Steeped in history, boasting endless stretches of peaceful beaches, Toulon is fast becoming the French holiday destination of choice for people in the know. Located in the southeast of Provence, the city is as untouched a picture of everyday France as you’ll ever get, with a higher concentration of locals than tourists and the smells of fresh lavender and thyme intermingling with the sea air, infusing the city with that money can’t buy holiday ambience.
Flight frequency: Several/Week
Currency: EUR (€)
Nestled to the west of the French Riviera, Toulon is a glorious and endlessly fascinating Provençal city that’s becoming quite the tourist hot spot thanks to its mild climate, endless stream of activities and competitive prices. The city was previously used as a military base during the war and to this day still retains a sizeable French naval base that’s responsible for a high proportion of local industry – as a result Toulon is steeped in maritime history and many of the city’s popular sights and attractions lend favour to the sea. As the area becomes more and more popular, an emergence of chic bars, fine dining spots and gorgeous boutiques is really upping the ante and proving that come winter or summer, there’s plenty to uncover in one of France’s most underrated cities.
In Toulon dining is all about simple, fresh dishes cooked with impeccable flair and served with local wine. Nearly all the food is influenced by the Provençal style of cooking, so you can expect plenty of locally sourced seafood, meat or vegetable dishes all seasoned expertly. Widely regarded as one of the best dining spots in the area, La Promesse is a great place to head if you’re unsure where to start – here you’ll find a simple but timelessly chic interior and food that marries the cooking styles of Provence and Asia to surprising effect. Other gems include Le P’tit Pins for a glamorous take on homemade fare and Au Sourd for top notch seafood. Just like the dining scene, Toulon’s nightlife is eclectic, fun and full of surprises, so why end your evening with dinner? Not when you can enjoy live music and pulsating DJ sets at Bar à Thym, classy cocktails and an upbeat ambience in L'Arbre a Bulles or a carefree night of dancing to disco, techno and funk at Le Pussy Cat.
With a seemingly endless stream of tiny boutiques and artisan wares to shop, a day’s retail therapy in Toulon also allows you to uncover the nooks, crannies and tiny details that make the city so special. For clothes, books and everything in-between your best bet is around Place Puget and Rue d’Alger, whilst the polished, glitzy finish of the Mourillon area provides the perfect backdrop to a leisurely stroll and wistful gazing at the upmarket antique and homeware stores that have come to characterise the area. Along the coast you can expect to find the usual stream of souvenir shops selling everything from trinkets to bargain sunglasses and diving equipment.
Culture vultures will find plenty of entertainment in a city that has endless museums including Maison de la Photographie for high calibre snaps of the area and Musée de la Marine where you’ll find models and paintings of old sailing ships. Post-museum why not rest tired feet and drink in the views with thoroughly enjoyable ride on the tourist train? Other must-visits include Mont Faron for panoramic views and the Mémorial du Débarquement de Provence – which commemorates the allied landings of Operation Dragoon. For an altogether more relaxing day out pack a picnic and venture down to one of the Mourillon beaches to swim, sunbathe or take part in any one of the water sports that take park along the coast.
IATA code: TLN
Name: Toulon–Hyères Airport
Address: Boulevard de la Marine, 83400 Hyères, France
Telephone: +33 825 01 83 87
The airport has a whole host of parking options to suit your needs including short and long stay, disabled bays and quick drop-off points.
The airport is easily accessible by a series of public transport options including local bus, shuttle bus and train - all of which are easy to use and competitively priced.
After you’ve departed your Flybe flight, why not head to the main terminal to continue your journey by taxi. With taxis available seven days a week (all of which are equipped with air-conditioning) you can rest assured your onward journey will be easy and comfortable.
Hiring a car couldn’t be easier with the airport’s dedicated hire area located close to the car park. Here you’ll find six different hire car companies, including Avis, that can be pre-booked in advance or arranged on the day.