The village of Ramatuelle possesses a real charm. You’ll never tire of its gently sloping alleys, climbing ivy, flagrant flowers and gentle lifestyle.
Along the road that borders the coast, some of the most beautiful beaches: from Cap Camarat to Cap Lardier and onto Cap Cavalaire, and then onto the Corniche des Maures, one of the most sought after locations on the côte d’Azur.
Domaine du Rayol Garden
This landscaping masterpiece, by Gilles Clément, is a round the world of plants. Arborescent ferns, cycads and bamboo groves, yuccas reveals the incredible diversity of the flora in the regions with Mediterranean type climate. An exceptional moment. Tel.: 04 98 04 44 00. www.domainedurayol.org
The mere mention of this perched village brings a whiff of floral fragances takes over. And indeed, the village carries its name well, its bright yellow mimosa dazzles from January to March. In between the sinuous stone lined streets, perfectly restored, and the medieval passages, one lingers in front of the Saint-Trophime church, whose XVIIIth roman architecture is surmounted by a sundial.
La Rastègue. A refined location where you can savour fine cuisine carefully prepared in a peaceful setting. 48, boulevard du levant ; Tel :+33 4 94 15 19 41. www.larastegue.com
The Bormes soap making shop. Soaps, essential oils, home fragrance and natural cosmetic products are just some of the artisanal treasures you’ll uncover here. Two stores: 11, rue Carnot et 10, venelle des amoureux.
Not far from the village, the beaches are strung together like jewels: Pellegrin beach, Estagnol beach, Favière beach… From Cap Bénat to Cap de Brégançon, it is a small reserved Eden, with at its end, the Fort of Brégançon, the former French presidents’ summer residence.
There, around La Londe, in a perfectly preserved nature spot, cut off from time, you will find some of the most renowned estates in the Var region.
Domaine Château Léoube. The majestic row of palm trees is the perfect introduction to this exceptional estate – as much as by its wines than the harmonious landscape. Hillsides covered in vines and olive groves design a puzzle framed by the sea, magical and glimmering on this side of the coast, the chiselled outline of the golden islands on the horizon. The wine tasting vault, immaculate and contemporary, does not do justice to the elegant surroundings. Bought in 1998 by a rich English industrial, Sir Anthony Bamford, this small paradise on earth stretches over 560 hectares, of which 62 hectares are cultivated vines and 20 hectares olive trees. The plots have been completely restructured, the production completely modernised and the vintages are organically certified with the AB label, with some biodynamic principles as well. A spirit that matches that of the owner’s farms and organic stores “Daylesford Organic”. (www.daylesfordorganic.com). 2387 Route de Léoube, 83 230 Bormes-les-Mimosas . Tel.: 04 94 64 80 03. www.chateauleoube.com
Domaine d’Ott: le Clos Mireille. This is the region’s real institution. The Ott estate has, for over 100 years, built itself a solid reputation.
Over several estates, Ott brings together the Château de Selle, the oldest, acquired in 1912, on the high plateaux of the Var region; the Clos Mireille, acquired in 1936, at La Londe; the Château Romassan, acquired in 1956, at the heart of the Bandol appellation. Each estate is defined by the typicity of its vintages. The notoriety of the name Ott was built on the excellent whites from the Clos Mireille. Benefiting from the influence of the sea and its iodized accent, these wines are essentially made from two grape varieties: Sémillon ( 70 %) and Rolle, that replaced the estate’s old white Ugni. The production of the Clos Mireille was exclusively dedicated to white wine up until 2007. However, in front of the undeniable success of the rosés and an ever growing rise in sales, this fashionable colour is now being produced. Route de Brégançon, 83 250 La Londe-les-Maures. Tel.: 04 94 01 53 50. www.domaines-ott.com
Domaine Château Maravene. Jean-Louis Gourjon and his wife combine their passion for wine to their love of entertaining. Enthusiastic and welcoming, they open the doors of a marvellously original estate. Aside from an open air theatre with a superb view, a vaulted reception room and hillsides covered with vines that hang over the Londe, they have created an amazing museum of robots that retrace authentic wine growing scenes from scratch. An very charming and instructive visit ! Route de Valcros, 83 250 La Londe-les-Maures. Tel.: 04 94 66 80 20. www.maravenne.com
Its real name is Hyères-les-Palmiers. There are indeed 7000 palm trees dotted around the little town with its Belle-Epoque villas around a pretty medieval centre.
Villa Noailles. A famous high place of design, the Villa Noailles’ 1920s Cubist architecture is stunning. During those showy years, it saw the likes of Man Ray, Bunuel, Cocteau, Breton or even Dali walk through its doors. Linked to art, fashion, music and design, this trendy place organises exhibitions an events with an avant-garde twist, always ahead of the curve. Montée de Noailles -Parc Saint Bernard ; Te l :+33 4 98 08 01 98
The Giens peninsula and the Golden Islands. Opposite the port, the Giens peninsula contains many wild and picturesque coves. At sea, the golden islands: Porquerolles, Port-Cros and le Levant. Three different stops that are worth the detour, if you have time.
The Pradeau Beach.Here, on a small terrace on the coast, you pick your fish before it is grilled.. A popular place in summer so don’t forget to book well ahead! 1420, avenue des Arbanais, 83 400 Hyères (Giens peninsula) ; Tel: +33 4 94 58 29 06.
Le Baraza. A sobre and modern wine bar and small restaurant, where the friendly atmosphere invites you to linger. 2 Avenue Ambroise Thomas. Tel.: 04 94 35 21 01. www.baraza.fr
Domaine Le Clos Cibonne. This is the estate where the Tibouren grape is king. It is in fact impossible to distinguish this ancestral family estate that has been passed down from generation to generation since 1804 from its emblematic grape variety: 80% of the 15 hectare estate is dedicated to Tibouren grapes. Apparently, it was the grandfather of the current owner, Claude Deforges, who reintroduced the then extinguished grape variety back in the 1930s. To taste this classified vintage, you’ll have to sit yourself down in front of the house opened a gigantic mulberry tree that is nearly 400 years old… A truly poetic moment. Visits of the estate by appointment. Chemin de la Cibonne, BP 27, 83 220 Le Pradet. Tel.: 04 94 21 70 55. www.clos-cibonne.com