Holiday House in Provence

       In The Surroundings

    Saint-Tropez ... the star      
 

aquarelle of St Tropez

 

Port of Saint Tropez

St. Tropez became "St. Trop" when the show business people, artists and writers all fell under the spell of this charming little port in the 1950's.

In the summer one could bump into Picasso, Francoise Sagan, Jacques Prévert and many others, With the arrival of Brigitte Bardot in the 6O's the myth was installed for good. Since then St. Tropez has become the in vacation spot for chic Parisians and the international Jet Set.

Night life is very lively and often one can see helicopters bringing elegant guests to private parties in one of the many luxurious villas on the bay.

People watching is a favorite sport here in the summer, Visitors like to sit at the outdoor cafés hoping either to be seen or to see some one else. Competition is rife. Huge yachts line up in the port rivaling to see which is the biggest, the prettiest, the best kept, or has the snappiest crew .

Only beautiful people hop on board. It is quite a spectacle for the casual visitor!...

St. Tropez's true nature can really only be appreciated in the off months.

If you have the choice come here in May, June or September, without the crowds one can take the time to admire the charming little streets and alleys.

Early in the morning at the Place aux Herbes one can find fruit vegetables and flowers and watch the local fishermen selling their new catch. This is also the neighborhood of the famous brasseries Le Gorille and Sénéquier.

A typical Provengal market is held every Tuesday and Saturday morning in the Place des Lices. Religious and festive processions called "Bravades" are lively celebrations which begin in May and continue until the 15th of June.

 

 
  Grimaud … charm and mystery      
 

Nestled in the heart af the Maures Mountains and bordering the Gulf of St. Tropez, Grimaud has maintained its medieval character. The village is very appealing with its paved and flowered streets winding about all the way from the Romanesque church to the ruins of the feudal castle.

While exploring the village you will see beautiful old houses that have been superbly renovated.

Grimaud sits on the hillside in the midst of fabulous views.

A few kilometers lower down on the coast, yau can visit Port Grimaud, a seaside vacation spot imagined by the architect François Spoerry. Thousands of visitors come to see this internationally renowned resort each year.

 

Grimaud

    Cogolin ... the head on the hills, the feet in the water      
village of Cogolin

Country side

 

Located on the edge of the mountains of Maures and facing the Gulf of St Tropez, Cogolin is a welcoming place all year round.

The 14th century clock tower, a vestige of the old fortified castle, overlooks the village . One can still see an ancient windmill.

The St. Sauveur Church (early 15th c.) the St. Roch Chapel (17th and I9thc.), the vaulted passages, the houses with portals made of serpentine or volcanic rock are all witnesses of the long past of Cogolin. Lower Village built around a cougoul ( little hill) is typical with is wide airy streets.

Cogolin is also the sea. Only 4 km from the village the anchorage Marines de Cogolin is equipped with 1,500 moorings and is surrounded by buildings of a pleasing comtemporary style. Shops, restaurants, boutiques and various festivities enliven the quais. Not too far is a beach with its own activities and areas for sailing, relaxing and restaurants.

Much smaller, Port-Cogolin is a charming little harbour of l80 moorings and all year round offers a choice of warm and welcoming apartments and villas all superbly quipped, with shops close by.

In Cogolin handcrafts are important and respected, Here one can find factories for rugs, pipes, reeds for musical instruments, bamboo fencing, pottery, ceramics, and wrought iron.  

 

 
  Gassin ... classified amongst the most beautiful villages of France    
  One is amazed, with the impression of being on the roof of the world ! As far as the eye can see, the deep blue sea contrasts with the tender green of forest and vineyards shared by no less than seven wine domains and "chateaux".

After contemplating this unique panorama, one strolls gently through pretty, winding streets adorned with flowers. Now one understands why Gassin acquired the distinction of "Plus Beau Village de France" !

We continue our walk, we discover just below the new extension to the village which has brought new life to Gassin and, thanks to architecture inspired with authentic values of the past, this remarkable development has won the "Marianne d'or 1995" award.

To conclude this wonderful tour, one can relax on the beautiful "Place Dei Barri", for a drink amongst friends or a romantic diner for two.

 

Gassin

    Ramatuelle ... a prestigious panorama      
Ramatuelle

Built against the hills, Ramatuelle faces out on a fabulous vista of the Bay of Pampelonne. The viIlage is closed in by ramparts and you can see the rooftops of pink tiles and the ancient stone houses lined along the narrow streets.

Nearby is the famous beach of Pampelonne. It stretches out for 5 kilometers and is carved with creeks and inlets all with chrystal clear water. The inlets and the creeks are appreciated by those who are looking for more privacy.

The cultural life in Ramatuelle is particularly rich for there are jazz and classical music festivals and excellent theater. Many celebrities have fallen in love with this area and have made it their home.

