Var (83440) Population: 3,502 Altitude: 325 m
If you travel along the D562 between Draguignan and Grasse, you'll see Fayence perched on a hill top to the north, surveying the plains to the south. Fayence was a fortified town and, in spite of its size, it has kept the charm of its medieval origins. This is a center for tourists and visitors, with plenty of hotels, garages, and shops. In the spirit of Beyond, you can consider it a gateway to the more isolated interior. Market day Sat, Thur, Tue.
North of Fayence, the D563 road goes through oak-forested hills to Mons, and beyond to the Route Napoléon. As you get closer to Mons, you'll discover deep gorges cutting through the hills, with rocky cliff faces showing here and there through the green vegetation.
Bread Oven - Le Four du Mitan
In 1522 the local Bishop (l'Evêque de Fréjus Nicolas de Fiesque) had four bread ovens built in Fayence. Named rather prosaicly as: le four plus haut (the highest oven), le four plus bas (the lowest oven), le four du mitan (the middle oven), and le four du hameau Saint Paul.
The Fayence village bread ovens were used at different times by village bakers or as communal ovens. Two of them, the le four plus bas and le four du mitan were active bread ovens for about 400 years, serving until 1947.
Le Four du Mitan has been turned into a rather nice little museum (free entry). In addition to the realistic decor, an audio-video presentation is available to the visitors. The Four du Mitan was the largest of the villages bread ovens, and was located, along with a chapel, in the building just beside the present-day museum.
The airfield on the plain just south of the town is a major sailplane (gliders) center. Founded in 1935, the gliding club is considered the best in Europe, and you'll see sailplanes here from across France and other European countries. The 1995 world championships were held here in September.
History of Fayence
First record, 909: Fagentia; 1119: Favenze
In Latin, Faventia Loca means a favorable location.
Gallo-Roman: Vestiges of Roman occupation were found at Notre-Dame-des-Cyprès (1 km west), at La Bégude (20 km southwest) and at the Moulin de Camandoule.
Medieval: The Saracen invasions devastated Fayence, leaving the town deserted, although the Monks of Lérins had an important convent here (at the Notre-Dame-des-Cyprès) from the 11th century on. In the 12th century, Alphonse 1st d'Aragon gave the fief of Fayence to the bishops of Fréjus. In the 1391, Turenne destroyed the village of Callian, 5 km to the east, and the fleeing people came to Fayence, repopulated it for the first time since the Saracens had passed through. In the 18th century, Monsignor de Fleury decided the château of Fayence was too expensive and useless, and had it destroyed.
Market day: Sat, Thur, Tue.
Aug - Foire Brocante - Flea Market
Sep - Fete Patronale - 4 days
• GPS: 43.625063, 6.693433
IGN (1/25,000) #3543 ET "Haute Siagne"
Trails directly around Fayence mostly follow the small roads, since the area is pretty well built-up.
• One of these local trails leads about 5-6 km to the south-southwest into the Maures, where it connects with several good trails, including the GR 51 (Balcony of the Cote d'Azur).
• About 6-8 km to the southeast, some trails go through the hills to the Lac de St. Cassien. This area is "forested", but the brush is thick and the trees are low, and it can be extremely hot and dry during the summer.
• To the north-northeast, a trail runs through the Forêt de Tourrettes, partially following roads, to join the GR 49 (Grande Randonnée) that runs up through Mons.
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.)
Draguignan - Fayence Bus
- Bus line 3201 connects Draguignan, Figanières (Quatre Chemins), Callas (Quatre Chemins), Seillans, and Fayence.
Fayence - Cannes Bus
- Line 3002 - Seillans, Fayence, Tourrettes-de-Var, Cannes - at least 3 buses a day (more on school days), 1hr45 journey.