The village of Le Vieux-Cannet is right out of a motion picture set and could very well have been a set for a French movie at one time. This very tiny village is considered a classic site and sits atop a hill overlooking the ville of Le Cannet-des-Maures (the “new” village) in the VAR.
Vieux-Cannet is one of the tiniest villages I have ever been to. They have no post office, no boulangerie, and no boucherie. In fact, not a single store or administration office is located there. They don’t even have a Maire (town hall). The villagers must go down the hill to Le Cannet-des-Maures for all their needs.
There is an old church named St. Michel in a quiet little square on which rests a wrought iron, free standing bell tower dating from 1776. The architectural design of the church is around the 11th century. I tried to go inside, but found the doors to be locked up tight. There are remains of what was once a chateau, as well, but what is left has become a private residence. What this little village does have is a magnificent 360 degree view of the surrounding countryside and villages and a very unique charm about it with its cobble stone streets.
This quiet little town was completely deserted when my family and I visited even though it was a beautiful, warm day. I doubt many visitors come here even though they would be delighted at the old village houses being redone and cared for. It seems that this little village is working hard to ensure its longevity and many villagers have restored their homes. In fact, several of them were just gorgeous.
The day of my family’s visit, we saw no one. There were no people out in the square or in the small streets. The town cats were the only visible signs of life. We were able to have the whole village to ourselves to stroll about, look at the houses and admire the view. It was the first time I had ever visited a town in France and did not see another person. When approaching the village from a little area we parked in and passed through the remains of the ancient wall, I actually thought it could have been a ghost town. It did have that eerie empty feeling. Once we took a stroll around, though, we could tell that a ghost town village in France would not have restored houses!
This village is a wonderful place to stop off while touring through the VAR. If you plan to make a quick side trip, I would recommend doing so during lunch time. Bring a picnic and enjoy the view while having a relaxing lunch. If you stop by in the spring, the hillside leading up to the village is covered in yellow flowers. We went during the month of October so no flowers were to be found, but the visit and view were just as spectacular.
If you want to see more photos of Le Vieux-Cannet they appear on Flickr. To get there just click on the “More Photos” option under Photos on Flickr.