Castellane, Provence: tourism & sightseeing

Photo of Castellane in Alpes-de-Haute-Provence

Visit Castellane (Provence, France)


Castellane is found at the northern end of the Gorges du Verdon in the Alpes de Haute Provence department, and is a very popular base for exploring the gorges and other scenic highlights of the region.

Exploring Castellane

The largely pedestrianised village is interesting to explore, with its narrow streets and medieval houses clustered around the Marcel Sauvaire square and the streets that immediately surround the square - the old town is also surrounded in part by the original town defences and you can pass through the original stone gateways into the village.

There are lots of sights of interest to see as you explore Castellane including:

  • an ancient tower now with a clock and campanile on top,
  • the 14th century ramparts and associated towers (one is an unusual five sided tower) and
  • the 12th century Church of Saint Victor which combines elements of both gothic and roman styles of architecture.

Among the more recent buildings of interest are the Town Hall, in a neo-classical style, and the 18th century Chateau d'Eoulx.

Just on the edge of Castellane there is a 15th century stone bridge called the Pont du Roc, built to replace an earlier bridge that stood here by the 9th century. It was in March 1815 that Napoleon crossed this bridge when returning from exile in Elba: hence the bridge and Castellane also form part of the popular Route Napoleon tourist route.

Chapel of Notre-Dame du Roc

Everywhere you go in Castellane you are aware of the large cliff-sided rock next to the village that supports the Chapel of Notre-Dame-du-Roc. The current chapel dates from the 18th century, although an earlier chapel on the same site was built in the 12th century.

Be sure to walk up to the chapel and the top of the rock, above all because the chapel terrace has very impressive views over the village and surrounding countryside. Allow about half an hour to reach the top - bring water if it is hot!

Weekly markets in Castellane are held on Wednesday and Saturday mornings (the Saturday market is the larger of the two).

Close to Castellane

Not surprisingly given its location the town is a popular centre for all kinds of outdoor activities in the region. Apart from excursions to the Gorges du Verdon all manner of outdoor activities can be enjoyed in the surrounding countryside.

The most popular include hiking, cycling, mountain climbing and canoeing, and activities based around the leisure lakes in the region such as Castillon Lake. The tourist office in Castellane can guide you if you would like to follow one of the waymarked hikes to explore the countryside.

Other villages that we recommend you visit near Castellane include the small villages of La Garde and Blieux, with Bargeme and Annot a little further afield.

You can find more local travel ideas in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence guide and the Provence guide.

See also:

Map of Castellane and places to visit

Visit near Castellane with France This Way reviews

... or see ALL recommended places to visit in Alpes-de-Haute-Provence

Address: Castellane, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, Provence, 04120, France || GPS: latitude 43.847, longitude 6.5138

Plan your visit to Castellane, Provence

Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby

  • Barrage de Chaudanne: site of natural beauty (2km)
  • Barrage de Castillon: site of natural beauty (4km)
  • Lac de Castillon: site of natural beauty (4km)
  • Gorges du Verdon: grand site of france (17km)
  • Moustiers: most beautiful village (23km)
  • Verdon: regional natural parc (25km)
  • Seillans: most beautiful village (26km)
  • Lac de Sainte-Croix: site of natural beauty (28km)
  • Grottes de Saint-Cezaire: site of natural beauty (32km)
  • Tourtour: most beautiful village (33km)

Market days in Castellane, France

Regular market(s) are held in Castellane each Saturday. (Markets are held in the morning unless stated.)

The French version of this page is at Castellane (Francais)