In the center of Provence, in the Vaucluse department is a special part of nature: Le Petit Colorado Provencal. I myself was there in 2012 during a summer vacation. And it was very impressive! I did not expect to find anything like this in France at all. It gave me almost the idea of being in another continent.
Le Petit Colorado Provencal is an ocher quarry, the result of sand deposits from the withdrawal of the sea. The ocher was won by humans and used in paint, cosmetics and paper. What remains are impressive red hills. The red color is of the sand is the result of the ocher being very rich in iron. It reminds a bit of rust.
The quarry is easily accessible by car and there is enough parking space. From the parking lot you can follow a route through the forest, where the red sand starts little by little. Eventually you will arrive at the quarry, which is truly impressive. You can climb up the hills and get a very nice overview of the quarry.
Put on some clothes and shoes that may get dirty, because the red sand is not that easy to remove. If you visit during summer, make sure you take enough drinking water!
When you visit the Petit Colorado Provencal, don’t forget to bring a vist to the village of Roussillon. A cute little village with houses coloured with the ochers colors. In the village is a museum about the ocher and some terraces where you can enjoy a drink or icecream.
Book a tour in the neighborhood of Le Petit Colorado Provencal and learn more about the ocher quarry and it’s usage.
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