Archives pour la catégorie Discover Provence

Discover magnificent strolls along the tropezian coastal path (Sentier du Littoral Tropézien)

The Tropezian Coastal Path (Le Sentier du littoral tropézien is the tourist route favored by hikers.

« Recommended Vintage year 2017 » by the guides of the Petit Futé, it has become a must-see destination for climbing and walking enthusiasts. You can also discover this 20-kilometer path through guided tours, including horseback riding or a donkey ride.

By taking this path, you will follow the same route as customs officers, who in ancient times guarded the coast of Saint-Tropez to Cavalaire. There is nothing like a beautiful spring day to take you into a territory where lush vegetation and historical relics reign supreme. It’s the perfect opportunity to discover the cultural heritage of the Var and to enjoy the riches of a preserved natural territory. We strongly recommend you take  good walking shoes with you and don’t forget your picinic!

The Portalet Tower Source :  Golfe de Saint-Tropez tourisme

The Portale Tower
Source : Golfe de Saint-Tropez tourisme

Starting from the Tour du Portalet (The Portalet Tower), in the direction of the old quarters at the foot of the Citadel, When you face the sea that is when you see the famous path. You can contemplate between the capes and the peaks surrounding the Tropezian countryside. Walk further and soon after having walked the beach of Tahiti, you will travel along the vast bay of Pampelonne. Then you only have to climb to reach the Cap Camarat before coming down again to approach the beach of Escalet.

Plage de l'Escalet in Ramatuelle

Plage de l’Escalet in Ramatuelle

From there the rocks overlooking the sea, hit with full force the wild mass area of the Moors of Cap Lardier. The Caps Taillat and Cartaye are not left behind nevertheless, and you’ll surely find them strikingly beautiful. Note that the Canebiers beach gets its name from the hemp plantations in the vicinity (a « canebier » is the hemp retailer). It also served as an anchor for ships in transit. As for Cap Saint-Pierre, its prominence comes from its favorable positioning on the heights of the beach of Canebiers. Ideally located to observe the maritime circulation, it helped people monitor if smugglers came ashore.

Le Cap Taillat

Le Cap Taillat

Other amazing attractions include the beach of La Moutte. It is well known for the remnant of the wall of an ancient tuna trap. A rocky islet lies off the Croisette, offering a breathtaking view of the Esterel and as far as the Alps on a clear day.
Concerning the beach of Salins, its shore still retains the remains of the coral once caught on the rocky reefs. An islet is visible in the distance, you see the Head of the Dog, where several ships have run aground.At the back of the beach there is a brackish pond, the remnant of an ancient saline bordered with a gorse and bamboo fencing.

Plage des Salins Source : Golfe de Saint-Tropez Tourisme

Plage des Salins
Source : Golfe de Saint-Tropez Tourisme

We wish you an outstanding hike!

Les Voiles de L’Espoir, 2017 edition (English)

voiles-espoir-2017

The 9th edition of the Voiles de l’Espoir (« Sails of Hope »), under the High Patronage of His Serene Highness Prince Albert of Monaco, offers children the opportunity to cross the Côte d’Azur through Grimaud, Cogolin, Fréjus, Saint Raphael, Cannes, and Monaco.

The navigator Armel Le Cleac’h once again honors organizers, volunteers, and children by being the sponsor of this new edition of the Voiles de l’Espoir.

A major national charity initiative called « Un Ballon pour l’espoir » (« A Balloon for Hope ») has just been launched to raise money for the Voiles de l’Espoir.

The aim of this event is to offer a week of sailing to children aged 8 to 14 from all walks of life (from metropolitan France, overseas, and other countries of the world such as Morocco, Luxembourg, etc) who have, for the most part, undergone intensive chemotherapy or a bone marrow transplant.

The organization of such an event requires many volunteers (nearly 700 people) to accompany the 102 children, as well as significant funds to manage all the logistics of the project (accommodation, catering, activities, and so on).

By mobilizing the Clubs of Quatalagor and thanks to an unprecedented chain of solidarity, the Endowment Funds of the Voiles de l’Espoir is challenging itself to contribute to gather the €58,000 euros missing from this 2017 edition of the Voiles de l’Espoir.

The objective is to finance the operation by collecting 2 euros per balloon purchased. The balloon release will be organized by the children present on the Voiles de l’Espoir during one of the stages.

The navigator Armel Le Cleac’h, sponsor of the demonstration, declared: « I am very happy to sponsor the Voiles de l’Espoir again. Two years ago, I was able to measure the happiness that this event brought to the children. This year, although I cannot unfortunately be present, I wanted to support all these young people and the volunteers who accompany them. Good wind to all! »

« Voiles de l’Espoir » is the world’s largest boating event organized every two years for children in remission of cancer or leukemia.

The organizers of Les Voiles de l’Espoir also wish to acknowledge the support of the Yacht Club de France, and the companies Musto and Jeanneau (Voiles partners).

The children participating in this event benefit from a tailor-made program: nautical learning, discovery of the Côte d’Azur, activities, and dedicated supervision… so many moments of escape to offer them an unforgettable getaway. Spread across 60 sailboats, around 100 children aged 8 to 14 from all over the world (France, Antilles, Reunion Island, New Caledonia, Morocco, Luxembourg) will be supervised for 7 days by more than 650 volunteers to allow them to escape and to discover ñ safely ñ the world of sailing and the sea.

Sharing, discovery, and solidarity… these are the slogans of this formidable human adventure organized under the aegis of the French Round Table (la Table Ronde Française).

This article was first published here.

Discover Port Grimaud in the Springtime

The season soon resumes in Port Grimaud. The spring signals the reopening of restaurants that were in hibernation during the winter. Between Easter and the first of May, terraces, stalls and shops will reclaim the city. You can satisfy your appetite at one of the many pizzerias or at the gourmet restaurants, with their abundant offerings of seafood, crustaceans, and fish of all kinds. Most of these restaurants have a view of the sailboats, direct access to the canals of the famous lakeside town, or are situated at the intersection of quaint, small roads within the medieval village.

restaurant-café-telline

One of many Port Grimaud’s canal-side restaurants (and one of our favorites too)

You might wish to work up the courage to sample Provençal cuisine, or you may prefer to forget yourself in a non-conventional brewery, of which there are no fewer than 60 brands that offer their services. Whether you wish to enjoy a snack or to revel in an exquisite beef tenderloin, the tastes will be respected and your appetite satisfied. Everything, regardless of what it may be, smells of Provence; from the herbs to the atmosphere, everything here is perfectly in place.

