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Bormes les Mimosas was just a name. And then I was invited to vacation with my French friends at Bormes les Mimosas on the Côte d’Azur in Provence and a whole new part of France was revealed to me.
We were situated up in the hills with a view over the Mediterranean Sea and set out to explore the area around Bormes les Mimosas every day. The enchanting medieval village of Bormes les Mimosas situated on a hilltop is a lovely town to visit with its gorgeous stonework, blooming flowers at every turn, gurgling fountains, cobbled streets and a magnificent view over the Mediterranean Sea.
If you are figuring out what to do in Bormes les Mimosas, I have you covered with this thorough guide.
Where Is Bormes les Mimosas?
Bormes les Mimosas is located in the Var department of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region in Southeastern France. The Var is one of France’s most visited tourist areas after Paris. The Var department encompasses most of the Côte d’Azur.
Bormes les Mimosas is located about halfway between Toulon and Saint-Tropez.
What Are Mimosas?
Mimosas, originating from Australia, are a gorgeous, yellow flowering tree with a delectable scent. The delicate flowers, scientifically known as Acacia dealbata, bloom in the winter months between mid-December and March, depending on the weather. The vibrant yellow blossoms are a symbol of winter in the south of France where the number of days of sunshine is very high. Mimosas beautiful scent is used in the perfume industry and its perky little flowers make for a gorgeous bouquet.
Ninety varieties of mimosas are found in Bormes-les-Mimosas!
13 Best Things To Do In Bormes-les-Mimosas
1. Flâner Through The Streets
You know I am a big of of the French way of being that is called “flânerie.” This requires one to wander about, rather aimlessly, just observing life. There is no better place to flâner than in Bormes les Mimosas. Designated as one of France’s Flowery Villages or “Village Fleuri,” the cobbled streets in this enchanting town invite meandering. Don’t have an agenda. Just wander. You’re sure to discover flowery alleyways, flowery footbridges, and lovely, inviting squares lined with bougainvillleas, fig-trees, and palm trees.
2. Marvel At The Stunning Flowers
The designation of “Village Fleuri” is an understatement for this village. In Bormes, there are over 700 varieties of flowers and plants that adorn the medieval village. In the winter you can expect golden mimosas and in June when I visited, there were violet bougainvilleas cascading down house façades and stone walls. The riot of colour found here is truly mesmerizing.
3. Step Inside L’Eglise Saint-Trophyme
This charming church, Saint-Trophyme Church, in Bormes-les-Mimosas, a designated historical monument, was built in the 18th century. Its architecture is inspired by the Romanesque period. Pass the Parvis and its magnificent bougainvillaea, noting the sundial on the façade. Slip inside for a quiet moment and look for the altar made of tin.
Saint-Trophyme Church is known as the church where the French presidents attend services while holidaying at Fort de Brégançon (read about Fort de Brégançon below). Jacques Chirac, President of the French Republic from 1995-2007, was frequently seen here.
4. Shop The Boutiques
Spend some time on rue Carnot lined with local boutiques and art galleries. It’s easy to find a locally-made treasure to take home. Keep your eyes open for medieval doorways along rue Carnot. At #85, you’ll find a doorway that dates from 1577.
5. Climb To Place Hippolyte Bouchard For Sweeping Views
Most people haven’t heard of Hippolyte Bouchard, born in Bormes les Mimosas in 1780, and a hero in Argentina! He served in the French merchant fleet and then moved to Argentina to serve as Commander in the Argentine Revolutionary Navy. There are many public squares and streets named after Hippolyte Bouchard in Argentina.
In Bormes les Mimosas, Place Hippolyte Bouchard, surrounded by umbrella pines and arbutus trees, offers a tranquil pace to ponder life. Enjoy the breathtaking view that stretches to the Mediterranean Sea and includes the islands, Ile de Levant and Porquerelles.
6. Stroll Past The Château des Seigneurs de Fos
The ruins of this 12th-century castle are perched over Bormes les Mimosas. Not open to the public it is still worth strolling past to see this historic monument and pondering its former inhabitants. Its history can be traced back to 1257 when Roger de Fos settled here. Since then the château has had a long and varied history passing through multiple families.
