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i decided to make the most out of summer by heading down to the south of france to visit saint-tropez, cannes, nice and monaco- i have heard of these cities so often, but really have no idea what they have to offer. as usual, my boyfriend with his Amazing (and Relentless!) research skills organised a great itinerary, ensuring we traveled in one logical direction instead of having to fly in/out from the same airport. me? not so logical. the first time i mapped our itinerary for florence it was in a zig-zag fashion across the city, thinking that the app i used would figure it all out for me. quite the robert langdon in dan brown’s inferno ha ha.

given that saint-tropez is quite difficult to get to, even in high season, we picked the easier option- which was to fly into toulon–hyères airport, and make our way east to saint-tropez. when i say difficult, i mean for us mere mortals who don’t own a helicopter/super yacht- both of which definitely make it much easier! apparently road traffic comes to a standstill when travelling to saint-tropez in high season….which i don’t find hard to believe at all.

i wanted a truly relaxing holiday, as almost all our previous holidays involved ticking off sights on a checklist- so we flew into toulon–hyères airport and slowly inched our way to the beautiful, unassuming town of le lavandou where we stayed the night. actually i lie…we were running around like headless chickens trying to find a bus stop. oh the Fun of it all, but at least now we can look back and laugh lol.

le lavandou has all the sights and feel of a small town, but with plenty to offer if you look hard enough. we spent the afternoon wandering along a picturesque trail to saint-clair beach (plage de saint-clair)- located about 15 mins from the village center.

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having spent a lazy afternoon laying on the beach, not doing anything other than reading and breathing, we ambled back towards the village center- where we passed countless marinas in which sat yachts and boats of different sizes, and experienced the quiet of the village before people started streaming in. my boyfriend could not stop marvelling at how Clear the waters of the mediterranean sea were, even at the marina…and then he would not stop trying to spot fish :/

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copyIMG_7806the village slowly came to life, first with restaurants starting up dinner service, and then later in the night, when tummies had been filled and sufficient wine consumed, people strolled around the quaint little town- enjoying an after-dinner ice cream, going on the ferris wheel and some were even enjoying a game or two of bocce.

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i could not have asked for a better start to the trip….but it almost came apart in saint-tropez (which will be my next post). i’ll say it here first- i blame it all on the HEAT!

tips for getting to le lavandou:

– take bus #63 or #102 from the toulon–hyères airport to hyeres town centre (10mins). the bus stop is located on the right, just outside the airport terminal

– once in hyeres, alight the bus and walk a short distance to rue soldat bellion to take bus #7801 (which also heads to saint-tropez -1.5 hours)- it makes 5 different stops in le lavandou

– make sure you get to the front of the queue to board the bus, because once it’s full…it’s full, and you may have to wait another 2 hours for the next bus

– note that the bus timetable changes depending on the time of year (and even day), so please check www.varlib.fr to find a time that fits into your travel plans

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