One of the best things about living in France/the European continent is that the trains are really good so you can get out of the city and explore on a whim. We did just that a couple of weeks ago and go the TGV down to Marseille.
Marseille is a big city and a place that we plan to explore in the future but for this trip, we stayed approximately 20 mins before getting a connecting train to Toulon (another, smaller port city) where we hopped on a coach to travel East along the coast to our final destination, Lavandou.
Lavandou is a pretty port town on the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’ Azur in South-Eastern France, with multiple beaches and pretty Provencial streets. Needless to say, despite both trying to shake of yucky colds we were set to spend a couple of days soaking up the salty, lavender-tinged air and some Rosé.
Lavandou is a great place for beach lovers. The weather was warm for April so we took the slightly challenging coastal path to the beautiful Saint Clair beach, where I had a refreshing (bloody freezing) dip in the Med before munching on some Moules Mariniére. Feeling energized by the sea air and local lemon wine, we carried on along the rocky cliff path (I use the word path loosely) to La Fosette. The whole coastline is a paradise with coves to explore and an abundance of sunbathing spots. Even my sunburn (yes, in April) couldn’t dampen my spirits.
In the evening we did what we had to do – eat all the seafood. Restaurant Bosco is located on the harbour and was the perfect place to wolf down an assortment of fresh oysters, welks, clams and shrimp whilst overlooking the pretty harbour.
On the final day, we walked along Lavandou’s more rugged main beaches, which are popular with German holiday makers, and enjoyed our last few hours of sea air before heading back into Paris’s smog. Despite being about 880km south of Paris the TGV (to Marseille or Toulon) takes just a few hours and it is well worth the trip to soak up the pretty flower lined streets and sandy beaches. Next time we will try to visit Bormes-Mimosa, a flower covered medieval town located just next to Lavandou.
Fun fact: In September 2000, the mayor passed an unusual bylaw making it illegal to die in Lavandou – we managed not to.
Personally, I prefer this part of the French Riviera to nearby, more easterly, towns such as St Tropez and Nice (although Antibes is lovely) where it is a bit more bling. It was my partner’s first time on that coast and he is totally sold so I am sure that we will be going back soon to fill aid seafood and sunshine deficiencies.