Roussillon travel guide

Photo of Roussillon

Visit Roussillon (Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, France)

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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.

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. We include Roussillon in our list of selected Provencal villages.

France This Way review: the combination of Roussillon village, the views across the countryside and the adjacent ochre mines make Roussillon one of our favourite villages in France

Town Hall in main square in Roussillon

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 ochre mines of Roussillon

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

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.

Explore elsewhere in the Luberon. You can find more travel ideas in the Vaucluse guide and the Provence guide.

See also: 

Photos of Roussillon

Click any picture to start the gallery

  • campanile
  • church-bells
  • church
  • colourful-houses-2
  • colourful-houses-3
  • colourful-houses
  • exhibits
  • hotel-de-ville
  • main-square
  • orange-buildings
  • ornate-doorway
  • rooftops-2
  • rooftops
  • the-ochre-mines

Arrange a visit to Roussillon

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Hotels in Roussillon best prices


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Map of Roussillon and places nearby


Visit near Roussillon with France This Way reviews

The Ochre Footpath of Roussillon

The Ochre Footpath of Roussillon

The Ochre mines of Roussillon are eroded into beautiful colours and shapes and fascinating to explore

The Ochre Footpath of Roussillon guide


The exceptionally pretty-village of Gordes is also one of the most visited villages in France

Gordes guide


The small village of Lacoste, one of the most beautiful in the Luberon, stands below the castle of the Marquis de Sade

Lacoste guide
Chateau de Lacoste

Chateau de Lacoste

The chateau de Lacoste is an 11th century castle in Provence, known for its connection with the Marquis de Sade

Chateau de Lacoste guide


It is true that Saint-Saturnin-les-Apt is larger and less visited by tourists than many of the Luberon villages, but find the time and you will discover another scenic small town

Saint-Saturnin-les-Apt guide


Less touristy than many Provence towns, the highlight in Apt is the baroque style cathedral

Apt guide

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

Tourist classifications for Roussillon

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

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

Plan your visit to Roussillon, Vaucluse

Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby

  • Abbaye de Sénanque (Gordes): religious monument (7 km)
  • Gordes: most beautiful village (7 km)
  • Apt: recommended detour (9 km)
  • Jardin de la Louve: remarkable garden (9 km)
  • Menerbes: most beautiful village (10 km)
  • Luberon: regional natural parc (15 km)
  • Colorado Provencal: site of natural beauty (16 km)
  • Venasque: most beautiful village (16 km)
  • Gorges de la Nesque: site of natural beauty (16 km)
  • Lourmarin: most beautiful village (16 km)
  • Collégiale Notre Dame des Anges (Sorgues): religious monument (17 km)
  • Gorges de Régalon: site of natural beauty (18 km)

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)