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The best things to do in
Toulon

Language:   French

Currency: EUR

Sales Tax: 20%

Exchange Rate

Located between Marseille and St. Tropez, anyone who wants a Mediterranean vacation away from crowds of tourists should choose Toulon. It offers year-round warm weather, magnificent beaches, and sublime views that rival what you'll experience in Nice and Cannes but without the throng of vacationers.

Whether you're seeking a relaxing beach, rich local culture, or a beautiful elevation with breathtaking panoramic views of the bay, you won't be disappointed with a visit to this city. Here are some of the best things to do in Toulon:

Some of the best things to do in Toulon

Mont Faron

Mont Faron

The 584 m high Mont Faron is the most famous landmark in the city and provides a beautiful backdrop to the city. If you’re looking for a good workout to shake off some of the added calories from the French cuisine you’ve been enjoying, you can take on the challenging walk up the narrow road on the west side of the mountain.

The road was part of the route used for the discontinued Tour Méditerranéen bicycle race, and it was considered to be one of the most strenuous parts of the route.

Once you arrive at the peak, treat yourself to a sumptuous meal at one of the restaurants, where you can enjoy views of the harbor while you eat. You should also pick up a few souvenirs at the cable car shop before you leave.

Mémorial du Débarquement

Mémorial du Débarquement

Mémorial du Débarquement is a World War II military museum/memorial at the top of Mont Faron. Opened in 1964, the Musée Mémorial du Débarquement has artifacts and exhibits from the events during the 1944 allied landing between Toulon and Cannes.

In addition to reflecting on the D-Day landings the memorial commemorates, the location's elevation offers breathtaking views of Toulon, the cities around it, the Var coast, and the Mediterranean Sea. It is the perfect destination for anyone curious to learn more about D-Day or people with a family member who fought in World War II.

Circuit Paul Ricard

Circuit Paul Ricard

Circuit Paul Ricard was built in 1969 by eccentric businessman Paul Ricard. Famous for its iconic blue run-off areas known as the Blue Zone, the circuit, which is in Le Castellet, a 30-minute drive away from Toulon, hosted numerous Formula One pre-season tests and races in the 1980s. Local F1 hero Alain Prost won multiple French Grand Prix races here during that period.

The Grand Prix moved to Magny-Cours during the 1990 season and didn't return until 2018. However, the French Grand Prix is no longer on the Formula 1 calendar.

AGS Formule 1

Plages du Mourillon (Beaches of Mourillon)

Plages du Mourillon (Beaches of Mourillon)

Toulon’s Mediterranean Sea location makes it ideal for anyone who wants to get some sun and swim in the coastal waters. The Mourillon beaches are European Blue Flag beaches. The award is only given to the best beaches on the continent and is a sign of high quality. There are other beaches located down the shoreline that offer solitude for visitors. The little coves are surrounded by pine trees and give a quiet, isolated feeling to visitors.

Toulon Old Town

Toulon Old Town

The city's Old Town is awash with beautiful southern French architecture and charm. Visitors will find narrow cobblestone streets and tiny alleyways in the Old Town. They are fantastic to explore, and visitors will find a wealth of cafes, restaurants, and shops here. You'll also find the city's tiny artisan shops in the Old Town, where you can purchase souvenirs.

Opera lovers should look out for Opéra de Toulon, located on Boulevard de Strasbourg on the boundary of the the Old Town. It is France's second-largest opera house after Palais Garnier in Paris. The building has a beautiful mix of Baroque and Renaissance architecture and is worth visiting even if you're not an opera fan.

Toulon Port

Toulon Port

The Port of Toulon is the main Mediterranean base of the French navy. It won’t take long to appreciate this once you’re at the port, as you’ll find a collection of aircraft carriers, submarines, and other naval ships. Anyone with an interest in battleships should add the port to their lists of places to visit.

In addition to the strong naval presence here, the port is a major docking location for large cruise ships, which are always a joy to marvel at. The port has a promenade with shops and restaurants lining it, so it is another place in Toulon to enjoy Mediterranean cuisine.

While at the port, look out for the fascinating Génie de la Navigation (The Genius of Navigation) bronze and marble statue built in 1847 to recognize the city’s sea exploration heritage. An additional thing to take advantage of at the Port of Toulon is the ferry service with trips to some of France’s most beautiful Mediterranean islands.

Sentier des Douaniers

Explore the stunning views of the Mediterranean coastline on this coastal trail. Also known as the Customs Officers' Path, the 11 km trail runs through several picturesque locations as it hugs France's southern coast. Stop by the beaches and hidden coves along the route and take some time to appreciate the stunning scenery surrounding you.

Cours Lafayette Market

Cours Lafayette Market

Cours Lafayette Market is a Tuesday to Sunday farmers’ market held close to the port of Toulon. Vendors at the market offer everything from flowers, fruits, and vegetables to fresh fish. Even if you have no interest in cooking (after all, you’re on vacation), the colorful stalls and lively interactions between the vendors and their customers will likely keep you in good spirits.

With plenty of cafes and restaurants around the market, it’s the perfect place to enjoy the hallmarks of French cuisine. Whether you are interested in purchasing fresh produce to create iconic French recipes yourself or fancy sampling pre-prepared meals, this market has you covered.

One important thing to keep in mind is the market is only open in the morning, so plan accordingly to avoid any disappointment.

Place De La Liberte

Place De La Liberte

Place de la Liberte is a square located on Boulevard de Strasbourg. The symbolic square is lined with rows of palm trees along its borders and is surrounded by historic structures. These include the building currently housing the Théâtre Liberté.

It was built as a grand hotel in 1870 and later used by occupying forces in the Second World War. Subsequently, it was transitioned to an apartment building before being switched to its current use.

On the north side of the square, right next to Rue Victor Clappier, is Fontaine de la Fédération, an elaborate neoclassical white limestone fountain decorated with allegorical French figures. Built in 1889 by brothers architect Gaudensi Allar and sculptor André-Joseph, the fountain is a symbol of unity and commemorates the centenary of the French Revolution.

Also present around the square is a large collection of cafes, restaurants, and other retail outlets, so if you need a break while making your way around Toulon, this is the place to do it.

 

Toulon is an idyllic southern France holiday spot. The city is full of great history and unique tourist attractions. It is also home to the French Grand Prix and offers car enthusiasts plenty of excitement.


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Tapenade

Local Favorite: Tapenade

Tapenade was invented by Chef Meynier in 1880 at the La Maison Doree Restaurant in southern France. Since its invention, tapenade has become synonymous with the southern region of the country. Traditional tapenade is made by crushing capers and black olives. The crushed mixture is combined with anchovies and tuna before spices, pepper, and olive oil are added. Tapenade can be spread onto bread and enjoyed with a glass of wine, or as a side to a meal. It is also consumed by dipping vegetables or bread into it. Tapenade's ingredients are considered incredibly healthy resulting in the spread being labeled a so-called "superfood".

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