Market of the Month: Bandol

a19Bandol is one of those dreamy seaside towns that’s easy to fall in love with. Located in the Var department (83), the name Bandol is also associated with the wine region containing over 50 different domaines – many scattered on either side of autoroute 50 & climbing the sweeping hills surrounding the villages of Le Castellet & La Cadière d’Azur.

While you can spend a very enjoyable day caravanning from one wine-tasting to another, visiting the city of Bandol is a far more glamorous experience. You’ll find the port packed with sizable yachts, the Casino de Bandol, and the chic boutiques lining the borde de mer among other glitzy addresses.

Market Bandol

Throw in a stroll at the market and lunch at a sidewalk café, and you’ve got the makings of a South of France afternoon par excellence. It’s probably best not to mention to the locals Bandol’s cheeky nickname: the poor man’s St. Tropez. Although I suspect this must be the work of jealous cousins to the north, because after an afternoon of sipping, shopping, and sunning, it’s hard to find anything pauvre about this southern gem.



Along Allèe Jean Moulin, opposite Quay Charles de Gaulle.


Daily; mornings & early afternoon.

Special Interest:

Strolling the “boardwalk”, seeing and/or being seen at the cafés, and shopping are some favorites. You’ll also find a world-class spa (thalasso), numerous beaches, and several tempting restaurants like L’Esperance.


14 responses to “Market of the Month: Bandol”

  1. I LOVE Bandol. My family and I go there all the time. It is by far one of the most best seaside towns in Provence. I would have loved to move there and before we bought our current house, my hubby and I actually thought about it. The prices were quite out of our range so we have to be content with just visiting. Lucky for us, it isn’t too far. I love the walk along the cliffs by the tennis courts. I could sit down on the benches there and just gaze out on the water forever!


    • I agree Ashley, Bandol is pretty fabulous. We’re going to start going more often ourselves – we usually just stop and spend the day at Sanary, but Bandol is not too much further up the road… and so full of life… not to mention the gorgeous views. Um, I could really go for a home there myself…. something to keep in our dreams 🙂


  2. Bandol is still on my list as we didn’t make it there on this trip. We opted for Marseille and the Côte Bleue with my cousin. I really want to go!


    • Marseille is a great option too Michel, sounds like you had a fantastic trip and there’s so much to do in Bandol & the surrounding region – maybe for the next time around!


  3. Thanks for your comment Claudia. I’d love to have a place in Bandol too… but you’re right about common sense winning out. We’re not too far away and that drive along the coast is so beautiful anyway… especially this time of year, with everything in bloom!


  4. I miss the train rides from La Ciotat to Toulon. Some days I considered hopping off at Sanary or Bandol and just spending the day! What a beautiful coast.


    • I agree, that is a spectacular train ride… the one from Toulon to Nice is not bad either. I’d like to hop off at Antibes myself, that’s a fun town to spend an afternoon. Thanks for your comment!


  5. I stumbled upon Bandol in 1990 when I was an active duty US Naval Aviator. I was doing an inspection at the Navy base in Rota Spain, and signed up for a 5day Formula One racing course at Circuit Paul Ricard in France. The French F1 races used to be run at Paul Ricard which is about 10mi NW? of Bandol. I imagine the very very moneyed F1 races had a lot to do with why Bandol is considered on par with St Tropez. anyway all we students stayed at a wonderful penzione near the water, and it was truly wonderful. I would awake each morning at 0600 to get to the patisserie first, (down the hill), as soon as it opened, for FRESH croissants. THE ABSOLUTE BEST IN THE WORLD! the racing school was run by Elf-Winfield, which I don’t t think exists anymore. it was the same school famous F1 pilote Alain Prost attended….


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.