Throughout the year, you may browse the markets, become inebriated with the southern scents, enjoy an open-air flea market or an obstacle race through the village—but it is during the springtime that these activities are the most pleasant, while the temperatures are mild and the vacationers are not too numerous.

Culture lovers will enjoy the theater festivals (“Theater Sundays” or « les Dimanches de la Scène »), lectures, and other literary escapades. Evenings of music and historical discoveries are very much appreciated by all. The artistic and cultural heritage is so abundant that there is no need to look elsewhere in order to enrich your soul and your spirit.

L'Antichambre, theater play

L’antichambre, (the antechamber), a play performed in Grimaud on March 12 for the « Dimanches de la Scène »

From May to June, many activities will be available to you:  the Night of Museums,  the now unmissable Harley Davidson Eurofestival, and, last but not least, the summer celebrations, which we will describe later in detail. One must not forget the guided tours of the medieval castle, which tell the tale of the discovery of its fortified city walls and its presentation of the patrimony. The National Archeology Days and the book fair, which will be held for the 5th time, as well as many exhibitions, are also on the program.

eurofestival Harley Davidson du 11 au 14 mai 2017

On the front-lines of the Saint-Jean bonfires, with a procession and a lot of good music, the Grimaud Music Tour will be renewed this year for its 3rd installment. Groups of musicians and singers will move every fiber of your being, as the panel includes varieties of all kinds, including all musical styles.

To be kept up to date about current events, do not hesitate to contact the Grimaud Tourist Office or to browse the “Animations à Grimaud” section of this blog (French only), which lists each month the activities organized for the upcoming month.

The main tourist sites in Grimaud

What is there to do in Grimaud for a day or several weeks of holiday? Here are the must-see sites that we suggest you visit.

The Grimaud Castle

The castle ruins at the top are Grimaud’s main attractions. The summit is steep to reach but is really worth the effort. The castle was built at the beginning of the 11th century, reconstructed in the 15th century, and originally consisted of a round tower at each of the four corners. The castle was demolished by Richelieu during the 17th century (it was mainly active between 1624 and 1641).

castle-ruins-grimaud

Jean de Cossa reconstructed part of the castle, namely the towers built with arrow slits, the high walls, the underground passages, the windows and the entrances with curved doors, and two large tanks, which are still intact.

The main part of the ruins, that which is particularly visible from outside of the village, is surrounded by a long stretch of pointed ramparts reaching up to 7 meters in height. These were part of a triple wall enclosure, and are some of the most beautiful ones we have seen in the Provencal villages.

The ramparts are used during the summer as decor in an open air theatre, with the terrasses high up turned towards the castle ruins serving as theatre seats.

The Saint Roch Windmill

saint-roch-windmill

The Saint Roch windmill dates back to the 17th century and is situated on a small hill, just to the north of the village’s main hill (a few steps to the centre, just after the cemetery). Named the Gardiolle Mill in the 17th century, this wheat mill was one of the many mills in the region during the Middle Ages, consisting of 4 or 5 water mills along the the river Garde. The old, stone tower and the wooden blades were renovated in 1990 by the “Compagnons du Tour de France”, and seem perfectly finished and authentic. Visible from the castle ruins nearby, the windmill gives the impression that it could still function today.

The La Roque Troucade Mill, on the right bank of La Garde, uses a canal of running water in the rock.

Port Grimaud

This part of the village is situated on the coastline, 5 km from the hilltop village, to the extreme west of the Gulf of Saint Tropez. Each house was designed to strongly resemble an authentic Provencal style and the modern result is harmonious and has weathered well with time.

It is a leisure port harbor where you can moor your boat directly in front of your house, a luxury that is difficult to find, even in the most popular seaside jet-set locations.

For more information on the routes you can take and the various places to visit according to your requirements (with children, the elderly or, alternatively, sporty types), we suggest you contact the Tourism Office. They can give you some brochures but also on site advice.

The Grimaud Tourism Office

The Tourism Office is situated on the main road at the lower part of the village, and can offer you a lot of useful information. There is a billboard on the outside under a covered awning which has times, maps and other information available that you can consult even when the office is closed (which seems to happen to us all the time).

Website : www.grimaud-provence.com
Email : bureau.du.tourisme.grimaud@wanadoo.fr

Markets and flee markets

An open air market is held every Thursday in the village in Place Neuve.
On Thursdays and Sundays in Port Grimaud in the market place.
On Mondays and Fridays in the place François Spoerry in Port Grimaud South.

Flee markets – Flee markets : the first Sunday of the month. Get up early because they are very popular !

The community organises numerous cultural excursions and sporting activities. Boutemy Agency advertises them every month on their blog. Here is an example the latest programme that was published in July 2016.

The Folk Museum (Musée des arts et traditions populaires)

This lovely little trade and ancient traditions museum offers exhibits on local rural industry, as well as an olive oil mill, a cork manufacturer, and a village apartment from the 19th century.
It is situated on the D558 main road along the lower part of the village (the same road as the Tourism Office).
Entrance is free. You can visit every day, 7 days a week : 02:00pm – 05:30pm from Monday to Saturday, and 02:00pm – 05:00pm Sundays and public holidays.
Tel : 04 94 94 49 29

Playing sports in Grimaud and in the Provencal holiday region

Cycling

There is a cycle path along part of the coastline after Port Grimaud, in the direction of Sainte Maxime. This area is however very crowded in the summer time.

Mountain biking

Grimaud is situated along the Maures Massif, and the wooded hills stretching to the west and forming an arc around the north and north-east. There are many trails suitable for Mountain biking, especially along the side of the neighboring village of Ramatuelle.

Hiking in the Maures Massif

GPS : 43.273216, 6.520159
Maps : IGN (1/25.000) #3545 OT “Saint-Tropez, Ste. Maxime, Maures Massif”

The beginning (or the end) of the GR9 trail (Grande Randonnée) is situated at St-Pons-les-Mûres, next to autoroute N98, just north of Port Grimaud.  You can leave from there to join Aix-en-Provence but, if you can, avoid the summer heat. Spring and autumn is better for hiking through the hills of Provence.

The GR9 begins not far from Port Grimaud to the north-west and stretches up until La Garde-Freinet, then towards the west through the Maures Massif.

The GR51 trail (Balcon from the Côte d’Azur) passes just next to the fishing village of Grimaud. To the north, the GR51 joins GR9 again for a while, and then heads to the north after Plan-de-la-Tour, then to the east up to Le Muy and Roquebrune-sur-Argens. To the south, the GR51 crosses the picturesque village of Cogolin, and then heads to the west, to join Cassis and Marseille.

