Greetings dear readers and friends. Well, I’m sending you a big « bonjour » from sunny Provence. We’ve had a few chilly days in France (it even snowed up north – in May!), but it looks like clear skies are headed our way. And the timing couldn’t be better.
Summer’s in the air…
This year I’ve vowed to do a bit more exploring; venture further afield in our region, the Var. Since we live really a stone’s throw away from some pretty fabulous beaches, we tend to go to the same ones year after year. Admittedly, you won’t catch me complaining! Even having the chance to live near the Mediterranean and visit such beach towns like Sanary-sur-Mer, Bandol, and St. Cyr is more fulfilling than anything I thought I’d ever experience in my life. But with the south of France being such a big and beautiful place, there’s still so much to see and do.
Today, I’d like to highlight one of those beautiful beach towns which tends to fly a bit under the radar: Toulon. Since we lived in Toulon for 7 years, I’m naturally a bit biased, but I believe that this city is one of those “hidden gems” that’s worth pinning on your travel itinerary.
Toulon, while being located on the famous Côte d’Azur, is actually quite an overlooked destination. In the spring and summer months, cruise ships make their way to Toulon’s port, but they often miss one of the city’s top attractions: the beaches of the Mourillon. This has of course some benefits for locals, as these beaches don’t see the tourist crowds of other chic towns on “the Côte”, but it’s a shame to miss out on this beautiful corner of the city.
So, what’s so great about the Mourillon beaches? Well, firstly, I hope a few of these photos might win you over… wink wink. The sand, the dazzling blue of the sea, the calm of posting up on a beach lounger, what’s not to love? Besides being a very pretty place, you can have a drink or eat at any of the many restaurants / cafés that line the pedestrian promenade. And yes, another great advantage is that the beach area is closed to cars. There’s a large parking lot, a free one at that, but the lot is separated from the beaches by a large park – full of activities for kids and adults alike. There are soccer fields and basketball courts, 2 parks for children, and you can often find the “Petit Train of Toulon” winding its way along the beaches as it takes visitors for a guided tour (in French & English).
The Mourillon beaches do get busy during the summer months – many European tourists are fond of visiting – but if you arrive early, you’ll be sure to have a spot to yourself to enjoy the best of what practically everyone in France wants to do in July & August… fare niente – the art of doing nothing at all.
Wishing you a very belle journée et bon week-end from Provence!