Although its name means wine to most of the world, Bandol is also a popular and highly developed seaside resort town. In the 1920s, the glamorous social life of the Riviera stretched this far west, and grand seaside mansions rivaled Cap d'Antibes and Juan-les-Pins for high society and literati. Today its old port is a massive gray parking lot and the Old Town that fronts the quays is lined with seafood snack shops, generic brasseries, and palm trees. Yet westward, toward the Baie de Renecros, are some of the Belle Époque houses that once made Bandol famous. In high season the harbor is filled with yachts, and the waterfront promenade is packed with summer tourist crowds. A portside stroll up the palm-lined Allée Jean Moulin feels downright Côte d'Azur. If you're not a beach lover, pick up an itinerary from the tourist office and visit a few Bandol vineyards just outside of town. After a stroll through Bandol itself, most visitors head to the outskirts to discover several sights around the town that are worth exploring.
- Photo: fullempty / Shutterstock
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