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Voted one of "France's most beautiful villages" with its ruined château and ramparts, fountains, flowers, and sunny maze of steeply raked cobblestone streets that suddenly break open over valley views, this is a charming old town that still smacks of yesteryear's Côte d'Azur. Its church—a Renaissance remake of an 11th-century structure—is the best spot from which to admire the panorama; it's
worth a pause to take in the musty Latin atmosphere. There are old-style, competitive bakers here, and an active café life on a miniature scale. The French opera composer Gounod and the surrealist Max Ernst were regulars in Seillans; Ernst retired here. Year-round guided tours (€2) of the town start from the tourist office Thursday at 10 and also Tuesday afternoon at 5 during the summer.
The most touristy of all the hill towns in the Haut Var backcountry (all of which are called Pays de Fayence), Fayence is easiest to reach from...
Turn your back on modern times—the gargantuan, pink, holiday high-rises that crowd the Fréjus–St-Raphaël waterfront—and head uphill to Fréjus...