7. Relax On The Stunning Beaches
Bormes les Mimosas is also home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the south of France, such as Favière Beach, Estagnol Beach, Pellegrin Plage, and Cabasson Plage. These beaches offer crystal-clear water, and white sand, and are perfect for leisure activities such as sunbathing and swimming. Favière Beach is the most well-known in the area and is well-equipped for tourists, with several cafes and restaurants nearby. Estagnol Beach is in a beautiful bay lined with pine trees. It’s perfect for a seaside experience on the French Riviera. Stop by the beachside restaurant for lunch and then relax on Estagnol Beach. Highly recommended!
8. Visit Le Fort de Brégançon
It rises majestically from a rocky peninsular outcrop this majestic fortress overlooking the azure Mediterranean Sea. The Fort de Brégançon stands as an emblem of strength and resilience. Its origins date back to the 15th century when it was built as a defensive structure against seafaring invaders.
The Fort de Brégançon’s most famous claim to fame comes from being the official summer residence of French presidents since 1968. Used more by some presidents of France than others, the Fort de Brégançon has welcomed foreign dignitaries! Keep your eyes open. You never know who you’ll see on the streets of Bormes-les-Mimosas!
How To Visit The Fort de Brégançon
Visits to the Fort de Brégançon are guided and last about 2 hours and 30 minutes. There is a maximum group size of 20 people. Tickets must be booked 72 hours in advance. There are guided tours in English on Fridays at 9 a.m. The cost of an adult ticket is 12€.
9. Get Active In The Massif des Maures
Another must-visit place in Bormes les Mimosas is the Massif des Maures, a large natural reserve that has become very popular among locals and tourists alike. The reserve features a diverse range of flora and fauna, with over 1,500 plant species and rich wildlife, including wild boars and deer. You can go hiking, biking, or horse-riding to explore the area’s stunning nature trails, which offer breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside. Whether you want to take in the beauty of nature or enjoy outdoor activities, the Massif des Maures has something for everyone.
10. Parktake In A Winetasting At A Nearby Vineyard
Driving around Bormes-les-Mimosas provides one breathtaking vista after another. The Mediterranean Sea sparkles, the Maure mountains soar, the forests invite exploration, and the vineyards call for a wine tasting.
Here are several vineyards that offer wine tasting in the area: Domaine de la Sanglière, a family-run business since 1980, the Domaine Sainte-Marie dates back to the 18th century and makes biological wines and Château Léoube makes organic wines, inspired by the sea.
11. Stop A While In Le Lavandou
Le Lavandou is a traditional fishing village and resort village on the Côte d’Azur. Bormes les Mimosas and Le Lavandou basically run into each other so you are bound to go exploring here. Le Lavandou is known for its 7.45 mi /12 km of gorgeous sandy beaches. Grab an ice cream and go strolling or stretch out your towel and relax in the sunshine.
12. Plan Your Holiday For The Grand Mimosa Procession
Every year on the last weekend in February, the Grand Mimosa Procession, a spectacular flower parade, takes place! Just imagine the perfumed scent of the village. About a dozen parade floats are decorated in 80000 freshly cut flowers. This delightful flower festival ends with a traditional flower battle.
13. Drive La Route de Mimosa
Between December and February, this 80-mile/130-km route is full of blooming mimosa trees! Be sure to stop at Mandelieu La Napoule, Grasse (leader in the world’s perfume industry), Rayol Canadel, Sainte-Maxime, Saint-Rafael, Tanneron, and Pégomas. What joy exploring France by following the sight and the scent of bright yellow mimosas!
Use Bormes les Mimosas As A Base To Explore Provence
These day trips are best done with a car.
Book A Rental Car To Explore the Var and the French Riviera (for travellers from the USA and Canada)
From Bormes To Gassin
A mere 40-minute drive from Bormes les Mimosas is Gassin, one of the Plus Beaux Villages de France. Climb the cobbled streets lined with flowers to witness panoramic views over the Bay of Saint-Tropez and the Maures Mountains. This hilltop town is well worth the stop for the views. Have lunch at one of the restaurants with an outdoor terrace overlooking the countryside. Unforgettable.