Shorter hikes are available in the hills directly to the north of the village, such as a short walk to the Pont des Fées, or a little further north to La Roche Percée. Skilled sportsmen or weekend athletes could therefore be in their element spending their holidays in Grimaud.

Dive into the Blue Mediterranean

The Gulf of Saint-Tropez and its surroundings offer magnificent under-water experiences.
The waters around Port Grimaud are more suitable for dive training and for diving amateurs though.
However, the UCPA does offer stays for teenagers.

This article was first published here in French.

Port Grimaud on a budget

Whilst on holiday, accommodation is the main cost. This is even more so for prime destinations such as those on the Côte d’Azur.

But if you have a limited budget for your holidays in Port Grimaud, you need not worry because there are some handy tips you can make use of in order to enjoy a wonderful holiday at a great price.

1. Port Grimaud, a nature destination

Provence is very popular, mainly for its year round sunshine, its quality of life, but mostly due to its beautiful landscape consisting of sea and mountains.
In the very heart of Var, Port Grimaud enjoys an enviable position, between the Maures Massif and the scintillating Mediterranean sea.

You could go mountain biking or hiking in the trails within the Maures Massif. The Var hiking week takes place From 24 September to 2 October 2016 for example. Various circuits will be advertised so that hikers at any level can discover the scenery of our magnificent region.

Massif des Maures

The Massif des Maures, copyright David Michon http://dernieravis.over-blog.com/article-massif-des-maures-part-iii-79981050.html

Holidays are made for relaxing, aren’t they ? So, what better way to do this than to kick back on the beaches of our coastline ?

2. Various free entertainment and cultural excursions

Throughout the year, our village’s Tourism Office is honored to offer various free entertainment and cultural activities which are accessible to everyone.

A. Discovering our heritage

Every month, the community arranges free and guided visits to the Saint-Roch mill and the Saint-Roche chapel, as well as to the Notre Dame de la Queste chapel.

Notre-Dame-de-la-Queste

The Notre Dame de la Queste chapel

To obtain the schedule of these visits, visit Grimaud’s Tourism Office website http://www.grimaud-provence.com/ or consult our blog where we publish the monthly program (and often even the weekly one) for the entertainment that is organized in Grimaud.

Here is an example of the weekly program from 5 September 2016 to September 11 2016.

B. Concerts, theatre and shows

Provence has fascinated artists and, more specifically, painters for several centuries. To continue in this tradition, the village highlights their efforts throughout the year. You are invited to stroll through the village’s many art galleries.  Every Thursday from July to mid-September, art galleries are open until late in the evenings so that you can enjoy their art works with a drink in your hand.

In addition to this, an art exhibition is held in Grimaud twice a year (Spring session in April and autumn session in September). Here again, access is free for everyone where you can discover the region’s artists.

Salon-peintres-septembre-2016

3. The Gulf of Saint-Tropez is home to several exceptional sporting events

The Gulf of Saint-Tropez has not lost its charisma and each year hosts several exceptional sporting events and rallies. The most iconic of all of these is certainly the Voiles de Saint-Tropez, a regatta bringing together traditional, centennial and cutting-edge modern yachts during September. Here, you are simply one of thousands each year admiring their fascinating ballet from the port of Saint-Tropez.

voiles-de-saint-tropez

However, the Gulf of Saint-Tropez also welcomes Harley Davidson, Vespa and Porsche lovers during festive weekends. Large parades are organized in Grimaud and Saint-Tropez for everyone to admire.

As you can see, nature, sport and culture are honored in our village and the several exhibitions offered are completely free of charge. Take advantage of them!

The Gulf of Saint-Tropez throughout the ages

The national institute of geography and forestry, also known as the IGF, has just launched a fantastic initiative through their new tool called Rewind Time (« Remonter le temps »).
It is “a new unique service that permits you to observe the evolutions of our region throughout time.”

We enjoyed watching our region evolve through time because even though the Gulf of Saint-Tropez is known worldwide today, it was made up of humble fishing villages until the beginning of the 1950’s.

Port Grimaud

Map of Port Grimaud in the XIXth century

Map of Port Grimaud in the XIXth century

Port Grimaud, a swamp in the 1950s

Port Grimaud, a swamp in the 1950s

These two images show Port Grimaud as it was up to 1976: swamps. It was nothing like the pretty Provençal village with snaking canals that we are familiar with today.

Bird's-eye view of Port Grimaud nowadays

Bird’s-eye view of Port Grimaud nowadays

Saint-Tropez

Saint-Tropez had a large influx of tourists starting in the 1950s, when the world-famous Brigitte Bardot made the world discover the charm of this fishing village.

Saint-Tropez : Map from the Army published between 1825 and 1866

Saint-Tropez : Map from the Army published between 1825 and 1866

You will notice that in the 19th century, there was not yet a Gulf of Saint-Tropez but the Gulf of Grimaud, since Grimaud was the largest village in the region.

Since then, the aerial view of Saint-Tropez shows the ballet of yachts around the port.

Aerial view of Saint-Tropez in 2016
Aerial view of Saint-Tropez in 2016

Cogolin

Cogolin on the Army map in the XIXth century

Cogolin on the Army map in the XIXth century

Cogolin in 1950

Cogolin in 1950

Cogolin in 2016

Cogolin in 2016

This tool is very fascinating because it allows us to see the images of urbanization around the Côte d’Azur. You can see that on the photographs and maps of Cogolin that the principal axes of transport have remained the same for two centuries.

Sainte-Maxime

Sainte-Maxime in 1950

Sainte-Maxime in 1950

Aerial view of Sainte-Maxime in 2016

Aerial view of Sainte-Maxime in 2016

The rise that Saint-Maxime had between 1950 and today is impressive. Notice what the port of Saint-Maxime looked like only a few decades ago and how much we’ve built inland since then!

Sources: all the screenshots were done on the site of the IGN.

A weekend in Port Grimaud

Sometimes all it takes to recharge your batteries and feel good as new is a nice weekend getaway. For this purpose, Port Grimaud is the perfect destination. Numerous activities await you, all in a beautiful setting and a relaxing atmosphere. Here are some ideas of things to do in Port Grimaud for a weekend.

Port Grimaud canals

Though this time of year is not what one would consider “beach weather”, there are still plenty of things to do and discover. For example, the Grimaud se met en scène theatre festival happens every month throughout the fall and winter. There are also blues nights where various local blues bands play, fairy tale readings, music nights where local musicians display their talent, etc. There are obviously holiday celebrations, such as Halloween, Advent evening, and New Year’s Eve. Perhaps the most beautiful however, is the Celebration of Light, held on December 4. On this night, the whole village appears to glow as everyone lights candles and places them on their window sills. It is a truly beautiful sight. There are events of this kind throughout the fall and winter, despite the chillier weather.

