Chambre d'hôtes Var – une Pause en Provence

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End of year festivities in Sanary sur Mer

decouverte de toulon sentier du littoral depart de la tour royale chambres d'hotes le beausset une pause en provence

For me, an essential place to visit when staying in our B&B Une Pause en Provence: Toulon

First, let’s talk about Toulon today

Toulon is the prefecture of the Var department and the 3rd largest city in the PACA region, behind Marseille and Nice. Geographically, it lies halfway between Marseille to the west and Saint-Tropez to the east.
From our guest house, Une Pause en Provence, it’s a 20-minute drive to Toulon.

Shopping, cultural and tourist activities in Toulon

Toulon “old town” is for me a must when staying in our guest house Une Pause en Provence. In 20/25 minutes you’ll be in the heart of Toulon.
Unfortunately, this city had a bad image for a long time, but over the last 5 years it has become a city to discover without moderation.

A typical day for me? Set off at around 10:30am after a good breakfast, park in the Peiresc parking lot, and you’re in the heart of the city in the pedestrian center.
A trip to the Cours Lafayette market, a Toulon institution.
It’s time for lunch, and we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to restaurants…. I have my own little habits, notably at “La petite fringale” 14 rue Paul Lendrin: shady terrace under the plane trees, home cooking with fresh produce.
Then stroll the pedestrian streets around Les Halles, the Opera and Rue des Arts…. (see map).
A well-deserved break for a refreshment or coffee in one of the many bars in the center.
For those discovering Toulon in the morning, it’s possible to go earlier and plan other more cultural visits, such as the Musée de la Marine, the Musée des Arts, a mini cruise in the harbor, etc….

A little history

Toulon is a commune in Provence, capital of the Var department and seat of its prefecture. The third-largest city in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region, after Marseille and Nice, it is also home to the headquarters of the Mediterranean maritime prefecture. The commune is located on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, along the Toulon roadstead. Its inhabitants are called Toulonnais.

Vauban fortifies the town of Toulon, home to Louis XIV’s Mediterranean squadron. Along with Brest, Toulon was the only port capable of accommodating large warships in the 17th and 18th centuries. The latter, which are becoming heavier and heavier due to the ever-increasing weight of their artillery, require ever greater draughts. The site is even better than Brest under westerly winds, which make it difficult for squadrons to get out. Toulon doesn’t have this problem.
Toulon was the departure and arrival point for most of France’s major military and colonial expeditions to Africa during the Ancien Régime and into the 19th century: for example, the Egyptian expedition led by Napoleon Bonaparte departed from Toulon on May 19, 1798. Bonaparte earned his brigadier’s stripes on December 22, 1793, after the siege of Toulon and its recapture by the revolutionary armies. The town had been opened up to the English by the Royalist faction of its inhabitants. It was to be renamed by the National Convention, which, in a decree dated 4 Nivôse An II (December 24, 1793), stipulated: “The infamous name of Toulon is abolished. This commune will henceforth bear the name of Port-la-Montagne”.

Sanary sur mer's illuminations

They all take part in the port’s many events….and, particularly at this time of year, they are the focal point of the Christmas illuminations. It’s a breathtaking, magical spectacle, so much so that many visitors flock from all over the department and beyond to see Sanary’s illuminations! All these “pointus” are adorned with garlands of lights to offer us a magnificent spectacle.

And then there are the illuminations designed and organized by the city, with street decorations, sumptuous lighting of buildings and monuments, illuminated water fountains and more…
A chance to wander around for an hour or so and rediscover your inner child.

As the Var climate is generally exceptional at the end of the year, we were able to enjoy a drink on the terrace in front of this spectacle. The Var is a magnificent department, exceptionally rich in walks, visits, heritage etc… and above all exceptional for its climate.

Casino de Sanary to end the day

We didn’t want to break the festive spirit, so we headed for the Casino de Sanary…to prolong our desire to feast and have fun.
I discovered this casino that I hadn’t seen before.

The casino features a gaming room with 150 slot machines, traditional gaming tables, electronic blackjack and English roulette.
Everything was in place for joy, happiness and maybe even luck……

We then returned to our guesthouse and gîte, Une Pause en Provence, where from our terrace we could look out over the illuminated village of Le Beausset, with the illuminated Chapelle du Beausset Vieux towering over us on its hillside opposite.

Long live the Var! Summer or winter…😉