Montauroux is one of nine perched villages that form the Pays de Fayence. It sits on a hill in the east of the Var department. The geographical position is stunning, with the Massif de l'Estérel, Cannes and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. Monaco and Nice are an easy drive away. Just across a valley to the north-west is Callian, another of the Pays de Fayence villages that is worth visiting. In fact, a tour of all nine villages makes a great day out.
Built in the 11th century around a fort, Montauroux rises in tiers at altitudes ranging from 72 to 437 metres. The biggest event in its long history was probably the Battle of Montauroux in 1592, fought between the armies of Henry IV and the Duke of Savoy.
More recently, Montauroux was linked with fashion designer Christian Dior, who bought the village’s Château de La Colle Noire in 1950. He spent his final summers there. Dior also owned the Saint Barthélemy Chapel and gave it to the village in 1953. Listed as a historic monument, the chapel and its astonishing interior is one of the must-sees in Montauroux.
Awash with narrow streets, stone-walled buildings, charming squares and fountains, Montauroux is a lovely place to walk around. It makes an ideal holiday base. Just to the south of the village is the Saint Cassien Lake (Lac de St. Cassien). Covering 420 hectares, this is a fun place to visit with activities such as pedalos, rowing, fishing and hiking available.
Less than 10 km away from Montauroux on the Alpes-Maritimes border are the Gorges de la Siagne. These are remarkable for their emerald green waters, ancient bridges, tufa waterfalls, lush vegetation and wildlife. Also close to the River Siagne is the unique Jardin Les Bambous du Mandarin, where you can take a relaxing stroll through an exotic Asian bamboo garden. That’s another spot you should not miss!