The 10 most beautiful villages of the Haut-Var region, less than an hour from Cotignac
At the gates of the Verdon Regional Natural Park, the Haut-Var reveals its splendour through its natural landscapes and its timeless Provençal villages. For every season of the year, you are invited to stroll through these enchanting spots, through narrow streets, past bubbling fountains, where every corner offers a surprise in the style of beautiful Provence. Whether the village is suspended on the side of a hill, perched on a rocky outcrop, nestled against a cliff or set within vineyards and olive groves, Lou Calen has selected ten of the most beautiful villages in Haut-Var ready to be explored.
A true jewel of the Var and recently labelled “Most beautiful village in France” in 2022, Cotignac is nestled at the foot of an impressive limestone tuff cliff that is turn carved out with troglodyte dwellings. The narrow streets, the traditional Provençal stone houses and the two Saracen towers that watch from the cliff give the village an enchanting medieval atmosphere.
Market day: Tuesday morning, all year round
2. Sillans la Cascade
Tourists traditionally visit Sillans la Cascade to admire its magnificent 42m waterfall, with its tropical style and turquoise blue lagoon, but the medieval village with its castle and ramparts are also worth a stroll through. A short hike through the forest takes you to a viewpoint to admire the stunning waterfall surrounded by rich greenery.
Market day: Friday morning, from April to December (farmer’s market)
Entrecasteaux is best known for its magnificent 17th century castle, which is entirely furnished with period objects and then surrounded by French gardens, designed by Le Nôtre and directly inspired by the gardens at the Palace of Versailles. Don’t miss the village itself which is full of charm thanks to its picturesque streets, fountains and traditional stone houses.
Market day: Friday morning, all year round
A town well-known for its ceramics and artistic crafts, Salernes has been celebrated since the beginning of the 19th century for its production of hexagonal red tiles called: “tomettes”. Visit the earthenware workshops and see the ceramics for yourself, while strolling through the lively streets and the traditional Provençal architecture. Don’t miss the Roman bridge that crosses the Bresque river.
Market day: Sunday morning, all year round
Situated at the entrance to the Gorges de Bagarèdes and the Vallon Sourn, Correns is a very pretty Provençal village sitting on the right bank of the Argens river. It is best known for being the first ‘organic’ farming village in France, a place where the ‘organic’ method has become a true philosophy of life. All local products are available in the village’s markets and restaurants.
Market day: the morning of the 1st Thursday in May (market for plants)
At the foot of the Verdon valley, Fox-Amphoux connects two villages. The village that sits in the flat landscape, Fox, has a gentle tranquillity thanks to its fields of lavender and its olive groves – while Amphoux sits on a hill, and thrills visitors with its winding streets and medieval charm. The 12th-century feudal castle watches over the villages and its great height offers amazing panoramic views.
With its narrow streets and flowery walkways, Villecroze is a peaceful and traditional village with a medieval character. It is home to a superb park with troglodytic caves and a natural waterfall. A few hundred metres away from the centre of the village is the Saint Victor Chapel, which today has become the residence of the Villecroze Music Academy.
Market day: Thursday morning, all year round
Nicknamed the “village in the sky”, Tourtour is perched on top of a wide hill and thus offers an exceptional panoramic view of Provence. The steep streets, stone houses and flower gardens give the village a wonderful particular charm. The village square is a great place to sit at a café and enjoy a drink while admiring the scenery.
Market day: Wednesday and Saturday morning, all year round
Châteaudouble is a true gem nestled in the heart of the Provençal mountains. Its name corresponds to the castle sitting above the Nartuby river. Visit and enjoy its medieval streets, its stone staircases and its serene and otherworldly atmosphere. Hiking enthusiasts will particularly enjoy the walking trails that meander around the village.
Listed among the “most beautiful villages in France” for many years now, Moustiers-Sainte-Marie village is perched on a rocky mountain outcrop, in such a way that it is often compared to the nativity scene with its hanging star – a votive dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Explore the cobbled streets, step into the famous local earthenware workshops, and admire the breathtaking views from the heights of the village.
Market day: Friday morning, all year round
The Haut-Var region is full of hidden treasures, and these villages are their shining jewels. So, pack your rucksacks, set off across the Haut-Var and be charmed by the timeless charm of some of the most beautiful villages in Provence.