•Var (83136) • Population: 516 • Altitude: 420 m
Mazaugues is a sleepy little village tucked into the Var hills by the source of the Caramy river. This was once the center of ice making for the area. Mazaugues now has an ice museum as one of the sites to see, along with old fountains, a large covered lavoir, a working olive oil mill, and the ruins of the old village and chateau.
The village is spread out a bit, but it's small enough to be explored easily. We found a few interesting things, such as old doorways, in the small streets. The village has a bit of a dark tone, being tucked down in its valley, exaggerated probably because we visited on a cloudy day in February.
The village café was fun. Inside, posters and banners of various sports events line walls and ceiling. Clientele included groups of friends, families and playing children.
One hotel restaurant in the village, open even in the winter, provided us with a good lunch.
The Office de Tourisme is closed in the winter. Unfortunately there were no notices of when it would be open, and there doesn't seem to be an online presence.
The Ice Museum, we're told, has a great exhibit about ice making. But there were no indications about when it is open. The museum is open every February for the annual Ice Festival, but we learned that only when we were there, and we were a day early. Because of the distance and the weather we couldn't make a return trip the following day, so we'll make an effort next year to find out when it's scheduled.
A hike up to the chateau ruins overlooking the village is under 10 minutes, and the view from the top looks down on the village and out across the countryside. To get there we hiked up the GR trail from the village are were at the top in about 5 minutes. After exploring the ruins and enjoying the view, we took a different trail back down, passing through the vestiges of the ancient village that had nestled around the old chateau.
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History of Mazaugues
First record, 984 Madaligas: meaning le pays de l'eau (country of water).
Medieval: Domains, successively, of the Viscounts of Marseille, Castellane and Thomassin.
• GPS: 43.347577, 5.922395
IGN (1/25,000) #3345 OT "Signes, Tourves, Massif Sainte-Baume"
The GR99 (Grande Randonnée) trail goes through Mazaugues.
To the north, the GR99 connects with a different trail going to Tourves. The GR99 veers to the northeast of Tourves.
To the south, the GR99 goes through the hills and southwest and though the village of Signes.
A set of hiking trails called Excursionnistes Toulonnais and marked on the IGN map as ETnn (ET20, etc.) loop through the hills surrounding the village. The ET43 is to the west. The ET20 is south of Mazaugues.
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).
- Schedules for the Var bus lines are on the VarLib Horaires-Ligne page (http://www.varlib.fr/horaires_ligne/?rub_code=6") - type the line number in the Numéro ... ligne box to access the bus schedule PDF link. (Type a couple of digits in the box to get a list of route numbers.)