©iStock - typo-graphics

Off to find the hilltop villages of the Pays de Fayence!

The good weather has arrived, the sun is beaming down, and the warm temperatures invite getaways on the Côte d’Azur. Straddling the slopes of the Estérel and the first Alpine hills, the Pays de Fayence has anchored a flotilla of nine villages, perched on the summit of their hills. Some thirty km from the Gulf of Saint-Raphaël, the bounty of the countryside knows no limits, there is an admirably rich heritage and a few vines come to justly intoxicate the truly great gastronomic restaurants.


In the heart of the var forest with Bagnols and Saint-Paul-en-Forêt

Bagnols-en-Forêt: its name in itself evokes its location near magnificent forests offering wonderful viewpoints. Evidence remains to its prehistoric occupation, such as the Oppidu de la Forteresse and the Old Millstone Cutting Workshops, to be discovered while hiking along the majestic peaks that offer a panoramic view as far as the sea. Bordering the Estérel mountain range, the village of Saint-Paul-en-Forêt is brimming with authentic little alleyways. It is the departure point for several hikes. Climbers are not to be outdone with the walls of the internationally renowned Blavet gorges. A stroll at Rioutard lake, a picnic on the banks of the Endre river or even a walk along the nature trail will allow you to discover the local flora and fauna.

The villages of Fayence and Tourrettes: jewels of the Pays de Fayence!

These two jewels are easily seen from the plains.

The village of Fayence takes on the appearance of a grand old lady and displays her beautiful heritage: old wash house, ancient ovens, the wonderful Romanesque chapel of Notre-Dame des Cyprès [Our Lady of Cypress].

The old streets climb up to take on a magical panoramic view at the top of the village. Don’t miss the traditional market in the heart of the village on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.

The clocktower and its belfry ring out the hours while a viewpoint indicator decodes the horizon. Fayence can also be discovered from the sky, as it is one of the hot spots for gliding in France.

With its creative soul, the village of Tourrettes  is a true open-air museum. Its alleyways are studded with works by the local artists, which gives them their originality: ceramics, paintings, sculptures, etc. Feast your eyes on the pretty view towards the distant horizons of the Côte d’Azur and over the stunning Château du Puy!

The elegance of the villages of Callian, Seillans and Mons, the highest up!

Classified as a “Village of Character”, Callian offers a pretty panoramic view from its summit, over the Tanneron and Estérel mountain ranges. Here, you’ll find hundred-year-old homes with beautifully flowered frontages. Overlooked by Mont Lachens, Mons is the highest of the hilltop villages. It embraces an exceptional view and in clear weather you can even see the mountain tops in Corsica! The surrounding environment includes a megalithic heritage dating back to 3000 years BCE. Awarded the “most beautiful village in France” label, Seillans is a thoroughly typical Provencal village: houses terraced into the hillside, cobbled streets, arched passages, and small squares where the fountains burble. The village also delights foodies who love the olive oils and Côtes-de-Provence wines.

From Montauroux to Tanneron: wild landscapes

From the town hall square in Montauroux, flanked by a pretty belfry, you cross the old centre to reach the Saint-Barthélémy chapel. This stands out with its walls that are completely covered by painted wooden panels. It was owned by Christian Dior, who had family connections here. He also owned the Château de la Colle Noire, and this can be approached by going down towards Saint-Cassien Lake. From the Fondurane nature reserve to the outdoor activities centre to enjoy time as a family, via the little coves, there is everything needed here to relax a while!  Appearing like a firework, the village of Tanneron has the first Mimosa forest in France. In addition to the magnificent viewpoints it offers, every year the village is the theatre for an extraordinary explosion of yellow bouquets. You can visit its forcing houses, places designed to encourage the flowering and sustainability of this extremely fragile flower.

You may also like!