Part of a whole string of hilltop villages, Fayence is situated in the hinterland of the eastern Var department. Facing the Estérel massif to the south, it open the gates for you to an undulating countryside of plaines evolving into oak-covered hills leading to the deep gorges of the southern alps.
A quite big village with a choice of hotels, restaurants and cafés, Fayence is a perfect departure point for exploring the region.
Starting with the village itself.
Once a fortified town, there are still some vestiges of its ramparts with the 14th century Porte Sarrasine gate that gets its name from its portcullis and a another smaller gate from the 17th century. Just below the old village you will see a traditional stone washhouse. Then, the streets begin to zig-zag up the village. Picturesque, they are lined with some beautiful houses and punctuated by 13 fountains.
You will discover the Four du Mitan, one of the 4 communal ovens once found in Fayence, which was in activity for 400 years up until 1947. Today, it is a cute little museum.
And of course, Fayence has its religious edifices, of which the biggest is the parish church of Saint Jean Baptiste dating from 1685. Built in a Baroque style, it has an octagonal bell tower covered in enamelled roof tiles. Inside, the fabulous old stained-glass windows light up a monumental alter. Much older, the Romanesque penitents' chapel dates from the 12th century. Today restored, it hosts quality exhibitions.
Tower clock in Fayence
The hilltop village of Fayence
The village of Fayence and its valley
Flowering streets in the village of Fayence
At the very top of the village, next to the ruins of the old castle of the bishops of Fréjus, of which part of the keep still remains, stands the 19th century Clock Tower with its campanile. Overlooking the village, the site offers you panoramic views over the surrounding countryside. An orientation table is there to help you locate places.
Unless you would rather see the region from the sky.
For 80 years now, Fayence has been the home to the premier European centre for gliding. The Association Aéronautique Provence Côte d’Azur, which has its base on the Fayence-Tourrettes aerodrome, offers flights in a glider to float across the sky above the magnificent Pays de Fayence.
In the area around Fayence
The Pays de Fayence includes many very pretty, old Provençal villages such as
Seillans, 4 km away, a medieval village and one of the most beautiful villages of France, to be visited on foot;
Callian, 5 km away, a traditional village dominated by its medieval castle and Romanesque chapel;
Mons, 8 km away, a change of scenery in this village situated amidst rocky peaks and deep gorges;
Bargème, 15 km away, and still many others.
In addition, there are 300 km of marked walking trails to discover the rural history of the region and the immense man-made lake St-Cassien with its beaches and creeks.
Good to know:
One particular event marks the seasons in Fayence.
Five times a year, during the Fayence Antiques fair, more than 70 vendors take over the Grand Jardin of a 19th century Provençal mansion in the historic town centre. It is THE place for antique hunters and lovers of beautiful objects.