Out and About
There are many beautiful walks and trails in the area and it is possible to walk to several nearby
villages for lunch and relax for a while before heading home. If you have transport, a day walking
some of the coastal paths with spectacular views of the Mediterranean will be memorable, but
remember to take a bottle or two of water and a hat for protection from the sun. St Beaume is a
challenge for the fitter visitor. It is reputed to be where Mary Magdalene lived and prayed and is
on top of the Massif Maures between St Maximin and the coast. The climb to 1000 meters takes a
couple of hours but is well worth the effort with views across the Mediterranean and back to the
mountains of the Haut Var. Visit Provence Web
We are fortunate to have two riding stables near us where you can book in to go riding. They are
happy to take beginners and they exercise the horses in their own arena. They also go for walks
through the countryside near us. We can provide details on this if you are interested as it will be
necessary to book in the busier periods.
There are many water sport activities up in the gorges and on the lakes, from simply hiring a pedalo or canoe to rafting down the canyon for the more adventurous. The gorges are about an hour away from us, and for as little as 15 euro you can take a boat up through the entrance to the gorge and experience the vastness of it from the river. The lake is also safe for swimming in and we often take a picnic up there and have a swim to cool down.
We have a couple of bikes which you can borrow and there are plenty of lanes through the vines
which are not too hilly. Surprisingly the roads out in the countryside are pretty quiet and safe for
cycling, a sharp contrast from the coast which is only 35k away and rather hectic in the summer
months. As for walking, several villages are within reach for a salad and glass of wine (only one!)
over lunch before returning for a dip in the pool! Follow this with an aperitif before supper and
what more could you wish for!
Or "grape picking" takes place during September. Though much of the harvest is done by machine nowadays, there are many growers who stick with the traditional methods. Our neighbour at Domain de St Marc, who is is English, always welcomes people to share in the harvest process and duly rewards them with the"fruits" of their labour and his vines.
If you feel like a winter break we are only an hour and half from some good ski resorts which
have nursery slopes for the beginner. Its not St Moritz, but everyone using them seems to be
having great fun and the local folk from Cannes and Nice go up for the day. So for the beginner
or "casual" skier it can be just the place to visit whilst enjoying the other delights of Provence
in the winter with our crisp blue skies and sharp winter sun.
Paragliding ( below )
For the really adventurous you can paraglide up in the Gorges. You fly with a personal instructor and no previous experience is necessary, just a strong nerve! Our son Brian had a go and said it was an absolutely amazing experience.
For generations Provence has been a place where people have come to put paint on canvas.
The light here is second to none and the range of subjects limitless. From the great artists
such as Monet, Matisse and Picasso to the most recent arrivals, Provence holds an attraction
and inspiration which seems limitless. Every seaside port has a display of talent and they are
always a pleasure to visit, St Tropez being one of the most famous.