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TOULON / LA SEYNE-SUR-MER
AT THE HEART OF PROVENCE, BORDERING THE FRENCH RIVIERA
Toulon and La Seyne, major cities of the South of France's beautiful VAR region, can offer a large and wide variety of shore-excursions: in brand name places such as St-Tropez, Aix en Provence or in the secret Provence including future best-sellers excursions such as Sanary, Le Castellet, Bormes-les-mimosas, etc
The maritime city of Toulon nestles in Europe's largest and most beautiful bay, bordered by high wooded hills topped with ancient forts: an unusual but idyllic marriage of sea and mountain. Although the city has been a powerful military port for centuries, its bay offers much more than the naval base. The adjacent coast alternates pretty creeks shaded by umbrella pines, high ochre-red cliffs, little fjords or "calanques" sparkling with translucent turquoise waters, golden sandy beaches and picturesque fishing harbours. Mount Faron's breathtaking summit mingles sunlit white cliffs, rocky terraces, sweet-smelling underwoods and Mediterranean forests - accompanied by a symphony of cicada song!It is accessible by cable car (the only one of the Mediterranean coast) or road.
A UNIQUE CITY-CENTRE LOCATION
From the ship to the city-centre, passengers and crew are only a few steps away. They can easily reach the promenade along the marina with its many restaurants and cafes, a main shopping-mall (100 boutiques), the old medieval quarter and its picturesque Provencal street market (the biggest one in Provence), it's a feast of colour and fragrance, alive with the sunny Mediterranean accent of the stallholders. You will find several fountains, shady' squares, chic quarter from Baron Haussmann including the impressive Opera, museums and monuments.
Set against a magnificent wooded backdrop, this endearing town, home to a rich industrial maritime history, overlooks the bay and city of Toulon on one side and the open Mediterranean Sea on the other. The Corniche de Tamaris coast road offers stunning views over the Bay of Toulon, including the naval base and warships. Tamaris is a little seaside resort born in the 19th century out of the mad dream of a Pasha... with an exuberant, picturesque and exotic architecture.
The beauty of the Sablettes isthmus, which closes the Bay of Toulon and forms the peninsula of Saint-Mandrier-sur-Mer, naturally made this site the venue for an attractive and well-to-do seaside resort in the late 19th century, featuring a Grand Hotel and Casino and lined with a long, pretty sandy beach, and home to the attractive Parc Fernad Braudel gardens.
In La Seyne-sur-Mer, the city center with its typical provencal market and beautiful church is within a 20 minutes walking distance from the ship. Passengers and crew can reach Toulon downtown either by a public or a private service (both available) by the sea.
See avid cruiser's article : http://www.avidcruiser.com/2011/09/14/in-my-viewfinder-var-provences-toulon-la-seyne-sur-mer-france/