Although not the oldest, Collobrieres is the commune that houses the most megalithic sites in the Var, standing witnesses to human presence at around 3000 BC.
The village is tucked away in a valley in the midst of the Maures hills forest of 30 000 acres of which 2 200 of chesnut and 740 acres exploited, that is to say 200 tons of chesnuts per year.
Collobrières - (Photo : L. Caille)
Collobrières is worth the visit for its setting and charming medieval houses. People come from far to admire rare specimen of flowers : cystus, asphodels (favourites with the wild boars) , orchids (if you're lucky), tree heather or a special kind of lavender that only grows in the Maures hills...
. A touch of history : click here
Founded by the Romans, the village's name originates from a deformation of its Latin name "Collubreira" and Provençal name "Colobreira" (grass snake), depicted in Collobrières' coat of arms by an azure door, a silver chestnut tree where two impaled grass snakes intertwine and a border bearing the word "Colobrières".
. "Chartreuse de la Verne" : Founded in 1170 and located 12 km from Collobrières at an altitude of 412 metres, this magnificent, restored Carthusian monastery has been occupied by the Sisters of Bethlehem since 1983. Signposted tour of the monastery including the cloister and former refectory. Open in Winter from 11.00 am - 5.00 pm and in Summer from 11.00 am - 6.00 pm. Closed Tuesdays in January and during religious celebrations. Access : from the village, take the RD14 road towards Grimaud. After 6 kilometres, take small the tarmacked road leading to the monastery. click here
Chartreuse de la Verne à Collobrières - (Photo : L. Caille)
. "Menhirs de la ferme du Lambert" : Now listed monuments, the menhirs are the largest of their kind in Provence. These two monoliths (carved from local gneiss) measure 3.15 and 2.82m. They are thought to date back to between the end of the Neolithic era and the end of the Bronze Age (around 2 000 to 3 000 B.C.). You can reach the menhirs via two routes - the GR 90 long-distance footpath from Collobrières or the forest road from La Croix d'Anselme.
The Babaou pass : Head towards Pierrefeu on the RD14 road at the village exit; 2 km further on, take the RD41 towards Bormes-les-Mimosas.
Collobrières - (Photo : L. Caille)
. The Collet Windmill : Starting from Collobrières on foot take the GR 90 long-distance footpath south (See map at the tourist office). It is the only windmill close to the village (late 16th century). Access to the botanical footpath singposted. Car park in the village.
. "Notre Dame des Anges" orientation table : From the village, head towards Gonfaron on the RD39 road. Turn left at the "Col des Fourches". Turn right at the next crossroads and continue to the summit (accessible by car).
. The summit of "La Sauvette" : the highest point of the Maures Hills (780m). From the village, head towards Gonfaron on the RD39 road. Turn right at the "Col des Fourches" towards La Garde Freinet (tarmacked track) until you come to the track called "Piste des Condamines". Leave your vehicle at the crossroads and take the footpath up to the summit (following the forest boundary marked green and white). Forest road: vehicles prohibited from June-September.
. Le circuit des Ateliers d'Art :
sculptors, artists, ceramists. click here
Sculpture : François Saison, quartier du Coulet
Art-Expo : Mosaics, place de la République
L'Atelier bleu : painting, Rue Lamartine
. Confiserie Azuréenne : Open 7 days a week - 50 years of candied chestnut production - chestnut-based specialities for sale.
Confiserie Azuréenne de Collobrières - (Photo : L. Caille)
. Ecomusée du liège (cork museum) : at Gonfaron, 18 km from Collobrières via the RD 39 road.
. Footpaths : Several minor or long-distance footpaths encircle the village (GR 90/GR 9), including the "Vallon de Pérache" itinerary (1 hour), the botanical footpath (2 km), discovery footpath (6 km), Lambert menhirs (4 hours) and "Barrage de la Verne" (Verne Dam) itinerary (3 hours). : click here
. Tortoise Village in nearby Gonfaron : Hermann tortoise preservation and reproduction centre. Originating from the Maures Hills, this protected tortoise is now a rarity. Price: 8 € adults - 5 € children age 6 to 16 - free for children under 6. Open every day from 9.00 am-6.00 pm from March to November. Access : Take the RD 39 road to Gonfaron, then the RD 75 towards La Garde Freinet (21 km approx). (Phone : +33 (0)126.96.36.199.10).
. A gourmet outing :
to one of the restaurants or "tables d'hôtes" in the village or surrounding areas. You will find many local producers in the village who have their secret recipes and specialities... click here
...such as the Collobrières glacé chesnuts, chesnut creams, chesnut ice-cream with real bits of chesnut, honey, goat's cheese, charcuterie and wine.
- Lou Castagnié : chesnut cream, fresh chesnuts, chesnut baskets
- Charlie Marrons : chesnut cream, raw, fresh or grilled chesnuts, chesnuts in syrup
- Les saveurs de Provence : Honey, ice-cream, jam, chesnut cream, local products
- Ferme des Capeludes : chesnut cream, jam and honey
- L'Abeille des Maures : you will find our honey, mead, and nougat for sale in the bakers of the village
- Confiserie Azuréenne : Marrons glacés, chesnut cream and ice-cream
- La ferme de Peigros : goat's cheese and charcuterie
- Cave Coopérative "La Treille des Maures" : quartier Notre Dame
- Domaine de la Catherinette : Route de Pierrefeu
. Provençal market :
every Thursday and Sunday morning in the village center.
. LEADING EVENTS : click here
Chesnut fair : late October
Provençal market all day, every kind of chesnut for sale (grilled chesnuts, marrons glacés, chesnut liqueur, jam, cake...) Guided tour in the forest with a forester technician.
Chesnut fair in Collobrières - (Photos : golfe-infos)