Cotignac: The Cliffside Village of Provence, France Cotignac: The Cliffside Village of Provence, France

Cotignac: The Cliffside Village of Provence, France

Welcome to Cotignac in France, a beautiful, undiscovered Provencal village that sits at the foot of epic cliffs. Time stands still here, with its ancient cobbled streets, terracotta roofs, soft pastel-painted houses, and colorful shutters. It’s the perfect place to soak up the slow pace of French village life, sample local wines, walk among charming squares, and hike to blissful sunset viewpoints. Enjoy all the top things to do in Cotignac with this complete guide.

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.

cotignac france provence village

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.

cotignac france village

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.

cotignac france village church

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. 

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Cotignac: The Cliffside Village of Provence, France

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.

cotignac france village provence

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.

cotignac france watrerfall Sillans-la-Cascade

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.

gorge du verdon france bridge

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.

However, traveling to Cotignac is best done by car, so you can also explore the surrounding countryside and waterfalls. It sits about halfway between Nice and Marseille and can be reached in about 1.5 hours from both cities.

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.

cotignac france colorful street

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

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 place to stay cotignac france
Blog comments (4)

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  • Siobhan

    Hi you two, I absolutely love all your content. Any chance you could put out a 10 day itinary for the south of France. I want to do it all and my ADHD is in overdrive trying to plan haha. I have flights to nice booked 13th June xxx

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