Toulon is in fact a hidden gem and a port of call that is now beginning to flourish within the world of cruising. Originally better known as a naval base, the illustrious destination of Toulon now provides a wonderful experience of one of France’s finest. This fabulous port is often placed in the shade by more renowned ports of call along the Mediterranean, however, there is so much to see and do. With its unexpected charm and cobbled streets that are free from untroubled crowds, Toulon is a delightful town waiting to be discovered.
There is plenty to see and do here in Toulon, with the main attraction upon arrival often being that of the maritime and art museums. The National Naval Museum is a fitting tribute to the Mediterranean maritime traditions, with naval exhibits from the past and present. You needn’t step far from the harbour to see the Toulon’s rich naval ties, with the comings and goings of French warships that head to and from port. Alternatively, head for the famous La Marche to sample French specialities including floral arrangements as well as fresh fruit and vegetable creations. The harbour itself is another exquisite place to relax and enjoy the captivating scenery. Restaurants and bars are available here to just sit and relax the day away or you may prefer to head further afield towards Mont Faron. Towering 584 metres above Toulon, Mont Faron, is well worth a visit thanks to its picture perfect views. To get to Mont Faron, you’ll need to take the red cable car from Boulevard Amiral Vence, reaching the summit of Mont Faron within 6 minutes.
Anyone looking to relax in the sunshine will love the range of desirable beach scenes here. The French Riviera resorts are just a short drive away and many cruise operators will provide a shuttle service to take you there. Spend the day enjoying the sun drenched coastline for romantic tranquillity or family fun.
Don’t miss the amazing sights of Aix-en-Provence often known as the “city of a thousand fountains”, or opt to head for the quaint fishing villages to explore such as Le Castellet and Sanary-sur-Mer. A sunny little village perched above vineyards, Le Castellet is sure to enchant, as will the 16th centuty port town of Sanary-sur-Mer with its colourful facades and shaded walkways. Another main attraction when in Toulon is the opportunity to spend the day indulging the palate with the taste of fine wine samples. So when in Castellet, be sure to head to the beautiful Provençal bastide, Domaine de Souviou, with its 32 hectares of vineyards that produce fine wine as its 2,500 olive trees produce a rare olive oil.
Head further afield and along the coastline to the charming allure of the waterfront St Tropez. It's easily one of the most recognisable names on the French Riviera, and its name alone conjures up images of beautiful yacht that line the bay and has long been a destination for the rich and famous. Old pastel houses along the waterfront and neighbouring streets have been converted into café, boutiques and antique shops that you can browse at your own leisure.