Fête de la Lumière in Grimaud

The Celebration of Light will be held on Dec 4, 2015

As for any seaside town, things really pick up in the spring and summer. Spring evenings are full of literary, musical, and artistic discoveries, as well as more unique events. For example, in May is held the Harley-Davidson festival, lasting three days. There is a book fair lasting three days in June, and of course the awesome Midsummer fireworks display on June 23. The summer is also full of fun cultural events. For example, the Grand Bal on Bastille day (July 14) is extremely popular, as are Les Grimaldines, a world’s music festival with shows happening every week in July and August. The musical evenings of the fall and winter continue without interruption, and the theatre festival is replaced by productions that use the castle overlooking the town as a theatre. Throughout September happens the widely popular Salon des Peintres which showcases the talent of local artists. Finally, we say goodbye to the summer with the traditional Feast of the Archangel Michael.

Salon des Peintres - fall 2015

As you can see, there are many things happening all year round. All you have to do is consult the calendar of local events and see what interests you. No matter the time of year, we will have something to entertain and delight you. It may not always be beach weather, but there is always something fun happening in Port Grimaud. Come discover the joys of our seaside town, stay and enjoy a lovely evening with people you love, and go back home feeling happy and refreshed. All it takes is a weekend with us. Whenever you chose to come visit, we will be here to welcome you and show you a good time.

A week in Port Grimaud

When you come for a visit to our lovely town, you will no doubt notice that there are many others in the neighboring area. Though we strongly recommend visiting Port Grimaud first, we must admit that some of them are quite nice and worth the visit. So if you plan on staying in the area for a week or more, here are some places you can visit once you have exhausted the charm of our seaside city.

1- Cavalaire

cavalaire

A half-hour drive away from Port Grimaud, Cavalaire-sur-Mer is an old Greek colony that used to be named Heraciea Caccabaria. It is now a city centered around tourism and its port, so you can be sure to be well welcomed. It is renowned for its Mediterranean landscape and beautiful hiking paths with incredible views. It is also a very popular diving spot, as there are a dozen shipwrecks to explore. Thanks to its 4 km of white sandy beaches, you are free to picnic, sunbathe, swim, and enjoy a large number of activities such as water-skiing, sailing and more. All the equipment is available for rent in the nautic base.

2- Rayol Canadel

Plage de Rayol Canadel

About a 35-minute drive away from Port Grimaud, Rayol Canadel is a botanist’s dream come to life. It is filled with over 400 species of plant imported from all around the world which cover 80 % of the area’s municipality. There are 5 beaches of fine white sand for you to delight in and explore. Everyone can find something to enjoy at the Domaine du Rayol, centrepiece of the town where people can discover a great variety of Mediterranean plants all year round.

3- Le Lavandou

Le Lavandou

A 45-minute car ride away from Port Grimaud, Le Lavandou is perhaps most famous for celebrating Christmas on July 31 with a wonderful parade. The local Thursday morning market is also very popular and fun to discover. There is also the Fountain Trail to discover, with 13 fountains to admire along with a tour guide’s explanations of their significance and history. The highlight of the town, however, is without a doubt its 12 beaches connected by the Beaches’ miniature train. Art lovers will delight in the Painters’ trail, where they can admire the views that inspired the most famous French neo-impressionists. Lavandou is a town where everyone will find something to inspire and delight them.

4- Sainte-Maxime

Sainte-Maxime

A 20 minute drive away from Port Grimaud, Sainte-Maxime is a town with a lot to offer. The Mediterranean side offers 6 km of fine sand beaches where you can relax and enjoy a wide array of aquatic activities, including boat tours. On the southern side, you can discover many hiking trails offering beautiful views of Saint-Tropez Bay. For art and architecture lovers, the village itself retains its Art Deco style of the 1920s. Guided tours are offered and will allow you to discover this lovely town from an insider’s perspective.

So there you have it, four lovely towns besides our own to visit when you come to our seaside region in the south of France. Happy travelling!

 

A day in Port Grimaud

Most people who hear “vacations in Port Grimaud” think a holiday lasting at least two weeks. However, our seaside town is perfect for even a day-trip. There are many things to discover, which makes for a fun-filled day. Here are some suggestions.

Obviously, the first thing that comes to mind is the town’s beautiful beaches. One can easily spend the whole day discovering the beautiful white sand beaches lining the Gulf of St. Tropez. There is always room and the water is always warm. There are also boats for hire, which allow you to explore the coastline, find shady bays and inlets that will make you feel as though you are the first to see them. You can go swimming and snorkelling at your own pace, without having to worry about a schedule. To top it off, why not watch a beautiful sunset from your boat, or have a long romantic walk on the beach? Peaceful and relaxing, this is the perfect way to spend the day with a loved one in a pristine setting.

Salins beach in Saint-Tropez

If beaches aren’t your cup of tea, worry not! Port Grimaud has much more to offer. The area is quite famous for its wines, so why not go on a vineyard tour? The south of France, especially Port Grimaud, gets the most sunshine. This means that the grapes grown here are naturally sweet and have a high alcohol content. The wines made here are not aged, so they are made to be sold at the local market and enjoyed quickly. There are plenty of vineyards in the area offering tours and tastings, all you have to do is make your pick!

Vineyard in Cogolin

Visit the Domain de la Giscle in Cogolin, a village near Port Grimaud

You can also explore the town itself. It is a great way to spend time. Visit the lovely town square, shaded by big trees and framed by restaurants and bars. The market is held there every Thursday and Sunday, so plan your trip accordingly in order to experience its joys. There are many shops and art galleries to discover, as well as St. Francis Assisi church. You can also head for the hilltop to explore the old part of the village and see the stunning views of the area. Finish off the day with a nice meal in one Port Grimaud’s lovely restaurants to make a truly wonderful memory.

The castle of Grimaud on top of its hill

Of course, these activities may not take all day depending on how quickly you take it all in. However, you can mix and match them to better suit you. Go on a vineyard and wine tasting tour, then head over to the market to buy your favorites. Explore the old town and go to the beach when you get too hot. The possibilities are endless, and you will without a doubt find something you will enjoy and will remember fondly.

