France, Var (83), Ollioules
Village of Castellet in France
Fort de Bregancon in southern France - french riviera
Marina and village of Bandol, in France
View of Porquerolles island marina in France
Toulon at sunset time
VD9-2754770 - © - Jerónimo Alba
4 days on the coast of Bandol in Hyères
Fine sandy beaches, cornices, hilltop villages and paradise islands, this is the dream program for your tour of the Var coast between Sanary-sur-Mer and Hyères.
Between land and sea you will discover pretty towns such as Toulon, undergoing full transformation, and preserved islands where time seems to stand still.
Enjoy your stay, you are in one of the most beautiful corners of France.
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The colourful pointus (rustic wooden fishing boats) adorn the Quai d’honneur, giving the little port of Sanary a wonderful retro feel and festive air. Pedestrian streets, pink and white facades, shady squares, scruffy palm trees, you will love walking through this town.
After visiting the Saint-Nazaire church (the town’s name until 1890), followed by the Chapelle des Pénitents Blancs, head to the Tour de Sanary, a watchtower with panoramic views of the town from the top of its 21 metres. It houses a museum of underwater archaeology.
Set off for Bandol late morning to walk on the corniche path, the coastal path and still have time for an outing to the île de Bendor.
This tiny island reveals a neo-Provençal village of hotels and restaurants. Take a break for lunch here. Between mock old stones, sculptures of ancient inspiration, Venetian architecture and colourful opera house facades, it can all be covered in a half hour visit. Which leaves time for a swim!
In the afternoon, escape to a hilltop village such as the pretty medieval village of Le Castellet where several films have been shot including Marcel Pagnol’s La Femme du Boulanger.
This is where you will spend the night.
MyTripTailor advice: the Sanary-Bandol animal and exotic park is an ideal outing for the children.
Early morning, leave the charming village of Castellet for Toulon. Undergoing a complete transformation, the town has renovated from top to bottom its historic heart, which has retained its old passages and tranquility. The town has a laid back atmosphere with countless places sprayed with fountains and the large Provencal market that invites you to wander through.
Begin with a walk along the harbour and the old town and treat yourself to lunch on the terrace before visiting the Marine Museum.
A must-see, the crossing of the Petite Rade allows you to discover a rich and unique world, with its frail cabins on stilts, opulent waterside villas and massive old forts, not forgetting its many military ships and its giant passenger ferries. Make the crossing by guided boat tours, or, better still, by waterbus, like the many inhabitants who use it daily.
At the end of the day, head to Mont Faron (by car or cable car). The ascent and descent are spectacular: as long as you’re not prone to vertigo you can enjoy views of the city and the bay, as well as the slopes, inhabited, then rather green and, finally, decidedly rocky. The terrace of the arrival station is only open to consumers, but gives a nice view of the access road to Mount Faron, about ten metres to the left.
You then head back to Toulon for the night.
MyTripTailor advice: the largest parking areas are situated in Place d’Armes, Place de la Liberté/Palais Liberté and the Centre Mayol.
You leave Toulon on this third day to go and play Robinson Crusoe on an island.
Porquerolles is the westernmost and most important of the îles d’Hyères: 1,254 hectares spread over 7km in length and 2.5 km width.
The north coast is dotted with sandy beaches bordered by pines, heathers, arbutus and fragrant myrtles. The south coast is steep but with some easy to access coves. Inland, there are very few houses, but a forest of pines and holm oaks, vineyards and an abundance of Mediterranean vegetation.
Jump on your bike and go off to discover, wind in your hair, Fort Saint-Agathe, the Moulin du Bonheur (Provençal flour mill) and the Mediterranean National Botanical Conservatory.
You can spend a well deserved an afternoon at the Notre-Dame beach, vast, secluded and bordered by pine groves.
Spend the night on the island.
MyTripTailor advice: Cycling is the best way to discover the island. There are plenty of places to hire in the village.
On this last day on the Var coastline, you leave the island of Porquerolles to return to the town, in Hyères.
Popular for its heights, commercial and middle class along its 19th century avenues, touristy by the sea, wild around its salins (salt marshes), Hyères has many sides.
Start by walking around the old town. Pass the 15th century Porte Massillon, under an arch adorned with a clock, and go up to Rue Massillon, punctuated with Renaissance doors and particularly lively with stalls that spill out along the old Grand-Rue.
After lunch, you can choose to visit the Villa Noailles, a contemporary art centre, or enjoy the Saint-Bernard Park, below the villa where a wide variety of Mediterranean flowers grow on a cascade of lush and fragrant terraces.
History buffs will leave at the end of the day to visit Fort Brégançon, the famous summer residence of the French President. Among the various rooms adorned with numerous gifts from foreign heads of state, the President’s office is located inside one of the two crenellated towers directly connected to his room. The jardin aux essences méditerranéennes has preserved some canons dating back to Napoleon, at the origins of the beginning of a period of redevelopment of the site which was fully restored between the two wars. It offers magnificent views of Cap Bénat and the îles d’Hyères.
MyTripTailor advice: If your schedule permits, take a trip to the tropical zoological garden in Londe-des-Maures.
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