Var (83560) Population: 175
Esparron is a small Medieval village clustered below a boxy chateau, perched on a wooded hillside in the Var north of St-Maximin. Colorful old houses, vaulted passages and a lot of step-streets to explore, but no village café.
The village of Esparron-de-Pallières is located 8 km east of Rians. A small cluster of houses and the old wine cooperative (now a micro brewery) sit beside the east-west D561 road. The real village, the medieval part, is located a couple of hundred metres up the hill, off the main road.
The heart of the old village is centered around the Place de l'Eglise (Church Square), with a brightly painted Mairie (town hall) and the 17th-century parish church, Notre-Dame-de-l'Assomption. The church has a large square bell tower, topped with a simple campanile.
At the corner of the Place de l'Eglise is the village post office, one of several ocre-colored old building on the main street through the center, Grand'Rue. The post office is open Mon, Tue, Thur, Fri 8h30-10h30, and Sat 8h00-10h00.
Esparron-de-Pallières old village has a lot of streets to wander, and many of them are step-streets, cobble-stone steps that can be both picturesque and a problem for people without strong legs. Most of these step-streets are named: Escaliers Place Neuve, Escaliers des Endronnes, Escaliers du Couvent, Escaliers des Fours, Escalliers du Chateau. At the bottom of the village, one of these step-streets, named genericly Rue des Escaliers, goes down a set of steps, loops around and goes back up another set of steps.
No village café in Esparron-de-Pallières. This is a real bummer for us, because we find that in a small village, the café is a good focal point for socializing and for us to get a feel about life in the village. Here, the post office and the Place de l'Eglise seem to be the social center during the mornings.
The large square chateau sitting at the top of Esparron-de-Pallières village seems domineering from a distance. Inside the old village, the chateau is barely visible, rising about the trees past the highest houses. We hiked up the Escalliers du Chateau and found the street ends with a bright plastic chain and a "Private Property, No Entry" sign.
• GPS: 43.59172, 5.84878
IGN (1/25,000) #3343 OT "Greoux-les-Bains, Rians"
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.)