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Tufa Cliff in Contignac
Tufa Cliff
Contignac Cliff Dwelling Cliff Dwelling
6 March 2006
(Click Photo to Zoom)

Population: 1,792
Elevation: 260 meters
Department: Var

Cotignac is situated at the base of a great cliff. Over the eons, the tufa rock has developed a pitted and pockmarked appearance, and is indeed full of holes and caves. These once provided shelter for the townspeople in times of invasion, war and plagues.

At the base of the cliff are the remains of an abandoned olive mill, as well as many of the oldest houses in the village. For the adventurous, the cliffs are accessible by a winding, narrow path up from the town, near the mairie. You can also drive around to the top of the cliff for a panoramic view of Cotignac and the surrounding countryside with its many vineyards and olive groves.

Cours Gambetta, the plane tree-shaded town square, is also impressive, bringing to mind the famous Cours Mirabeau in Aix-en-Provence. It is bordered by cafes, restaurants and shops, many of which feature the specialties of Cotignac, honey, olive oil and wine.

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