Cotignac’s circuit walk is fun to do at any time of the year but it’s particularly pretty in the early Fall when the fruit is ripe for picking and the tourist crowds have gone. The temperatures are much cooler at this time too, making it a joy, rather than a pain, to walk in the sun. Count on taking about 45 – 55 minutes (leisurely) or 30 minutes (sport/fast walking). The walk is suitable for moderately fit to fit walkers but not suitable for the disabled or unfit elderly.
Start at the Place de la Mairie (Town Hall Square) and go under the clock tower and through the outdoor theatre. Continue climbing the hill, onto Rue Plan de Giraud then a left turn to go under the arch that is the entrance to the Quartier “Puade” where, a long time ago, livestock was kept in order to feed the village. Continue climbing this road, stay to the left and eventually you will end up at the Medieval Forts, also mistakenly known as the Tours Sarrazines.
Pass the forts on your left and continue following the arrow and sun signs (stay right). Make a right at the white gate to a private house and follow the narrow path past an olive groves and vineyard on your left. Make a left turn after passing the little hamlet of houses which will lead you across a small bridge and to the Chapelle St Martin (12th century chapel where Cotignac’s civilisation began). Make a left at the chapel and continue past the vineyards and down the hill. You will eventually come to the path with the view of the waterfall on your left (in the Summer and early Fall this may be more like a trickle of water coming down). Continue straight and eventually the path will lead you back to the village while hugging the side of the big limescale cliffs.