Hyères, located on the French Riviera in the Var department of southeastern France, is a picturesque city known for its stunning natural beauty, rich history, and vibrant cultural scene. Here are some of the best places to visit and things to do in Hyères:
1. Îles d’Hyères (Porquerolles, Port-Cros, and Île du Levant)
A must-visit attraction in Hyères is the Îles d’Hyères, a group of three stunning Mediterranean islands. Porquerolles is the largest and most popular island, known for its pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and lush vegetation. Port-Cros is a national park with diverse marine life, making it perfect for snorkeling and diving enthusiasts. Île du Levant is known for its naturist-friendly beaches. Each island offers unique experiences and beautiful landscapes.
2. Villa Noailles
This iconic modernist villa was designed by architect Robert Mallet-Stevens and is now a center for contemporary art and architecture. Villa Noailles hosts various exhibitions, design events, and festivals throughout the year. It also offers a fantastic view of the city and surrounding area.
3. Old Town (Vieux Hyères)
Stroll through the charming streets of the Old Town to experience the city’s rich history and medieval architecture. The narrow alleys are lined with beautiful buildings, boutiques, cafes, and restaurants. Don’t miss the Romanesque-style St. Paul’s Church and the Clock Tower.
4. Giens Peninsula
Located just south of Hyères, the Giens Peninsula is a stunning natural area with beautiful beaches, rugged cliffs, and clear turquoise waters. It’s an ideal spot for outdoor activities like hiking, windsurfing, kiteboarding, and sailing. The Presqu’île de Giens also offers breathtaking panoramic views.
5. Jardins Olbius Riquier
These lush botanical gardens provide a peaceful retreat from the city. The gardens feature a wide variety of plants and trees, including exotic species, a zoo with animals, and a beautiful greenhouse. It’s a perfect place to relax and enjoy nature.
6. Hyères Beaches
Hyères boasts several beautiful beaches with golden sands and crystal-clear waters. Some of the popular beaches include La Capte, l’Almanarre, and Ayguade-Ceinturon. These beaches are ideal for sunbathing, swimming, and water sports.
7. Hyères Market
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Visit the bustling market of Hyères, held in the old town square, to experience the local flavors and vibrant atmosphere. You’ll find a wide range of fresh produce, regional delicacies, flowers, and handmade crafts. It’s a great place to buy souvenirs and enjoy the local cuisine.
8. Château de Hyères
Explore the ruins of the Château de Hyères, a medieval castle that dates back to the 13th century. The castle offers panoramic views of the city and surrounding countryside. It’s a perfect spot for history enthusiasts and photography lovers.
9. Parc St. Bernard
This beautiful park is located on a hill overlooking the city and provides a peaceful retreat. It features lush greenery, walking paths, and a playground for children. The park also hosts various cultural events and concerts during the summer months.
10. Wine Tasting
Hyères is located in the heart of the Provence wine region, known for its excellent rosé wines. Take a tour of local wineries, such as Domaine de la Courtade or Château Sainte-Anne, to indulge in wine tastings and learn about the winemaking process.
11. Fondation Carmignac
Located on the nearby island of Porquerolles, the Fondation Carmignac is an art center set amidst breathtaking natural surroundings. The foundation hosts an impressive collection of contemporary art and sculptures and offers guided tours of the exhibition space and the outdoor sculpture park.
12. Thalassotherapy and Spa
Hyères is known for its wellness offerings, and a visit to one of the thalassotherapy centers or spas in the area is a fantastic way to rejuvenate. Pamper yourself with a range of treatments, including seawater baths, massages, and beauty therapies, all designed to enhance relaxation and well-being.
13. Villa Noailles Design Parade
If you happen to visit Hyères in July, don’t miss the Villa Noailles Design Parade, an international festival that celebrates design and architecture. The event features exhibitions, conferences, workshops, and competitions, attracting renowned designers and emerging talents from around the world.
14. Fort de l’Alycastre
Take a trip to the Fort de l’Alycastre, a historical military fort perched on a hill overlooking the city. The fort offers panoramic views of Hyères and the surrounding coastline. Explore the fortress walls, walk along the ramparts, and learn about the area’s strategic significance throughout history.
15. Watersports and Sailing
With its favorable wind conditions and azure waters, Hyères is a paradise for water sports enthusiasts. Engage in activities such as windsurfing, kiteboarding, paddleboarding, and sailing. You can rent equipment and take lessons from experienced instructors to make the most of your time on the water.
16. Parc National de Port-Cros
Hop on a boat from Hyères to the nearby Port-Cros National Park, one of the Mediterranean’s most well-preserved natural areas. The park is a haven for hikers, offering numerous trails that wind through its lush landscapes and offer breathtaking views of the coastline.
