The mere mention of Bandol ignites memories in your mind – beaches, creeks, Provence wine and celebrities like Marcel Pagnol or Fernandel. Nested between two seaside towns- Toulon and Cassis- it is a blissful place to explore as well as unwind after a long weary day.
From water sports enthusiasts to leisurely walkers, everyone will find something for themselves here! Take the steps up Montée Maillet and be rewarded with a stunning port view that you’ll never forget. With its 18th century charm and sunlit surroundings, Bandol is truly an unforgettable holiday spot!
To make your Provençale getaway truly remarkable, check out our top 10 sites in Bandol that you won’t want to miss! Also be sure not to miss our acclaimed best wineries and wine tourism activities in Bandol, as well as the entire wine producing region of Provence’s best wine tours.
What to do when you visit Bandol & Provence?
1. Visit Bendor Island
Dream of a blissful getaway? All you have to do is take a 7-minute ferry ride from Bandol and be transported to the idyllic island paradise known as Bendor. Imbued with secluded stone houses, lush greenscapes, and crystal clear turquoise waters along its shoreline – it’s no wonder why this picturesque location attracts so many admirers.
For lunch or dinner options after exploring the area, no need for concern– several charming restaurants dot the landscape offering delicious cuisines!
Lastly, don’t forget about all of the vibrant street performers that also colorfully adorn Bendor – making your trip even more wonderful! To access this dreamy hideout make sure to stop by Bandol pier where boats are readily available for hire.
2. Visit Bandol Port
The port of Bandol is one of a must. Go on peaceful walk around the water’s edge, while enjoying the cool sea breeze! Do not hesitate to go through the Quai Charles De Gaulle, which is a place known for its dynamism and its local cuisine
3. The Renecros cove
Renecros cove looks like a huge natural swimming pool in the shape of a semicircle, hence its name cove. It is a perfect place to enjoy sun & sea. It is surrounded by two large dykes that will protect you from the wind. It is easily accessible, as it is located not far from the city center. And in case you get hungry while swimming, you will find many small restaurants nearby.
4. Visit Bandol Grand Casino
Do you like gambling? If so, spend an evening at the Bandol Grand Casino! Between elegance, refinement, suspense and pleasure, a friendly moment awaits you. Who knows, maybe it’ll be your lucky day!
5. The Church of Saint-François de Sales
Located on the market square, the Saint-François de Sales church is a place that you should not miss. This building has survived for ages and its walls are steeped in history.
6. Visit Bandol Coastal Trail
If you cherish the outdoors and walking, why not explore the Coastal path? You’ll be treated to breathtaking sights of the sea!
7. Visit Bandol’s large Provençal market
Around the port, colorful stalls are set up every Tuesday morning. The Provençal market is one of the prettiest in the region. There are fruits and vegetables, but also specialties: anchoïade, nougats and very colorful Provençal fabrics. Once night falls, you will discover the city’s craft market. This small night market is open all summer from 7 p.m. to midnight and presents various craft creations. You will have the chance to find unique and handmade items! At the Provençal market on the Place de l’Eglise as well as at the fairground market on the main quay of the port, you will find plenty of good local products.
8. Explore the Capelan beach
Capelan beach is like a slightly wild cove of pebbles. If you are looking for absolute calm, this is the ideal place for total relaxation. And if you like places of nature preserved from the influx of tourists, this is the place to go! So, make yourself comfortable, and watch the turquoise waves crashing crystal clear on the rocks. And at the end of the day, enjoy a wonderful sunset.
9. Discover the Calanque Of Port D’Alon
Go for a hike to the cove of Port d’Alon! This easy hike begins at the exit of Anse de Renecros, from Avenue Albert 1er, the walk continues on the Engraviers beach and in the pine forest. You will then arrive in the cove of Port d’Alon! An ideal spot for swimming in summer, picnicking or daydreaming facing the blue horizon. The water is clear and the sun makes it sparkle. Enjoy this little paradise!
10. ZOA Park
The ZOA Parc is the animal and botanical park of Sanary. You will be able to discover along the shady paths a unique environment where exotic and Mediterranean plants, fauna from all 5 continents and domestic animals mingle.
Try Bandol local specialties
- The capon, which is a fish.
- The artichoke with barigoule.
- Cade, a specialty of semolina and flour.
- Fougasse, a bread made from flavored white flour.
- Pesto soup. Daube provençale, a meat specialty.
- The Sollies fig.
- The oil pump, a pastry.
- Anchoïade, an aperitif made from mashed anchovies and garlic.
Wine tourism activities around Bandol
The wines of Bandol are classified AOC and their worldwide reputation continues to gain in esteem. Red, rosé or white, they are fine and sunny. It is therefore a good excuse to push the door of the cellars of Bandol and meet local winegrower!
Enjoy your Provençale sunny stay in Bandol!
FAQ & Useful resources
What to do in Bandol?
1 – Swimming on Capelan beach
2 – Sunbathe on the Anse de Renécros
3 – Stroll around the port of Bandol
4 – Discover the Island of Bendor
5 – Shopping at the fairground market
6 – Bargain hunting at the night craft market
7 – Take a hike on the Littoral trail
Where to take a swim?
Madame Hole Cove
Beach Calanque of Capelan
How to get to Bandol?
From Marseille, frequent connections by regional TER train to Bandol station in 45 minutes. From Paris, TGV train to Marseille then change and TER to Bandol.
By car, useful for excursions during the holidays, or by carpooling.
Where to sleep in Bandol?
There is a wide choice of accommodation in Bandol and in the surrounding area. In addition to classic hotels, a few top-of-the-range addresses, but also rentals of houses and villas as well as apartments in the center of Bandol.
When is a good time to go?
Summer is the high tourist season, Bandol is very lively and there are more people.
Also enjoy Spring from April-May, and in the off-season, calmer, between September and October. Choose according to what you prefer most!
What to see in Bandol?
Top 3 to do & see in Bandol
1 – Taste a chilled AOC Bandol wine for an aperitif
2 – A lazy day in the Calanque De Port D’Alon
3 – A gaming evening at the Grand Casino De Bandol