Cotignac – The Most Beautiful Villages in France 2023 No.13 -★★★☆☆

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Date and Time (Digitized) – 2023:08:04 16:17:25

This was a village that I learned was registered as one of the most beautiful villages in France after arriving there. It is probably a village that was registered after June 2023. In my case, I usually make rough travel plans about six months in advance. At that time, I believe this village was not yet registered as one of the most beautiful villages in France. There were probably two villages registered in 2023: this one and another called Penne-d’Agenais. We passed very close to this other village during our trip, but we didn’t realize it had been registered and missed seeing it. Reflecting on that oversight, I rechecked the list of France’s most beautiful villages on site and discovered Cotignac, which I’m introducing now, and was able to visit it successfully.

Cotignac - Les Plus Beaux Villages de France
Entre les gorges du Verdon et la Côte-d'Azur, au pied d'une impressionnante falaise de tuf, les façades colorées de Cotignac donnent à ce village d'artistes tou...

This village was very typical of the small villages in the Provence region. It’s certainly not very large, and it seemed rather understated, but having visited many “most beautiful villages” in the past, I personally have a better impression of these quieter villages. That said, honestly, there weren’t many sights to see, so we couldn’t stay long. Please see the accompanying photos for a sense of the village’s atmosphere.

For a detailed description of the village, please refer to the information below.


  1. Location: Cotignac is situated in the heart of the Var department. It’s about an hour drive to the Mediterranean coast and is surrounded by lush vineyards, olive groves, and forests.
  2. Historical Significance: The village boasts a rich history that dates back to prehistoric times. Nearby caves have provided evidence of human habitation as far back as the Paleolithic era. The village itself has a mix of medieval and Renaissance architecture, illustrating its continuous importance throughout the ages.
  3. Physical Characteristics: One of the most striking features of Cotignac is its dramatic cliffside. The “Rocher de Cotignac” is a tufa rock cliff that towers over the village, punctuated by caves and troglodyte dwellings. These caves have served various purposes throughout history, from habitation to religious sanctuaries.
  4. Culture & Lifestyle: The village has a typical Provençal charm, with its narrow winding streets, ancient fountains, and shaded squares. There are various festivals and events held in the village throughout the year, celebrating everything from wine to cinema.
  5. Economy: Like many parts of Provence, Cotignac’s economy is influenced by wine production, olive oil, and tourism. The region is known for its rosé wines, and the village has several vineyards and wineries that welcome visitors for tours and tastings.
  6. Tourist Attractions: Beyond the Rocher and the troglodyte dwellings, Cotignac offers a range of attractions for visitors. The 16th-century Church of Saint-Denis, the fountains, and the old washing places are all points of interest. Additionally, its proximity to other Provençal attractions, like the Verdon Gorge, makes it a great base for exploring the region.
  7. Population: As of my last training data in January 2022, Cotignac had a population of around 2,000-3,000 inhabitants, but this can fluctuate, especially during the tourist season.