Cotignac and the area
The essence of Provence Verte
Cotignac stands apart from the many other Provençal villages thanks to its romantic position under a great cliff with many grottos and twin Saracen towers crowning the ledge above.
The main square, the Cours Gambetta (in this part of France the ‘s’ is pronounced), is lined with bustling cafes, restaurants and shops, all shaded by plane trees. One end is cooled by a fountain and the old lavoir or clothes washing area, at the other.
Provence is the land of good food and wine. Fresh vegetables, salad, fruit, cheese, fish and meat from markets and shops are part of the healthy Provençal way of life. Restaurants offer tasty food from simple menus to gourmet feasts.
Provence is one of France’s largest wine-making areas and local vineyards burst with grapes producing many excellent quality rose and red wines, and some very special whites.
Local wine-makers are happy to offer you free tastings at their vineyards which are often spectacular places in beautiful surroundings.
During the summer there are markets several times a week. On Tuesday mornings, the largest of the Cotignac markets rolls into town offering local food, wine, pottery and antiques. This is an ideal occasion to sample artisan cheeses, foie gras or pick up a perfectly roasted chicken for lunch. You’ll also have the pleasure of rubbing shoulders with friendly, country-minded Provençal people.
During the summer, market days are very busy
On Friday nights in summer in a corner of the Cours, one of the cafes puts on a family disco in which everyone – locals, holidaymakers, toddlers to teenagers, elderly couples and even dogs, bust out moves to an eclectic mix of French and international tunes.
Join in the joyful hilarity after dinner or simply look on to witness some seriously good (and wonderfully bad) dancing.
Sillans la Cascade waterfall
Across a bridge at the bottom of the village there is a path to the right that takes you along the river La Cassole, through woodland for about 1.5 km. At the end of the walk, round the last corner, you’ll find a huge cascade and tempting pool, perfect for bathers who prefer nature’s swimming pools!
At the top of the village, after a brisk 30 minute walk uphill taking in the heady scent of ripening figs, jasmine, pine and hot earth, the village unravels into the classic Provencal scenery of vineyards and olive groves.
Listen to the humming of cigales searching for a mate, wonder at the copious butterflies fluttering by and look out for deer and perhaps even a sanglier (wild boar).
Take a picnic, a blanket, some sun cream and walk for hours. Don’t forget to pack an ice cold bottle of rose to sip as you contemplate the fathomless blue of the sky.