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Toulon - Hyeres

Church of Saint-Paul in Hyeres France Church of Saint-Paul in Hyeres France

Although not as world famous as some of the hot spots on the French Riviera, the walled town of Hyères has nevertheless been around for much longer than many of them, all the way back to the fourth century BC, to be exact, when it was a Phoenician settlement. The Romans took over two centuries later, the Middle Ages brought their fair share of barbarous invasions and devastating wars, but Hyères survived through it all and is now a well-preserved, attractive city offering a wide range of options to its happily surprised visitors.

History buffs will be happy to check out the Castle of Saint Bernard, perched on top of its hill, the Olbia archeological site, where Greek, Roman and medieval artifacts have been excavated, and the picturesque Old Town. If you’re into contemporary art, a visit to the early modernist Villa Noailles is a must. Nature lovers will wander through many gardens and parks, the most spectacular of which being the Parc Olbius Riquier, whose main features include a dense, varied collection of trees, a glasshouse with tropical plants and exotic birds, a lake, and a zoo. As for those who cannot stand still, opportunities to indulge in water sports abound and can be fully enjoyed all year round. Read the entire story here…»

 

Photo of Mont Faron in Toulon Photo of Mont Faron in Toulon

Despite its rich history and ideal location, Toulon is usually not considered one of the sexy spots on the Mediterranean coast, unless, that is, you’re sensitive to the Gallic charms of the French officers stationed in its immense naval base. But the general consensus will quickly prove unfair to the new visitors when they discover that besides being a major military port, this unsung gem half-way between Marseille and Saint-Tropez has also plenty going for it, all to be enjoyed in the city’s stunning setting between the magnificent natural harbor and the dominant Mont Faron in the background.

Just tempting faith on the treacherous road that’ll take you to the top can be the adventure of a lifetime! However, if you’re not that much of a thrill-seeker, the cable car will do just as well. Read the entire story here…»