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Tourism in the Var

Choosing to do tourism in the Var means opting for a region with exceptional conditions. Located in the south of France, the var is one of the 6 departments of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region. The var is framed to the west by the Bouches-du-Rhône and to the east by the department of the Maritime Alps. Located on the shores of the Mediterranean, the Var is a popular destination for holidaymakers dreaming of the sea, beach and lazing. But the Var is not just the beach! This department is a real gem, a master canvas composed of the sea, the mountains and the forest. Choosing the Var for the holidays is therefore to be seduced by a multitude of possibilities. Whether you want to wander around to the sound of cicadas in the summer or enjoy the beauties of the department, there will always be something to do, to see. During your stay in the Var you can also visit the other departments of the region. Due to its geographical location, the Var department is a real asset for those who want to be close to Marseille, Nice. The cities of Manosque and Arles are also so famous, are also nearby for travelers looking for beautiful discoveries.

Why choose the Var as your destination?

The var department is to be discovered for those who appreciate the sweetness of life. The beauty of the landscape is matched only by the world-renowned gastronomy. The climate of the Var is mild, warm in summer and pleasant in winter for the southerner cities. Backcountry villages have beautiful mountain views and popular hiking trails. On the climate side, it will generally be cooler than at the seaside. If you visit the "north" of the Var in low season you may be able to discover the landscape under a thin layer of snow (January, February and March). A winter and idyllic landscape that rarely reveals itself, but delights visitors. During your stay, in summer or winter, there will always be something to see in the Var, such as:

  • Porquerolles, a jewel to be preserved : Visit the island of Porquerolles every season. In summer you will take advantage of the warm days to bathe in the turquoise waters around the island. In the off-season, discover the island in a new face. Wilder, it reveals its trails and beaches to day hikers.
  • The Lake of St. Croix, magical landscapes : Let yourself be mesmerized by the unique colour of the Lake of St. Croix. Surrounded by mountains and charming villages, this place is a must. In summer you can swim or opt for a kayak ride. In winter, take advantage of the sensational observation points to discover the lake and its surroundings.
  • Frejus and Saint Raphael, a precious archaeological past : All year round, archaeology lovers meet in the cities of Frejus and Saint-Raphael. Less well known than Saint-Tropez, these seaside towns in the Var have many advantages for those who want to visit them. The beautiful Fréjus and its two-headed hermes await you, you can discover many vestiges of the Roman era. These include the aqueducts, the Roman theatre (partly designed to host performances) and the arenas. Frejus and Saint-Raphael, the city of the Archangel, offer a visit to their archaeological museums. You can admire mosaics and architectural elements (Fréjus museum) or pottery and elements of maritime life (Saint-Raphael).

What are the major natural sites to see in the Var?

The Var is a department where nature is preserved. Choose to discover marine life in the waves or prefer the forest, its fauna and flora. There's something for everyone!

The Gorges du Verdon, a thrilling adventure

From the village of Castellane to Sainte Croix, the Verdon criss-crosses between rocks and plants. The soul of an adventurer? Travel tens of kilometres in a kayak and observe the landscape from the water. Climbing and canyoning fans will also find happiness for a sports day in this dream setting.

The Dramont semaphore in Saint-Raphael, paradise

If you enjoy the beautiful hikes, then the Dramont semaphore is the ideal activity. You can walk the marked trails surrounded by red rocks and admire the local plant species. The best surprise: the panorama on the big blue is exceptional. Arriving at the top of the semaphore you will have a stunning view of the Esterel on one side and the Mediterranean Sea on the other. In addition, you can see the Isle of Gold, which would have inspired some of the adventures told by a famous Belgian comic book author.

The Sainte-Baume massif is the ideal activity for hiking fans

Hiking enthusiasts on holiday in the Var will be enchanted by the trails of the Massif de la Sainte-Baume. This land of legend in the middle of the vegetation is also accessible to people with reduced mobility. Indeed, a trail has been planned specifically for people with disabilities. If you are in this case, you can enjoy the pleasures of a beautiful walk in nature.

Malpasset Dam

The remains of this dam bear witness to the scale of the disaster. In 1959 it was broken as a result of severe weather. The wave that swept through devastated the surrounding area. While it is good to remember this page of local history, it is also interesting to take the opportunity to discover this part of the Esterel. The curious will enjoy this educational walk near Frejus in the Var.

Sillans Waterfall, a pleasant stop

Discover Sillans and its waterfall during a pleasant stop on a beautiful sunny day. It is possible to make a short hike near the waterfall. This one is about forty meters high. Around Sillans, you can also discover villages like Fox-Amphoux or Cotignac and their pretty alleys.

