•Var (83840) • Population: 85 • Altitude: 1097 m
Bargème is the highest village in the Var. It shares the top of a high rocky ridge with the ancient ruins of a medieval fortress. The village is isolated from the main roads. Located about 28 km south of Castellane, it's separated by the Gorges de l'Artuby . To the southeast, Mons and Fayence are only 12-15 km away, but on the other side of the Montagne de Malay. The view from this hilltop village is really incredible, even in a land renowned for perched villages and outstanding views.
From the N85 Route Napoléon, halfway between Castellane and St.Vallier, take the D21 southwest 7 km. The tiny D37 turns off towards the north and climbs up through a pine forest. When the road comes out into the open fields, you see the village and the ruins on the hilltop above you. In spite of its isolated location, Bargème has an active village life. The open valleys are peaceful and beautiful, and the well-kept village attracts those fortunate enough to know about it.
Local sites include the 12th century romanesque St-Nicolas church, the ruins of the château-fort, and a 17th century communal oven. A hotel, restaurant, café and bakery make this a nice village to schedule for breakfast or lunch time.
History of Bargeme
First record, 814 Bergemulu; 1066: Bargema. Possibly from the pre-Celtic "Barr" for a rocky bar, or rampart; possibly from the Celtic "Barge" for a mill wheel.
Prehistoric: The cite was occupied during the iron age and during the Gallo-Roman empire.
Medieval: 14th-18th century: seigneurie (domain) des Pontevès and des d'Agoult. During the Wars of Religion (1562-98), several members of the Pontevès family were assassinated and their chateau was destroyed.
Fête: first sunday after 10 August. July-August: exhibitions of santons de Provence (figurines).
Department 83, Var Buses
See Beyond's Var Department Bus Schedules for downloading the Var bus-lines map [Plan du Reseau] and bus-line schedules [Horaires] (link for PDF files).
• Latitude, Longitude: 43.729777, 6.571824
The GR49 (Grande Randonnée) passes behind Bargème, going east-west along the base of the steep La Coustière mountains, and it's only a five-minute walk out of the village to join the trail.
The GR49 trail goes northwest from Bargeme, about 10 hiking kms, to Jabron village, then past Trigance and on to the Verdon Gorges.
Eastward, the GR49 goes over the mountains, then turns south and follows the valley down to Mons.
The hills and forests in the surrounding countryside are sparsely populated, and there are many small trails. The Forêt de Duou to the southeast and the Bois de Malay to the southwest are excellent for hiking.