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Home > Excursions ideas > Natural Heritage

Natural Heritage

Var has a very rich natural heritage, to the delight of nature lovers. You will be seduced by the many massifs and hillsides wooded with pines and oaks, terraced olive groves and paths running through the vines.

Explore the Ile de Porquerolles [Porquerolles Island]

Explore the Ile de Porquerolles [Porquerolles Island]

Ile de Porquerolles [Porquerolles Island] is the largest of the Iles d’Or [Golden Islands]. Visitors to this protected site can enjoy wonderful walking and cycling trails, beautiful sandy beaches and superb views over the sparkling sea. The rich soil supports several vineyards, whose owners will be happy to share their passion for wine with you through tastings. Why not grab a bottle and find a spot for a nice picnic?

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Trip to Port Cros and the Iles d’Or [Golden Islands]

Trip to Port Cros and the Iles d’Or [Golden Islands]

L’ile de Port Cros, situated between Porquerolles and the Ile du Levant, is the smallest of the three Iles d'Or [Golden Islands]. The Port-Cros National Park was established in 1963 as the first national marine park in Europe. This protected area is home to a wide collection of both terrestrial and marine species that are characteristic of the western Mediterranean. Whether on land or in the sea, nature lovers will be delighted to discover the fauna and flora of this preserved corner of paradise.

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A paradise for Mediterranean plants on the Island of Porquerolles

A paradise for Mediterranean plants on the Island of Porquerolles

Our expert botanist specialising in Mediterranean plants will introduce you to the rich vegetation on this island of paradise, all of it set in a protected nature reserve, a unique site with diverse flora: forests of pine and heather, vineyards, strawberry trees and stone pines, to name just a few. Then you’ll have the chance to chat with our expert over a Provencal aperitif on an outdoor terrace or in another exceptional setting before dining in a charming restaurant where Provencal dishes are the speciality.

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Snorkelling around an island of paradise, Porquerolles

Snorkelling around an island of paradise, Porquerolles

In this protected nature reserve with diverse aquatic flora and fauna that make it truly exceptional, a guide specialised in the Mediterranean sea environment will snorkel alongside you, and describe the different varieties of species you will see. You’ll have the chance to chat with our expert and learn more about what you’ve just seen over a Provencal aperitif on an outdoor terrace or in another exceptional setting before dining in a charming restaurant where Provencal dishes are the speciality.

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Secret little coves, peaceful beaches and the islands of Bandol.

Secret little coves, peaceful beaches and the islands of Bandol.

Our licensed guide, a specialist on the region will take you along with him, solo or in pairs in canoes to discover the secret gardens along Bandol's coast. The coves here are filled with turquoise water, and they’re accessible only by boat. Provencal aperitif and dinner on an outdoor terrace or in another exceptional setting.

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The Grand Canyon of France: the Verdon gorge

The Grand Canyon of France: the Verdon gorge

The “Grand Canyon of France” is a magical place – a dream come true for anyone who loves nature and adventure. You’ll explore the Verdon gorge in kayaks with our expert kayak guide who also just happens to be a specialist on the region. He’ll show you breath-taking views and eagles’ nests perched atop the cliffs along the entire gorge. Provencal aperitif and dinner on an outdoor terrace or in another exceptional setting.

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Michel’s orchids

Michel’s orchids

Since 1886, the Vacherot family has been driven by a passion for tropical orchids. This tour leads you through the greenhouses where you will learn about the plant’s life cycle and how to grow this flower that can happen to be a little bit difficult. And innovation is an integral part of things here – the laboratory can create new varieties in vitro, and it works for the preservation of plant species that are threatened with extinction in their natural habitat!

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From the Middle Ages to the vineyards…

From the Middle Ages to the vineyards…

This tour will take you through the small streets of the medieval village of Parage, whose history lives in its rich architecture, the chapel, the tower and more. In the heart of the medieval city, chef Max Callegari welcomes you to his restaurant, the Logis du guetteur, for an unforgettable gastronomical meal rich with all the flavours of Provence. You may choose to combine this tour with an introduction and wine tasting at the Maison des vins de Provence, where an oenologist will reveal all the secrets of the wines in the Côtes de Provence appellation.

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Olive presses in Draguignan

Olive presses in Draguignan

Visit the village where they are wild for olives, and they will show you the village olive press that dates from the 17th century, in use until the freeze of 1956; it was renovated in 2008 and today you can see the presses, the millstone and the water wheel. Enjoy a tour and tasting at the Moulin de Callas where the Bérenguier family has been making extra-virgin olive oil for 4 generations, oil that wins prizes at the agricultural fair in Paris. Picnic in a picnic area or try a gastronomic lunch at the Hostellerie des gorges de Pennafort (1 Michelin star).

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Rayol Mediterranean Gardens

Rayol Mediterranean Gardens

A world of landscapes awaits all lovers of botany in this garden, which has been entirely redesigned by Gilles Clément. Explore landscapes and flora from across the globe, with Mediterranean climates (California, Chile, South Africa & Australia), other temperate or arid climates (Canaries, Asia, Argentina, New Zealand, Mexico). You may also browse the "Librairie du Jardinier" [Gardener’s Bookshop], specialising in botanical subjects, before stopping for a coffee and a pastry in the "Café des Jardiniers".

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Nature trips in Esterel

Nature trips in Esterel

From delicate orchids to hardy aromatic plants, from perfume to colour, the naturalist guide will astonish and enthuse you and free your spirit. It's a matter of a real encounter: take the time to reawaken your senses, breathe in the oxygen and enrich your being as you contemplate the natural heritage.

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Explore Esterel by mehari

Explore Esterel by mehari

Penetrate the Estérel National Forest at the wheel of a méhari to explore its mysteries. You will explore the magnificent Estérel massif and be given information on its fauna and flora, its legends and its history. An opportunity to try some local Var produce is also on the programme.

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Discover Esterel another way

Discover Esterel another way

National Forest Office guides will supply you with all the details concerning the fauna and how to recognize the various species of trees and plants. There will be initiation into interpreting a forest landscape, the history and management of the massif by the forest workers and some other themes presented. Two short walks are provided for anyone wanting them.

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