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Aups - traditionally Provençal

The village of Aups, which is located in the south-east of France in the sunshine department of the Var, is traditionally and delightfully Provençal in atmosphere and appearance. It has more than thirty fountains dotted around the village, sparkling in the powerful southern sun, as well as cafés, quaint boulangeries and patisseries. And together with its mellow stone 17th, 18th, and 19th century houses and narrow cobbled streets, Aups is the perfect destination for anyone hoping to discover the very essence of Provence.

Mediaeval marvel

Aups is a mediaeval village and has traces of its past everywhere you look. The narrow cobblestone streets are one dead give-away, and you can also find old washhouses (lavoirs), a large and rather beautiful church, and houses whose very stones seem to have soaked up the heady aromas of Provence, and which speak of centuries of sun and history. Just walking around the village calls to mind days gone by, and you can almost hear the voices of the inhabitants of long ago, calling to each other in their distinctive southern patois.

Historic sites to see

Having said this, the area goes back even further, as bones dating back to pre-historic times have been found nearby. It was also a Roman fortified site, and has ruins of a 12th century castle to explore, together with 12th and 16th century doors and ramparts. There is also a lookout tower, 18th century clock tower and an art museum which are all worth a visit.

Back to the present

To return to the present, the village is not just a picturesque museum piece. There is a very real modern life taking place in Aups, and the myriad of shops, cafés, restaurants and other facilities bear witness to this. The village can supply most everyday needs, and a good number of life's pleasures besides. The shops on offer include a chocolaterie, banks, a patisserie, a post office, a supermarket, a poissonnerie, a charcuterie and a pharmacy, to name but a few.

Markets and truffles

Lovers of French street markets will be happy to know that Aups hosts its own colourful and lively market every Wednesday and every Saturday, in the tree-shaded main square. It also hosts a truffle market on Thursday mornings, between November and February, for which Aups is renowned, and a truffle fair in January.

Dining in Aups

There are plenty of choices for dining out, and the acclaimed local olive oil makes a perfect basis for the local Mediterranean diet that is so popular and so health giving. (Aups is also know for its honey and goats cheese.) The village has some very good restaurants and cafés, so whether you fancy traditional Provençal fare of a quick and tasty pizza, there is something here for you to enjoy.

Sports on offer

For those who like to get a little active every now and then, Aups, with a lovely sunny Mediterranean climate that prevails for most of the year, positively invites you to spend a lot of time outdoors. There are a great range of sports and other activities that you can access in or near Aups, so choose from all the sea sports available at the Mediterranean Sea, which is a short drive away, or stick around Aups to make the most of the open air pool, the excellent tennis courts or try your hand at that most French of sports, boules, or perhaps some fishing. In the countryside near Aups there are also some great walking and cycling trails, and it is also possible to enjoy these on horseback.

How to get there

To reach the village you can fly to Marseille or Toulon, or to Nice or Montpellier which are a bit further away but offer a wider choice of airlines and departure points around the UK. Marseille is served by British Airways, Aer Lingus, easyJet, Ryanair and bmibaby; Toulon is served by Ryanair; Nice by British Airways, Air France, bmibaby, easyJet, bmi, Jet2, flybe and Aer Lingus; and Montpellier by easyJet and Ryanair. If you prefer the train, you can take a train from Paris or Nice to either Les Arcs (Draguignan-Les Arcs), Toulon or Brignoles. If driving, follow the A8, which will bring you very close to Aups. It actually lies at the intersection of the D9, D557 and D957.

Property prices and availability in and around Aups

Nowhere in Provence is excessively cheap, that's a fact you have to face if you want to buy a property in one of France's most desirable locations. Aups has a lot to offer, though, and if you do purchase a house there you should find little difficulty in renting it out to recoup some expenses, should you not wish to live in it full time. You don't have to have a millionaire's budget though, as it is possible to buy a lovely property here for around 350,000 Euros at the time of writing... considerably cheaper than in the UK.

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Aups AT A GLANCE

WHERE IS Aups?

Aups is located in the south-east of France. It lies in the north of the Var department.

Aups Property Map

IN THE REGION OF PROVENCE-ALPES-CÔTE D'AZUR

Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur Guide

Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur Property Map

IN THE DEPARTMENT OF VAR

Var Guide

  Var Map


Population: 1,796


Access: By air: Fly to Marseille, Toulon, Nice or Montpellier. By train: From Paris or Nice a train can take you as far as Draguignan-Les Arcs, Toulon or Brignoles. By road: Take the A8, which will take you close to Aups.


Economy: The usual products of wine and especially olive oil are important, but the village is also known for its delicious black truffles, and hosts an important truffle market.


Interesting fact: Aups is famed for its truffle market, and the gathering of truffles is a significant factor in the economy, as they create rich returns for those skilled in finding them!


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