From Bormes-les-Mimosas To Saint-Tropez
From Bormes-les-Mimosas to St Tropez is a 45-minute drive, in low season. It was my first visit to Saint Tropez and I was suitably impressed. If you love high-end boutiques and watching immense yachts in the port, you are sure to welcome spending some time in Saint-Tropez.
From Bormes-les-Mimosas To Cassis
Set out on a day trip from Borme les Mimosas to visit Cassis and the Parc Nationale des Calanques. From La Ciotat to Cassis follow the “Route des Crêtes” and marvel at the incredible vistas over the Mediterranean Sea. One of the highest cliffs in Europe is along this drive. Be prepared to be in awe.
Have lunch in Cassis facing the port and then take a cruise to several of the Calanques. I’ve done this twice and loved it both times.
The drive from Borme les Mimosas to Cassis is about 2 hours if you take the narrow and twisting “Route des Crêtes” and stop at the lookouts. The return trip via D559 and A50 is 1 hour and 15 minutes.
From Bormes-les-Mimosas To The Golden Islands
Take a day trip to the three nearby Golden Islands in Hyères Bay. Porquerolles is the largest with pristine white sand beaches. Port-Cros, one of France’s oldest national parks, exudes tranquillity as there are no cars or bicycles permitted. Hike and explore to your heart’s content! Ile du Levant is a nudist island and has a stunning forest of arbutus trees.
With the pine forests, rugged cliffs and coastline, these Golden Islands make for a stunning day trip. Where will you go? Access the ferries from Toulon, Hyères or Le Lavandou.
Where To Stay In Bormes-les-Mimosas
This 4-star hotel, Le Mirage, offers stunning views, a quiet setting, and a swimming pool. It has a 9.1/10 rating from customer reviews.
This 4-star hotel Eden Rose Grand Hotel has stunning views over the sea and a swimming pool. It has an 8.8/10 rating from customer reviews.
This 3-star villa, Villa Nais B&B (6 km from Bormes les Mimosas) is set in the countryside with an outdoor swimming pool. It has a 9.2/10 rating from customer reviews.
Is Bormes les Mimosas Worth Visiting?
Absolutely, Bormes les Mimosas is worth visiting. The charming medieval town bursting with flowers is delightful. The area around Bormes, including stunning beaches, vineyards, and forest is well worth exploring. Plan a holiday in the French Riviera and include a stop at Bormes les Mimosas.
What is the Closest Airport?
Bormes les Mimosas Nearest Airport: Toulon/ Hyères International Airport (TLN) and then a 25-minute drive to Bormes les Mimosas.
This airport is an hour and 20 minutes to Saint-Tropez and about 3 hours and 40 minutes to Nice.
Book A Rental Car To Explore the Var and the French Riviera (for travellers from the USA and Canada)
How To Get To Bormes-les-Mimosas From Paris?
The simplest way to get to Bormes-les-Mimosas from Paris is to drive (almost 9 hours) or fly. It is possible to get to Bormes via train. It involves several changes (Lyon and then Toulon) followed by a bus trip that drops you off at Le Pinfontêtes.
What day is Market Day in Bormes-les-Mimosas?
Main Market: Wednesdays, all year long from 7 a.m to 1 p.m.
Small Market: Le Pin, Tuesdays, all year long from 7 a.m to 1 p.m.
Craft Market: July and August from 5 p.m. to midnight.
Le Lavandou: Thursdays, all year long from 7 a.m to 1 p.m. I can vouch for this market – fabulous. Bought lots of fresh produce here and two bathing suits!
Is There A Tourist Office?
There is a great tourist office (Office de Tourisme) in Place Gambetta, right in the medieval town.
Is There Parking in Bormes les Mimosas?
The free parking is well-marked and easily accessible. St-Francois Parking (P1) has 200 parking spaces and P2, just beside P1, has 170 places.
Bormes les Mimosas is a charming destination that is perfect for a relaxed and laid-back vacation. Whether you want to explore the old village, relax on the beach, or take a nature trail, there is something for everyone. So why not add this hidden gem of France to your next travel itinerary? You will not regret it.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this guide to Bormes les Mimosas Things to Do and have a chance to enjoy it as I did.
Until next time,
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