Begin with an amble through Roussillon itself. The town’s compact center is trimmed by multicolored homes, each facade tinted in warm ochre hues. Every Thursday morning, place du Pasquier is given over to a large Provençal market. Then it’s time to explore the otherworldly landscape that surrounds the town. Follow the signposts from Roussillon center about a 5-min. walk out of town to the Sentier des Ocres de Roussillon (Ochre Footpath), where the remains of century-old quarries expose the neon orange countryside. The footpath is open daily July and August 9am to 7:30pm; June until 6:30pm, May and September 9:30am to 6:30pm; April 9:30am to 5:30pm; March 10am to 5pm; October 10am to 5:30pm; first 2 weeks of November 10am to 4:30pm, mid-November to December and last 2 weeks of February 11am to 3:30pm. Admission is 2.50€ and free for children 9 and under. The short walk takes around 35 min., and the longer walk around 50 min.
The sentier isn’t difficult. But for visitors with limited mobility, little ones in tow, or those seeking a more comfortable way to explore the countryside, there’s also another option that’s just as enjoyable. In 2013, Provence Hippo Services (www.provencehipposervices.com; tel. 07-81-18-98-78) began offering tours of Roussillon and its ochre quarries by calèche, or horse-drawn carriage. The 2 hour tour departs from the Domaine de Séoule, then loops around to include the Conservatoire des Ocres et des Couleurs (www.okhra.com) and the Sentier des Ocres de Roussillon. Fees are 30€ per adult, and 15€ for children 12 and under. Full day tours are also available.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.