With all the events of the past week in France, it’s hard to get back into the normal groove of life. I’m just comforted by all of the support witnessed during the nationwide gatherings to condemn the horrific acts of terrorism in Paris. I’ve wanted to write more about our “hometown”, Toulon, for some time …
Greetings dear readers and friends! Well, you would think that summer is already in full-swing here in the south… the weather is gorgeous (except for a bit of rain today!), the beaches are full, and tourists are making their first appearances along “the Côte”. Not to mention the locals who are stocking up on everything from camping supplies to kayaks and long boards to take advantage of the coming days spent on the Mediterranean. I had the not-so-bright idea of going to a sporting goods store this past Saturday, at the unfortunate hour of 12pm, and it was as busy as if it were the height of les soldes – the summer sales in France (which, my friends, hold on to you wallets because les soldes get cranking at the end of this month!).
And since it’s near time to put our toes in the water (I had my first “dip” last weekend and as the French say, “L’eau était bonne!” – the water was quite nice….) I thought it would be a good idea to get back to our “beach series” about wonderful plages in our very own, beloved, Var department.
One of the nicest, most naturally beautiful, beaches in our “hometown” Toulon is the area known as the Mitre creeks near the port of Saint Louis. These rocky inlets, bordered by strips of sandy beach, (ex-military beaches open to the public since 2004) are well-known to locals but remain a bit “hidden” to visitors as they aren’t as easily visible as the popular Mourillon beaches a stone’s throw away.
A few years ago, the city of Toulon constructed a well-maintained “sentier”, or walking path, which enables easier Mitre-beach access to visitors as the path departs directly from the small port of Saint Louis with stops along the “hidden” creeks. There’s a bit of a descent to each creek, so it’s quite important to have stable walking shoes if you’re making the trek – especially with your beach gear in tow!
It’s also a good idea to visit the Mitre creeks at an early hour because this is a popular spot for locals. Away from the busy beaches of the Mourillon, these creeks are near-silent coves where you can enjoy the views of the bay while listening to the gently lapping waves of the Mediterranean only a few feet away. When I first arrived in Toulon and the Mitre creeks where only accessible by a perilous, dusty decent with no guides or handrails, I thought I’d discovered a rocky corner of paradise. Thankfully, these little gems are now accessible to all.
Bonne journée… et bonne plage!
To Learn More:
Toulon tourist office
“Blue beach” classified beaches in the Var
La Mitre beach in Toulon (+ video)