July 20, 2023

Seven-Days in Cotignac

Where we travelled

We’re back on the road, and it’s an hour and thirty-minute drive to Cotignac, a small village located to the South East of Noves. Funnily enough, I chose the Villa, not the location. The method to my madness was to find a unique place to stay south of our previous home base. The plan; to make our way to the Cote-d’Azur eventually, and this location seemed like a happy middle.

Honestly, neither of us had heard of Cotignac. However, as we drove through the stunning Côte de Provence region, passing vineyards and olive groves that seemed to stretch forever, we both commented, “This looks promising…”

Additionally, Cotignac is part of “Les Plus Beaux Villages de France,” “the most beautiful villages in France.” Who knew?

We arrived at Cotignac to discover (naturally) a beautiful village with bustling restaurants and shops. We stopped for lunch and then wandered around to get the lay of the land before heading to our Villa. After worrying whether we would be happy staying in this area, we decided the location was perfect and couldn’t wait to see more.

Cotignac – Home Base

Villa Beaurecueil is a ten-minute drive outside the town center and would be our home for a seven-day stay. We seem to have a knack for finding remote properties, and Villa Beaurecueil is no exception. Our GPS eventually got us to our destination, but not without some doubt and questioning on our part. Which dirt road do we take, left or right? We went left. Instead, we should have gone right. Back on track, we drove through a small vineyard and climbed to the top of a hill that gave the true meaning of off-roading. Don’t tell the rental car company…

However, the views!

Villa Beaurecueil is a charming centuries-old farmhouse, providing the perfect setting for our seven-day stay. It was a peaceful and cozy home away from home that we were looking for. And our hosts, who live a stone’s throw away, couldn’t have been more gracious.

We couldn’t wait to explore our new region, but we were also interested in exploring the nearby villages that are distinct and part of Les Plus Beaux Villages. You could take a day to drive the 90km route, starting from Carcès and ending at Callas. Alternatively, you could break up the drive over several days and tour the villages at leisure, which we decided to do.

Salernes – Market Day

An eighteen-minute drive on a windy road is the town of Salernes. We decided to hit the Sunday market, as it’s “one of the best.” I’m sensing a pattern here…

The Salernes market is busy, but we had so much fun exploring. There were many local Provencal delicacies (more so than in previous markets), such as stuffed eggplant, roast chicken, paella, and pissaladiére (a flatbread made with caramelized onions, olives, and anchovies). We returned to our Villa with overstuffed market bags filled with a variety of delicious food we couldn’t wait to try.

Aups – Lunch

Another pretty village. Honestly, are there any bad ones? We’re not ones for getting an early start, so arriving at lunchtime and touring the village afterwards seemed to be our norm. We had a lovely lunch at L’Auberge de la Tour, a boutique hotel that serves as a perfect pit stop for travellers en route to their next destination.


After our visit to Aups, it was a quick car ride to Tourtour, referred to as “the village in the sky of Provence.” As you can imagine, Tourtour is tiny, lined with cafés; it has a lovely feel.

Cotignac – Lunch in a Vineyard

We must have driven past Le Clos des Vignes a hundred times, a pretty ivy-covered farmhouse surrounded by vineyards. We should go! The lunch was delicious, and the setting made it even more memorable.

Cotignac – A walk into town

It’s an easy hour’s walk along a country road to Cotignac from Villa Beaurecueil. There were some ominous-looking clouds, but we decided to risk it and walk into town for breakfast. As we were experiencing temperatures above 32 degrees, the cloud cover provided a nice breeze, making for a perfect walk. Timing is everything!

I loved Le Temps de Pose, a charming little restaurant with a lovely patio under a magnificent shade tree. The petit déjeuner was thoroughly devoured and refuelled us back to our Villa.

Some favourites…Mirabeau, wine, and a selection of home decor, Escapade for chic BoHo clothing, Picotte a Provençal restaurant with a large patio with views; Boulangerie Le Fournil; and the newly renovated La Falaise, a boutique hotel in the center of town perfect for a couple of nights stay.

Villa Beaurecueil was perfect for a seven-day stay, and discovering Cotignac was a bonus. In fact, I would say it was one of the highlights of our trip. We loved exploring Les Plus Beaux Villages de France, some we didn’t get around to, save for another trip. We will be back to visit.

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