La Villa en Rose
Great things to do near La Villa en Rose
Explore the countryside
Whether you prefer to be on foot or on two wheels, there are plenty of opportunities for walking and cycling in the area, whether it is the woodland (Foret) immediately around Bagnols, the dramatic Gorges du Pennafort (23km) or the rocky massifs along the coast - the Massif des Maures to the west of Fréjus and the Massif de l'Esterel to the east.

This hilltop village is a delight to stroll around, its narrow cobbled streets snaking away from the main square, where the market is held every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. If you're feeling energetic, you can climb right to the top of the village for an outstanding view from the ruined chateau. Reward yourself afterwards with a refreshing ice-cream or lunch in one of the various restaurants dotted around the village.

St Raphaël
Wander its authentic narrow streets and take in the atmostphere of the old port, overlooked by the distinctive domes and pink sandstone of the basilica. If you go early you can see all the activity of the fish market. Stop for lunch, perhaps the typical Provencal fish stew 'bouillabaisse'. Then stroll through the Bonaparte garden where, in summer, night markets are held.

Parc Zoologique de Fréjus
Built in 1971, this Zoological Parc stretches over a vast 20 hectares, which can visited either by foot or in the car. It boasts over 110 different species of mammals, reptiles and birds, and is a fantastically entertaining and educational day out for all the family.

Experience the local market
A small market is held in Bagnols on Wednesday (fish) and Saturday (meat), and larger markets take place in Fayence and Le Muy. It's always a great place to get tasty lunch ingredients, to brush up on your French and to mix with the locals.

Day at the lake
Have some fun on the water by heading to Lac St Cassien (25km) where boats, canoes and pedalo hire are available. There are little lake beaches from which to swim, and café-restaurants for lunch and refreshments. Fishing permits are available too.

Head down to Saint Raphaël for a choice of beaches, some sandy and some pebbly. Some are perfect for families, sheltered and supervised by lifeguards, but there are also some smaller coves which are more natural and less busy.

Take a cookery class
Book yourself on a course at the Institut Gastronomie Riviera in Seillans, and learn about French cuisine from a pro.

What a view!
If you have a head for heights, drive up the winding hairpin road from Fayence to the 'perched village' of Mons, set high in the hills, giving it the most breathtaking views down to the Mediterranean Sea.

The Perfume capital
Grasse is internationally renowned for its perfume production, and offers ample opportunity to sample and buy perfumes and a wide variety of fragranced goods as well as discovering the origins of perfume making at the Fragonard, Molinard or Galimard perfume factories or at the fascinating Musée International de la Parfumerie.

Horse riding
Horse trekking and pony rides are offered at nearby Saint-Paul-en-Forêt, for a different way to enjoy this peaceful wooded landscape.

Keen golfers...
will be pleased to discover it is only 17km from the Golf de Saint Endréol near La Motte. The 18 hole course is open to players with a handicap lower or equal to 30, and it offers splendid views over the river Endre and to the red rock of the Rocher de Roquebrune. There are also two 9-hole golf courses at Terre Blanche, in Tourrettes (15km).

Water sports
Canoeing and kayaking are possible on the river Argens which flows just to the south of Le Muy. Also near Le Muy, the Exo 83 water sports centre on lake Rabinon offers waterskiing as well as the modern sports of wake boarding or 'wake skating'. Whilst down on the coast, sea kayaking can be tried at St Raphaël.

Pamper yourself...
As well as the golf course, Les Domaines de Saint Endréol complex also has a spa centre offering facilities including a counter-current swimming pool and hydro-jet massage waterbeds, Turkish bath, saunas featuring aromatherapy, and outdoor relaxation areas. Or visitors can indulge in a massage or other treatment for an ultimate pampering experience.

The adventurous among you may like to try gliding at the nearby Aérodrome just south of Fayence - a unique way to enjoy the mountain and sea views of the Cote d'Azur.

Art and crafts
There are a number of little galleries and studio workshops (ateliers) in and around picturesque Seillans, a hilltop village about 17km away which is included in the official list of 'most beautiful villages in France'.

If you have brought bikes with you
there is a BMX/mountain bike park next to the Aérodrome in Fayence. Road cyclists can find some interesting (read challenging!) routes around the surrounding hilltop villages. Bicycles can be hired from nearby Montauroux.

St Cézaire Caves
The tour of Les Grottes de St Cézaire (30km) takes you down through caverns with features including draperies, stalactites and stalagmites, many with a lovely rose color, eventually reaching the Gouffre Béant at the bottom where a underground river flows past.

Mediterranean gardens
Visit the Domaine du Rayol on the Corniche des Maures coastline (approx 1h30 journey time) - a beautiful site of plants and flowers from all over the world that flourish in this mild and soft climate. Perhaps combine with lunch and some relaxation in the seaside town of Rayol-Canadel or neighbouring Cavalaire-sur-Mer.

The Verdon Gorge
This spectacular gorge, 25km long and 700 metres deep, was formed by the Verdon river whose mineral deposits turn it a startling turquoise. About an hour a half's drive from the property, allow a full day to drive around the hairpin bends above the canyon, and to visit the Lac de Ste Croix at the start of the gorge. Access to the lakeside is easy, with beaches and picnic spots to stop at. You can go walking or climbing in the National Park, and also go canoeing and sailing on the lake - from Bauduen at the southern tip or from Ste-Croix-de-Verdon along the northwestern shore.

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