Visit Moustiers-Sainte-Marie

Welcome to Notes from the Road. Today I invite you to join me in a visit to one of France’s most beautiful places to visit in the South of France. Let’s Visit Moustiers-Sainte-Marie!

Visit Moustiers-Sainte-Marie

Know as Mostiers Santa Maria in the local language of Occitan, the village is is set into the side of a solid rock cliff face, making the village quite little impressive. Nestled in the heart of Provence, it’s famous for stunning natural beauty and rich history, attracting visitors from all over the world.

Visit Moustiers

Created by constructing buildings on the top of various terraced platforms, straight into the side of the limestone cliffs, you can imagine there are a lot of stairs! At its highest point, Moustiers-Sainte-Marie enjoys an altitude of over 600 metres. The village takes its name from the Latin word “monasterium,” meaning monastery, and the dedication to the Virgin Mary.

Guide to Provence
Visit Moustiers-Sainte-Marie
Visit Moustiers-Sainte-Marie

When You Visit Moustiers-Sainte-Marie


The best way to see this beautiful town is by walking and wandering all over. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes, because there are a lot of stairs, and little winding streets. Little cobbled streets add a lot of charm. Make sure to take lots of photos, this really is one of the most beautiful towns in France!

Beautiful villages In France

Musée de la Faïence

In the time of Louis XIV, the ceramics produced at Moustiers had the reputation of being “the finest of the kingdom”. The first faïence studio in Moustier-Sainte-Marie was created by Pierre Clérissy in the late 17th-century. Still well known throughout the world, renowned for its finesse and admirable quality, Moustiers earthenware is part of the heritage of the village.

The museum opened in 1929, many of the collections feature pottery dating back to the earliest faïence production in Moustiers. White and blue are the most traditional colors, but there are plenty of beautiful, hand painted pieces to learn about and admire. The museum has a shop, and the village has almost 20 shops selling faience should you want to take home some souvenirs.

Notre-Dame-de-Beauvoir Chapel

One of the most iconic landmarks in Moustiers-Sainte-Marie is the Notre-Dame-de-Beauvoir Chapel. It is high up, {262 steps!} but has one of the most beautiful views of nearby Lake of Sainte-Croix as well as the village. Parts of the current church were built in the Romanesque style and date back to the 13th-century. The latest renovations of the church took place in the 17th-century.

Moustiers church
Gold altar of Moustiers

One of the fun hidden gems of Moustiers-Sainte-Marie is a golden star which hangs suspended above the village between two mountains.

There are several legends about how and when this star was hung there, and why. Legend has it that a knight returning from the Crusades, Bozon de Blacas, was held prisoner during the Middle Ages by the Saracens. He vowed that if he ever found freedom again, he would hang a star above the village. The golden star, known as “l’étoile de Moustiers,” still hangs between the cliffs.

The star and its accompanying chain have been replaced several times. In the early 2000s the chain snapped and the star had to be rehung with the help of by a helicopter.

This legendary village is a delight to visit! It is one of the ‘plus beaux villages de France’ {most beautiful villages of France} – and it’s easy to see why. There are so many lovely spots, the shutters in the village are my particular favorite. Each building is charming.

The village is only about a 30 minute drive to another favorite, the charming village of Valensole.

We have received this season’s lavender wands made with the delightful lavender of Provence – you can shop them here >

french lavender wands

I hope you have enjoyed our armchair visit. And if you are going to Provence, you will want to add the beautiful and charming village of Moustiers-Sainte-Marie to your travel plans!



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2 thoughts on “Visit Moustiers-Sainte-Marie”

  1. Thank you for this lovely post. I so enjoyed my trips to Provence and this brought back happy memories.

    Another delightful Provencal village is Tourrettes-Sur-Loup. I’ll never forget my all-too-short time there.

  2. Mary, I haven’t been to that particular village. I’ll put it on my ‘wish list’ for future enjoyment! Thank you so much for the recommendation!

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