Unique and authentic Lubéron landscapes on your Provence walking and Provence cycling tour
Roussillon is located just 10km northwest of Apt and sits on the world’s largest ochre deposit. The village itself is painted various shades of ochre pigment, ranging from almost white to sun yellow, to burnt orange and blood red. It’s extraordinary and makes for a very colourful village indeed, earning the title of one of Frances prettiest villages.
Roussillon was once Europe’s capital for ochre production until World War II and was used mainly for wallpaper and linoleum. After the war, the demand for ochre dried up and the village was slowly abandoned and almost forgotten about until the tourists started to arrive.
Today, the village is a colourful labyrinth of small streets lined with potteries, antique shops and restaurants and a bustling main square where locals and visitors mix. Take some time away from the saddle on your Provence cycling trip and meander through the village. You can walk the ochre trail (30-60 minutes) and learn all about how the ochre was produced and visit the old Matthieu factory and discover how the ochre was treated and look around the old washing, draining and drying areas.
Discover Roussillon on your Provence cycling or Provence walking holiday
We have bike tours that will take you through Roussillon and it really is a wonderful stop off in your itinerary through Provence. It’s the Provençal experience that many tourists seek: hot and sunny weather, unspoiled views of the Lubéron and the Ventoux from atop a perched village and on Thursdays there is an authentic market selling seasonal fruit & veg, local wines, cheeses, olive oils and jams. Don’t forget your camera, you’ll be click, click, clicking away!
Our Provence cycling tour allows you to discover neighbouring perched villages such as Rustrel, Gordes and Venasque.
· Rustrel. Another village known for its ochre quarries and is affectionately called the Colorado Provençal. Spectacular, colourful ochre cliffs and hills make for a dramatic backdrop, like something from a film set!
· Gordes. The Crown Jewell village of the Lubéron, with its noble grey stone homes winding up in dizzying circles to the renaissance castle that dominates over village.
· Venasque. Boasting beautiful old houses and an 18th century fountain in the centre, the village is in the heart of the cherry orchards.