Cotignac, a village steeped in history

Nestled in the rich Provençal countryside between the breathtaking Gorges du Verdon and the stunning beaches of the Côte d’Azur, Cotignac is a charming and vibrant medieval village.

The village is famous for its impressive limestone cliff, and it has been labelled as a ‘Plus beau village de France’. Many years ago, the imposing backdrop protected the village from invasions and shielded many within its troglodyte caves. Some of these caves can be explored today, and the remaining troglodyte houses can be admired on any walk around the village. Cotignac is also a popular pilgramage destination, especially for couples hoping for children, since there is said to have been an apparition of the Virgin Mary in the 15th century on Mont Verdaille, with baby Jesus in her arms, now the santuary of Notre Dame de Grâces. A century later, the apparition of Saint Joseph on the nearby Mount Bessillon made Cotignac the only place in the world where the entire Holy Family has appeared. King Louis XIV himself visited Cotignac with his mother Anne of Austria to give thanks to the Virgin Mary for his miraculous birth.

During the 1970s, 80s and 90s, many celebrities visited Cotignac and stayed or dined at Lou Calen, its prestigious hotel. In this way the village was once known as ‘St Tropez of the Haut Var’ and attracted the likes of Joe Dassin, Brigitte Bardot, Pink Floyd and David Bowie. Today, Cotignac remains true to itself and its authentic and Provençal splendour. Throughout the seasons our artists, gallery owners, shopkeepers and restaurateurs invite you to discover the riches of this cultured, historical and spiritual place.

Welcome to Green Provence

Surrounded by green hills, olive groves and vineyards, Cotignac is situated halfway between the Côte d’Azur and the Gorges du Verdon. Within an hour’s drive, you will discover the stunning turquoise waters of the Sainte-Croix, Quinson and Esparron Lakes as well as the famous lavender fields of the Valensole plateau, which inspired Van Gogh, Çezanne and Pagnol. Provence Verte is also attractive destination for adventure-seekers: from hiking, golf, horseback riding or cycling in the hills among olive trees, pines and cypresses, to canoeing, paddling or canyoning in the rivers and canyon – not to mention the traditional game of pétanque or boules under the hundred-year-old plane trees at the end of the day.

Les gorges du Verdon, Hôtel La Falaise