Within a 30- minute drive of the glamour and glitz of St Tropez, you can be on a rugged mountainside so remote that you dread nightfall. That’s the true beauty and charm of the Var – A mix of easy life and a harsh landscape. In the Verdon gorges and the upper part of Var, nature is wild and very imposing; Down below, beach resorts and casinos. The Provencal say is to “let time take its time” and it really unites the all region. No wonder that this is the favorite of French holiday regions.
Which sights to visit.
Abbaye du Thoronet, Le Thoronet. The magnificent and majestic structure is the eldest of the three Cistercian sisters. Built in 1175, the cloister with its massive arcades of reddish stone, is open to the sky, and the cruciform church is famous for its remarkable acoustics. one room of this abbey houses 25 painted statues: some original,some replicas, but all beautiful.
Le Massif de L’Esterel. The red- clay massif turns alongside the corniche. extends inland and culminates in the 2,020 ft high Mont Vinaigre. Firetrails, lined with pine and broom, lead to Cap Roux where sea and mountains converge.
Bormes Les Mimosas. The mimosa from which the village takes its name was brought as seeds from Mexico in the days of Napoleon III. The quaint Medieval village, with its covered walkways underneath the houses, has the highest density of these flowers anywhere in France.
Basilica St Maximin, St-Maximin-la-Ste-Baume. One of the finest Gothic architecture was built to house the relics of Mary Magdalene, discovered on the site in 1280. The basilica appears unfinished from the outside but when you go within there is a powerful sense of balance that is stunning. So are the treasures, notably a 16th-century altarpiece depicting the passion and a renowned 17th-century organ. Mary Magdalene’s remains are in a marble sarcophagus in the crypt.
The Caves , Villecroze. They first were home to prehistoric people, and later provided shelter against marauding Saracens. There is a cave on the north side of the village , transformed by a 16th-century nobleman into a fortified , four-storey house. The staircases and windows cut out of the stone can still be seen. A spring within the caves creates a cascade which waters gardens below. ( see picture).
We are happy to announce that our Thanksgiving tour sold out!.