Var (83310) Population: 616 Altitude: 25 m
La Môle is just a blip of a village along the N98 road between Hyères and Saint Tropez. It's worth stopping to at least have a look at the magnificent little church, with its bright facade, pretty bell tower and sundial.
There's a nice shady picnic area at the left side of the church, beside the little Verne river. Continuing up the small road past the picnic spot will take you to the dam and the Verne lake, or you can hike up to the hill-top Ste-Magedleine chapel where the original villages stood from the 11th to 18th centuries.
During his youth, Saint-Exupéry lived with his grandparents at the 11th-century Château de la Môle. The classical chateau with its corner towers, about a km out of town to the east, was described by Saint-Exupéry in The Little Prince.
The tiny airfield just to the east of the village of La Môle is billed as the Aeroport International Saint-Tropez, La Môle. The official airport designation is LTT, and it does get pretty busy during the summer months.
History of La Mole
First record, 11th century Castrum de Mola;previously spelled "La Molle". Possible etymology from the Latin "Mola Manuara", for a hand grinding wheel for wheat (meule à main pour le blé).
Prehistoric: Prehistoric artifacts have been discovered at Guiots and at Montjean.
Celto-Ligurian: A Ligurian oppidum and a circle of standing stones at Montjean, now a protected site.
Gallo-Roman: Roman remains were discovered on the hilltop at Sainte-Magdeleine, 2 km north, the location of the original village and now the site of the Sainte-Magdeleine chapel. Other Roman remains have been found at Figarets, Guiots and Murène (2 km SW), and an oppidum at Maravieille (hills, northeast).
Medieval: The first village lord was Jaumes, in 973. The feif passed to the Abbey Saint-Victor in Marseille around the 12th century, and then changed owners roughly every century until the 18th, when the village moved from its hill top to its present location.
July (4th Sun) - Fête de la moisson - Harvest Festival
• GPS: 43.208113, 6.464678
IGN (1/25,000) #3545 OT "St. Tropez, Ste. Maxime, Massif des Maures"
Nearer to the village there are a number of small trails and forestry tracks in the hills just to the north. About 3 km northwest is the pretty little artificial lake La Verne, and 2 km north of La Môle, to the right of the road going back towards the lake, a trail goes up to the Sainte-Magdeleine Chapel.
Transportation La Mole
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.)