Surroundings & Activites
Cinq Cypres enjoys the best of all worlds. Take any direction and you can discover a different geography and ambiance, with activities or points of interest for every taste. Here are just a few:
- Beaches & port towns to the South: 30 minutes to an hour.
Choose between the secluded lesser- known public beaches such as Cabasson and L’Escalet, to the famous Pampelonne beaches near St. Tropez. For your convenience we have put a few choice beach resorts with phone numbers in the Welcome Book, so you can reserve your lounge chairs and parasols ahead of time. St. Clair beach has one of the best fresh fish restaurants (and a bouillabaisse to die for) two steps from the beach. Le Lavandou boasts 12 family-friendly beaches, and claims each has different colored sand. Toward Marseille there are beaches at Sanary-sur-Mer or Les Lecques, and a charming fishing village at Cassis, with its delicious fish restaurants and many shops. Here are the famous Calanques, stunning white cliffs that plunge into the sea, to be explored on foot or by boat. Finally: Venture off the Var coast and take a round trip boat ride to the Golden Isles of Porquerolles, Port Cros or Ile de Levant from Le Lavandou or the port of Hyeres. Port Cros is a National Park, where you can snorkel at the beaches, take a hike on the island, and reward yourself with a lunch by the water at the elegant hotel Le Manoir.
- Towns to the South: 30 – 40 minutes
Hyeres: with its medieval town and Templers tower, arched covered markets and Italianate flavor. Writer Edith Wharton renovated the villa Castel Ste. Claire, and wintered there many years. Have a seafood lunch at the port of Hyeres with a view of the yacht harbor, or dine in the colorful Place Massillon in the medieval town.
- Hill top towns on the coast & the Maure Forest:
You can be adventurous and take the serpentine D39 road through this magical forest to Notre Dame des Anges for stunning views. Visit Collobrieres, a unique village in the heart of the Maure forest, known for its cork industry, and for producing candied chestnuts. Continue down to Bormes-Les-Mimosa by way of the Col de Babaou, and enjoy this charming hillside village with its myriad of medieval streets and colorful gardens & shops. You will be a stone’s throw from the Corniche des Maures coast and beaches.
- The Gorges du Verdon & Lovely hill top towns to the North:
Towns such as Lorgues, Cotignac, Aups, & Les Arcs have relatively few tourists and yet are full of Provencal charm, with typical fountains and brightly painted pastel houses. Nearby is the exquisite Cistercian abbey Le Thoronet, where Gregorian chants and other concerts take advantage of the unique acoustics. Further north you can visit Moustiers-Ste. Marie, famous for its unique hand-painted “Moustiers” porcelaine, which you can admire and purchase, and then visit the musee de la faience to learn more. Take in the view from Notre Dame de Beauvoir where a gushing stream comes out of the rocks and traverses the town. For the more adventurous, there is hiking and rafting on the stunning Gorges du Verdon, or simply admire it from the road. Finally, Seillans is a particularly charming village in the Haut Var, and lunch at “Les Deux Rocs” at the outdoor fountain is worth the detour.
- Towns to the East: 20 – 40 minutes
Grimaud: Take the small and enchanting country road D75 from Cinq Cypres, with its cork oaks and pine trees to La Garde Freinet, and to the charming village Grimaud, with its winding streets, art galleries and ruins of the chateau at the top. Then visit some of the many wineries on the way to the hill top village of Gassin with its stunning views, and don’t miss Ramatuelle, built in a snail-like shape for defense against the invading Saracens. End up at the coastal towns of Ste. Maxime (for a colorful market) and St. Tropez, with its fancy shops & yachts. You can watch the real people playing petanque on the square, while sipping a glass of rose wine from a café. Further East visit Antibes, Cannes, Biot and Nice, all about 1.5 hours on the A8.
- Towns to the West: 45 minutes to 1.5 hours
Aix-en-Provence is a favorite Provencal town with its fountains, market, shaded boulevards and cafes, and Aubagne and Marseille are a half hour further. Marseille is undergoing a Renaissance, and the bustling, colorful port is the place to enjoy people watching and having a dinner of fresh fish and a bouillabaisse.
Every year there are international music and drama festivals in many towns. Information can be found at any tourist office in the area. Museums, culture and history can be found in towns such as Nice, Grasse, Aix-en-Provence, Marseille, Toulon & St. Tropez. Smaller villages boast their own festivals.