Varen is a fortified village with a small but interesting historic centre in the Tarn-et-Garonne department of the Midi-Pyrenees Region.

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The fortified village of Varen suffered greatly during the Wars of Religion: between 1573 and 1582 more than 200 residents died in the Wars, which was a great deal for a fairly small village. Things are rather more peaceful here today...

ancient defences in Varen

The most important historic monument in Varen is its attractive chateau, the Chateau du Doyenné, which was built in the 15th century. It is now home to the mairie. Its round tower acted as a lookout to spot enemy troops approaching the town.

Across the square from the castle is an attractive fountain which has supplied Varen with water for centuries (note though that it is not drinkable).

Next to the castle is the large stone entrance gate to the town on which you can see the battlements which stick out above the gateway. These were added to the original gateway in 1621 in order to strengthen its defensive role, and missiles could be dropped through the holes on to anyone trying to force an entrance through the gate.


The church of St Pierre in Varen dates back to the 10th century and was originally part of the town defences, one wall of the church being built in the walls that defended the town.

The church has a very attractive interior with tall narrow arches and interesting side-chapels, and on the outside its three-storey bell tower joins the castle and entrance tower in dominating the Varen sky-line. The church is one of the few churches whose entrance and bell-tower face the east rather than the west.

Varen is on the edge of the river Aveyron and the Moulin de Varen sits right on the river making it a lovely position to stop for lunch, or you could bring a picnic and sit by the river.

centre of Varen village

Places to visit nearby

Not far from Varen you can visit Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val, a lovely town with a beautiful medieval centre and a riverside position.

One of the 'most beautiful villages in France', Najac is just a few kilometers away in the neighbouring Aveyron department. It has a lovely ridge-top position and is dominated by its fortress built at the highest point.

You can find more travel ideas in the Tarn-et-Garonne guide and the Midi-Pyrenees guide.

See also Find Varen hotels

Photos of Varen

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  • church
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  • fortifications
  • fountain
  • gardens
  • inside-church
  • moulin
  • village-centre

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Map of Varen and places nearby


Visit near Varen with France This Way reviews



The small bastide town of Verfeil-sur-Seye has a nice centre with a market hall and some colombage houses, then visit the nearby Jardins de Quercy

Verfeil-sur-Seye guide


Visitors to Espinas usually come here to visit the Chateau de Cas with its furnished rooms and gardens to admire

Espinas guide
Chateau de Najac

Chateau de Najac

Najac castle is the impressive ruins of a 13th century castle in Aveyron

Chateau de Najac guide


The village of Najac is very pretty, and the castle and ridgetop position mean you also have lovely views

Najac guide


Close to the Gorges de l'Aveyron, the medieval town of Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val is one of the most attractive in the Tarn-et-Garonne

Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val guide


Cordes is certainly one of the most beautiful towns in France with a great deal of natural and historic beauty - and rather a lot of tourists!

Cordes-sur-Ciel guide

... or see ALL recommended places to visit in Tarn-et-Garonne

Address: Varen, Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val, Montauban, Midi-Pyrenees, 82330, France || GPS coordinates: latitude 44.1592, longitude 1.895

Plan your visit to Varen, Tarn-et-Garonne

Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby

  • Jardins de Quercy: remarkable garden (3 km)
  • Beaulieu en Rouergue Abbey: national monument (7 km)
  • Najac: town of art and history (9 km)
  • Jardin de Paradis: remarkable garden (12 km)
  • Gorges de l'Aveyron: site of natural beauty (12 km)
  • Bruniquel: most beautiful village (22 km)
  • Cayriech: ville fleurie 4* (24 km)
  • Villefranche-de-Rouergue: recommended detour (24 km)
  • Gaillac: recommended detour (29 km)
  • Parc Rochegude: remarkable garden (33 km)
  • Episcopal City, Albi: heritage site (33 km)
  • Jardin du palais de la Berbie: remarkable garden (33 km)

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