The chartreuse of the Verne, the charm of the old stones

Discover the chartreuse de la Verne in Collobrières in the Var. Framed by the Moorish forest, this ancient building can be visited after a short walk. It's perfect for lovers of nature and old stones. The chartreuse has been restored several times, but the soul of this charming building is intact. The sweet beaks will make a gourmet stop, in fact Collobrières is famous for its glazed chestnuts, a real delight. It is a perfect discovery between architecture, history, nature and gluttony.

The caves of Villecroze

For a visit that will delight adults and children alike, opt for the caves of Villecroze. Indeed, you can discover ancient habitats of caves. These caves are striking.

Tourism in the Var, what are the must-sees?

The Var is as exciting for its natural sites as its historic buildings. In order to prepare for your stay in the Var, we have spotted the must-see places.

Barjols, the village of fountains

Opt for Barjols, this charming village is known as the village of fountains! There are no less than 38 to allow you to stroll and cool off. This is a walk not to be missed during a stay in the Var on hot summer days. Lovers of old stones will be captivated by the architecture of this magnificent village.

The Louis de Funès Museum in Saint-Raphael

If you are a fan of Louis de Funès, then you should definitely visit the museum dedicated to this monument of French cinema. Located in Saint-Raphael, this museum offers an exciting retrospective on the artist's life and career.

The architecture of the beautiful era in Saint Raphael

A few steps from the museum, discover the homes of the good old days thanks to the marked tour and guide available at the city's tourist office. Educational tables are set up all over the city to inform about these buildings that have experienced the visits of illustrious figures. The architecture of these houses is a pleasure for the eyes.

The citadel of Saint-Tropez

The citadel of Saint-Tropez seems to be little known nationally, yet it is an important monument in regional history. The Citadel Museum will allow you to discover many anecdotes about the building, its history and the characters who have evolved there. The dungeon, classified as a historic monument, is also a must when you want to visit the Var.

The islands of the var, pearls to explore

In the var, you can also choose to go to sea to admire the islands. Indeed, the Mediterranean coastline is dotted with islands and islets. Visit these gems just a few steps from the coast and let yourself be won over by island life. Some will be more lively in the summer than in the off-season, so it's up to you to choose the time you think is best to visit. Among these different islands, here are the most pleasant:

  • On the island of Bendor, you can discover art in many forms;
  • The island of Embiez where you can visit the Museum of Marine Life;
  • The island of the Levant and its naturist beaches;
  • Port-Cros Island (provided that this unique nature reserve is respected);
  • The island of Porquerolles where you can discover the old mill, Fort Sainte-Agathe, vineyards, beautiful beaches...;

The Faron cable car in Toulon in the Var

Near Toulon in the Var, take the cable car from the bottom of Mount Faron. This one offers a very interesting view of the city of Toulon, Var Prefecture. In addition, thanks to this original means of transport you will be able to go to several places that are interesting to visit. You can meet the residents of the Zoo, which specializes in big cats. Shiver when you hear the Roaring Lion or explore the scenic trails. This is an original outing and for the whole family not to be missed when sightseeing in the Var.

Thoronet Abbey is a must-see in the Var

This Cistercian abbey has been listed as a Historic Monument since 1840. The building is open for visitors from April 1 to September 30. The purchase of a paired ticket can be used to visit the cloister of St. Leonce's Cathedral in Frejus.

What are the best activities to do in the Var?

The Var is a good department to live all year round. Visitors love tourism in the var, they also like the activities that it is possible to perform. Lovers of art, sport, nature or history, you will find the ideal activities to do during your stay.

Take a hike or walk in the var

The Var is the perfect place to organize a hike. Whether it's by the sea or more inland, there are many trails that allow you to exercise while visiting the department. Some ideas of hikes in the Var, achievable in a day or a few hours for the most sporty:

  • Carces and the so-called Caramy Falls;
  • Mount Vinegar and the pass road;
  • The Gien peninsula;
  • The coastal path;

Short walks (a few minutes, a few hours):

  • At the nature base of Frejus you can walk by the sea, lasting approximately 2 hours to go around the park;
  • At the ponds of Villepey (Saint-Aygulf, frejus commune), you can observe many species of birds, especially in the spring and autumn. Duration of about 1 hour and 30 minutes.
  • At the St. Raphael's Open Air Rupestre Circuit (known as CRAPA), you can go around while carrying out the exercises offered along the route. The view is clear towards the sea. Duration: 1 hour at a moderate pace.
  • The acclimatisation garden in Toulon will allow you a pleasant walk, lasting a little less than an hour.

