Less than an hour drive from the sea, but miles away from the glitz and glamour of the coast. You are no longer in the French Riviera now, but in the heart of the Provence, with its rustic and rural character.
The Provence: undulating hills and vineyards
This area is surrounded by mountains like Gorges du Verdon, Massif des Maures, Sainte-Victorie and Massif de la Sainte Baume. Between these mountains you will find a breath-taking landscape of rolling hills, vineyards, forests and pittouresque old villages full of charm.
The well-known vineyards 'Côtes de Provence' are located around the Provencal town Draguignan. This area has been Appèllation d’Origine Controlée (AOC) certified since 1977 and is of great importance for the French wine production. The worldwide famous light rosé is derived from this area and these wines are tasting very well in combination with the Provencal cuisine.
A visit to the vineyards in the Provence
For wine-tasting we definitely recommend Château Sainte-Roseline in les Arcs-sur-Argens and Chateau la Martnetten in Lorgues. In these Chateaux you are able to taste all te good French wines, without being obliged to buy. In addition to the rosé, the red- and white wines are definitely being recommended as well. Two insider tips: go to Chateau de Berne in Lorgues for a culinary pleasure and gastronomy. When interested in local French wines: go to Les Vignerons de Taradeau in Taradeau.
Local products from the Var
In the inland of the Var you will find an abundance of local products (du Terroir) like truffles, fruit, vegetables, flowers, honey, thyme, olive oil and many more. It is not without a reason that you will find many good restaurants in the Provence. The local markets are also a definitely worth a visit.
The medieval Lorgues
Lorgues is pretty popular among Dutch and Belgian tourists. Lorgues is a typical Provencal market town with an mediaeval centre that is being surrounded with a beautiful landscape with oak trees, olive trees and vineyards. We would like to recommend you to visit the local markets or Restaurant Bruno for delicious truffles.
Charming villages in the Provence
Close by you will find many pittoresque, medieval villages such as Carcés, Taradeau, Vidauban, St Antonin du Var, Les-Arcs-Sur-Argens and the charming village Flayosc. In the hinterland of the Var you can discover the cultural heritage of the Provence, like medieval churches, mills, fountains and lovely small villages. Two insider tips: L’Oustaou and La Salle a Manger are good restaurants near Flayosc. Surrounded by purple lavender fields you can find the famous Abbey of Thoronet. This very old monastery from 1146 is very well preserved because of the relatively remote location. Between mid-June and mid-August the lavender fields colour up deep blue and violet, which will give a beautiful sight!
Hiking, biking or horseback riding in the Provence
The region of Draguignan is very suitable for walking, cycling and horse riding, for example in La Motte around the waterfall Saut de Capelan, of course De Gorges Du Verdon, which is really fantastic for hiking and climbing. For fishing and canoeing you can go to Le Muy and Vidauban. For more information and other trials please go to the local Bureau de Toursime.