Bandol, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, France

Bandol is a French commune in the department of Var in the region Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur. On the Mediterranean coast, in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region, Bandol is located about 45 km east of Marseille and 15 km west of Toulon, the penultimate city west of the coast of Var before reaching the Bouches-du-Rhône department. It is also the largest marina between Marseille and Hyères (Bandol would be the 9 th French marina).

The Bandol wine region, located near the coast east of Marseille and Cassis, is one of Provence’s most internationally recognized wine regions. Built around the village of Bandol, west of Toulon, the Bandol AOC covers the production of 8 communes with silicon & limestone soils. Those soils and the warm, coastal climate are ideally suited for the late ripening Mourvèdre grape which is the major variety of the region. For both the red and rosé wines, Mourvèdre must account for at least 50% of the blend, though most producers will use significantly more, with Grenache & Cinsaut usually filling out the rest of the wine’s composition.

The export of local wines (in particular) via the port of Bandol gave its name to the AOC of Bandol wines, which are one of the reasons the reputation of the town. Seaside tourism (especially in the middle of the xx th century) is the other major reason for its reputation.

Bandol, a village bordering the Mediterranean, between Marseille and Toulon, disappeared at the end of Antiquity, following the barbarian invasions. The population flees to the interior villages, like La Cadière.

It was only at the beginning of modern times that Bandol reappeared: the Duke of Epernon, at the end of the wars of religion, built a fort there that Henry IV gave in 1596 as a fief to a brave soldier, Antoine Boyer. The latter was knighted soon after and his descendants, the Boyer family, created in 1715 a village with seven pioneer families. Thanks to the famous Bandol wines (known at the table of Louis XV), Bandol developed strongly and included 1,200 inhabitants in 1789. In 1790, the parish priest Jean-Baptiste Gardon was elected mayor with 88% of the votes (a unique fact in Provence). In 1793, opens in Bandol a federalist section which supports the revolt of Toulon. Its two managers, the priest Jonquier and the cooper Barthélémy, will then be guillotined.

The geographical situation and the high level of sunshine of Bandol allow a development of tourism, with an important seaside. Bandol is classified as a “ tourist commune ” and has other labels certifying the quality of its offer to visitors (such as the blue flag for its port).

Agriculture in Bandol is essentially geared towards the production of Bandol wine (AOC): in fact nowadays, this production resides in the territory which surrounds it, Bandol being historically the shipping port of the wines of its terroir. In the xix th century, following consecutive outbreaks of powdery mildew and then phylloxera, the vine gave way to the production of flowers and Bandol was renowned for his “immortal”. Agricultural land on the territory of the commune have gradually been conquered by the urbanization that accompanied the xx th century the seaside transformation of the city, and after episodes of frost (in particular 1929 and 1956) which damaged the culture of the immortal.

Bandol wines
Powerful red wines, velvety and fresh in taste Rosé with a fruity character, finely distinguished Severe, fine and full-bodied whites… Its wines make Bandol known on the largest gastronomic tables in the world. Composed of around fifty estates, the Bandol vineyard was one of the first to receive the AOC appellation in 1941.

It is possible, by following the Bandol Wine Route, to stop in one of the many areas and taste the famous red, rosé or white wines. Provided with an exceptional site facing due south, the vineyard receives 3000 hours of sunshine a year. Bandol was able, thanks to its quality terroir, to tame a difficult plant: the Mourvèdre. This grape variety produces high quality wines and has enabled Bandol wine growers to raise their production to the rank of the best vintages in France.

At the start of the 20th century, the port of Bandol had many fishermen, an important economic source for the city.
Today, the tradition continues thanks to the fishermen who sell in the early morning on the port next to the carousel and on the market place, their catch of the day and those who take you on their trawler to make you discover this Art.

Culture heritage

Places and monuments
Saint-François-de-Sales church and its organ.
War memorial
The Barry beach was the scene (June 1943) of the first attempts of the scuba by Jacques-Yves Cousteau, Philippe Tailliez and Frédéric Dumas. A commemorative plaque recalls the event.
The island of Bendor is accessible from the port of Bandol by regular shuttles. The development of the island began around 1950, thanks to the industrialist Paul Ricard. A curious exhibition of wines and spirits presents 8,000 bottles of wine, aperitifs and liqueurs from 52 countries, not to mention crystal glasses and decanters. The island is also hosting a retrospective exhibition of the pictorial work of Paul Ricard presenting around 150 canvases and drawings and a museum of advertising items from the brand of pastis Ricard.
The Belfry with its bell tower.
Bandol also has a bandstand built in 1933 by the architect Fleury Linossier.
The exotic garden and zoo of Sanary-Bandol is a park planted with cacti and tropical species. An arrowed path allows you to meet animals as exotic as plants: monkeys (marmosets, capuchin squirrels, gibbons), lemurs, coatis, fennecs, kinkajous and others more familiar (fallow deer, ponies, donkeys, etc.). The peacocks freely stare parrots and flamingos.
The Creators’ Garden
Statue of the improviser, bronze by Felix Charpentier from 1887.
Marble representing Hero and Leandre.
Marble Ball Fountain.
Building called Athéna Port residence, Label “Heritage of the 20th century”

Walks and hikes
The Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region represents 1,400,000 hectares of forest cover, or almost 44% of French territory, bringing together 3,600 plant species, of which 720 are protected.

