Cotignac – Village de caractère
Cotignac is one of the prettiest villages in the Var, at the heart of Provence. It has a long history dating back to at least the 10th century. The imposing ruins set atop the cliff, which forms the backdrop to the village, and the troglodyte caves all add to its charm and atmosphere.
Cotignac is located on the D13/D22 some 37 km/23 miles to the west of Draguignan, 18 km/11 miles south of Aups, and 15 km/9 miles east of Barjols. The location is far enough away from the large motorways to ensure complete peace and quiet, but the village is close enough to some of the most interesting sights in all of Provence, including the fabulous Parc du Verdon.
On Tuesdays the entire town comes to life on market day with vendors selling a wide selection of fruit and vegetables, cooked and cured meats, local cheeses and wine, and much more besides. Several times a year there is also a popular flea market in town.
The town has a small grocery store and a new small supermarket has opened up just outside of the village on the road towards Brignoles. 1 mile further along the road an even larger supermarket opened in July 2015. A very large supermarket, Saturday market and many shops are all available in Brignoles some 20 km/12.5 miles away. The village has several bakeries, a fishmonger and a butcher. The local news agent carries several international newspapers and the bookshop is well stocked with French books, but less well so when it comes to titles in English.
In recent years, a number of interesting independent shops have opened up selling everything from handmade sunglasses and Panama hats (La Tiendita Maison Miraflores), a couple of interior design shops (including Marguerite), antiques dealers (including Provence Antiques), a new gift shop and wine outlet for Mirabeau wines, specialist honey producers (Les Ruchers du Bessillon), and a couple of wine merchants/deli shops.
While Cotignac itself is bereft of high end dining, there are several options for simple meals in the village – and slighter further afield there are great options for fine dining.
In the village itself, there are several cafes and restaurants serving simple, local fare. There are also a couple of more ambitious restaurants, including Chez Loli and Le Clos de Vignes, set in a vineyard just outside the village.
There are also a couple of pizzerias, a creperie, and an ice cream parlour.
If you want to push out the boat and try the best food Provence has to offer, we recommend the following places:
La Bastide de Moustiers – Alain Ducasse’s hideaway in the Parc du Verdon offers fresh and fabulous local cooking with enormous attention to detail – particularly when it comes to the vegetables
Abbaye de la Celle – Another Ducasse restaurant and hotel, just outside of Brignoles – about 20 minutes away from Cotignac
Restaurant Bruno – This restaurant in Lorgues is famous for its truffle dishes
Les Santons – Located in the village of Moustiers Sainte Marie in the Parc du Verdon, this atmospheric restaurant serves good food at reasonable prices and holds a Bib Gourmand from the Michelin guide.
Background & Things to Do
SeeProvence – Great description of Cotignac and the things to do there
Provence & Beyond – Read more about Cotignac here
TripAdvisor – things to do in Cotignac – Top things to do in Cotignac