Get a new angle on Provence!
Provence cultural tours
Abbaye du Thoronet, Cistercian abbey built between 1160 and 1230 - 16 km.
A miracle of Cistercian architecture. Thoronet Abbey was built between 1160 and 1230 and is one of three Cistercian abbeys in Provence, along with Silvacane and Sénanque. A masterpiece in danger after the Revolution, its restoration began in 1841.
A flagship of contemporary architecture. Its pure, uncluttered design, essentially dictated by the needs of community living, has inspired generations of architects. Le Corbusier visited the site in 1953.
Discover the Var and its Châteaux
Château d’Entrecasteaux, a picturesque site in the Var with gardens designed by André Le Nôtre – 26 km.
Château d’Entrecasteaux is an old fortress built in the 11th century and remodelled in the 15th, 16th and 18th centuries. The illustrious owners of the Château include:
François de Grignan, son-in-law of Madame Sévigné, Admiral Bruny d’Entrecasteaux, born in 1737 at Château d’Entrecasteaux, sent by Louis XVI to the South Pacific in search of La Pérouse, left in 1791, died on July 20th, 1793 of blood disorders and dysentery,
Jean Baptiste, Marquis d’Entrecasteaux, born in 1761, murdered his wife in 1784. In 1974, after decades of neglect, the château was restored by the British painter Hugh Ian Macgarvie-Munn, who turned some parts into a museum before his death in 1981. Thanks to his efforts, the castle was listed in 1988 and went on to become a tourist attraction.
The current owner, Alain Gayral, has enriched the castle’s collections while carrying out meticulous restoration work.
Cotignac: a typical Provencal village
Cotignac, a typical Provencal village – 32 km.
This village set at the foot of tuff cliffs is unique. Its houses are particularly well kept, restored and decorated in typical Provencal style (the houses located below La Cassole are a good example), while the caveman dwellings on the cliffs offer unique charm. The top of the rock boasts magnificent panoramic views over the terraced hills, where olive trees, cypresses, pines, oaks and other Mediterranean vegetation bask against a backdrop of blue skies. The streets and lanes, leading to cheerful and flowery squares, honour the site’s authenticity.
Musée de la Céramique (ceramics museum)
Salernes – 34 km.
Loyal to its age-old traditions, Salernes remains the region’s ceramics capital. The local factories, producing tiles, wall reliefs, decorative panels and other ceramic architectural elements are still in activity. Here, potters and jewellery designers continue to honour artisan and industrial clay traditions born 4 centuries ago – and no doubt long before that.
Professor Jean Courtin’s digs have uncovered the oldest known artifacts from Western Europe, dating back 7,000 years. Today, around ten factories still produce traditional and modern tiles, and around twenty potters fly the flag of traditional trades spiked with overflowing creativity. The local town council created the delightful Terra Rossa ceramics museum a few years back in tribute to the town’s heritage.
Typical Provencal markets
Le Cannet-des-Maures – 3 km.
Looking for vegetables from local producers in Les Arcs? Hop over to the market to fill your basket with vegetables, meat, fish and even clothing, shoes and household items…
According to the season, you’ll find cabbage, broccoli, tomatoes, potatoes, melons, beans, spinach and cucumbers, plus juicy quinces, peaches, grapes, plums and figs on the market stalls.
Lorgues – 20 km.
This market is held every Tuesday, generally from 8 am until 12.30.
Lorgues main markets are held on Place d’Entrechaux, Avenue de Toulon, Boulevard Clemenceau, Rue de l’Eglise, Place de l’Eglise and Boulevard de la République. The 100 or so stalls sell fruit and vegetables, farm produce, organic and natural products, charcuterie and delicatessen products, fish and seafood, flowers and plants as well as clothing, utensils, furniture, toys and more!
Head out to discover Saint-Tropez
A world-famed haunt for millionaires and celebrities during the summer months, this international hub remains a typical Provencal fishing village with traditional architecture.
Saint-Tropez has everything to offer: one of France’s most beautiful bays, sightseeing, culture and sport… Whatever your whim, this jewel of the Var coast has it all!
The extraordinary Var area
Natura 2000 reserve
Maures Plain nature reserve: a gem of biodiversity
Spanning 13,000 acres, this protected area boasts fabulous biodiversity and an ecosystem unique in the Mediterranean basin (nearly 240 protected species of fauna and flora). It is also a shelter for the wild Hermann tortoise. About 10,000 specimens lived here prior to the fire and the nature reserve is home to two-thirds of the region’s tortoise population.
Village des Tortues (tortoise/turtle village)
Gorges du Verdon, Europe's largest canyon
The Verdon Canyon (Gorges du Verdon), located on the Côte d’Azur in the Provencal Alps, is Europe’s deepest canyon, reaching depths of up to 700 metres. The Verdon river springs from the Trois Evechés massif then flows into the Durance 175 km further on. The canyon stretches from the village of Castellane to Sainte-Croix lake.
There are 5 lakes in the upper and lower canyons: Castillon, Chaudanne, Sainte-Croix, Quinson and Esparron.
The Verdon is a wonderful playground for thrill seekers: rent out a mountain bike or craft (stand-up paddleboard, canoe, pedalo etc.), or enjoy an exciting white water day trip (rafting, canoeing, canyoning).
The canyon is a must for hiking and mountaineering lovers too.
Provence and its magnificent beaches
Plage de Tahiti in Ramatuelle
Plage de Tahiti is an absolute must if you’re holidaying in or around Ramatuelle (Var, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur). The beach is highly coveted by tourists visiting the region.
It is the northernmost beach in the bay of Pampelonne, offering a wide expanse of fine sand between private and public beaches. The setting is delightful, with views over Cap du Pinet and Plage de Pampelonne, which extends on from the beach. Parking is paying in summer.
Plage des Salins in Saint-Tropez
Plage de l'Ayguade in Hyères
The magnificent island of Porquerolles is the largest of the islands of Hyères and features villages, hotels, restaurants and shops, plus 50 km of trails and cycle paths. Lined with vast beaches of fine white sand, the island is located 50 minutes by boat from Le Lavandou and is the largest of the Golden Islands of Hyères.
Porquerolles is 7 km long and about 3 km wide with a surface area of 3,088 acres. Although it is the most inhabited of the Golden Islands, it harbours expanses of enchanting virgin scenery, plus exceptional fauna and flora. Four cycle routes allow you to explore the island in a day.