Bandol lies between Marseille and Toulon and is one of the most important beach resorts in the Var department. It is a nice town with a very attractive promenade and a lively marina. Bandol is also one of the oldest wine districts in France. It was the Romans who planted the first vines here, 2550 years ago. Bandol is most well known for its fine red wines, some of the best in Provence, but there are also outstanding white and rosé wines in this district. From the harbour there are boat trips to Ile de Bendor.
The most fashionable town on the French Riviera with its long elegant promenade La Croisette and the luxurious Hotel Carlton. Lying across from Cannes is Iles de Lérins, two charming flower filled little islands, Ste-Marguerite and St-Honoret. Ste-Marguerite, the island closest to the mainland is almost covered in pine forest. It is particularly renowned because of ”the man with the iron mask” who was imprisoned here and whose identity is still unknown. At St-Honoret there is a beautiful old monastery, dating from the 11th century. In earlier times, St-Honoret was a religious centre for southern Europe and the monastery owned most of the land along the Mediterranean including Cannes. The island is still inhabited by monks. A museum and a church can be visited by the public.
Cassis is a charming fishing port, situated between two large protected nature reserves: Cap Canaille, Europe’s biggest cliff (going directly into the sea) with its 416 metres and les Calanques, the protected rocky coast from Cassis to Marseille. There are twelve narrow deep inlets with crystal clear water. At the bottom of these inlets there are nice little beaches. From the harbour there are tour boats several times a day. Les Calanques is an absolute must. It is strongly recommended to take the Route des Crètes, which winds up and down, ending in la Ciotat. One fantastic view after the other – just fabulous.
Cavalaire is a small coast town in the southern part of the Var department. Cavalaire has a 3 km long beach and a huge marina for 1200 boats. One can sail to the Hyères islands. The local rosé is very good.
Collobrières hides behind pine forests and mighty chestnut trees in the very green massif, Massiv des Maures. The town is well known for its candied chestnuts, marons glacés. Collobrières, is intersected by the river, Real Colloubrier, and is very much worth a stop.
Has almost grown together with the neighbouring town St-Raphaël. In Fréjus one can find a characteristic French promenade with nice, little cafés and a multitude of restaurants, bars and discos, seething with life every night. The marina is the normal meeting point in the evenings, and here there is a really good atmosphere. In Fréjus there are quite a few Roman monuments, among other things a small arena which is still used for concerts and bullfights. One can also find a big amusement park with a Marineland.
Situated between Alpes-de-Haute-Provence and Var. The breathtaking canyon, Gorges du Verdon, is one of Europe’s greatest nature wonders - an outstanding nature experience that one must experience. At the Verdon river, which is cutting 700 metres down into the cliff, one can go hiking, climbing, canoeing and rafting.
The French centre for perfumes, producing perfume extracts and essences. Grasse is beautifully situated at 333 metres altitude, in the hinterland of Cannes. The old city is very exciting with a labyrinth of streets and narrow passages. Here, there is a multitude of small, interesting boutiques.
Grimaud is a very nice little town with narrow streets, idyllic squares and old stone houses. At the top of the town there is a medieval castle, dating back to the 11th century (historical monument) and from here the views are just magnificent.
Hyères is one of the nicest towns on Côte d’Azur. Hyères offers a very nice old town with beautiful and interesting houses. It is well known for its palm industry - Europe’s biggest. Big boulevards lined with palm trees lead into the town. From Hyères one can see the subtropical islands, Iles d’Or, a true paradise of unspoilt natural scenery. Iles d’Or consists of three islands: Porquerolles, Port-Cros and le Levant. Porquerolles is the biggest and without question the most interesting. There are wonderful sandy beaches all over, but plage d’Argent and plage de Notre-Dame are clearly outstanding. One can hire bicycles and drive around the pine and eucalyptus forests without meeting a single car. Porquerolles is car free. The drive to the lighthouse is very beautiful. There are ferry boats from the little town la Tour-Fondue at the point of the Presqu’île de Giens.
The Fort de Brégançon, The French President’s summer residence, lies on a small cliff out in the water near the little village Cabasson, at the foothills of Bormes, one of the most beautiful places in the commune of Bormes-les-Mimosas.
Les Arcs has two main attractions. First there is the medieval quarter (pedestrian) with its narrow alleys, idyllic squares and numerous arches (Arcs), which have given the name to the town. (In the remains of a medieval castle one can find the exclusive hotel pension and restaurant, Le Logis du Guetteur: http://www.logisduguetteur.com/uk/indexuk.htm.) Then, a little outside Les Arcs, there is the Chapelle Ste-Roseline, where one can see a shrine with the relatively well preserved relics of Sainte Roseline. The chapel displays a great many exquisite renaissance and baroque details, as well as a famous mosaic of Chagall. Close by is the Château Ste-Roseline, famous for its outstanding rosé and white wines: www.sainte-roseline.com/accueil/accueil.php?LangueSite=en.
The medieval village Mons lies at the top of a big cliff, one of the highest lying villages in Var. From Mons there are views of the Italian Alps and the Iles de Lérins, off from Cannes, and – if the weather is clear early in the day – Corsica.
The main city in the department of Alpes Maritimes, France’s fifth biggest city and the most important city on the Riviera. Famous for its beautiful location by the Baie des Anges, surrounded by mountains, Nice first of all offers a very interesting old city, the magnificent promenade, Promenade des Anglais, the museum of modern art and Chagall and Matisse museums.
This town has almost grown together with the neighbouring town, Fréjus. Since the middle of the 19th century St-Raphaël has been a popular holiday resort with nice, sandy beaches, marina and good shopping facilities. It was at this place Napoleon landed on his way back from Egypt in 1799, and so did the French- American troupes in 1944. One of the greatest sights in the town is a Templar’s church, dating back to the 12th century.
Originally St-Tropez was a small, humble, fishing village, until Brigitte Bardot, Françoise Sagan and other celebrities discovered the town in the 1950’s and pulled in the whole jet set. In high season (August), around 80,000 tourists arrive at this extraordinary holiday resort. Despite this “big circus” in the summer, the town is definitely worth a visit.
Vallauris has been a city with pottery traditions ever since Roman Times., traditions which were later carried on by Italian potters from Grasse. Picasso has also worked in a pottery in this town. Today the town houses an exciting Picasso museum: http://www.musee-picasso-vallauris.fr/
Vence, like St-Paul-de-Vence, is one of the really big pearls in the hinterland of Nice and Cannes and has also one of the most beautiful locations. The town’s greatest tourist attraction is the Chapelle du Rosaire, better known as the Matisse chapel.