Jun 18 Moustieres Ste Marie


This is another of the most beautiful villages but, we had chosen to stay here as it is ideally placed for a visit to St Croix du Verdon and is also at the start of the scenic route along the Gorges du Verdon to Castellane.

Moustieres sits at the entrance to the Grand Canyon du Verdon, protected by a golden star suspended on a chain high above the village between two rocky cliffs.  Try as I might, I could not manage to photograph the star.

Medieval Moustieres was a village of stationers, potters and drapers due to the body of water that still flows down the rocky cliffs.  In the 17th century an Italian monk from Faenza brought the secret of enamelling here, and Moustieres became the capital of the most beautiful faience.  That industry disappeared in the 19th century but has now been revived and over a dozen studios marry tradition with innovation.  We looked around some of the studios and were very attracted to their beautiful products.  We were less attracted by the prices!

Walking up through the village
Village wash house
Distant view from the steps up to the chapel

The village was bustling with visitors when we were there and we enjoyed sampling the local  pastries, whilst sitting on a bench overlooking the valley.  Once fortified we made the 350 steps climb up to the chapel of Notre-Dame-de-Beauvoir.  The views down over the village and the valley beyond towards the Lac de St Croix made the climb worthwhile.

Village view
Out across the valley below
Looking up to the chapel
Front door of the chapel
The church in the town centre. Visible from all around

The journey back down on the uneven stones was a bit more challenging and especially so for Clyde with his dodgy knee.

St Croix du Verdon

This small village overlooks the Lac de St Croix and is best seen from the twisty road down from the hills behind.  It was an interesting drive along the mountainous road to the village which is set on the side of a steep rocky outcrop.

Looking down over the village

We parked at the aire, which overlooks the lake and is a fabulous spot for an overnight stop.  It is a short walk into the village and there is a restaurant with a large terrace overlooking the lake.  There were plenty of patrons there enjoying lunch as we wandered past.  Down on the lake, we could see plenty of activity involving children and sailing dinghys.  Altogether, a very pleasant spot to while away a few hours.

View from the aire
Some villagers have an amazing view from their garden!

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