Le Castellete – The Most Beautiful Villages in France 2023 No.12 -★★★☆☆

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Date and Time (Original) – 2023:08:04 13:59:27

Now, from this day on, our tour of the beautiful villages of Provence begins. The Var department, like the Dordogne department, is an area in France where many of the most beautiful villages are located, and of course, I have visited many times before. The village of Le Castellet that I will introduce this time was newly registered as one of the most beautiful villages in France after 2017.

Le Castellet - Les Plus Beaux Villages de France
A une dizaine de kilomètres de la côte varoise, dans le Parc naturel régional de la Sainte-Baume, Le Castellet est tout aussi renommé pour son circuit automobil...

As mentioned earlier, I have visited this region many times, but to be precise, Le Castellet is located near a town called Toulon, which is the southernmost part of Provence. However, I had never been this far south in Provence before. From Nîmes, where I stayed the previous night, I passed through Aix-en-Provence and traveled on the A8 highway (which I’ve used so many times that I can’t remember how often) towards Nice, and then turned south to head to this village.

This village was exactly the typical image of Provence. Moreover, the weather was fantastic on this day, with not a single cloud in the sky. However, the overall rating I usually attach to the title of my posts was set at three stars. There are several reasons for this. First, the village was too well-maintained, and there were too many souvenir shops. Indeed, it was very beautiful, but as a long-time fan of touring beautiful villages, I prefer villages with a slightly older and somewhat dilapidated atmosphere.

I describe such village atmospheres as being “Eze-nized.” It means “becoming like the village of Èze in the Côte d’Azur.” Èze is one of the most popular tourist spots in the area, known for its great accessibility and location. However, because of its popularity, there are many visitors and a proliferation of souvenir shops, which I feel diminishes the traditional village ambiance. One of the reasons I originally became interested in France’s most beautiful villages was because I was tired of touristy places like Èze. So, even if a village is beautiful, I sometimes use the term “Eze-nized” with a touch of irony when visiting such places.

That being said, the location and ambiance of the village were undoubtedly excellent. I thought there was a good reason it was chosen as one of the most beautiful villages.

Certainly, to boost tourism in the village, it’s essential to renovate buildings beautifully and have many souvenir shops.

For a detailed description of the village, please refer to the information below.

Le Castellet is a picturesque medieval village located in the Var department of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region in southeastern France. It’s renowned for its historical charm, cobblestone streets, and well-preserved architecture. Here are some key features and aspects of Le Castellet:

  1. Historical Village: Le Castellet’s old village is perched on a hill, offering panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. Wandering its narrow streets reveals various historical buildings, fountains, and old churches.
  2. Circuit Paul Ricard: Just a short distance from the village is the Circuit Paul Ricard, one of France’s most famous racetracks. It’s known for hosting various motorsport events, including the Formula 1 French Grand Prix. The circuit, with its distinctive blue and red run-off areas, is a state-of-the-art facility that draws motorsport enthusiasts from around the world.
  3. Wine Production: The Var department and surrounding region are known for wine production, particularly rosé wines. Le Castellet is no exception, with several vineyards and wineries in the vicinity offering tastings and tours.
  4. Tourism: The village’s historical charm, combined with the attraction of Circuit Paul Ricard, makes Le Castellet a popular tourist destination. There are several boutiques, artisan shops, and restaurants catering to visitors.
  5. Proximity to the Mediterranean: Le Castellet is relatively close to the Mediterranean coast, making it a good base for those wishing to explore both the inland areas of Provence and the coastal towns and beaches.
  6. Cultural Events: Throughout the year, Le Castellet hosts various cultural events, from traditional festivals to music concerts, adding to its appeal as a vibrant destination.
  7. Art and Craft: The village is also a hub for artists and craftsmen, and visitors can often find unique handmade items in local shops.

In conclusion, Le Castellet in the Var department offers a blend of historical charm, modern motorsport thrills, and the serene beauty of Provence. Whether one is a history enthusiast, a motorsport fan, or someone looking for a picturesque getaway, Le Castellet has something to offer.