 

Your family vacation near Saint-Tropez

If you are planning a family vacation near Saint-Tropez, you will no doubt want to have a few activities planned to keep everyone entertained. To help you in your search, here are a few suggestions of places to visit and things to see near Port Grimaud:

1. Street market of Cogolin

Cogolin Market

A five-minute walk away from the city centre, the Cogolin street market is an ideal way to spend a relaxing, leisurely day with the whole family. You can take your time to stroll through the stalls, give the older kids some spending money, let the younger ones explore, take beautiful pictures, and make wonderful memories all in one afternoon.

2. Azur Park

A five-minute drive away from Port Grimaud, this amusement park is fun for the whole family. Open every day from April to September, Azur Park has a total of 35 rides, ranging from “baby”, to “extreme”. The park also offers a mini-golf course “among prehistoric creatures” and a restaurant. With fully customisable passes wherein you pay for the rides you wish to go on, Azur Park is a sure win in everyone’s book.

3. Citadelle de Saint-Tropez

Citadelle de Saint Tropez

A twenty-minute drive away from Port Grimaud, this naval museum is definitely worth a visit. Offering a comprehensive history of the port of Saint-Tropez and it’s notable seamen, the Saint-Tropez Citadelle is as much a monument to the past as it is a place of learning. Though it is ideal for history buffs, the chance to explore the old buildings will delight young and old alike. And with the entry priced at 3€, there really is no reason to miss out on this outing.

4. Grimaud Castle

Grimaud castle

A ten-minute drive away from the city centre, Grimaud Castle gave our town its name. Built in the 11th century and rebuilt many times over the course of its history, the castle is now free to explore, to the delight of many. In the summer time, what is left of the ramparts is used as the backdrop to an outdoor theatre, while the terraces up in the castle ruins are used as seats. Perched atop a hill, the castle offers spectacular views of Port Grimaud and the water surrounding it. Ideal for the active family looking for an easy hike.

5. Port Grimaud Beach

port grimaud beach

A fifteen-minute walk away from the city centre, Port Grimaud Beach is the perfect place to spend the day in the sun, or to relax after a long day of sightseeing and walking around. Discover the many restaurants and delightful shops along the beach, as well as the beautiful sand and clear water. Mostly populated by romantics and families, it is the perfect place for your children to make holiday friends, and for yourself and your spouse to squeeze in a bit of French romance in a wonderful setting. If suntanning or swimming aren’t your cup of tea, there are also many boat excursions offered. These allow you to discover the area in more depth without having to worry about getting lost. Everything is taken care of, all you have to do is sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride!

The Santons of Provence

After Christmas in Provence, we would like to speak to you today about the santons of Provence.

Santons of Provence

Santons are little clay figurines that are placed in crèches for the Christmas celebrations. They are sculpted representations of the Nativity scene. A small crèche is composed of Mary, Joseph, baby Jésus (who is placed between his parents on December 24, at midnight), the donkey, and the bull who are warming Jesus with the breath, then, at the epiphany, the 3 wise men.

But many characters can be added, to the joy of collectionneurs. These characters represent provençal villagers and embody the customs and traditional crafts of our region.

The origins of the santons of Provence can be traced back to the French Revolution, on July 14 1789. With the Revolution, churches became “property of the French state” and, in 1793, the national assembly decided to close them all.

But the people, who were profoundly religious, were used to going to church to see the Christmas crèche. No longer able to do this because the churches were closed, they started making the crèche at home, in hiding because it was forbidden. This first happened in Provence. People made very small figurines that they could easily hide.

A small business started making all the crèche characters.

In 1798, Louis Lagnel (who lived in Marseille from 1764 to 1822), designed the first plaster moulds to make his santons. This new technology made mass production and wide distribution possible. These “penny santons” finally allowed everyone to own their own crèche.

The tradition of santons truly took off in the XIX century, with the appearance of Provence’s master santonniers. The clay figures they created were borrowed from everyday life and work.

There exists today more than a hundred character because each santonnier is free to make the characters he wants. Here are a few made by one of the most loved santonniers, Marcel Carbonel.

  • The olive picker
  • The gypsy
  • The notary
  • The baker

Santons are an original gift idea with you want to bring souvenirs from your time among us back home.

If you visit Port Grimaud and the French Riviera during the winter, we suggest that you visit the santons fairs organized between November and January in Marseille, Aix-en-Provence, or Aubagne. You will find smaller but no less charming fairs everywhere in Provence.

A museum dedicated to santons and traditions of Provence will also welcome you in Fontaine-de-Vaucluse.

Christmas in Provence

Here at Boutemy, we are very attached to our provençal roots and like to share our traditions with our clients.

One tradition particularly close to our heart is Christmas Eve’s 13 desserts. The subject isn’t timely, I hear you tell me, but since there are fewer of you visiting us during the winter, we wanted to talk about it on the blog.

Everything starts with the chacho-fio (literally “setting fire”) when the oldest and the youngest child of the family put a fruit tree log in the fire.

After having gone around table three times, they place the log, previously soaked in mulled wine, on the embers and speak sacramental words when the the fire starts.The log will burn until midnight and then will be ignited in the same manner every night until the new year.

After this ritual, it is time to move on to the big supper, a lean (without meat) but very hearty meal. There are 7 dishes representing the 7 wounds of Christ, made exclusively of local products, different depending on whether you are on the coast or in the backcountry.
This begins by the aigo boulido (“water boiled with garlic” in provençal), the meal continues with fish dishes like cod in raito (provençal tomato sauce) and spinach escargots.
The surrounding mise-en-scène is most important: a table dressed on 3 tablecloths where 3 candles are placed. Thirteen breads accompany the dishes and commemorate the Last Supper. Finally, a place is set and left empty for the travelling man who may come knock at the door, it is the poor man’s place.

At the end of the meal, we eat the 13 desserts. It is certainly the most respected tradition today and even though we do not all observe the chacho-fio and the big supper, we do observe this custom.

13 desserts

Though the number is always the same, the desserts may vary. There are, however, some staples:

  • The gibacié: a flour cake with olive oil and orange flower. Other names include: fougasse or pompe à huile (literally “oil pump”)
  • White and black nougats: made with honey, almonds and sugar. To make a white and creamy nougat, egg whites are added to the mix; as for black nougat, it remains crunchy and brown in colour.
  • The four beggars: symbolize the 4 great Christian Mendicant Orders (the members of which spread the gospel and help the poor). The desserts are: almonds for the Dominicans, raisins for the Augustinians, figs for the Franciscans, and hazelnuts for the Carmelites.
  • Fruit and candy: depending on taste, apples, pears, grapes, oranges, honeydew melons, mandarin oranges, plums, dates, jam or quince jelly, calissons (speciality of Aix en Provence), candied fruit, and prunes are served. To these are added each village’s specialities: panade (apple pie), oreillettes (my all time favourites), pine nut cookies

I hope you found this article about our local Christmas traditions helpful. In our next article, we’ll introduce to « Les Santons de Provence » (hint: they are a great present idea).

Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez regatta: 2015 edition

Sail in Saint Tropez

At the end of the month will be held an event that we are especially fond of : Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez, a competition between the most modern and traditional yachts in the world.

While the summer season is coming to an end, the 17th edition of the Voiles de Saint-Tropez will allow some of the best navigators in the world (Marc Pajot, Sébastien Josse, Philippe Monnet, Marie Tabarly, Bruno Peyron, and Lionel Péan to name a few) to come together with sailing enthusiasts and families come to see this surprising aquatic ballet.

From Saturday, September 26 to Sunday, October 4, everyone is invited to enjoy this fabulous show.
The races will take place from September 28 to October 3 for modern sailboats, the Wally Class, and the “J Class” (starting at 11 am), and from September 29 to October 3 for traditional sailboats (starting at noon).
Thursday, October 1 will be the challenge day, including the Club 55 Cup. The competitors can compete against whoever they like as long as they inform their opponents.

You can enjoy the show from the shore or in the water. Private companies offer to take you on one of the regattas participating in the modern sailboats’ race.

The Bateaux Verts who usually do the liner route between Port Grimaud and Saint-Tropez will also allow you to follow the regattas (by 2 hour, half-day, or full day time slots). For this, you can book your tickets online.

If you prefer staying on the mainland,  the organizers of the Voiles de Saint-Tropez  offer to watch the show
“* in the Voiles’ village, next to the harbor master’s office, open to participants and the public every day from 9 am to 9 pm,
* in Saint-Tropez’ port in the morning and the evening, with some of the competitors docking in the old and new ports, or along the Jean Réveille dock.

Of course, if you own a boat, you will be able to enjoy the event from the different shores of the Saint-Tropez gulf.

During the Voiles de Saint-Tropez, you will be able to stay and dock your boat in Port Grimaud. We will help you find the rental that will perfectly suit your wants and needs.

How to decorate your South of France home with traditional elements

Last week, we gave you a few tips on how to decorate your house with navy and seaside elements.
In this article, we would like to talk about typical provençal decoration.

Provençal decoration is mostly characterized by its colors. They are light and luminous, and can be found in the Provence’s landscapes: ochre colors (yellow, orange), lavender blue, olive green. Ochre colors are used in painting for mural decoration, as for green and lavender blue, they are found on the shutters of provençal homes.

Natural materials such as wood and terracotta tiles are very present in provençal decor. Wood is often painted, dyed, or weathered to harmonize with the other provençal colours.

The emblems of Provence

 – Olives, lavender, cicadas.

These patterns are often found in provençal decoration, on upholstery, on table linen (especially tablecloths) and on most decorative objects.

tablecloth cicadas

Furniture can also be customized. They are most often made of wood or cast iron. Whatever the material, it is decorated with provençal colors and ornaments.

Lavender is also a classic in provençal decoration.

lavender decoration

There are many lavender fields in Provence, which create its famous blue expanses. Lavender is used to make perfume essence. Packets of it are often found in wardrobes to perfume the clothes. It is also a natural moth-proofer. 

At Christmas, provençal Santons (an article about them will be published soon on this blog) make their appearance in interior decor.

Santon cueilleuse d'olives

 

 - Provençal fabric

Provençal fabric is full of provençal colors, that is warm colors (yellow, orange, and red), lavender blue, and olive green. But provençal fabric wouldn’t be what it is without its patterns. Provençal patterns are found on all decorative provençal objects: cicadas, olives, sunflowers, scarabs.

Samples of provençal fabric

Samples of provençal fabric

 - Pottery and basketry

Anduze potteries. They are big terracotta vases that are found in provençal gardens. The particularity of Anduze pots is the garlands that adorn the vases and their ochre color.

Anduze pottery

Basketry designates all the baskets and boxes made of vegetal fibre, mostly wicker or rattan.

These decorative objects also have their place in provençal decoration.

- The provençal kitchen

The provençal kitchen’s decor has a special place. It includes the classic colors and patterns of provençal decor, but there is also a whole selection of decorative objects to have:

-  The mortar

mortar provençal cuisine

- The provençal service with its olive oil bottle, vinegar bottle, pepperpot and salt cellar.

service provençal

If you wish to bring back a piece of Provence from your holidays in Port Grimaud, you will easily find all these objects in one of the typical markets of the region.

The market is held in Port Grimaud every Thursday and Sunday from 8 am to 1 pm on the well-named “Place du marché”.

Port Grimaud has been labelled Pavillon Bleu

It is with much pride that Port Grimaud II has become the winner of the label, Pavillon Bleu, in May 2015.

pavillon-bleu-port-grimaud-II-may-2015

This label is the “Environmental symbol of exemplary quality”.

Created by the French Office of the Fondation for Education in Environment in Europe in 1985, each year the Pavillon Bleu pays tribute to municipalities and recreational ports who continuously contribute to a policy of sustainable tourist development.”

This year, the ecolabel has distinguished 396 beaches and 97 recreational ports. It is in the category of recreational ports that Port Grimaud II has obtained this prestigious distinction.
To achieve this, there are more than 35 criteria which need to be adhered to.

As the official site of Pavillon Bleu explains, “the named recreational ports are (…) places where the protection of the environment and marine environment is a priority. Boaters must have access to careening areas without emissions in a natural environment, waste water recovery systems by boats but also to special waste recovery zones. Just like the municipalities, the Pavillon Bleu recreational ports propose environmental activities to heighten awareness to boaters and visitors around the fragility of the environment.”

With its well thought-out construction, exceptional architecture, and a flourishing village, Pavillon Bleu (the municipality of Grimaud) and the lakeside town of Port Grimaud have subscribed to a sustainable tourism policy which enables the preservation of an exceptional environment while offering its visitors and residents dream holidays.

The church of Port Grimaud

The ecumenical church of St. Francis of Assisi is located in the heart of Port Grimaud.

It is the work, like our seaside town, of architect François Spoerry, who was laid to rest there.

françois spoerry's vault

Some of you will recognize a resemblance to the fortress church Notre-Dame-de-la-Mer of Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer. That structural choice was due to the many pirate attacks of the 9th century, initial date of construction of this other Provencal church. The church of St. Francis of Assisi in Port Grimaud was built between 1969 and 1973 and is part of the cultural and architectural heritage of the Camargue and Provencal churches.

