Var (83131) Population: 629 Altitude: 480 m
Montferrat, sitting off to the side of the Draguignan-Comps road, looks a littly shabby as you go by. Take a few minutes to stop, though, and you'll discover a charming little village. A long central street runs down the length of the village between neat houses and shops, with a feeling of year-round activity; this is not a tourist-season-only village.
Below the main street, a square shaded by plane trees has the Nartuby river running through it. This square, separated from the village by a little arched bridge, has the village school, with the sound of kids playing, and the tiny Saint-Roch church (photo).
The surrounding hills are all forested, including the tall, narrow hill that towers behind the village where the Nôtre-Dame-de-Beauvoir chapel peaks out from the trees. This romanesque chapel is on the site of an ancient pagen temple.
The ruins of the old perched village can be seen up on the top. The ruins of the old village and château Beaudron are located up a small road just east of the Montferrat. There's also the ruins of a village and château at Espéral to the north.
History of Montferrat
First record, 1110 De Monte Ferrario, and 1135: De Monte Ferrato
Celto-Ligurian: a pagen temple pre-dated the medieval romanesque chapel on the hill above the village.
Medieval: was part of the Villeneuve domain. The commune purchased part of the domain in 1300, and Hélion de Villeneuve, brother of Sainte Roseline gave the village a franchise. Montferrat "descended" from its perched location in the 14th century. The village suffered its tribulations over the centuries, with Charles de Duras, Raymond de Turenne and Charles-Quint doing their part.
Aug (Mid) - Fete village
• GPS: 43.612539, 6.481183
IGN (1/25,000) #3543 OT "Draguignan"
The first hike to take here is the Chemin de Croix that goes from the village up to the N.D.-de-Beauvoir (680 m). The trail continues to the north and east through the woods (just to 759 m high).
There are several half-day hikes, including loop possibilities, through the Beaudron hills and the Bois de Favas to the east. One of the trails goes up to the Oppidum at the 832 m peak, where there's a magnificent view to the south and east, overlooking Callas and Claviers.
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.)