 

  Port-Grimaud ... little Venice      
As to the recent history : its major feature is Port-Grimaud where the architect François Spoerry realized in 1966 a visionary and ambitious project : the marina or “lake-dwelling” city. Today Port-Grimaud is one of the most frequented places of France with its quays of a total length of 12 km lined with gardens and “fishermen’s houses” where boats can be moored. A real architectural contemporary success.

 

Port-Grimaud

    La Croix Valmer ... a quality of life      
Croix Valmer At the end of the 19th century, the La Croix Valmer landscape is considered as one of the most beautiful ones of the Côte d'Azur. Tourism is starting to develop and the resort "La Croix de Cavalaire" is described as a quality winter and seaside resort. Nature in its wildest untouched state already then drew visitors from various horizons, seeking peace of mind in such an enchanting and marvellous landscape.

 

  Le Rayol Canadel ... the nature      

Facing the sea, Rayol Canadel stretches out into a semi circle of greenery. To the north of the town is the Maures mountains, and to the south is the rocky coast formed of headlands, creeks and bays all sheltering four sand beaches. One of these beaches was the choice for the allied debarkation on the 14th of August, 1944.

This is a highly wooded area (80% of the town) with forests of cork oaks, heather, and mimosa. It is also the setting for some very beautiful Mediterranean homes. If you visit the Domaine du Rayol, for example, you wilt be able to imagine the activity on the Corniche des Maures at the beginning of the century when these incredible houses and gardens were in the making.

A must: the monumental staircase which leads to the sea, and the stairs in the center of town which end up at a round pergola: the Pateck.

 

Rayol Canadel
    Cavalaire ... a summer resort      
Cavalaire

Cavalaire is located on the most southerly bay of coastal Var. The magnificent 3 kilometers long beach has made the reputation of this summer resort and the Pradels mountains that jut up behind, confirm it.

 A paradise for sailors, Cavalaire has a modern, easy to get to port with 1,230 sheltered moorings.

The sun shines warmly all year long and entices tourists to head out to some of the famous islands of the Mediterranean: the Levant islands, Porquerolles and Port Cros.

On warm summer nights the streets and cafe terraces are filled with people. Outdoor concerts and shows are organized here and there throughout the city.

 

  Museums        
Annonciade Museum in Saint-Tropez: a chapel turned into a museum - beautiful painting collection from divisionism until independant art.

Naval museum of the Fortress of Saint-Tropez

Butterflies Museum

Medieval and Knights Museum in Cogolin:  enter for a while in this medieval universe full of surprises

Raimu Museum in Cogolin: Pagnol´s world of movies !

Santon Museum in Pierrefeu

Provencal Traditions Museum in Draguignan

 

    Markets      
CAVALAIRE

Wednesday 8:00 - 14:00

 
COGOLIN

Wednesday & Saturday 7:00 - 13:00

 
COLLOBRIERES

Sunday morning & Thursday morning (only in summer)

 
GASSIN

Wednesday, Thursday & Sunday 8:00 - 12:00

 
GRIMAUD

Thursday morning ( Grimaud village )
Sunday morning ( Port Grimaud )

 
LA CROIX VALMER

Sunday morning

 
LA GARDE FREINET

Sunday & Wednesday 8:00 - 12:00

 
LES ISSAMBRES

Monday morning

 
PLAN DE LA TOUR

Thursday morning

 
RAMATUELLE

Thursday & Sunday morning

 
ROQUEBRUNE

Friday morning

 
SAINTE MAXIME

Monday, Thursday & Friday

 
SAINT-TROPEZ

Saturday & Tuesday

 
 
  Wine makers      

No use to present you the Rosé wine of Provence: vineyards are all over the land.

But do you know about the White or Red wines of the area?

Two addresses worth a detour to discover them all:

  • Domaine de la Tourre in Grimaud                Tel: 04 94 43 27 78

  • Domaine Château Saint Marc in Cogolin   Tel: 04 94 54 69 92  

    Restaurants      

Amongst all the restaurants of the area, here is a list of good places to consider:

Ramatuelle 
  • La Ferme Ladouceur        Tel : 04 94 79 24 95                                        D61 - Quartier La Rouillère RAMATUELLE 

Gassin 
  • Auberge La Verdoyante  Tel : 04 94 56 16 23                                         866 cv Coste Brigade - Gassin                                    

Cogolin - La Môle 
  • La Ferme du Magnan    Tel : 04 94 49 57 54                                           RN 98  between Cogolin and La Môle

Plan de la Tour 
  • Le Vieux Moulin

Marines de Cogolin 
  • L'Olivier
Cogolin 
  • Restaurant Cauvet

  • Le Carré des Oliviers

Grimaud
  • La Spaghetta

All those information and many more are at your disposal in the house.   

 

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