Arts and crafts
There are a number of galleries and studio workshops (ateliers) in and around the nearby villages of Salernes and Seillans. Make a day of it and create your own unofficial ‘art trail’.
in the woods above the house, or in the dramatic scenery of the nearby Pennafort Gorge.
Day at the lake
Have some fun on the water by heading to Lac St Cassien 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.
Experience the local market
A local market is held in Callas on Saturday and Tuesday mornings, with larger markets in Fayence, Draguignan 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.
Perfume in Grasse
It is approximately one hour's drive to the Grasse, known as the Perfume Capital. You can visit the perfumeries and the perfume museum to learn all about this specialist industry which continues to this day in the area, albeit with some different techniques. Also in Grasse, you can visit the gardens of the Viscount of Noailles, browse numerous boutiques and art galleries, and taste all the different flavours of their speciality sweets.
Head north to the Lac de Ste Croix,
which is at the start of the Gorges du Verdon. The lake is truly beautiful - a shimmery greeny-blue colour. Access to the lakeside is easy, and you will find beaches and picnic spots. You can also go canoeing and sailing on the lake - head for the village of Bauduen at the southern tip of the lake, and the village of Ste-Croix-de-Verdon along the northwestern shore to find the companies that offer these services.
Head south to the coast
and take the boat across from Giens Peninsula to the Ile de Porquerolles. A National Park, it boasts white sandy beaches and crystal clear waters, and you will find no cars on the island!
Go celebrity spotting
and enjoy the high life in St Tropez (approx an hour's drive). But be aware that there are often queues of traffic either trying to get into St Tropez or trying to leave!
Domaine du Rayol
Visit the Domaine du Rayol in le Rayol Canadel along the Corniche des Maures - a beautiful site of plants and flowers from all over the world that flourish in this mild and soft climate.
Tour the famous towns of the Cote d'Azur
Antibes, Cannes, Juan-les-Pins & Nice are all in easy reach and connected by the busy coast road or A8 autoroute. Go a little further and drop into the principality of Monaco.
One of the wonders of Provence
The Grand Canyon du Verdon is one of the wonders of Provence. For many years it was inaccessible but there is now a road that goes right the way around the canyon, offering fantastic views. It takes all day and there are some hairpin turns and narrow parts but it is well worth it to see this gorge in all its glory!
The village at the western gateway to the Grand Canyon clings to the hillside, a jumble of stone houses with terracotta tiled roofs. It is famous for its 'faience' studios - the Provençal glazed ceramics. There are many places to buy the pottery as well as a museum of its history in the village.
If you want to go to the beach, try the pretty small coves along the Corniche des Maures (between le Lavandou and la Croix Valmer), the spectacular coastal road. There are a number of little villages and towns dotted along the coastline with small white sandy beaches, and beachside cafes and restaurants. Have a seafood lunch or 'moules et frites' at one of the beach cafes, with the sand under your feet and the sound of the waves in the background.
Massif des Maures
The countryside inland from the coast is called the Massif des Maures where the hills are thickly covered with cork oaks, chestnut trees and umbrella pines. The D14 from Pierrefeu du Var leads to Collobrières, a village in the heart of the Massif. On the way, you will pass La Marchande, a forest centre with arboretum, nature trails, outdoor activities for children, and picnic areas. In Collobrières you will find the Confiserie Azuréenne where they make sugared chestnuts or 'marrons glacés'.
Take the pile of novels that you have always been meaning to read with you to Mas des Issarts and spend the week working your way through them.
Visit the basilica at Ste Maximin-la-Ste-Baume
This huge Gothic building can be seen from a distance, dominating the town. Impressive from afar, the scale of the building, with its 95ft high nave cecomes even more amazing the closer you get. Guided visits are available and many concerts take place throughout the summer in this great setting.
Abbaye du Thoronet
Nestling in a wooded valley near Carcès is the Abbaye du Thoronet, a beautiful 12th century Cistercian abbey. Join a guided tour around the building and museum to discover its history.
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