Montauroux and Callian are the perfect holiday destinations, just 45 min from Nice, close to beaches, shops and sightseeing on the Riviera coast and offering a relaxed feel with lovely countryside and wonderful restaurants on your doorstep.
The scent of Lavender flows through the villages, especially in the summer months the aroma is truly spectacular. This passionate scene contrasts against vast acres of vineyards, lush green forests, awe inspiring mountains, quaint villages and azure blue seas.
The town is built on the site of an old fortress and is endowed with much of historical interest such as the remnants of a roman aquaduct, a stone bridge Hannibal took his army across, a medieval church and chapels, as well as houses from the 17th and 18th century. Chapel St Barthelemy is a legacy to the village from Christian Dior who made the town his home, and whose chateau can be seen on the outskirts of the village.
Daily shopping requirements are more than adequately catered for in the town square either from local bakers and butchers, the supermarket or the weekly market brimming with local produce. Its Honey, Olives and Olive oil are a “must” purchase! Town life centers around the town square where essential matters of the day are discussed at leisure over a coffee, a pastis or the ubiquitous game of boulles.
Fayence is the larger hilltop village, a 10 min drive from Callian and Montauroux. Fayence was a fortified town and, in spite of its size, it has kept the charm of its medieval origins with charming old street and welcoming restaurants and cafes.
The weekly markets are big and attracts locals and visitors from far and wide and everything can be found here – lovely table ware and fabrics, fresh produce, gifts and much more. Stroll the market or enjoy a leisurely lunch in one of the many restaurants.
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.
Located in Provence next to the Alpes Maritime, the Canton de Fayance is ideal for easy access to the coastal towns on the French Riviera; only 20 minutes to Cannes, 20 minutes to Frejus and St. Raphael, 40 minutes to Nice International Aeroport, 60 minutes to Monaco and St. Tropez.
The main town is called Fayence, with the picturesque Medieval hilltop villages of Mons, Seillans, Tourettes, Callian (listed in the ‘Most Beautiful Villages in France’ book), Montauroux, St. Paul En Foret and Tanneron completing the region. Canton de Fayence is also the location for the luxurious Four Seasons Golf Resort and Spa, Provence called Terre Blanche, which recently pitched for the Ryder Cup.
St Paul de Vence
Lac de St Cassien
This beautiful, picturesque lake is about 7km long north-south, with an east-west section another 3km long. With its southern tip adjacent to the autoroute, only 12km west of Cannes, the Lac de St. Cassien is easy to get to, while remaining natural and un spoilt. The lake is bordered almost completely by forested hills, and the shoreline is undeveloped, leaving its beauty for all to enjoy.
There is ample parking and easy access to the shore, with beaches for swimming, picnic tables, boating, sailboard and canoe rental. The majority of the shoreline, however, is isolated and accessible only (if at all) by small trails through the scrub oak and juniper to tiny coves and clear spots suitable for picnicking and swimming.
The lake contains huge carp, as well as pike and other predator fish. Carp fishing is open year-round, while the season for other fish can be verified at Chez Pierre’s or one of the other cafes on the lake.
Boat, pedal boats, canoe and sailboard rental is available along the eastern shore of the lower lake (conveniently beside the road) and northwestern end of the Pont de Pre Claou bridge that crosses the lake. Horse riding is also popular and there are a couple places that offers pony and horse riding.
Hiking trails go completely around the lake, although they follow roads for part of the journey. To the east of the lake, the Bois de Callian goes up over hills towards the village of Tanneron, where oak forests merge into many mimosa forests. To the west, the hills and forests are wilder and steeper.
The French Riviera
Nice, Cannes, Monaco, St Tropez, Antibes are some of the lively fun cities to visit while holidaying in Provence. Wonderful beaches, restaurants, bars and night clubs, and abundance of shopping. The fireworks contests almost weekly in the summer are truly magnificent.
Domaine de Terre Blanche at Four Seasons Hotel
If the Côte d’Azur is the soul of the Domaine de Terre Blanche, the golf-course is its heart. No other site, in fact, can offer golfing amenities on a par with the ones you’ll find here : two 18-hole courses, a golf academy, a floodlit practice range with covered positions. Swings and puts are thus on the residents’daily program. Villas and courses merge into a single backcloth for a life-style wholly dedicated to the owner’s pleasure. The fairways of the two 18-hole courses thus pay their visit to the five little hamlets on the Domaine.
Golf de L’Esterel
Par 71 5825 metres
Esterel Golf Club is just over a mile from the beaches of Saint-Raphael, in the heart of the majestic pine Massif de l’Estrerel. This course has great views as in runs down into the Mediterranean Sea.
Gorges du Verdon
The Grand Canyon du Verdon, also called the Gorges du Verdon, is a spectacular canyon that forms a border between the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence and the Var. Up to 700m deep, the 21-km-long canyon varies in width between 6 and 100 m at the bottom and 200 to 1500m at its rim. Gorges du Verdon is located about 1 hour drive from Montauroux/Callian.
- White water sports: rafting, canyoning, kayaking.
- Water sports: sailing, water skiing, fishing.
- Aerial sports: paragliding, free flight, gliding.
- Rock climbing, hiking, horseback riding and mountain biking.
During the winter season you’ll find several opportunities for skiing 2-2.5 hours drive:
The French ski resort of Isola 2000 has direct access to 120km of downhill skiing, with 47 individual pistes, served by 24 ski lifts.The ski resort itself is above 1500m, so skiing or boarding back to the resort is usually possible. With pistes above 2500 metres, skiing and snowboarding is assured throughout the season.
Greolieres Les Neiges – 1.5 hours drive, skiing is from 1700 – 1400m altitude and is usually good from Christmas to March. The resort is good for learning and can be excellent after a big snow fall, but it is only a relatively small ski resort, however there are snow canons.