•Alpes-de-Haute-Provence (04320) • Population: 785 • Altitude: 515 m
Entrevaux is a fabulous sight: a medieval village guarding a narrow pass, a draw-bridge entrance high across a fast river, and walled walkway zig-zaging up through 20 fortified doorways to a 17th century citadel dominating the village and the surrounding valleys. This is popular tourist site, only 60 km from Nice.
Viewing Entrevaux from the outside is impressive, both for the perched citadel and for the walled town. Just as impressive is the walled Medieval town, with entrance through the gate house, across the long draw bridge and through the vaulted gate between the two towers.
The village streets are dark and narrow between the high buildings, maintaining the medieval feeling you get from crossing the bridge and entering the fortified area through the gateway.
The Gothic Notre-Dame-de-l'Assomption church is quite grand, dating from 15th and 17th centuries, with a large, oranate facade.
Along the wall in front of the church is a doorway to a very nice playground along the riverside.
Walk through the walled village and follow the signs for the citadel entrance. Cost is 3 euros, including access to the citadel and the Powder-Magazine Museum: you'll need euro coins for the automatic "jeton" dispenser at the entrance.
The walk up the walled and cobblestoned walkway is about 20 minutes, even with the occassional stop for photos (and to catch your breath). It's worth the walk just for the view, and even more for visiting the interior of the citadel's rooms, courtyards and donjon. There's a good map at the top showing how to tour the citadel. We've put a copy here [Citadel Map] to give you an idea before-hand.
Short. We did a recent short visit, and found two hours is sufficient from the train station, walking up to and touring the citadel, visiting the museum on the way down, and back to the station. Taking time for lunch, and a very brief tour of the old town, arriving on the 10h30 train and departing on the 14h18 (towards Digne) works quite well.
Long. If you have more time than "just-passing-through" you should plan to spend the day here. A longer tour of the citadel and the poudrière museum is required if you have an interest in history of Mediveal defenses. The walled town itself requires much more time to explore that a simple walk-around or you'll miss a lot. We suggest that you get the walking tour guide from the Office de Tourisme and put it to use.
The "commercial" center of Entrevaux is along the road opposite the old town. Quite uninteresting, except for practical reasons. Included are the post office, pharmacie, shops, restaurants and such things.
Streets that zig-zag up the hillside opposite the walled village have a great view of the walled town across the river. There are some marked "sites" just a short way up, including the old flour mill and olive-oil mill, with residential areas and a scattering of villas across the hillside.
Along the roadway across an arched bridge is a multi-arched stone aqueduct, called locally the Roman aqueduct [Photo 19].
You can visit the ancient water-powered flour and oil mills. Both the flour mill (Moulin à Farine) and the oil mill (Moulin à Huile) are located in the "outer" village, overlooking the railway station. The oil mill is still being used. The stone aqueduct along the top of the arched bridge [Photo 19] is just beside the Moulin à Farine.
There are a couple of sundials in Entrevaux. The most obvious one is at the Place de la Mairie, on the upper-right corner of the town hall (mairie), directly above the trompe-l'oiel "window" [photo 21]. This one isn't dated; very tasteful, and in the smae colors as the building.
The second sundial is harder to find. It's big, and now rather faded. Go down along the road between the village entrance and the railway station and look across at the walled town. On the other side of the wall between the two square corner-towers, look at the right-hand building with the green shutters [photo 22]. The sundial is in the center of the building, at a height between the two rows of windows.
History of Entrevaux
First record, 1040 Interrivos, founded by the inhabitants of the ancient Episcopal city of Glandèves.
Entrevaux was founded in the 11th century by the inhabitants of Glandèves, an ancient Roman town that became an Episcopal town; now long gone.
Gallo-Roman: The Roman city of Glanate was established on an old Celtic-Ligurian site.
Medieval: From the 5th century, the town was a Bishopic called La Sedz-Glandèves. The current village was built in the 11th century It was fortified more thoroughly around 1542 when King François 1st declared Entrevaux a Royal Town in the Kingdom of France. In 1690, King Louis XIV gave Vauban the job of fortifying Entrevaux as part of the defensive belt blocking the Alpine passe to defend France from the Savoie. When the County of Nice was annexed in 1860, Entrevaux again became a simple village.
Tel : 04 93 05 46 73
Fête de la St. Jean
Parade up to the chapel: 24 June
Fête de la Mutuelle: 15 Aug
Foires: 24 Mar; 1st Sunday May and Aug
Foires: 29 Sept; 28 Oct; Monday before St-André
A motorcycle museum in the village, in one of the ancient houses, has a collection of about 70 motocycles, all in working order. They date from around 1901 to 1965.
tel: (33) 493 05 40 78 (museum); 93 79 12 70 (home)
• GPS: 43.949646, 6.810008
IGN (1/25,000) #3641 OT "Moyenne Var"
Hiking from Entrevaux starts with a hot, steep climb up out of the town. To the north there are some interesting out-and-back routes. The main hikes head out towards the south. A day-long hike between Entrevaux and Puget-Theniers is described in the 75 Hikes with the Train des Pignes.
There are a couple of year-round places to eat the the old village, including a terrace restaurant on the main square,in front of the town hall mairie. We really liked a little place deep in the old town called the L'Ambasade [Photo 14]. It's labeled a pizzaria, but doesn't serve pizzas mid-day. We've eaten there a couple of times and enjoyed the experience, with simple dishes of good fare, nicely presented.
Summertime dining is easier, of course, with more places open, including in the "outer village" area opposite the walled town.
Bus Line 770 Nice - Beuil
- Bus line 770, Nice -Beuil, departs from the Nice Gare Routier, stops at the Gare SNCF (railway station), Nice airport terminal-1 and several village along the way. The full trip takes 3-1/2 hours and costs 1 euro.
Stops include Colomars gare, Plan-du-Var, Villars-sur-Var, Touët-sur-Var, Puget-Théniers, Entrevaux, Guillaumes, Valberg station, Beuil Les-Launes, Beuil syndicate-d'initiative.
An official list of Alpes-Maritimes bus lines, with links to the schedules for each line (PDF), is available on the following link:
- Web: www.cg06.fr/fr/servir-les-habitants/deplacements/transport-collectifs/lignes-et-horaires/lignes-et-horaires/
Department 04, Alpes-de-Haute Provence Buses
- See Beyond's Alpes-de-Haute Provence (04) Bus Schedules for downloading Alpes-de-Haute Provence bus-lines map and bus-line schedules [pdf for each line] (link for PDF files).