A taste of Provence on a weekend break at the Collobrières chestnut festival


Carolyn Boyd

Winding roads lead to a town in the Var where chestnuts aren’t just roasted on open fires … they are celebrated, eaten and even drunk as liqueur

It was 8am and as I opened the hotel window to let in the day, the cool autumnal air brought with it the aroma of roasting chestnuts: Collobrières’ festival was under way. I was in the Var, Provence’s most unspoiled department, for the nutty festivities, which take place over the last three Sundays in October.

This rural French knees-up has seen chestnuts being munched in all their guises since 1982, with (in pre-Covid times) about 45,000 visitors descending on Provence’s chestnut capital.

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