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French Riviera - Côte d'Azur

Sanary Sur Mer

After checking in to the hotel in Grasse, the leading perfume production, we wanted to swim. The receptionist suggested going to the beach in Mandelieu-la-Napoule. The beach in this area is narrow, but the waters are clear and turquoise blue.

At that evening we also visited the local supermarket Casino in order to buy local delicatessen for dinner. We had different cheeses, olives, charcuterie and fruits. This was delicious dinner on the hotel balcony with the view over the valley.

Next day we mainly explored Cannes. At first we went to the beach. After that the walk on the Croisette - the promenade of Cannes was good. The expensive hotels at the promenade have their own beaches. Parking in Cannes is easy, our choice was parking house in the centre. It feels safe and also the car is later cool inside. There is a restaurant street in the town. But it seems that it is more widely exploited for dinners. At lunch time only one cozy restaurant was open and it was full. There are lots of restaurants in Cannes and they serve local delicatessen like oysters, patès, foie gras and crème brule.

We also visited St.Tropez that day. St.Tropez is an international tourist Mecca on the Mediterranean coast between Hyeres and Sainte Maxime. It was fantastic to walk in the harbor and relax. I have read that “People watching” is a favorite sport here in the summer. Visitors like to sit at the outdoor cafés. We visited also the Tourist Info in St.Tropez in order to get help with the accommodation. As it was Saturday evening and 7PM nothing suitable for us was available. Tourist Infos have and give information only on surrounded areas. As we were in St.Tropez, they only had the info about St.Tropez hotels.
Cannes Beach
We turned to Lonely Planet guide again and called to the different places nearby. It should be noted, that it helps if you start the conversation with “Bonjour!” We found a nice Hotel do Soleil in Hyeres. Lonely Planet’s description “Ivy-clad place at the top of the very steep rue du Rampart, is Medieval Hyeres’ loveliest hotel” - is very precise.

When you are in medieval Hyeres, it is worth to go to Place Massillon, which is like a big terrace with cafes on that. There was also live music in addition to excellent food.

We thought we were smart this time and did not buy the breakfast in the hotel for 6EUR as it seemed there are several cafes nearby. But ... they were not open when we wanted to hit the road in the morning. So, our lesson was that it is still worth to have a breakfast in the hotel ...

Another strange thing about French hotels - usually there is no air conditioning in the rooms (at least in most we used). When you enter the room, it seems that there is not possible to sleep in that temperature. But then you open the hatchways and it clears and usually you woke up in the morning as very well slept.

Next day before lunchtime, we visited also beach and market in Sanary-Sur-Mer. The true “wow” of the day was Sunday market. It was so full of delicious smells and we really ate with our eyes! We also bought very good pate from one farmer, fresh bread from the baker and also some fruits. We had a romantic lunch with all of that at the stones on the beach. But the destinations of the day were Provencal mountain villages.