A Guide to: Carqueiranne

Carqueiranne Sea Side Resort

Carqueiranne is an area in the Var department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region in south eastern France. The area is famed as a popular tourist seaside resort with good windsurfing nearby at the Almanarre Beach. As a seaside destination, there is a central marina and the resort features the most breathtaking mountain backdrop. There are activities to do and the area is well located and close to other resorts in the Var department. It is a little Provençal sea port in Golfe de Giens 13km from Toulon and 6km from Hyères. Carqueiranne is, in contrast to the neighbouring town Hyères, a fairly modest holiday town with a small harbour and well known for its water sports facilities and a great array of other activities. 

To the west of the Carqueiranne area, taking the narrow road along the Mediterranean coastline, you reach Toulon Bay, known as “Europe’s finest bay”. You will also very soon discover Toulon’s military port and France’s largest naval base. Here you will be able to visit the city’s maritime history at the Musée National de la Marine. 

We highly recommended the best way to enjoy this area by taking on a guided boat tour. Apart from the interest value, there is nothing quite like the pleasure of the sea breeze, salty air and the sunshine which you take in the incredible coastline vista.

The area around Toulon played a major part in the French Revolution. A large and busy city, Toulon has a large marina, and features an interesting historic centre near the port, with a pedestrian area, narrow streets, small squares and many fountains. Here you find plenty of good shops and restaurants plus some hidden architectural treasures. 

Travelling east, along the beautiful coastline adorned with pine trees and cactus, you will arrive at Almanarre beach. This is the most southern point of Provence, a world renowned windsurfing spot. The beach is nearly 5km long and runs parallel to the Route du Sel (Salt Road), that runs along the western part of the double tombolo. (This is a unique geological formation with a strip of land is formed between an island and the mainland). The area is well worth a visit if you are staying in or near the resort of Carqueiranne. The Almanarre is protected and the shallow waters are perfect for children to enjoy safe swimming. The area is also an ideal haven in the winter when it is less crowded and you can enjoy the pleasure of long walks along the beach with the warm winter sun. 

Going further east you arrive on the Giens Peninsula, with its wonderful pine trees and little harbours at La Madrague and Le Neil. You will have no shortage of things to do here. There is an excellent choice of water sports, from sailing, diving, windsurfing and much more. This is a truly beautiful and relatively unspoilt area. From here you will see all of the famous l’îles de Porquerolles, Port Cros and l’île du Levant. They have been called “the Golden Isles” since the Renaissance period. This is due to the combination of the sun and the sea granting them some of the mildest climates in France.They experience less than one day of frost per year, and enjoy lush and green vegetation. We would strongly recommend taking the boat across to the islands, taking a picnic and exploring the scents of the Eucalyptus trees, the Parasol Pines and the feeling of the fine white sand beneath your feet. The scenery is magnificent. But don’t forget to take the snorkel!

The resort of Carqueiranne extends some 7km of fine sand beaches and hidden coves, and is well known as a sports and seaside resort. Water sports, tennis, golf, horse riding, cycling and hiking are all popular activities among guests to the region. There are also a number of ski resorts within easy driving distance.

When it comes to watersports in Carqueiranne, there are a great number of ways to enjoy the sea and everything it can offer. This is the perfect resort for this, with diving, surfing, waterskiing and windsurfing all among the popular water sports in the resort. The Base Nautique Municipale offers marine and sailing paddle and kayak courses. At Kite Surfing Passion, you can also learn kite surfing. In the centre of Port Les Salettes you can hire a day boat. This is most certainly the best place to go to if you are looking to make the most of the water sports activities on offer.

From Carqueiranne you can take many tourist trips. L’église Ste. Madeleine, The Fort of Bayarde, Le Parc St. Vincent, Les Pins Penchés and its port Port de Plaisance are all worth a visit.

L’église Ste. Madeleine was built between 1845 and 1846. It has a beautiful facade of dressed stone with the entrance gate topped with a rose. Two chapels surround the choir. A wrought iron campanile surmounts the bell tower and a fountain backs onto the outside. Today, concerts are occasionally given in the church. The chapel was located beside the sea at Beau Rivage and it is surrounded by pines: a prominent part of the local history and a must-see landmark for anyone who planning to visit the area. 

The Fort of Bayarde is located on the heights of the Massif de la Colle Noire and it was built in 1896 around a rocky outcrop at 145m altitude. Its northern part consisted of the guardhouse and the living places for twenty men who constituted the garrison. In the south, three batteries were pointed towards the sea, each armed with a mortar. The mission was to prevent the potential adversary from anchoraging in the area where it could could threaten and attack the port or city of Toulon. From the heights of the Bayarde there are stunning views over the Bay of Toulon. Though closed for much of the year, it welcomes visitors during the first half of August, the Theatre Festival.

