Haut-Var is a beautiful region of the Var department in the south of France, with a blissful Mediterranean climate, quaint mountain villages perched among the rocks of dramatic landscapes and the famous walls of the Verdon Gorge. Haut-Var is the gateway to the Cote d’Azur, yet this stunningly beautiful region has none of the hustle of the coast, simply allowing visitors to truly relax, soak up the culture and marvel at the astonishing scenery.
The Gorges du Verdon or Verdon Gorge is famous throughout the world, especially in rock climbing circles. The gorge is the largest and easily the most impressive in France, dubbed ‘France’s Grand Canyon’. The stunning turquoise of the river Verdon that cuts through the gorge for over 25km marks the bottom, and as well as a huge range of walking trails, there are some 933 climbing routes, catering for every level of climber from the interested onlooker to the most experienced free-climber. There are few places that you can climb in such astonishing beauty, and taking a Haut-Var holiday rental can provide the ultimate climbing holiday.
White water rafting holidays are absolutely magnificent in Haut-Var. A huge amount of effort has been made to ensure that conditions remain at the highest quality throughout the year, and there are many excellent professional centres to ensure that each group attempts a suitable route down the River Verdon. Kayaking, white water swimming, tubing and hydrospeed trips along the river are also excellent fun.
The mountainous countryside of Haut-Var is awash with walking, horse riding and mountain biking trails of the highest quality. You cannot want for routes when staying in Haut-Var accommodation, and maps, hirelings and rental bikes are available from all the major towns and villages throughout the department. The charming mountain villages of Haut-Var provide fantastic spots in which to stop, relax and recharge during any tour of the region, often offering some remarkable historic sites, breath taking views and atmospheric restaurants in which to get a little refreshment before heading back into the wilderness.
The small town of Salernes is a beautiful, red roved town deep in the forested hills of Haut-Var. The town is wonderfully traditional, with sensational little restaurants to frequent as well as a handful of remarkable 13th century relics to explore. However, it is the magnificent horse riding and mountain biking credentials of the village that really draw visitors to the area.
Aups is an impossibly picturesque village high in the hills of Haut-Var. Known for the defensive tower that dominates the skyline, Aups is home to many sights, packed along twisting, medieval streets. The summer months see Aups filled with walkers and mountain bikers, whilst the winter months see the streets filled with black truffle hunters.
Tourtour is known as the ‘village in the sky of Provence’, due to its rocky perch overlooking the landscapes of Haut-Var. Tourtour is hugely popular with tourists, not only for its magnificent location, but also for the magnificent restaurants that call Tourtour home.
When taking a holiday in Haut-Var accommodation, a hire car is essential as you are travelling deep into the French countryside. Toulon-Hyeres Airport (TLN) is slightly closer to the area than Nice (NCE), but there are far more options for flights arriving from the UK if you use Nice Airport.