed as one of the 'most beautiful villages of France'. It is the most visited village in the Luberon except Gordes, a few kilometres to the west.
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.
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 all the 'most beautiful villages of France' in the popular Luberon region.
It 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.
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.
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).
You will not be surprised if the Lone Ranger appears around the corner...although if you only have time to visit one set of ochre mines you might prefer nearby Rustrel instead).
The colour of the rocks in the mines mirrors the colours of the houses in Roussillon village itself and - 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.
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
Photos of Roussillon
Click any picture to start the gallery
Tourist classifications for Roussillon
Roussillon is classified as a one of the most beautiful village in France (plus beau villages)
Address: Roussillon, Gordes, Apt, Vaucluse, Provence, 84220 || GPS: latitude 43.902, longitude 5.2935
Map of Roussillon & places nearby
Highlights close by
Suggested tourist attractions to visit near Roussillon, France
- 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: 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)