Church in Camargue

The architect who built the church with his own money wanted it to be conducive to contemplation and without embellishment. The nave extends nearly thirty meters long.

altar church of port grimaud

Autel de l'église de port grimaud

Facing the sea, you can admire the unique stained glass of the church, made of 25 pieces each representing a phase of the sun from dawn to dusk.

stained glass windows by Vasarely

25 stained gass windows by Victor Vasarely: from dawn to dusk

The stained glass windows were designed by French-Hungarian artist, Victor Vasarely.

stained glass windows seen from the outsid

The church has its feet in water on two sides and is adorned, on top of its 16 meter tower, with a wrought iron campanile supporting a bronze bell.

church of port grimaud

The church is ecumenical, meaning it performs the ceremonies of several strands of Christianity, including Catholic and Protestant ceremonies.
It is owned by the residents. Its care was entrusted to an Ecumenical Council, composed half of Catholics, half of Protestants and a co-owners’ representative.

Mass is rarely celebrated in the church of St. Francis of Assisi. It usually takes place at St. Michael’s church in the village of Grimaud.

We invite you all to climb the spiral staircase, so that you can all enjoy a wonderful, panoramic view of Port Grimaud in its entirety.

luxury boats in Port GrimaudView from the ChurchPort Grimaudview from the church of port grimaudCanalis in Port Grimaud

Les îles d’Or

Les îles d’Or, or ‘The Golden Islands’ as they are sometimes called, is a name given to a group of four islands located just off the coast of South-East France, right in the Mediterranean. The ease of access to the islands coupled with the fact that they are quite far removed from the glitzy lifestyle that  the French Riviera boasts, results in Les îles d’Or being  a popular destination for many tourists who want a bit of a break from the ‘hustle and bustle’ of city life.

As I said before; there are actually four islands that make up Les îles d’Or. You will however only be able to access three of them. One of the islands, which is incidentally the smallest one, cannot be accessed at this time. This means that you will see no trips to Les îles du Bagaud.

Porquerolles

Porquerolles

This is the largest island in the group. It is also one of the most popular amongst tourists as it is the easiest to reach from France. Around 80% of this island has been designated as a national park. This means that most of Porquerolles is currently undeveloped. This makes the place absolutely fantastic for those want to walk through nature. At the south of the island you will find gorgeous, looming cliffs. The north is where you will be able to relax on the beaches. There is a single village on Porquerolles which is a true delight to explore. I do suggest you check out the church whilst walking around the village. It is stunning. A large proportion of the island is dedicated to vineyards. If you are heading here in the summer then you may be able to view the Jazz Festival that takes place each and every year.

Port-Cros

Port-Cros

Port-Cros : Crédit photo Franco Caruzzo

This island is tiny. At the moment the vast majority of the island is dedicated to being a national park. It does have quite a history though. For example; there is some evidence that a Roman colony used to call this island home. The island used to regularly come under attack from pirates too. As a result you may spot a few defences peppered around the area. Port-Cros also played a major role when the Allies took back Provence during World War II. If you are going to travel to Port-Cros, and I suggest you do, then make sure you have a camera in tow as you will want to take a lot of photographs.

Ile du Levant

Île du Levant

This island is slightly different from the other two. For a start; it is a military island (the other two islands are mostly privately owned). This means that you may not always be able to get onto the island. The village located on the island is mainly a nudist colony too. In fact; it was the first dedicated ‘nudist village’ in the world, so if that sort of thing offends you then you may want to steer clear. Being nude is actually expected in many areas. The area is quite a relaxed place and it does give off a good vibe, but you really do want to steer clear if you are not completely into the ‘nudist’ world.

Discover Porquerolles

For those of you who stay in Port Grimaud for the holidays, we recommend you take a trip to Porquerolles.

Porquerolles is one of four islands which make up the group of islands known as Les Iles d’Hyères, or ‘The Golden Islands’ as many people seem to refer them as. Porquerolles is actually the largest of the four islands. It is also the closest island to France. This makes it incredibly popular amongst the tourist crowd. If you are heading to Porquerolles thinking that it has all the glitz that the French Riviera boasts then think again. The vast majority of Porquerolles lacks any real development (we will come to the reasons as to why soon). This means that the island is mainly suited for those who want to be at ‘one with nature’ and just explore a beautiful Mediterranean Island.

wild nature in Porquerolles

The most recent history of the island began back in 1820. It was at this time that the village on the island, which still exists to this day, was established. The village grew at a fairly steady rate over the years. It is still fairly small (only 200 people are permanent residents of the island), but it does boast a rather beautiful church and lighthouse. In 1912 a gentleman known as Francois Joseph Fournier purchased the island for his wife. It was at this time about 500 acres of the island became dedicated to vineyards. The wine that was produced on this island was the first to be classed as ‘vin des Côtes de Provence’, and as any wine-lover will tell you; that is a pretty decent wine.

The French wanted to preserve the beauty of the island. As a result they purchased 80% of the island in 1971. They then created a national park out of it (the other half of the national park is on the nearby island of Port-Cros). Absolutely zero development is allowed in the national park area. This means that those who visit the island will be able to experience the true beauty of it. There are gorgeous forests to walk through, cliffs to get stunning panoramic views from, and gorgeous sandy beaches to relax on. This area is truly beautiful.

Porquerolles by night

Now just because the village is small does not mean that there is not a lot to do. As mentioned at the start the island of Porquerolles tends to have a rather laid-back feel to it. There is no hustle and bustle here, even in the high tourist seasons. The culture is very different from mainland France. To me, Porquerolles has an almost ‘classic’ French feel to it. There are fantastic places to eat, wonderful places to drink, and some beautiful scenery to feast your eyes upon. If you head to the island during the summer then you may even be able to catch a glimpse of the ‘Jazz á Porquerolles’, a Jazz festival that has been held on the island each and every summer since 2010. It has gone from strength to strength too with some pretty decent jazz musicians taking the stage throughout the festival.

Discover Ramatuelle in Provence

Ramatuelle is a village that we, the team of Boutemy Immobilier really like to go to for a stroll once in a while. It is one of a few villages in the south of France which relies on tourism in order to thrive. In fact, the population of this area goes up from 2,000 to close to 30,000 when the warmer months start to roll in. Don’t worry though; those who head to Ramatuelle will never feel as though they are in the ‘hustle and bustle’ of a populated tourist town. The residents of Ramatuelle have gone to great lengths in order to ensure that the area retains its classic French town.

Ramatuelle scenic view

Copyright Niklas Morberg

Most of the action in Ramatuelle actually takes place away from the center of the town, although those who head into Ramatuelle will be able to enjoy some of the most stunning views in all of France. If you are staying in Port Grimaud, then we do encourage you to visit Ramatuelle at least once. It is perfect for those who have never experienced a classic French village before. It is suggested that you visit here for the regular Farmer’s Markets, at least.

Summer in South of France

Copyright Herry Lawford

One of the main highlights of Ramatuelle, and perhaps one of the main reason as to why many a tourist heads to this part of France is for the absolutely stunning beaches located nearby. The water is crystal clear and the sand is beautifully white. In fact; the beach in this area tends to be a favoured destination for many celebrities. You never know, you may spot one! Located along the beaches are all manner of ‘secret coves’ and the like. This means that you will never really be far from privacy, even if you are picking the busy summer months to head to Ramatuelle.

Ramatuelle, for the most part at least, is surrounded by nature. It may take a while to get to some of the larger destinations in the south of France, but most people will not mind as you will need to travel through absolutely gorgeous scenery. The forests that surround Ramatuelle are absolutely stunning. If you are the active type then you are going to love exploring them. Since this area of France is well-known for its wine production you will also be able to enjoy gorgeous Vineyards which stretch for miles and miles.

Ramatuelle French village

Copyright Chris Robinson

Much of the area of Ramatuelle is dedicated to the more ‘laid back’ vacation so do not expect to find yourself in a midst of a crazy party night after night (although the nightlife in this area is good). Instead you can find yourself indulging in a Olive Oil and Wine trip, horse riding, craft-related activities, tennis, biking, walking, diving, boating, and even a spot of golf. A stay in Ramatuelle will really provide a break from the norm and it is an absolutely fantastic place to stay if you wish to head away from the major cities in the area. Those who visit Ramatuelle will never have anything short of an absolutely brilliant time on their holiday.

streets of Ramatuelle

Copyright risastla

Culinary specialities in Provence

Holidays are the ideal time to discover the culinary specialities of our region and to treat yourself.

Perhaps you know of them and have even bought some in your own supermarket, but, believe me, there is nothing like a local tasting. A good, homemade ratatouille, with the vegetables all cooked separately, will never have the same taste of Provence elsewhere.

Many of our specialities come from the sea and it is today interesting to note that certain of our most iconic and sought-after dishes were originally considered as dishes of poor fishermen.

If you spend a few days here, the following are a few dishes to try.

Bouillabaisse

bouillabaisse

This is definitely the most iconic dish of the south of France and the ultimate Marseillaise speciality.

Its name comes from Provençal Occitan: from « bolh » for « boiling » and « abaiss » for «lowering», meaning lowering the fire, because this was how bouillabaisse was traditionally prepared.

This is a fish stew which is cooked at a rolling boil for about 15 minutes before continuing to cook on a low heat. The stew consists of at least 4 fish (monkfish, Saint-Pierre, redfish, red mullet , vive and roucaou) and is served with potatoes and croutons, or, even better, slices of garlic bread and rouille (our local mayonnaise).

Daube

daube provençale

Daube, just like bouillabaisse, is a family dish which is prepared the day before. It is most often prepared with braised beef and cooked with red wine, onions, celery, carrots, garlic and mixed herbs. It is delicious served with potatoes or gnocchi.

Sea urchins

sea urchins Provence

Tasting sea urchins is an institution in the region, and whether you want to taste them for the first time or you are already a connoisseur, we invite you to atttend the sea urchin festivals, which are organised every year. They have a friendly vibe and they take place over several weekends in Sausset les Pins, Carry le Rouet and Fos sur Mer.

You can also find sea urchins on the menu at many restaurants. They are eaten like oysters : by the dozen of half dozen.

Boiled eggs with truffles

truffles

This absolutely divine dish links a very basic food such as the boiled egg with our most famous mushroom, the truffle. This is all it takes to delight the tastebuds; it is sometimes in the simple things that the best tastes are revealed.

Find all the lastest news on the truffle on this website.

In Boutemy, we like to have lunch with our restaurateur friends from Port Grimaud. We recommend with enthusiasm Café Telline, which is situated on the marketplace (the telline is a delicious shellfish that you should definitely taste during your holidays in the Mediterranean)

The restaurant is open throughout the year and the chef likes to cook truffle, venison and vegetables.

We also recommend the la Tartane, 8 rue de l’Octogone for his pan-fried Saint-Jacques.

Visit Sainte-Maxime in the South of France

Located just a few miles from Port Grimaud, 56 miles from Nice airport and resting right in the heart of the French Riviera lies the absolutely gorgeous town of Sainte-Maxime. This beautiful place is a popular location for royal families from around the world, in particular, the Swedish Royal Family. It retains a classic French charm that you will really enjoy.

Sainte-Maxime French village

Copyright Alain Poder

Tourism is one of the biggest sources of income for Sainte-Maxime. It doesn’t get as many tourists as the nearby cities of Nice and Marseille, but those who travel to Saint-Maxime will never be short of things to do.  Many people who head to the area find particular enjoyment in exploring the Old Town, located just a short hop from the harbour. Here you will be able to indulge yourself in all manner of shops, bars, restaurants, and classic French Markets.

Sainte-Maxime is one of the French Southern towns which played its role in the history of World War II. The beach in Sainte-Maxime was actually the focal point of the attack on the South of France. Some people may know this attack as ‘Operation Dragoon’. There are a number of monuments close to the harbour where you are able to pay respect to the fallen. In the Old Town you will find La Tour Carrée, a place constructed in the early 1600s by monks. It was here that Napoleon constructed cannons in order to protect France during the Napoleonic Wars of the 19th Century.

As mentioned previously, those that stay in Sainte-Maxime are located a short distance from the cities of Nice and Marseille. This means that they are able to enjoy some of the best and the most beautiful cities in the south of France without subjecting themselves to the hustle and bustle of city life. Those who want a little break from it all can hop on the regular boats to Port Grimaud and Saint-Tropez.

Gulf of Saint-Tropez

Copyright pfunkcity

If you head to Sainte-Maxime in the summer, you will be able to enjoy all manner of beach-related activities. The beaches that stretch along the coast here are sandy-white and virtually unspoiled. Not only will you be able to swim and soak up some of those rays whilst you lie on the beach, but you will also be able to engage in all manner of water sports. This includes water-skiing, Jet-skiing, and even sailing.

Those who love their golf will be pleased to know that there are eight different golf courses in the area. All can be reached in no more than thirty minutes by car. This makes Sainte-Maxime the perfect location for a golfing holiday.

Sainte-Maxime-by-night

Copyright Yannick