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Roussillon Ochre and The Magical Colors of the Luberon

With tourists heading to the Luberon this summer to see lavender fields, Roussillon is along the way with its equally vibrant colours of red, orange and pink. These stories, fact and fiction, about the multi-coloured town that inform and amuse those who venture there.

The French commune of Roussillon is located in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, roughly midway between Avignon and Aix-en-Provence.

Continue reading here to learn about the geological formation of this ochre deposit in the Luberon. The presence of this mineral is what gives the cliffs near Roussillon their remarkable hues (in shades from yellow to dark red). Enjoy the legend of Lady Sermonde and Lord Raymond d’Avignon, as told by Barefoot Blogger.

Things to do near Roussillon:

Don’t miss the Orche Trail (Le Sentier des Ocres) –  Actually, two trails of different lengths (30 or 60-minutes). Once you have paid the entry fee you can stay as long as you like. Information signs along the route describe the geology and the history of the ochre deposits in the Luberon.

Mathieu Plant is a former ochre factory, now known as Conservatoire des Ocres et de la Couleur, a not-for-profit co-operative called ôkhra (the Greek word for ochre). It is possible to arrange for a private (or group) tour or to participate in a number of workshops.

Mines de Bruoux – a unique journey underground to visit the galleries (15m high) of the old mining operation.

Other articles on Roussillon.

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Deborah Bine

Deborah Bine

The Barefoot Blogger, aka Deborah Bine, loves to share tales of her solo life in France as an American expat who speaks no French. Retired from a career in advertising and marketing communications, and divorced after a 40-year marriage with children, Deborah left Beaufort, South Carolina and all of her belongings last year to move to the south of France. Now that she has found her "bliss," her passion is to encourage others to break away from whatever is holding them back and to go after their dreams. "We're on life's journey alone. Be certain you love where you are."

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