Destination Guide - Toulon.

 

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London City to Toulon
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Overview

CityJet offer flights to Toulon in the summer months.

Rising steeply from a fortified natural harbour, Toulon overlooks one of the most beautiful stretches of coast on the French Mediterranean. This spectacular seascape shaped the town’s destiny: a great military port ever since Roman times, it remains the home of the French navy. A busy, vibrant, cosmopolitan town, capital of the Var département and of the western Riviera, Toulon is the gateway into a string of little beach resorts, attractive peninsulas and offshore islands loved by Provençal locals but less well known to outsiders. Toulon’s own waterfront has flowery promenades, a lively leisure port, wide quaysides and sandy beaches.

Our top five sights

Mont Faron

Mont Faron gives dazzling harbour views and has a poignant Allied Landings memorial on the 584m summit. Easiest way up is a 10-minute cable car ride.
Cable car: rue Perricchi, 04 9492 6825

Vieille Ville

Toulon’s Old Quarter, next to the Darse Vieille port, has quiet, traffic-free lanes and shopping streets, old fountains, leafy squares and many renovated 18th-century buildings.
Behind Quai Cronstadt

Musée National de la Marine

The dockside National Navy Museum, standing beside a monumental 18th-century gateway, vividly details Toulon’s naval history.
Place Monsenergue, 04 2242 0201

Toulon harbour

The Toulon harbour, also known as ‘La Rade de Toulon’, is one of the world’s largest natural anchorages. One-hour boat excursions of its sheltered waters leave throughout the day from Toulon port.

Musée d’Art

Housed in a 19th-century Renaissance mansion, Toulon’s Art Museum displays several centuries of Provençal art up to the present, with many evocative local scenes.
113 boulevard Leclerc, 04 9436 8101

Our top five activities

Walking

There’s good walking for all abilities in Toulon, ranging from long waterside promenades to woodland trails and scenic paths through unspoiled coastal peninsulas, rocky headlands and inland hills surrounding the town.

Diving

The coast either side of Toulon, notably the Saint Mandrier peninsula to the west and the underwater nature reserve of Port Cros Island to the east, are renowned for scuba-diving.
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Golfing

High-quality golf courses near Toulon include Frégate (04 9429 3800), Valcros Hyères (04 9466 8102) and the nearest, Valgarde (04 9414 0105), 7km east.

Sailing

The waters of Toulon harbour, and to the east between Hyères and offshore Porquerolles Island, are ideal for sailing. Yachts can be hired on the spot at St Mandrier.
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Island-hopping

Les Iles d’Or (frequent ferries from Giens, 27km east), ‘the Golden Isles’ of Porquerolles, Port Cros and Le Levant, offer a rare taste of unspoiled Provençal landscapes.

Our top five events

April: Fête de Bacchus

The free three-day food and wine festival named for the god of over-indulgence takes place in Place d’Armes and celebrates the best of local Provençal produce.
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May: Festival International de Street Painting

For two days, the town centre square Place d’Armes becomes the colourful and evocative canvas for top practitioners of “Art Madonnaro” (painting public spaces). More  

June: Rockorama

The Tour Royale fortress at the harbour entrance is the main venue for this big, loud three-day festival of indie sounds mixing rock, pop, electronic, garage and more.
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June: Festival Estival (Summer Festival)

Each summer, tens of thousands of classical music lovers enjoy this intense fortnight of high-quality concerts in impressive venues like the waterside Tour Royale fort.
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July-August: Festival Jazz à Toulon

The town is in laid-back mood on the warm summer evenings for three weeks of free open-air jazz performances by both newcomers and big names.
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Toulon
 
Across France exists a series of historic buildings named Hotel Dieu, meaning God’s Hotel. Odd at first glance, until you realise it’s an affectation for a hospital rather than a place of worship. This, seemingly, is where God would look after you in an hour of need. One finds modern-day respite (albeit with greater luxury) less than an hour from Toulon, in Marseille’s 18th Century Hotel Dieu, recently converted into a bona fide hotel in the Panier district of Europe’s 2013 City of Culture. This magnificent building, as operated by the renowned InterContinental Hotel Group, sees wards of old replaced by luxury rooms and suites – the largest with grand balconies overlooking the Vieux Port – and a sensational Clarins spa. A choice of two restaurants in the hands of award-winning chef Lionel Levy and an expansive terrace on which to sip cocktails offer all the recuperation you’d ever need. Breathtaking.
 

Shopping

The leisurely main shopping streets in the heart of the Vieille Ville are Rue d’Alger, flowery Rue Jean Jaurès and the lanes and squares around Place Puget. Here you’ll find chic fashion boutiques, art galleries, Provençal fabrics and gourmet specialists like chocolate-maker Yves Thuriès (6 place Puget, 04 8357 9373). A big, lively Provençal market takes place on Cours Lafayette every morning. Along busy avenues Boulevard Strasbourg and Boulevard Leclerc is a selection of jewellers and luxury goods as well as a branch of upmarket department store Galeries Lafayette (Place de la Liberté, 04 9422 3971).

