A pleasant walk through the Provencal countryside from Goult into the ochre area surrounding Roussillon.
Starting from the pretty town centre of Goult you will walk on quite roads through the olive groves and vineyards typical of the region. Passing the Domaine de Verriere winery, there is the chance to call in for a "degustation" of the excellent whites and roses produced from the grapes cultivated on these sunny south-facing slopes. The route then passes through the small village of Les Huguets, from where it is possible to take a diversion to visit the Pont Julien, a Roman stone arch bridge that dates back to the 3rd century BC. Ascending out of the valley, the landscape changes subtly as you enter a zone of pine trees and and the red earth of the ochre fields. Arriving in Roussillon, take some time to explore as this is not only one of the "Plus Belle Villages de France" but also famous for its ancient ochre quarries.
Take your time today. This is a relatively easy and short walk, so there is no need to rush.
Today's walk involves a short section of walking on a the path as you enter the ochre area beyond Le Jas. The path has suffered some erosion and care should be taken as you negotiate this part of the walk. It is easy to get distracted by the beautiful coloured rock, but best to watch where you put your feet!
No special equipment is required today, although there is not much shade on the walk so be sure to take a sun hat.
The Pont Julien
This Roman stone arch bridge dates from the 3rd century BC and is notable for the supporting columns that allow floodwaters of the River Cavalon to pass through. It is a 2km detour from Les Huguets and the route is clearly signposted when exiting the village. Return to Les Huguets to continue the walk to Roussillon.
Roussillon, set on a hill with fantastic views of the surrounding countryside is a worthwhile stop. It is officially recognised as one of the most beautiful villages in France for good reason. A wander round the narrow streets enjoying the many artisanal shops and cafes is a pleasant way to spend an afternoon. The views from the terrace at the top of the village are particularly impressive. The village has links with Samuel Beckett who lived there during World War II, and even mentions it in his play, Waiting for Godot.
The Conservatoire des Ocres
This museum is a short walk from the village and is situated within a former ochre factory that closed in the 1960s. Following many years as an industrial wasteland, the factory was opened to visitors in 1994 and now provides demonstrations of the washing processes, the kiln and mills used to extract this important natural pigment in the context of economic and cultural contexts. Access to the shop is free, but there is a fee for the guided tours (English tours are available). See www.okhra.com for more details.
Food and Drink
There are no facilities en route today so it's best to stock up in Goult before you leave. There is a general store and several boulangeries in the main village. Note that there is a public water fountain in Les Huguets should you need to top up supplies on the way. Roussillon is a larger town with many cafes and restaurants.
This tour is available on the following itineraries: