You’ll find the Var department in southeastern France in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region.
It’s famous for producing wine, olives, figs and flowers and lots of sunshine - being in the hottest region of France. If you love the warm waters of the Mediterranean, vibrant street markets, spectacular countryside, picturesque villages and great food, you’ll love the Var.
5 must see places in the Var:
Gorges du Verdon
One of the most beautiful sites in Europe (top photo), the azure blue waters of the Verdon River run through this dramatic gorge with its sharp drops and staggering heights. Surrounded by an expanse of green hills and lakes, the gorge is located between the beautiful village of Castellane and the stunning Sainte-Croix lake.
Tucked away at the tip of a peninsula, St Tropez holds court to the rich, the beautiful, the famous and the curious. Despite expensive yachts continuing to outnumber the fishing boats in the village harbour, life carries on in as it always has at the Place des Lices morning market. The tiny streets, lit up at night, include the usual exclusive shops, and on a warm evening there is a charming walk up to the ramparts. There are nearby beaches including (Pamplona and Tahiti) some of which are served by frequent mini buses from St Tropez.
Cotignac has wow factor limescale cliffs with houses literally carved into them. Climb the steps that lead up to the old cave dwellings during visiting season. In summer months the normally tranquil village beats to the hum of festivals, markets, and concerts. Village life revolves around the long Cours Gambetta, a raised pedestrian road on the west side with cars on the east side. It’s the perfect place to enjoy dining out in the sunshine under the shade of the Plane trees while you listen to the tinkling fountain – you’ll never want to leave!
An elegant seaside and family resort with a marina that has undertaken to protect the local natural environment. Don’t miss the botanical gardens of Myrtes (myrtle) which covers three hectares and features Mediterranean plants. There is a lovely walk to the protected Pointe des Sardinaux, known as Little Corsica, where you’ll find a Roman breeding pond dug in the rock. Visit the Domaine de la Pierre Plantée, the largest olive grove in the Var with more than 3,500 olive trees, here you can enjoy a tasting and buy a perfect souvenir.
Sitting at the entrance to the Maures Massif, this is said to be one of the prettiest and most floral villages of France thanks to the profusion of mimosa and trees that are grown there such as the Jaracanda, Brasiliana, and Chilean Wine Palm etc. The village dates back to the twelfth century, and is popular with the rich and famous who have pastel coloured homes here. It’s also close to where the French Presidential summer residence is situated. Head to the beach and indulge in a spot of people watching, water sports and diving where you’ll see some beautiful underwater flora.
This listed resort nestles at the foot of the Esterel Peninsular. The 20km shoreline is exceptional being a protected natural habitat and features coves and beaches, many little ports and hidden nooks and crannies. The volcanic rock of the Esterel covers 32,000 hectares and bears 400km of marked trails. It drops at 614 metres into the blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea and was formed during the Paleozoic era going back 300 million years. Part of it detached itself during the Tertiary era – it’s now called Corsica. Simple, old style chic, art nouveau buildings and a lovely sandy beach make this a real stand out destination.
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