My pre-spring Provençal road trip moved on to Roussillon, after starting in Avignon, then on to Isle-sur-la-Sorgue and Gordes. As you can guess from the number of photos, I liked Roussillon.

A “where am I?” moment. It looks like where I lived in Africa.
It’s a ferronnerie, or forge, with the clever name of D’en Fer (“In Iron,” but also enfer is hell–what a pun!). And it’s dug into the hill.

First, the crimson-ochre color reminded me of where I lived in Africa, and where everything wore an inescapable coating of red dust, thanks to a high level of iron in the earth. Like Gordes, it was very quiet. Pas un chat (not even a cat). Well, there were a couple of cats, but I saw only two other humans, who were also tourists.

The sign on the right (sorry for cutting it off) says no entry except residents (sauf riverains).
I love the winter shadows of the trees.

Roussillon is a bit smaller than Gordes, about the same size as my former village (population 1300, give or take). It’s on another Provençal hilltop, and you can see its red glow from far away.

The ochre hills. And hairpin curves.
50 shades of ochre.
The town hall has the right color scheme. I approve of that shade of green for the shutters, don’t you?

I didn’t do the Ochre Trail hike (Le Sentier des Ochres), which I regret. Lack of time and surplus of blisters. But the village was lovely to wander around.

Interesting arches. This one is fit for a Hobbit, no? With walls that thick, it must stay cool in summer.
The sign says “Arcade Street.”
Even the mortar is reddish.
And an impressive garage (it says vehicle exit).

The ochre was used since prehistoric times. Eventually, the Romans came along and really liked it. Later, a rail line was built to carry out the pigment, which was used in paint and porcelain but also textiles and beauty products and more. But by the 1950s, chemical pigments had killed the ochre trade. Progress?

The belfry.
The belfry from the other side. And the moon!

There’s a belvedere, or lookout, at the top of the village near the church. Never miss the belvedere!

A little snow on the Vaucluse mountains, under the only cloud in the sky in that direction.

Belvederes do tend to require climbing. Great for those quadriceps.


The Roussillon parking lot was free, and as you can see, it’s no place to drive, even with half a car like mine (the Carnivore used to ask me when I was going to buy the other half).

A garage situation. I mean, good for them–it must be cool in summer. But can you imagine navigating when this “street” is full of tourists?

Your Roussillon recommendations are welcome. Everything was closed up tight when I was there in February.


8 thoughts on “On to Roussillon

  1. The ochre trail is not a difficult walk, and was very interesting. Roussillon is less than an hour from where I live and I’ve taken visitors there a couple of times. I don’t remember the times of the year, but there were definitely tourists there and lots of activity with open restaurants and shops.
    bonnie in provence

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So lovely – I’d love to do a whole room (if not house) in the colors of the town hall! Love all the stone, brick and you share my love of unique doors. What a lovely contrast to Florida, which I just returned from, where everything is about 15 minutes old…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Those sunset colors were really in style in décor when we moved here and I think they still are gorgeous. Gray is nice, too, but the yellow-orange-reds are so typical of local nature.


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