Le Var, France Friday 9-27-19September 30, 2019
My last day in Nice, FranceOctober 8, 2019
I spent the night of 9/27-29, 2019 in the lovely “Lauriers” room at Chez Samuel Bruno in Lorgues, Le Var region of Provence, France. The room was in a quiet wooded area with a delightful deck and lounge chairs for relaxation. The room itself, quite modern and very spacious made for a very restful night. Our plan for Saturday 9-28-19 was to explore some of the so-called “perched villages” of the Var region. The “perched villages” were built many centuries ago onto of hills so that attacking enemies would have to climb up to try to take them while the defenders would have the advantage of the high ground. These villages were also built with very narrow streets again to make it difficult for any invading army to mount a strong frontal attack.
Our first village was Seillans one of the distinctive “Plus Beaux Villages de France” which however seems little known by French people let alone tourists from abroad but I read about the perched villages in this area in an article in France Magazine. I receive that magazine at home every month. It is a magazine based in the UK but devoted to all things French but written in English although there is always a story written in French with juxtaposed English to help you with your French!
Seillans is a lovely village of narrow, steep streets, interesting shops and art galleries, hotel and restaurants with excellent views of the beautiful, surrounding Var Region. On this Saturday, the town was very quiet save for a family outing on the esplanade at the top of the village. Our second stop was just outside the town of Fayence, also one of the perched villages where we had a just perfect lunch on the terrace of the lovely Le Castellaras hotel restaurant with an amazing view across the valley to the town of Fayence proper. Our lunch of a tasty artichoke puree’, followed by perfectly done Dover Sole with vegetables, a “predessert” of Fig Ice Cream and finally a decadent hot Chocolate Souffle! Of course, a glass of delightful, light Provence Rose’ and a cafe noir made the meal complete. With a soft, warm breeze caressing us, gliders from the nearby airport making their way silently through the sky and the amazing view of the valleys and mountains of the Var, it was a perfect lunch in the French countryside.
After lunch, we drove across the valley to the town of Fayence itself. Also, one of the perched villages, it provides an amazing panorama of the surrounding countryside from the top of its town tower and with an artist’s ceramic of the view to point out the identity of the various hills, mountains, valleys, buildings and in general, all of the sights that one can take in. Our final stop was the village of Mons, which is the highest of the perched villages in the Fayence region and possesser of perhaps the most stunning of all of the views of the lovely Var.
If you are interested in exploring this region there is a daily Delta Airlines flight from JFK to Nice Cote d’Azure Airport from which one can reach the Var is about an hour by car. Nice Airport is international in scope with flights arriving from all over the world including on the enormous Airbus A380 of Emirates Airlines. The roads to and in the Var tend to be narrow and winding as one traverses the various hills, valleys, and canyons so be prepared that although the distances appear short, the driving time is longer than one might expect. The views are stunning, the air is clear, the people are welcoming and the food and wine are excellent so why not give the Var a try??