Villages and cities of character

Twelve of our villages have obtained the label « Villages et cités de caractère », Villages and cities of character, as they are all blessed with a remarkable architectural heritage and have a population of under 2 000. To be approved « Villages and cities of character », the villages must make constant efforts regarding: – Reception: restaurants with […]


The village Simiane-la-Rotonde gets its notoriety from the rotunda whose truncated cone silhouette crowns the mound around which the hilltop village of tall stone houses huddle. This circular dungeon is the oldest civil example of Provencal Romanesque art. Simiane-la-Rotonde has riches to discover which date back to the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. From the fortified […]


The traveller arriving by the Col de Maure from Digne-les-Bains, suddenly sees the sunny Vallée du Pays de Seyne, the Vallée de la Blanche unfold before him. Here is Seyne-les-Alpes, built against the Robine hill and crowned by its Vauban Fort and its « Grande tour ». We can easily imagine the first huts built […]


In the middle of the Valensole plateau, Riez is built on the side of the Saint-Maxime hill which overlooks the confluence of three valleys. Communication routes have made their way along them since the High-Roman Empire. Where roads from Aix and Fréjus converge, the Emperor Augustus founded the Latin colony: Colonia Julia Augusta Reiorum Appolinaris. […]


Moustiers-Sainte-Marie has its roots in the close relationship between Man and his environment. The village is surrounded by terraced hills planted with olive trees and guards the entrance to the Gorges du Verdon. Monks arrived around 433 from the Lérins islands, and sheltered in cavities in the tuff before founding a monastery. Proudly located at […]


With regards to Prehistory Mane is a site dotted with remains, aqueducts and necropoles. In addition to this, most toponymists believe that the locality drew its name from the Roman goddess Mana Genita, who presided over funerals. The titles of Mane have a very respectable degree of antiquity as it was around 55 A.D. that […]


Lurs, high up on a balcony overlooking the Durance valley, the village appears in the middle of a wave of olive trees, from one of the five most beautiful olive groves in Provence. Lurs stretches along a narrow promontory from the castle to the north and the seminary to the south. Historians agree that Charlemagne […]


Perched on a rocky spur above a loop in the Var river, Entrevaux, the Gateway to France on its South-East frontier, is proud of its two thousand year-old rich and turbulent past. A few years before the Christian era, the town of Glanate was founded a little lower than the present village. With the beginning […]


With its stone architecture against a backdrop of wood-covered hills, Dauphin is one of the most beautiful hilltop villages in Haute-Provence. The plain which stretches at its feet, crossed by the Largue and the Laye, is filled with history and in Roman times, the Domitian Way, known as Chemin Seinet, linking Spain to Italy, went […]


The village of Cruis, on the South slope of the Mountain de Lure at an altitude of 700 metres in the middle of lavender fields and garrigues and on the edge of the forests of fir-trees and beech, is distinguished by its two flowers, awarded in the Concours National des Towns and Villages fleuris. In […]