Diving, a good idea of activity in the var

Have you thought of diving as an activity to do in tourism in the Var? The seabed of the department is rich in diversity! Many diving schools are located along the coast and you'll be spoilt for choice for:

  • Do a diving baptism in the Mediterranean;
  • Or play this sport if you are already a fan of the sport.
  • The less sporty can completely practice snorkeling. Simply equipped with a mask, possibly a snorkel, you can explore the seabed near the beaches. If there are not necessarily many depths, you can still observe many sea creatures: girelles, sea bream, saupes are notably near the coast. This will be an opportunity for beautiful photographs if you are equipped with a camera offering this possibility.

Discover water sports on holiday in the Var

Introduce yourself to all kinds of water sports during your stay in the Var. Whether on a freshwater or at sea, you can try different experiments. It is possible to rent equipment for sports or for a mini cruise:

  • Kayaking;
  • Catamaran;
  • Sailboat;
  • towed buoy;
  • Water skiing;
  • climbing and playing in the water on some lakes;
  • ascent parachute.

The Var on horseback is possible!

Discover the surroundings in a different way by riding from the back of a horse. Whether it's a walk in the vineyards, on the beaches or in the forest, many clubs in the region offer this type of outing. Accompanied by a guide, you will explore trails with the help of your faithful destrier. Some organizations that offer this activity:

  • The "The 3 Irons" club in Saint-Raphael;
  • "Horse Adventure" in La Crau;
  • The "El Dorado Ranch" in Sainte-Maxime.

Wine in the var, an art of living

The department is also known for its excellent wines. Tourism in the var is therefore also to visit farms and take part in wine courses. The department has several hundred wineries. Here are a few you might want to visit:

  • The Clos des Roses in Fréjus offers guided tours and tastings. Leave with a bottle of fine wine or feast at the estate's restaurant. Events are scheduled throughout the year, the opportunity to see the domain in a different way;
  • The Château Roubine near Lorgues, is an area with a great reputation, visit these exceptional lands during your stay in the var.
  • Torpez in Saint-Tropez is an area you will have to visit when you are sightseeing in the Var. In addition, discover the story of the mythical character who gave his name to the vineyard, San Torpez de Pisa.
  • The Château Sainte Roseline located near La Motte (just outside the Muy) is one of the best known vineyards in the department, it is an unmissable to put on your list of farms to visit.
  • Minuty Castle in Saint-Tropez. We no longer mention this monument that is recognized throughout the world. Take advantage of your stay to get there; The Château de Berne is also a must for wine lovers. Many events are held throughout the year at the estate.

The main events of the Var

Many festivals and fairs take place in the var every year. Foodies, fans of art and nature will find the festival that suits their tastes. Here are some of the best places to entertain yourself during your stay:

  • The truffle festival in Aups at the end of January. Come celebrate the famous black diamond and taste recipes stuffed in the capital of Var of this delicacy;
  • The flowering corso in Bormes-les-Mimosas in February;
  • The bravado of Frejus in the spring;
  • The "off" nights of Frejus, which offer numerous theatrical performances throughout the city during the summer.
  • The Roc d'Azur, which takes place in Fréjus at the end of September (a must-see for cycling enthusiasts);
  • The Ramatuelle festival in mid-summer;
  • The Saint-Raphael Jazz Festival;
  • The music festival (organized by many cities in the department);
  • The "Mangame show", a manga-themed festival in Frejus in the spring;
  • The Var Book Festival in Toulon takes place during the autumn.
  • The chestnut festival in Collobrières;
  • The fig festival in Solliès;
  • The air festival that takes place in Frejus at the beginning of autumn every year.
  • Are you planning to go on vacation to the department? Check with the tourist office at your place of residence to find out more about the festivities, which will take place during your holiday.

Where to eat in the Var?

The Var department is known for its regional specialties. You will feast on the good vegetables of the sun, olive oil and the famous rosé. Here is our selection of addresses. Some addresses are among the best tables in France and you should think about booking.

  • Ramatuelle's mills, fine cuisine;
  • The Napoleon in Saint-Tropez, an enchanting setting;
  • The Hospitality of the Pennafort Gorge, an exceptional meal;
  • eaning pines near Toulon, a gourmet meal;
  • he Saint-Gabriel in Toulon, view of the harbour.

We have selected restaurants that are accessible to all budgets and offer delicious recipes:

  • Restaurant the Martinus in Saint-Aygulf, sea view from the veranda;
  • Les Sablettes brasserie restaurant in Fréjus, simple cuisine, on the beach;
  • The little bather's brewery in La Seyne-sur-Mer, a pleasant meal.

The Var has many assets that chain thousands of visitors every year. Rich in heritage and gastronomy, the var is the perfect place for a holiday. Come with family or friends and enjoy the activities offered in the surrounding area. For a holiday at the top, opt for camping. The South East Holidays campsites offer accommodation solutions in different cities of the var. Preferring one of our campsites for the holidays is choosing comfort and friendliness. Discover our different locations now and prepare for your stay.