Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur Section
Bandol seaside resort and vineyard - Cote d’Azur
Bandol, a seaside resort
Bandol and its bay are sheltered by a series of hills.
One of the oldest seaside resorts on the French Riviera, it attracted the great names of cinema and literature at the turn of the last century.
From this prestigious era, the resort has retained a rich architectural heritage, colourful town houses and luxurious villas nestled among mimosa and maritime pines.
Bars, restaurants and the casino line the seafront promenade planted with a profusion of pines and palm trees.
Bandol boasts 4 sandy beaches - Plage Grand Vallat, Plage du Casino, Plage Centrale et Plage de Rènecros - and 3 pebble beaches - Plage du Barry, Plage du Capelan et Plage Eden Roc.
The quality of its sea and its rich seabed are indeed propitious to a wide array of water sports.
However, those in search of wilderness can escape on the Sentier de la Corniche and discover the superb calanques and their little creeks.
The 11km walk between Bandol and Saint-Cyr-sur-mer takes about 4 hours.
Bendor Island is another tour idea.
Exclusively pedestrian and located 300m from the coast, it’s easily accessible by daily ferry connections.
In the 1950s, the industrial Paul Ricard bought and developed the island, which soon became the rendezvous of the jet set of the time.
The island is now home to several restaurants and a hotel, an artists' village, several art galleries and two museums:
The Museum of Ricard Advertising Objects and the Exposition Universelle des Vins et Spiritueux, EUVS - Universal Exhibition of Wines and Spirits which brings together an impressive collection of bottles.
Bandol is also renowned for its fabulous vineyard which regroups 50 wine growers.
The resort’s surrounding south facing slopes are sheltered from the winds and receive 3000 hours of sunshine a year.
Some 2500 years ago, local folks already worked out the benefits of such an exceptional situation, as they already grew vines on the slopes of Bandol!
All conditions are gathered for the Mourvèdre, a traditionally challenging grape variety, to thrive.
It indeed produces quality wines, powerful and velvety reds, and fine, full-bodied whites.
The fruity rosés of Bandol are even considered the best rosé wines of France!
Bandol vineyard was one of the first to receive the A.O.C appellation in 1941.
Those who want to learn more about it should attend the wine festival that takes place every year in December
Department of Var
Coordinates: Lat 43.136418 - Long 5.754186
Photos Wikimedia Commons: Pebble beach - Colourful town houses - Promenade Paul Ricard