Village Cotignac Provence YlemagadureVillage Cotignac Provence Ylemagadure
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10 guided unusual visits in South region

The South is a region rich of History and thousand of years old legends, Patrimony and landscape of rare diversity. Forget the beaten tracks, discover the less known, the curious, the unexpected. The South will charm you, follow our guides. From Camarque to the French Riviera, from towns to villages, 10 ideas of interesting strolls proposed by our guides-conférenciers. Dare the unexpected.

In the footsteps of the first Christians in the Var Region

The Massif de la Sainte-Baume is flanked to the north by a « relic forest » which has been protected and venerated since the dawn of time. The Celts, the Greeks and the Romans imagined here a refuge for Godesses. Later on according to legend and tradition Marie Magdalene lived in th Ste-Baume’s cave. The Gothic Basilica of St. Maximin is dedicated to her. With the help of your guide you will be able to live the epoch of the great builders of this setting of stone, which has been shaped over the centuries by Kings, Queens, Artists and Pilgrims.

Contact

caroline.rocca@hotmail.fr

 

An artistic stroll in Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer

Get out your sketch books for an unusual day in the country of the Gardians. The statues of Mireille famous character of Frédéric Mistral, Crin blanc, and the bull Vovo, emblems of Camargue area, strike the pose and tell the story and the legends about Les Saintes-Maries-de-la-mer.  Your guide will help you to choose a motif, the centering and the tools. The visit continues with a bike ride to the lighthouse « la Gacholle » passing by the ponds and the sea in order to observe the main attraction…. The flamingos.

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Contact

ghislainepaillet@gmail.com

Troglodyte Accommodations in the  Haut-Var

To discover the caves of Cotignac and Villecroze, you have to leave behind the coastal Var Region. Since prehistoric ages these rocky ravines were developed by man, inhabited till the 19th century and some are still occupied nowadays. These accommodations are the witness of local History and geology. Little lanes and vaulted passages…..Your guide will accompany you to explore the two villages . Both of them are labeled: “Villages de caractère”.

Contact

camilledulong@hotmail.fr 06.70.81.26.65

Fontvieille

Historic tour of Barbegal

On foot, you will leave the windmills behind you, as your guide takes you back in time to the discovery of Fontvieille’s stone quarries and the ancient hydraulic milling complex, now called Barbegal. That ancient roman factory could produce 4.5 tons of flour per day, enough to feed all the contemporary Arlesians. This 2-hour bucolic and hydraulic itinary starts at the Daudet mill, and is accessible to all audiences.

Contact

itinerairesdarts@gmail.com 06.11.41.22.51

François-Joseph Fournier

The man who « fell in love » with Porquerolles

Many legends tell about the tumultuous history of the Island of Porquerolles which is the largest and most westerly of the three Golden Islands of Hyères. In the beginning of the 20th century, François-Joseph Fournier gave a unique brilliance to this epoch. The rich Belgian adventurer bought the Island in 1912 at a sale by adjudication. He devoted his life and fortune to the Island. He developed and protected Porquerolles. Your guide will lead you in the footsteps of François-Joseph Fournier.

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Contact 

tinevigneron@hotmail.fr 06.87.37.39.10

Gaspard de Besse

The provencal “Robin Hood”

In the heart of Provence is situated a small village called Besse-sur-Issole, the birthplace of Gaspard, a kindhearted bandit and highwayman of the 18th century, known all over Provence. Legend tells that he spared the life of the poor, robbed the rich strangers of their money but respected the ladies. The treasure hunters are still looking for his hoard hidden in a place we don’t know. With your guide you will follow his footsteps in the charming medieval village of  Besse-sur-Issole and its lake.

Contact

helene.muller8@gmail.com 06.87.14.93.17

The Landing in Provence during the Second World War

August 1944, the Allies reach the Mediterranean shores. Less known but not less critical than the  amphibious military manœuvres in Normandy the military operation known as “Anvil Dragoon” is a key episode of the Liberation of Europe, in which the idyllic beaches of the Var have played a major role. With your tour starting at Valmer Cross in Draguignan, with the help of your guide, go back in time :  live the adventures of soldiers, of the resistance fighters, and feel the joy of the civilians of Toulon and Marseille during these events.

Contact

The Russians’ footprint in Cannes

The Côte d’Azur, a resort and location of diplomatic interests… In the 19th century, the region was prized by the Russian aristocracy. Empress Maria Alexandrovna launched the trend of this place to be seen, staying a few months in Cannes. Throughout history, a Russian district has developed around Alexander III Boulevard and its Orthodox Church. Your guide is with you through this visit, reading  the shape of the city, recalling its characters, not to mention the letters, the arts, the sport and even movie scenes having taken place around you!

Contact

natacha@aragon.ro

 

« Pomponette and the Baker’s Wife »

At Le Castellet

Strolling through this beautiful medieval village to the rhythm of a well-known film. And what a movie!  « La Femme du boulager (the Baker’s Wife)» became a milestone of french comedy. During the visit, we point out all filming locations (the bakery, the castle, the village café, the school square and the church door). With your guide, learn more about the tense relationship between the artistic masters Giono (author) and Pagnol (film director), the break-up of which was caused by this one adaptation, and learn more of the life and work of the actors of this film, for instance the marvelous Raimu.

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Contact

info@provence-insolite.org

Marseilles St Pierre Cemetery:

The Keys to Paradise

Ideal stop on the road back to Marseilles, discover great personal histories behind unusual epitaphs and monumental tombs, may they be gorgeous, strange, modest, moving or even pathetic. Together we will recall exceptional people, with incredible or tragic fate, close to or completely sunken into oblivion. And it’s not because it’s a cemetery that a good level of humour can not be reached !

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Contact

info@provence-insolite.org

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