Welcome to Cotignac, a stunning, little-known Provencal town in France at the base of towering cliffs. This place has stood the test of time with its old cobblestone lanes, terracotta roofs, gentle pastel-painted homes, and vibrant shutters. It’s the ideal location for experiencing the leisurely pace of French village life, tasting regional wines, strolling through quaint squares, and hiking to serene sunset vantage points. With the help of this comprehensive guide, enjoy all the best Cotignac activities.
Things to do in Cotignac
Nestled in Provence in the Var area, Cotignac is a picture-perfect hamlet with Roman roots. Despite its beauty, it’s somewhat unknown on the typical South of France tourist trail. This contributes to its beauty by creating serene streets and immaculately preserved scenery.
Soak up the Village Atmosphere
Cotignac boasts stunning architecture, featuring terracotta roofs, shutters painted in meadow green, and houses painted in dark pinks and yellows. There are cute bakeries and eateries with outside terraces where folks may enjoy alfresco eating surrounded by trees along the avenues.
Spend an hour or two wandering along the narrow streets, emerging onto beautiful squares with ancient fountains and flowers. As you go, glance up to the cliffs that tower above, watching the sunlight change the color of the stone throughout the day.
Discover Cliff Houses and Caves
The fantastic cliffs that frame the charming village are one of Cotignac’s most distinctive features. They have an 80-meter height and a 400-meter width! The locals have used the ancient caverns within these cliffs to hide during epidemics, wars, rebellions, and invasions for hundreds of years. Many of the houses that are still occupied today are carved out of the rock itself.
Gaze up to the tops of the massive cliffs encircling the settlement as you stroll around. Les Tours Sarrasines, the ancient watchtowers, are located here. They have been there since the 12th century, serving as a watchtower to keep the settlement and its residents safe from attacks.
How to visit the caves
The caves can be accessed for a nominal charge. To get there, follow the directions posted behind the town hall. After ascending the cave’s stairs, you’ll reach a fantastic vantage point above.
Tip: you can hike up to another viewpoint. This is a great location to visit for a sunset perspective of the village and surrounding countryside.
Try Delicious Local Food and Drink
Not only is Cotignac visually stunning, but its exceptional natural terrain makes it an ideal location for wine and olive oil production. Fresh fruit, vegetables, honey, olive oil, wines, and even apparel may be found at the weekly Tuesday morning market, where you can sample some of these products.
The village’s tiny microbrewery, La Tuf Craft Beer, recently gained notoriety. Visit the brewery and try some of the unusual concoctions and flavors. In addition, the brewery hosts live music performances, DJ sets, and competitions each week.
Were you aware? Given that this is the name of the rock that makes up the Cotignac cliff, the brewery is named La Tuf.
Explore the Nearby Waterfalls
Discover the enchanted Sillans-la-Cascade Falls, one of France’s most exquisite waterfalls, just 7 kilometers from Cotignac! A must-see on your vacation to Cotignac are the turquoise blue pools and strong waterfall on the edge of the Verdon Natural Park.
How to get there: After parking, take a 15-minute stroll through the dappled woodland. Please be aware that swimming is not permitted in the pools. The purpose of this limitation is to preserve the local environment and rocks.
Gorges du Verdon
If you have time on your trip to Cotignac, it’s worth taking a day excursion to Gorges du Verdon, a 1.5-hour drive away. The gorge is one of the greatest in Europe and one of France’s most magnificent natural experiences. Hire a kayak and paddle along the turquoise blue lake before reaching a stunning waterfall.
Everything about: Gorges du Verdon in France
How to get to Cotignac, France
The village of Cotignac is tiny and isolated. In other words, it’s very tranquil but may be challenging to get to via public transportation. Les Arcs is the closest train station, with trains arriving from Paris and other southern towns like Marseille. To go to Brignoles, you can also take a public bus. Cotignac is a thirty-minute cab trip away from both locations.
But the best way to go to Cotignac is by automobile, which allows you to see the surrounding landscape and waterfalls. It can be accessed from both Nice and Marseille in roughly 1.5 hours and is located almost midway between both.
Best Places to Stay in Cotignac
Cotignac offers many lovely lodging options, including boutique hotels, cave houses, Provencal villas, and quaint guesthouses. Consider spending time in a larger city such as Marseille or Nice and taking a day trip to Cotignac for additional possibilities.
Best Restaurants in Cotignac, France
Cotignac is a place full of amazing local foods to try. Make sure to sample the local wines, olive oil, and cheeses on your trip! Some of our favorites were:
- Le Temps de Pose
- Nestuby cave & bar
- Brasserie Café du cours
- Le Fournil de Pascal et Stéphanie (Bakery)
Best Time to Visit
A fantastic time to visit Cotignac is any time between May and October. Due to its distant position, it is rarely crowded, and the summer months can be a terrific time to enjoy the sunshine, walks, neighboring waterfalls, and kayaking.