Parks and Gardens

Canet Park
Wooded and classified space of approximately 25,000 m². The park crosses with two entrances: boulevard Georges Clémenceau and avenue Albert 1er. The passage on the sea side, opposite the Eden Roc beach, makes it an ideal place for walking: benches, baskets, dogs allowed on a leash, bag distributors, play area for children from 2 to 12 years old. A sports or fitness trail with around fifteen equipment is available.

Capelan Park
Wooded park located by the sea along the coast path, near the Bandol tennis club association, bowling green, children’s games, benches, baskets, dogs allowed, bag distributors at the entrance.

Vivien Going Games Area
Two children’s play areas: from 1 to 6 years old and from 7 to 12 years old, communicating with each other, with benches, baskets, relaxation area in the shade of tall pines.

Maurin Wood Park
Park located opposite the nursery school, large pine forest of approximately 3000 m2, children’s games from 4 years old, bowling green, picnic tables, benches, baskets. A closed canine space is attached to the park with bag dispenser and incorporated basket, water point and benches.

Bir Hakeim Park
Wooded area with large lawns located behind the casino beach and which joins the promenade on Avenue de la Liberation. Picnics prohibited, dogs allowed on a leash allowed, bag distributors in the park, benches, baskets.

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Square Haffner
Pine forest and Mediterranean vegetation, picnic tables, bowling green, benches. Bag distributors, dogs are allowed, permanently open, small parking lot.

Buffon Games Area
Two basketball courts, a multi-sports court, a tennis court, four boules courts. Play area for young children, baskets, benches.

Skate Park
Skate Park with several tracks, by the sea, behind the football stadium. Always open.

Located on the Provençal coast, by the Mediterranean Sea, Bandol is one of the oldest seaside resorts in the Var, but also one of the most popular. Côté Mer invites you to discover our resort through numerous activities: our beaches for idleness and full of energy in a privileged setting, nautical pleasures to soak up emotions, the unmissable Ile de Bendor, haven of peace, relaxation, culture…

The beaches
Grand Vallat beach, Casino beach to the south, Rènecros beach pleasantly nestled at the bottom of a famous cove…But you will not leave Bandol without tasting the voluptuous calm and the beauty of the multiple creeks that line the path of the ledge. Accessible as well by boat, these natural coves will allow you to combine the pleasure of a sea trip with that of a privileged swim.

Renecros Beach
Fine sandy beach, nestled in a cove sheltered from the prevailing winds. This exceptional location allows you to savor the sun even in winter. First aid station, showers, toilets, swimming pontoons, nearby parking, pedal boats, mattresses, parasols, snacks, restaurants.

Central Beach
This sandy beach is located in the center of Bandol. It is bordered by gardens which offer their refreshing shade. First aid station, showers, toilets and parking nearby, mattresses, parasols, beach restaurant, nautical club.

Grand Vallat Beach
Fine sand beach bearing the name of the small river which delimits Bandol de Sanary. This beach faces the old “Hôtel des Bains”, whose 1930s architecture can be admired with superb pergolas.

Casino Beach
Sandy beach with its volleyball court and shaded green spaces. Provision of hyppocampe and Tiralo armchairs (available at the aid station)

Barry Beach
Pebble and rocky cove. Cradle of autonomous scuba diving: it is on this double pebble beach that Cousteau, Taillez and Dumas perfected in 1943 the first autonomous diving suit which was to open the doors of the “World of Silence” to a large audience.

Eden Roc Beach
Pebble beach in a small cove surrounded by pine trees, below the Parc du Canet, remarkable for its rare species.

Fertilizer Beach
Pebbles and gravel make up this last cove of Bandol. The wild part of the coastal path begins here.

Capelan Beach
Pebble beach located in a large cove, crossed by a peninsula covered with wild and Mediterranean vegetation. It is the favorite place for lovers of the seabed and fishermen.

Madame Hole Beach
Very small cove of rocks. According to legend, the wife of the Lord of Bandol took baths there in a sort of basin dug by the sea, the low level of which also made it a very large fish pond.

The English Beach
Unguarded natural area of large pebbles and rocks with a superb view of the Rousse Island. Cultural beach, not part of the perimeter of certification of the quality of bathing water.

The port of Bandol
Located on the Mediterranean coast, between Marseille and Toulon and near the islands of Porquerolles and the creeks of Marseille, the port of Bandol is a privileged place for boaters. It is equipped with a fuel station and a careening area open all year round, and offers stations of 5 to 40 meters stopover, seasonal or year-round.

Festivals and events

The Vintage Festival
The Fête du Millésime traditionally takes place on the first Sunday of December. Along the port of Bandol, meet the wine estates in our partner restaurants & cellars. Discover excellent wines and become a true expert in food & wine pairings. Unlock the most beautiful secrets of exceptional wines. Throughout the event, estates, cellars and restaurants are the privileged places where the three colors of the AOC Bandol are honored. A meeting full of flavors with our winegrowers!

Tags: France