Var (83170) Population: 570 Altitude: 156 m
Vins-sur-Caramy is a pretty little village tucked into the lush green Caramy river valley. Lacking in [open] cafés, but with lovely Provencal-colored buildings, ancient lavoir and fountain, shady park with a rocky waterfall, a large chateau and a beautiful Medieval stone bridge.
The small center of Vins-sur-Caramy village has a natural setting, tucked between the hills along the northern edge and the twisty little Caramy river. Yet the villge streets are arranged in symmetrical rectangles (similar to those of Medieval Valbonne in the Alpes-Maritimes)
As small as it is, exploring the streets of Vins-sur-Caramy is a pleasure, with so many of the buildings nicely finished in bright Provencal colors with contrasting shutters.
The aptly named Place de la Fontain [Photo-09] has a round fountain with La Republique standing on a pillar to watch over the radiating village streets. The ancient covered lavoir has an inlaid brick floor, and an ancient plane (platan) tree shades the entire square.
Sainte-Suzanne fortress ruins sit on a rocky peak 1 km northeast of the village, overlooking the river valley. The ancient site includes the base of a square donjon, old walls, and the remains of a large residence.
Commerce in Vins-sur-Caramy is rudimentary: a single general store [Photo-04] (Boulangerie, Patisserie, Alimentation) provides for all the villagers' needs. Service with a smile, and even English if you need it.
Bizarre café hours for the only café are a severe handicap for the village. If you're visiting Vins-sur-Caramy after 10 AM and before 3 PM (10h00 - 15h00), the "Cochon Qui Trinque" (Toasting Pig) terrace café will be closed (for lunch?). It's also a Bar-Tabac, so perhaps the intention is to help the villagers cut back on smoking.
Château de Vins
The Château of Vins-sur-Caramy [Photo-13] was built in the 14th century and rebuilt a century later in 1543. The Château de Vins is a Renaissance style chateau, quite rare in Provence: a large rectangular building with round towers at each of the four corners.
Sitting at the edge of the village, facing the river, the chateau is open for visits from mid-April to October (See Chateaux, below).
The "Roman" Vins-sur-Caramy Bridge crossing the river at the south edge of the village was built in the 14th and 15th centuries.
History of Vins-sur-Caramy
First record, 1062 Vizinis 13th century Vesins
Medieval: Feudal domain of the Gardes de Vins and then the Vintimilles du Luc. During the Wars of Religion , Hubert de Vins ("Le Renard") was head of the Leaguein open rebellion against the French Crown. He conquered Brignoles and Barjols; he lost at Lorgues, and continued on to Grasse where he was killed.
• GPS: 43.433562, 6.142014
IGN (1/25,000) #3444 OT "Brignoles Le Luc"
There are no marked hiking trails in the area. The forested hills surrounding the village have forestry roads than can probably be explored.
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.)