Things to do in Cotignac
Cotignac is a picture-perfect village dating back to Roman times that sits within Provence in the Var region. Despite its beauty, it’s relatively unknown on the usual South of France tourist trail. This makes for peaceful streets and perfectly preserved nature that adds to its charm.
Soak up the Village Atmosphere
Cotignac has beautiful architecture, with houses painted in dusky pinks and yellows, terracotta roofs, and meadow green-painted shutters. Trees line the avenues, where cute restaurants and bakeries sit, complete with outdoor terraces for locals to enjoy alfresco dining.
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
One of the unique things of all in Cotignac is the incredible cliffs that act as a backdrop to the pretty village. They are 400 meters wide and 80 meters tall! Within these cliffs are ancient caves, used by villagers for hundreds of years as shelter during times of epidemic, war, rebellion, or invasion. In fact, many of the houses are built into the rock itself and are still used as homes today.
As you walk around, look up to the top of the huge cliffs that surround the village. Here, you’ll discover the ancient watchtowers, ‘Les Tours Sarrasines’. They date back to the 12th century, acting as a lookout point to protect the village and its people during times of invasion.
How to visit the caves
It’s possible to pay a small fee to enter the caves. Follow the signposts from behind the town hall to get there. Once you’ve climbed the stairs within the cave, you’ll reach a fantastic viewpoint above.
Try Delicious Local Food and Drink
Cotignac isn’t just pretty to look at; its extraordinary natural landscape is also the perfect place to produce olive oil and wine. You can sample some of these products at the weekly Tuesday morning market, where you’ll find fresh fruit, veggies, honey, olive oil, wines, and even clothing.
The village has also become famous in recent years for its small microbrewery, La Tuf Craft Beer. Make sure to check out the brewery and sample some of the unique recipes and flavors. What’s more, the brewery put on events every week, such as live music, DJ sets, and tournaments.
Did you know? The brewery is called La Tuf, as this is the name of the rock that makes up the Cotignac cliff.
Explore the Nearby Waterfalls
Close to Cotignac (7 km), discover the magical falls of Sillans-la-Cascade, one of the most beautiful waterfalls in France! The turquoise blue pools and powerful waterfall lie on the edge of the Verdon natural park and are a must-see on your trip to Cotignac.
How to get there: Drive to the car park before starting a 15-minute walk through the dappled woodland. Please note that you are not allowed to swim in the pools. This restriction has been put in place to protect the rocks and nature in the area.
Gorges du Verdon
If you have time on your trip to Cotignac, it’s worth taking a day trip to Gorges du Verdon, a 1.5-hour drive away. The gorge is one of the biggest in Europe and is one of the most amazing natural experiences in France. Hire a kayak and paddle along the turquoise blue water before reaching a beautiful waterfall.
How to get to Cotignac, France
Cotignac is a small and remote village. This means it’s incredibly peaceful but can be hard to reach by public transport. The nearest train station is Les Arcs, which has connections from Paris and other southern cities like Marseille. You can also take a public bus to Brignoles. From both places, Cotignac is a 30-minute taxi ride away.
Best Time to Visit
Anytime between the months of May to October is a great time to visit Cotignac. It rarely gets busy because of its remote location, and the peak summer months can be a great time to enjoy the sunshine, hikes, nearby waterfalls, and kayaking.
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:
Best Places to Stay in Cotignac
There are lots of beautiful places to stay in Cotignac, from Provencal villas and charming guesthouses to boutique hotels and even cave houses! For more options, look to stay in a bigger city like Marseille or Nice and visit Cotignac on a day trip.