Le Diamant Noir at Aups in the Haut Var, is ideally situated for exploring both the hinterland and coastal region of the Var.
This is a perfect time of year to explore the region-nature is wakening up to the warmth of spring, the vines are showing signs of life, fruit trees are just in blossom and a selection ofwild flowers are to be seen along the route amongst the flowering rosemery. Various shades of green mark the new growth on trees and shrubs, creating a certain freshness to the landscape, welcoming the early tourists to the region.
Our route took us southward via Lorgues and Vidauban and on to La Garde Freinet, just in time to take a stroll through this pretty village and to enjoy a café crème in the sushine.
Then a short drive further we stopped in Grimaud.
A walk through quaint streets took us to the ramparts and old castle area, with lovely views over the roofscape to the distant sea.
After a pleasant stroll, we stopped for an al fresco lunch, provençal salads of croustillant de chèvre chaud , washed down with chilled, pale, locally produced rosé.
Then on to Saint Tropez. On such a beautiful day the artists had taken up their positions around the harbour, and several tourists were around to take advantage of the weather and the scene, bathed in the light, which has made this harbour the subject of many paintings over the years.
The unassuming fishing village changed forever when Brigitte Bardot came to film ” And God created Woman” in the late 1950s and it was soon to become and still is, a magnet for sun-worshipping, party loving, celebrities and their followers.
(Brigitte Bardot’s Saint Tropez)
After some window-shopping we headed for the Place des Lices and had a welcome drink, as we listened to the clinking of the men playing boules.
We called in at Port Grimaud, a development which was built in several phases around river marshes, providing luxury accommodation with private berths, accessed by waterways, often called the “Venice” of Provence. Restaurants, cafes and shops welcome both residents and visitors. The best way to discover the port is by boat . A ferry service through the waterways is available and there are small boats for hire.
We then headed inland once more to our peaceful haven- a world away from the glitz of the coast, but at the same time close enough to partake of the glamour from time to time.
See interactive map below to follow our route