Bormes-les-Mimosas is a few kilometres inland from the Cote d'Azur, about halfway between Toulon and Saint-Tropez. The romantic sounding 'les Mimosas' part of the name was added in 1968, to celebrate the fact that there are so many flowers, trees and bushes in the town - in particular mimosas of course - and to promote tourism.
The village of Bormes is best thought of as having two parts - a medieval village and a sea-facing harbour and beaches (Le Lavandou).
The historic village is on a steep hill, with a castle at the top and a myriad of narrow streets winding down the hill below and occasionally opening into small open squares, lined with pretty house, lots of flowers, and boutiques and posh shops.
There are two noteworthy religious monuments in Bormes-les-Mimosas: the Church of Saint-Trophyme (18th century, but gives a good impression of a much older church) and the Chapel of Saint-Francois-de-Paule (built in the 16th century in tribute to Saint Francois-de-Paule, who a century earlier had saved the village from the 'black death').
The tourist office has information on the highlights in the village, including especially the flowers and gardens and the fountains - there are at least 12 fountains in the village - see how many you can find!
The ruins of the 12th century castle (not open to the public) are at the highest point of the village and reached by a pretty plant surrounded path and has lovely views across the Mediterranean to the Iles d'Hyeres. There is a path that continues further up the hill behind the castle, leading after about 45 minutes to a small 13th century chapel, and more panoramic views.
The Museum of Art and History in Bormes (Rue Carnot) is also recommended. the building housing the museum is itself very impressive, and the art collection it contains is also very interesting (mostly 19th and 20th century artists working in the region just as 'modern art' started to develop around the beginning of the 20th century).
The adjacent town of Le Lavandou, to the south-east, is the sea-facing region of the town, and has a pleasant harbour to explore.
There are several stunning and exclusive beaches near Bormes including the sandy beaches at Faviere, Meynial, Cabasson, l'Estagnol and Pellegrin, and other smaller beaches hidden between the rocky coves and inlets. It is also at Cabasson that the Fort de Bregancon, summer residence for French presidents, is found on a small island peninsula.
A popular way to enjoy the scenery of the region is to follow the Route-du-Mimosa, a 115km trip that starts from Bormes-les-Mimosas and follows a picturesque driving route north-east along the coast via Le-Rayol-Canadel, Sainte-Maxime, Saint-Raphael, and on to Tanneron, Pegomas and eventually Grasse.
The trip is best made in late January or February to see the mimosas in flower.
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Bormes-les-Mimosas is classified as a village in bloom (ville fleurie) 4*
Address: Bormes-les-Mimosas, Collobrières, Toulon, Var, Provence, 83230, France || GPS: latitude 43.152, longitude 6.3438
Regular market(s) are held in Bormes-les-Mimosas each Wednesday & Saturday. (Markets are held in the morning unless stated.)
The French version of this page is at Bormes-les-Mimosas (Francais)