The Ochre Trail, a truly magnificent and quite incredible place

The colors of red, yellow, and orange blend with the green of the trees and bushes, and the blue of the sky. It’s like an open-air painting.

You enter the trail from the village of Roussillon, which offers two different hikes: a short 30-minute one and a longer 50-minute one. We did the 50-minute hike, which is easily doable with young children and allows you to see all the landscapes that the Ochre Trail offers.

This trail is actually a former ochre quarry. Ochre, a natural pigment, has been used since prehistoric times for painting. Jean-Etienne Astier, originally from Roussillon, had the idea to extract ochre from sand using settling basins. You can learn more about the history of ochre, its extraction, and its use by visiting the Ochre Museum located 2 km from the village of Roussillon.

The village itself is stunning, a true Provençal village with its colorful houses painted in ochre hues. There are also small cobbled streets, stone houses, numerous art galleries, and quaint shops. Don’t miss exploring the village if you plan to hike the trail.

There’s a parking area for campervans located 500m from the village, which is paid during peak season and free from September onwards.

The Colorado of Rustrel: the American West in Provence

The Provençal Colorado is located in Rustrel. You can easily park your campervan directly at the Colorado’s parking lot.

You can explore this former ochre quarry through two hikes: the Belvédères trail taking approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes, and the Sahara trail which is about 45 minutes. Well, we ended up spending almost 3 hours on the Belvédères trail! Let’s be honest, some sections can be a bit challenging for very young children! But it’s definitely worth it! Along the way, you’ll pass through landscapes ranging from orange to red and white, all amidst the fairy chimney rock formations.

In Gargas, you can visit the Bruoux mines. Here, you’ll explore a maze of galleries carved by humans to extract ochre.

Please note, in July and August, the Colorado can get crowded quickly. Make sure to check their website before your visit, as entry may be regulated or even stopped during peak times.

About Author

We are Sophie, Adrien, and our two adorable little ones. Passionate about travel, discovery, and gastronomy, we bought a 2007 Rapido camper van to travel differently, travel more, and introduce our children to the world. Here, we share our wonderful discoveries and tips for activities to do with children in France and beyond ! Welcome !

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