Le Parc St. Vincent is a beautiful area located near to the sea. The origin of its name comes from the nearby Saint Vincent chapel (built in the Middle Ages), which was located by the sea (Beau Rivage today). The name will then be attached to the field of “Château Saint-Vincent” made in the nineteenth century buildings and large areas of farmland. The “Castle of St. Vincent” was demolished in March 1944 (to be rebuilt in 1948). Today, the park St Vincent offers a variety of activities and public park facilities, including: tennis courts, crèche, day nursery, community centre and an outdoor theatre. There are some beautiful gardens where you can see olive trees, fig trees, magnolias, palms, banana trees and bougainvillea in abundance.

Les Pins Penchés is an area east of the Port of Salettes. It is a well known area and many are the artists that have described the charms of this pine forest. They include Stany Sassy, Paulin Bertrand, Louis Gaidan, Courdouan Vincent, Jean-Louis Carle. The popularity of the Leaning Pines will even be shown on the images offered in tablets of a famous chocolate brand. The site of the Leaning Pines dates back to the 27th July 1938 and they remain to this day.

Port de Plaisance is central to the area and here you will find a good choice of bars and restaurants overlooking the marina. This is a great place to stop and relax for lunch during your tourist day out. The entire area has a low-key but friendly feel. It is also a unique area with its southern microclimate, and the region has for centuries been home to horticulture. There are green houses and flowers everywhere and the area is well known for its tulips and is an important growing area for tulips.

If you fancy moving about whilst in the area, you should pop over to Hyères. Hyères has become well known in recent times as being a stop-over for the Round the World Sailing Cup. It is a bustling town and very different from the coastal resorts. There is so much to see and do here, and plenty to keep you occupied with its depth of history and landmarks. La Place Massillon is a large, open square with a 12th-century Tower of Saint-Blaise. There are several good terrace cafè-restaurants and the town has a daily market, in addition to hops and market stalls that can be found around the square and side streets. The square was named after the Artist Jean-Baptiste Massillon who lived and died in Hyères in 1742.  

Leading from La Place Massillon are a warren of streets leading up the hillside. Allow yourself a good hour to explore the area and don’t forget the park! On one level there’s an observation table with a good view of the coast line below, a great photo opportunity. To the rear of the observation table is the medieval Porte Pensicola, taking up tiny streets of large cobble stones, stone walls and a blaze of flowers and shrubs. Colourful Provençal colours are reflected in the shutters and paintwork of the ancient houses and cottages in the old town. Many have been carefully restored and some with stone doors. If you are seeking true Provençal history of living, take a look here. 

The Vieille Ville school house is of interest as it is built in red brick, which is very rare here.

Returning to Carqueiranne, there are some excellent restaurants in the resort itself. La Table du Port serves traditional French dishes with a strong emphasis on offering gourmet cuisine. Just back from the Marina, their air-conditioned dining rooms and welcoming décor will promise to offer a very traditional dining experience. For something a little different. La Réserve enjoys a unique panorama of the sea and is open every day during high season. It also offers great value for money with prices for a set menu from €23, whilst being perched in a beautiful location overlooking the sea and the marinas – perfect! Also located adjacent to the marina on the beach is the Restaurant l’Aventure, a fish restaurant which offers an exceptional sea view. With a daily catch from the fishermen from Carqueiranne your menu may change daily upon what is in season and what was caught overnight. 

Just outside of Carqueiranne, Auberge Lou Petoulet is an authentic Provencal residence in the hills of Carqueiranne offering panoramic views over the Bay of Giens and Fourmigues islands. It has a rustic dining room and open terrace area, offering the perfect setting in which to enjoy the very finest gourmet cuisine. La Maison des Saveurs is another option, tucked in from the marina in the centre of the town. It offers food in a very open, tavern-like setting, serving a great variety of French dishes. You can be sure that no matter where you may be staying in the Carqueiranne area, there are no end of excellent restaurants offering some high-quality Provencal cuisine.

Carqueiranne: the tulip resort, with its relaxed style, is very popular with holidaymakers year in, year out. The area has some great historic landmarks and there is a never-ending choice of activities to enjoy for anyone staying in the area. The beauty of the area and its exceptional mild climate make Carqueiranne a resort of choice. Its coast also has a great array of small beaches and coves all ideal for relaxation.