Road Trips in France: Explore Moustiers-Sainte-Marie, a Hidden Gem in Provence

Short-Term Car Lease: Top Locations to Reach by Car

As one of the most beautifully hidden villages in France, Moustiers-Sainte-Marie features a rich history and awe-inspiring setting. Located at the west entrance of the Verdon Gorge, Moustiers-Sainte-Marie, or Moustiers, is a living embodiment of the past.

One thing about this beautiful village is that it is not easy to get to. There is no train station, for example, and the nearest stations are nowhere close to the vicinity. Buses are available on a weekly or bi-weekly basis, but options are limited. Share your travelling vlogs and get the chance to draw more attention to your account. Buy instagram likes and increase your social media visibility.

If you plan on seeing Europe this season, be sure to make the most of it with a short-term car lease from Auto France. Our Peugeot car leases provide flexible rental terms to you, the driver. The vehicle is in your name, and you can take it where you please without worrying about taxes or insurance.

In our ‘Hidden Gems’ series, we will uncover a few small but significant locations across France for drivers to make a trip and absorb all of the beauty and history that this country has to offer.

Rich History

Beginning in the fifth century, monks from the Lérins Islands founded a monastery in this remote location, resulting in the village’s original name of Monasterio. Moustiers saw growth and setbacks throughout the 12th and 13th centuries, with paper, pottery, and tanning improvements in the 16th century leading to new growth. However, severe weather conditions continued to impact the growth of Moustiers, with the golden age of porcelain ending toward the end of the 19th century.

In 1925, Marcel Provence made efforts to restore the prestige and craftsmanship that Moustiers is renowned for, relighting the town’s kilns and opening several workshops and a museum. Today, visitors can learn the history behind this village, as well as discover the beautiful quality of the pottery (faïencerie). There are a wide range of historic sites to see across Moustiers, including the defensive ramparts, historic parish church, original aqueducts, and the Notre Dame de Beauvoir Chapel, with 262 steps to ascend.

See the Legendary Suspended Star

As you enter Moustiers-Sainte-Marie, you’ll see a fine star hanging above the town. This tradition stretches back to the recounting of a crusader knight named Blacas, who was imprisoned by the Saraceans. He wished to return to his village, and upon doing so, fulfilled his promise to Saint Mary to hang a star and chain high above the town.

While this legend has not been verified, the tradition continues today with the 11th star to hang above the Way of the Cross. This star is gilded in fine gold and serves as a rich reminder of the history behind this remote area.

Limited Space

While Moustiers’ economy focuses largely on ceramics and tourism, it’s important to keep in mind that this village is limited in size and capability. You can find about 700 people living here, along with 130 hotel rooms, 20 Bed and Breakfast rooms, more than 50 apartments, and approximately 750 designated camping spaces. Be sure to plan in accordance with the busy season, and remember to bring a vehicle to make transportation simple.

Beautiful Views

Set on a picturesque hillside between two limestone crags, Moustiers features a stunning view from nearly any part of the village. Les Gorges du Verdon is nearby, boasting beautiful scenery. Often referred to as the Grand Canyon of Europe, the Verdon Gorge features clean turquoise water and uninterrupted nature. Many tourists are happy to visit this location, as it is listed as one of the “Grand Sites of France.” This awe-inspiring area is accessible by car, but be sure to stock up on gas before making your way in!

Shopping and Dining

Moustiers is renowned for its world-class pottery, providing visitors with plenty of artisan stalls to find a variety of wares. Shoppers can buy products and food, including olive oil, honey, red wine, and more. Small in size, but large in flavour, this village features more than 20 restaurants to dine at. From world-renowned chefs to local establishments, foodies of all types are sure to find a favourite meal for each day of the week!

Make Your Travel Plans Today!

Your trip through Europe may include a number of stops, so be sure to schedule some time to visit Moustiers-Sainte-Marie. For almost 40 years, this village has been hailed as one of the most beautiful villages in France, nestled against the limestone in a manner that showcases antiquity and architecture. Secure your short-term car lease through Auto France and make the most of this trip!

Our European car leases are the perfect alternative to car rentals, providing you with a brand-new Peugeot that is registered and insured in your name. This approach is much more effective and affordable for those staying more than three weeks, even up to six months in length.