The picturesque hilltop village of Callian enjoys stunning, far reaching views over the surrounding countryside, with quaint winding streets lined with pretty Provencal buildings, and dotted with a delightful selection of restaurants. Situated in a beautiful area of Provence, with many pretty Provencal villages waiting to be discovered, and just 30km from the renowned Riviera coastline.
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Nights in Provence are fairly quiet with a good selection of bars and restaurants. Before heading off to dinner, learn how to play the traditional petanque, the Provencale ball game. Callian is simply great for a wander or a coffee in the square by the waterfall. It has nice restaurants as well.
What will you find at the markets: the best local, seasonal fruit and vegetables; meat, fish, bread, olives, tapenade, honey and conserves, herbs and spices, cheese, goat cheese, flowers, oils and wines, ready-to-eat rotisserie chickens, Provencal fabrics and housewares; clothes, the perfect straw hat or straw basket to take to the markets, and much else besides.
You cannot leave Provence without visiting one of the wyneries; Château Vignelaure, Château La Coste, Château Léoube, Mas de Cadenet, Clos Mireille-Domaines Ott, Château de Chausse... There is something for every taste!
Apart from gazing at lavender fields, you can also visit lavender farms and distilleries, attend lavender festivals at Sault and Valreas, and buy lavender products like oil, essences, perfumes, soap, etc. In Coustellet there is even a Lavender Museum exploring the history of the cultivation of lavender in Provence.
Head off to the mountain gorges of the Siagne and the Siagnole – either side of the 830m high village of Mons, where you can splash around in 'refreshing' streams or dive into rock-pools and plunge in the waterfalls.
Les gorges du Verdon offer something for everyone at about 90 minutes drive. Hire a pedalo (with water slide) at Lac St.Croix and meander down the river looking up several hundred metres of rock wall. For the walker, take the six hour Sentier Martel hike along the Verdon.
Les Ajustadous, new outdoor park in les gorges de la Siagne.
Callian is nestled between the mountains of the Esterel and the lower Alps. It is in a string of perched villages which include Montauroux, Seillans and Fayence – each one no more than 10 minutes from the next.
The nearest beaches are about 45 minutes away, but a walk down La Croisette in Cannes, lunch by the sea and a quick dip should not be missed. For a more intimate experience, find a cove in the red rocks Esterel or visit Theoule.
Every village in Provence was built around a castle or some form of defensive structure, and many of them remain, in differing states, from a few walls to entirely preserved buildings. Some are privately owned and not open to the public, but some can be visited.
Typical markets, pleasant restaurants (suiting all budgets) and a sensible collection of day-to-day and tourist shops.
Provence is a great destination for a walking vacation. There are trails for people of all abilities, including many hikes which are very suitable for families with younger children.
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