17. Gastronomic Delights
Hyères boasts a vibrant culinary scene, influenced by the flavors of Provence. Indulge in traditional Provençal cuisine at local restaurants, sampling dishes like bouillabaisse (fish stew), ratatouille (vegetable stew), and socca (a chickpea flour pancake). Pair your meal with a glass of regional wine for an authentic gastronomic experience.
18. Les Salins d’Hyères
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Explore the salt marshes of Les Salins d’Hyères, an important ecological site known for its biodiversity. Take a guided tour to learn about salt production and the various bird species that inhabit the area. The salt flats offer a unique landscape, especially during sunset when the colors reflect on the water.
19. Excursions to Provence
Hyères serves as an excellent base for exploring the wider region of Provence. Take day trips to visit charming towns like Saint-Tropez, Aix-en-Provence, and Cassis. Explore lavender fields, vineyards, and olive groves, and immerse yourself in the picturesque landscapes that have inspired artists throughout history.
20. Events and Festivals
Hyères hosts a variety of events and festivals throughout the year. From the Hyères International Fashion and Photography Festival in spring to the Les Voiles d’Hyères sailing regatta in autumn, there’s always something exciting happening in the city. Check the local event calendar to see what’s taking place during your visit.
21. Domaine de Valcros
Golf enthusiasts can enjoy a round of golf at the picturesque Domaine de Valcros. This 18-hole golf course is nestled amidst rolling hills and offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside. It’s an excellent place to spend a leisurely day outdoors and practice your swing.
22. Les Palmiers Beach
Located in the heart of Hyères, Les Palmiers Beach is a popular sandy beach with clear waters. Relax on the sun loungers, take a refreshing swim, or simply soak up the sun while enjoying the vibrant atmosphere. The beach is also lined with restaurants and bars where you can savor delicious seafood and cocktails.
23. Saint-Pierre-et-Saint-Paul Church
Explore the beautiful Saint-Pierre-et-Saint-Paul Church, a neo-Gothic masterpiece situated in the heart of Hyères. Admire its intricate stained glass windows, impressive organ, and ornate architecture. The church is a tranquil place to reflect and appreciate the city’s cultural heritage.
24. Wine Tours
Embark on a wine tour to discover the vineyards and wineries of the region. Join guided tours that take you through the scenic countryside, where you can learn about the winemaking process, taste a variety of wines, and gain insights into the local wine culture. It’s a fantastic opportunity to savor the flavors of Provence.
25. Hiking in the Massif des Maures
The Massif des Maures, a mountain range near Hyères, offers excellent hiking opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts. Lace up your hiking boots and explore the well-marked trails that wind through forests, vineyards, and rocky terrain. Enjoy panoramic views of the Mediterranean coastline and immerse yourself in the region’s natural beauty.
26. Nightlife in Hyères
Hyères comes alive at night with its vibrant nightlife scene. Visit the bars, clubs, and live music venues in the city center to enjoy a night of entertainment. The atmosphere is lively, and you can dance the night away or relax with a drink while listening to live music.
27. Scenic Drives
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Take a scenic drive along the coastal roads of Hyères, soaking in the breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea and the stunning landscapes. Explore the surrounding areas, such as the charming villages of Bormes-les-Mimosas and Le Lavandou, or head east to discover the glamorous town of Saint-Tropez.
28. Shopping in Hyères
Hyères offers a range of shopping opportunities, from local boutiques to high-end fashion stores. Explore the city’s streets to find unique fashion, accessories, and handicrafts. The Rue Massillon is particularly known for its charming shops, where you can find everything from clothing and jewelry to local products and souvenirs.
29. La Route du Sel
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Discover the ancient salt road, La Route du Sel, which connects Hyères to Salins d’Hyères. This historical route allows you to learn about the traditional salt production techniques and the significance of salt in the region’s history. Enjoy a scenic drive or even cycle along the route, immersing yourself in the cultural and natural heritage of Hyères.
30. Local Cuisine
Don’t leave Hyères without savoring the delicious local cuisine. Visit traditional Provençal restaurants to indulge in specialties such as bouillabaisse, pissaladière (onion tart), and tarte tropézienne (a cream-filled pastry). Don’t forget to pair your meal with a glass of local rosé wine, known for its excellent quality.
31. Les Jardins du Clos de Villeneuve
Discover the enchanting Les Jardins du Clos de Villeneuve, a beautiful garden filled with vibrant flowers, fragrant herbs, and majestic trees. Take a leisurely stroll through the well-manicured paths, breathe in the scents, and admire the artistic arrangements. It’s a serene oasis where you can relax and enjoy nature’s beauty.
32. Villa Noailles Art Center
In addition to its architectural significance, Villa Noailles is a hub for contemporary art and design. The art center hosts exhibitions, installations, and events that showcase emerging artists and designers. Immerse yourself in the world of art, creativity, and innovation as you explore the thought-provoking exhibits.
