For tourists and local residents alike, there's many an unsuspected pleasure to be found close by, from the sea to the summits of the Pre-Alps. Among bays, peninsulas and sun-drenched countryside, luxury hotels, beaches, golf courses and jaunts, we'll take you to some amazing places.

June 2014

Embiez and Bendor Islands:

  • Ricard's art and wine

Paul Ricard was the founding father of pastis, that quintessentially southern drink made from star anise, fennel and liquorice, but he was also an artist and art patron who bought these two islands off Bandol and Six-Fours-les-Plages in the 50s. On Bendor (photo), which has inspired many painters and sculptors, a museum shows the Ricard collection built up over many years by one of his grandsons. For shopaholics a visit to the Southern Creatives and Talents Village is a must. The wilder Embiez islands are a haven for ornithologists and anyone into unspoilt nature. Upholding the place's wine-growing tradition, the Ricard family has continued to cultivate the 10 hectares of vines that produce AOC Côtes de Provence and Vins de Pays du Var wines.