Food & Drink

Traditional cooking of the Toulon region includes fish soups and the succulent fish stew bouillabaisse, plenty of freshly caught seafood, savoury meats slow cooked, and Provençal vegetable dishes such as ratatouille, all seasoned with thyme, marjoram and other Provençal herbs. Local rosé wine, served well chilled, is the choice for everyday drinking. Top gastronomic places, both very good value, include Le Gros Ventre (279 Littoral Frédéric Mistral, 04 9442 1542), in Le Mourillon, with classic Provençal dishes, and La Promesse (250 rue Jean-Jaurès, 04 9498 7939), in the town centre, offering imaginative French and Mediterranean cuisine.

Nightlife

Bars and clubs cluster near the port and Le Mourillon beaches. Many are not sophisticated and reflect Toulon as a hardworking, down-to-earth naval base. Le 113 (113 avenue de l’Infanterie de Marine, 04 9403 4241) offers dinner-dances and shows during the week, disco at weekends. La Part des Anges (57 rue Lamalgue, Le Mourillon, 04 9403 0631) is a convivial late bar hosting live gigs, karaoke sessions and dance nights. Opéra de Toulon (Boulevard de Strasbourg, 04 9492 7078), an elegant 19th-century theatre, stages modern dance, ballet, opera and concerts ranging from classical to jazz.

Accommodation in Toulon

Most hotels are ideally located around the town centre’s Vieille Ville (Old Quarter) with another selection at Le Mourillon, the pleasant waterfront area to the east. Holiday Inn (1 avenue Rageot de la Touche, 04 9492 0021), is a well-equipped four-star, on a busy junction close to the naval port. Best Western La Corniche (17 Littoral Frederic Mistral, 04 9441 3512), attractively furnished with simple elegance, is a popular three-star hotel overlooking Le Mourillon harbour. Grand Hotel Dauphiné (10 rue Berthelot, 04 9492 2028), a friendly, comfortable and affordable two-star, is in a town-centre pedestrian street.

Our favourites

 
Toulon Amiraute hotel

New Hotel Amirauté - 4 Rue Adolphe Guiol 83000 Toulon, France
Tel: +33 (0)4 94 22 19 67 Website: www.new-hotel.com/amiraute/en/index.asp

 Situated in the centre of Toulon, close to Place de la Liberté, the train station, the harbour and the Marina, the New Hotel Amiraute is a good starting point to enjoy this lively city. Shopping centres, restaurants, cinemas and museums (Hotel des Arts, musée de Toulon, musée de la Marine) are all within a short distance of the property. The hotel features a modernly equipped meeting room hosting up to 30 people, Wi-Fi Internet connection and a helpful and friendly staff at your complete disposal to make your stay as pleasant as possible.

From Toulon-Hyères International Airport, taxis take about 20 minutes into Toulon. The inexpensive shuttle bus (bus 102) to Toulon railway station takes 10 minutes longer, stopping en route in Hyères. Six car hire companies have desks at the airport and nine in Toulon town centre (several at the railway station).

Toulon centre and waterfront cover a walkable area, but with some steep slopes. The whole greater Toulon region is served by an extensive network of frequent buses and ferries, with a low flat rate fare. However, a car is useful to reach much of the coast and countryside outside town.

Toulon Airport Information

Aéroport International de Toulon-Hyères (TLN)

Website
www.toulon-hyeres.aeroport.fr

General information
Tel.: +33 (0) 825 01 83 87

Tourism Office
Tel.: +33 (0) 494 18 53 00

CityJet Flights from London LCY to Toulon
CityJet is the fastest and most convenient way to Toulon. Flights from London City LCY to Toulon are a convenient two-times-per-week service with a flight time of just 2 hours.

Toulon Airport is 23km to the centre of Toulon taking just 20 minutes by car, only 10 kilometres to the beautiful port of Sanary-Sur-Mer and 45 minutes drive to St. Tropez making it the perfect gateway to the French Riviera.

Check-in
Check-in generally closes 30 minutes prior to the scheduled departure time.

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Car Rental
For exclusive discounts of up to 15%, rent from our exclusive car rental partner Hertz at Toulon-Hyeres Airport.

 
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Car parking
The airport has two large parking areas situated in front of the main terminal. P1 is for short-term parking and P2 is for long-term parking.

Taxis
Taxis are outside in front of the arrivals hall. A ride to Toulon takes approximately 20 minutes and costs around €40.
(tel: +33(0)494 00 60 00)

Public Transport
Opposite the main entrance you can find buses from the company “Sodetrav-Reseau Mistral”. For approximately €10 these buses take you to the centre of Toulon.

CityJet offer flights to Toulon in the summer months.

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