Var (83440) Population: 2,773 Altitude: 368 m
Montauroux is a small Var village just north of the Lac de St Cassien. It's a perched village, but nestled into the trees so that it's not easily visible from the exterior, except from the neighboring perched villages just to the west. The geographical situation is great: to the south, in addition to the Lac St Cassien, are the wooded hills of the Esterel and the Massif du Tanneron; to the north ("behind" the village) are more wooded hills, with the Borges de la Siagne running down from Mons.
The village center isn't very big, so it doesn't take long to explore the narrow streets of the old town [ photo-6 ]. The village center has the normal collection of shops and terrace cafés, and the main square (Place du Clos) is a good place for some local shopping and relaxing.
The village "lavoir" is nicely refurbished, located directly beneath the Place du Clos. The road into the village passes directly in front of the lavoir [ photo-3 ] before the final hairpin into the center.
Montauroux has a lot of lovely old stone fountains. We photographed several, and it's worth a wander around the old village just to discover them [ photo-8 ].
The ancient village church (17th century) [14th century ???] at the top of the village sometimes has evening concerts: classical, medieval, etc. The square tower [ photo-5 ] is 16th-c, with an 18th-c campanile on top. The Hotel-de-ville (town hall) in the center is topped with a 19th-c campanile.
Good parking on the hillside lots beside the village; a bit steep walking back up if you're not reasonably fit.
We've found two sundials (cadrans solaires) in Montauroux. The modern one [ photo-9 ] is clearly dated "1993". The ancient sundial, that we find fascinating [ photo-10 ] is too faded to make out a date, but resembles many others we've found from the 19th century, sometimes even late 18th-c.
Flood June 2010
The town suffered severe damage, with several deaths, from a flood on Tuesday 15 June 2010. With a rainstorm of unprecedented size in the Var hills, the worst flood in two centuries crashed through several towns in the local river valleys (Var floods 2010 map).
At least 25 people were killed through the region, with 13 still missing (as of 19 June).
Tel : 0494 47 75 90; Fax: 04 94 47 61 97
Place du Close is the main square in the center of the village. The Office de Tourisme offered friendly and useful advice. (Staffed during one visit by a lady who had lived a few years in Ridgefield Park, NJ, USA.) The OT had excellent picture-maps of the village and the surrounding area, made by a local artist.
June - Fete de la Transhumance
• GPS: 43.618062, 6.765256
IGN (1/25,000) #3543 ET "Haute Siagne"
There are no proper hiking trails right at Montauroux or Callian. Four km south, the GR49 comes around the western edge of the Lac de St Cassien, and goes west and north to Tourrettes-de-Var, beside Fayence.
We recently (Spring 2005) did a 2-hour loop hike, from Fondurane at the northwest corner of Lac de St Cassien, following the edge of the lake, then looping back across the hills to the start. Sun and Spring flowers for the first half; a downpour for the second half.
Regular (but infrequent) bus service on the Grasse-Draguignan line, but no bus on Sundays.
Department 83, Var Buses
- See Beyond's Var Department Bus Schedules for downloading the Var bus-lines map [Plan du Reseau] and bus-line schedules [Horaires] (link for PDF files).
- Schedules for the Var bus lines are on the VarLib Horaires-Ligne page (http://www.varlib.fr/horaires_ligne/?rub_code=6") - type the line number in the Numéro ... ligne box to access the bus schedule PDF link. (Type a couple of digits in the box to get a list of route numbers.)