There are many gorgeous beaches in our “department”, the Var, but during the summer we usually return to our trusted local favorites in and around Toulon.
This year, we decided to go a bit “further afield” and explore some of the natural marvels of the region – starting with the beaches of Bormes-les-Mimosas.
Now Bormes is a beautiful hilltop village in and of itself. The actual community extends for several kilometers, including a lively port (with its own Provençal market), the Fort de Brégançon (the summer residence of past & present French presidents which was recently closed to become a national monument) and a head-turning number of vineyards.
And it’s just next to one of these pretty vineyards that you’ll find Plage du Pelegrin – Pelegrin beach. I wouldn’t say this beach is necessarily “hidden”, but it does involve a bit of travel off the beaten track… where you’ll be treated to some pretty fantastic scenery along the way.
The beach sits on a strip of land that belongs to Château Léoube, a sprawling vineyard that produces reds, whites, rosés, and very tasty olive oil. And it’s right next to those same olive trees – hundreds of them in fact – that you’ll find the dusty road that leads to the beach.
Parking is €9 per day, which makes this beach kind of “exclusive” in its own right as most beach access in Provence is free. The lot is operated by Château Léoube and your parking stub will also get you 10% off any purchase at the domaine’s wine cave through the end of August (!). The fee allows you all-day come & go access and a snack bar – restrooms are also present on site.
And what will you find at Pellegrin beach? Well, if these photos didn’t convince you, this beach is simply really, really beautiful… calm, crystal-blue waters and a stretch of white sand as far as the eye can see. Just behind the beach, there’s also a wooded area where you can picnic and take a nice, shady break from the summer sun.
Although Pellegrin beach is a little off the standard tourist route, it’s still a highly-prized spot along the coast. It’s a good idea to arrive early to set up your camp. If you’re coming from Bormes-le-Mimosas village, just follow the road past Château Léoube and you’ll find the beach on your left-hand side. Besides a bit of a drive, perhaps the only real difficulty in reaching the beach is fighting the urge to stop at any of the half-dozen vineyards that line the route. But then again, in Provence – in the summer – there’s always time for a little rosé.