33. Les Amis des Arts Museum
Art enthusiasts should not miss a visit to the Les Amis des Arts Museum. Located in a beautiful 19th-century mansion, the museum features a diverse collection of paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts from various periods. Admire works by renowned artists and get a glimpse into the artistic heritage of the region.
34. Les Halles Market
Experience the vibrant atmosphere of Les Halles Market, a bustling indoor market where locals and visitors come together to purchase fresh produce, cheeses, meats, and other regional delicacies. Sample local specialties, chat with vendors, and immerse yourself in the lively ambiance of this gastronomic haven.
35. Sainte-Claire Park
Enjoy a peaceful escape in Sainte-Claire Park, a verdant green space in the heart of Hyères. Take a leisurely walk, find a shady spot to have a picnic, or simply relax on one of the park’s benches. The park is also home to the ruins of a medieval castle, adding a touch of history to its natural charm.
36. Watersports at Almanarre Beach
Almanarre Beach, located on a narrow strip of land between the Mediterranean Sea and a lagoon, is a haven for watersports enthusiasts. With its reliable winds, it’s an ideal spot for windsurfing, kitesurfing, and sailing. Rent equipment, take lessons, or simply watch the professionals showcase their skills on the water.
37. L’Arche des Tortues
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Animal lovers can visit L’Arche des Tortues, a turtle sanctuary dedicated to the conservation and protection of endangered turtle species. Explore the park, learn about these fascinating creatures, and contribute to their well-being through educational initiatives. It’s a unique opportunity to connect with nature and support conservation efforts.
38. Explore the Vineyards
Embark on a wine tour through the vineyards surrounding Hyères to discover the region’s viticultural heritage. Visit family-owned wineries, stroll through vineyards, and learn about the winemaking process. Enjoy wine tastings and savor the flavors of the local varietals, such as Côtes de Provence and Bandol.
39. Carnoules Steam Train
Take a nostalgic journey aboard the Carnoules Steam Train, a vintage locomotive that runs between Hyères and Carnoules. Enjoy the scenic ride through the picturesque countryside, passing vineyards, fields, and charming villages. It’s a delightful way to travel back in time and appreciate the region’s rustic charm.
40. Attend Cultural Events
Hyères is known for its vibrant cultural scene, and throughout the year, it hosts a variety of events, festivals, and performances. From music concerts and theater productions to art exhibitions and dance performances, there’s always something happening. Check the local event calendar to see what cultural delights await you during your visit.
41. La Capte Beach
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Located on the Giens Peninsula, La Capte Beach is a long stretch of sandy shoreline that offers a tranquil atmosphere. The beach is surrounded by dunes and pine trees, creating a peaceful and natural setting. It’s an ideal spot for a relaxing day by the sea, and its shallow waters make it suitable for families with children.
42. l’Almanarre Beach
One of the most famous beaches in Hyères, l’Almanarre Beach is a haven for windsurfers and kiteboarders. Thanks to the strong winds and consistent waves, it attracts water sports enthusiasts from around the world. Even if you’re not into windsurfing, the beach’s soft sand and clear waters make it a popular destination for sun-seekers.
43. Ayguade-Ceinturon Beach
Located on the western edge of Hyères, Ayguade-Ceinturon Beach offers a picturesque setting with a mix of sandy areas and rocky coves. The beach is surrounded by lush vegetation and provides a sense of seclusion. It’s an excellent spot for swimming, sunbathing, and enjoying the natural beauty of the coastline.
44. Port Pothuau Beach
Situated near the Ayguade-Ceinturon neighborhood, Port Pothuau Beach is a charming sandy beach with calm waters. The beach offers a relaxed atmosphere and is popular among families and those looking for a peaceful beach experience. There are picnic areas and playgrounds nearby, making it a great choice for a day out with children.
45. Salins Beach
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Nestled between the salt marshes and the sea, Salins Beach is a unique beach with a mix of sand and small pebbles. It offers a tranquil setting and is known for its crystal-clear turquoise waters. The beach is backed by sand dunes and offers a sense of natural beauty and serenity.
46. Badine Beach
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Located on the Giens Peninsula, Badine Beach is a small and secluded cove that offers a more intimate beach experience. Surrounded by rocky cliffs, the beach provides a sense of privacy and seclusion. The crystal-clear waters make it an excellent spot for snorkeling and exploring the marine life.
47. Bergerie Beach
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Situated on the eastern side of the Giens Peninsula, Bergerie Beach is a charming sandy beach that offers a sense of untouched beauty. Backed by pine trees and offering views of the islands, the beach is an ideal spot to relax and enjoy the stunning coastal scenery.
Places and Things To Do