Hyères photo hyeres006.jpg (8 k) The commune of Hyères includes the town, the seaside peninsula Presqu'ile de Giens and the islands Iles d'Hyères.

location map for Hyères area map
Dept: Var (83)

Also:  | Hyères | Hyères Islands | Hyères Sea Travel |

Nearby: | Aix-en-Provence 96 km | Belgentier 24 km | Bormes-les-Mimosas 22 km | Brignoles 50 km | Calanques | Le Castellet 41 km | La Garde-Freinet 54 km | Le Lavandou 22 km | Marseille 86 km | Pierrefeu-du-Var 16 km | Toulon 18 km |

The Town of Hyères

Hyères is a fabulous town, and vastly different from the seaside resort area of the coast. Coming up from the beach, or turning in from the end of the autoroute, you'll drive up through a commercial-residential district on the Avenue Gambetta with its wide sidewalks lined by double rows of palm trees. If you come into town by train, you'll have a 10-15 minute walk from the station to the center. However you arrive, don't plan on leaving soon; if you have only one day you'll miss a lot of Hyères.

From the top of the avenue, much more town extends out to the right (east), including wide pedestrian shopping malls (the outside street variety). Straight north from the end of Ave Gambetta, continue on the Rue Rabaton to the Place Massillon and the start of the old town.

The Place Massillon is a large, open square, with the 12th-century Tower of Saint-Blaise and several good terrace cafè-restaurants. The daily market is held here, and the tiny streets leading to the square are packed with market stalls and shops. The well-restored old "tower" was a Knights Templar commandery.

Above the Place Massillon are a maze of interesting old streets on the hillside, meriting hours of wander and exploring; It's small enough, though, that you'll discover most in just an hour or two (not counting the park). On one level there's an observation table with a good view of the plains below and the coast. Behind the observation table, the medieval Porte Pensicola leads upwards tint even narrower streets, many of them paved with thick round cobble stones and bordered by stone walls, with shrubs and flowers everywhere. A lot of the streets of the upper vieille ville have the stone roots of the underlying rock joining streets and walls.

The old town has, in addition to its narrow streets and medieval arched portes, lovely old houses, many painted in the Provençal pastels with contrasting shutters and doors. Most are finely restored, many with the ancient stone door and window frames integrated into the facades. Even the vieille village school house is interesting with its red brick construction.

Park St Bernard

If you like flowers, or gardens, or quiet restful places, or great views, you'll love this park. In the old town go up the Rue Saint Esprit to where it turns and becomes Rue Barbacane. Facing the Porte Barruc archway, follow the steps to up to the right through a small gate, and into a lush other world. (It's open from 8h00 until evening.)
      A myriad of walkways and steps leading to different levels or through small arches into adjacent plots take you through a lush, green and colorful environment. Olives, pines and other trees provide shade in extensive gardens full of Mediterranean plants.
      The park is peaceful and quite, with benches or low walls for sitting and resting. There's a great view of the coast from here, and down across the roofs of the town, including the observation table below. High above and behind the park, you can see the lookout point at the Chateau ruins with an even further view.

At the top of the park is the Les Palmiers district, where the ramparts of the Villa de Noailles are being rebuilt. A road from here goes around the hill to the right, circling up to the Chateau ruins to the top, apparently a 45-minute walk.

The Seaside and Presqu'ile de Giens

hyeresmap The seaside and out onto the peninsula Presqu'ile de Giens is typically seaside resort, but perhaps more crowded than most. It's lined with campsites, hotels, tourist shops, traffic, restaurants and attractions, in a setting of salt marshes and umbrella pines. A popular attraction is the large Magic World fun park, on the D42 road just west of Hyères-Plage.

The Presqu'ile has the village of Giens, a little port, and the Tour-Fondue with an old fortress and the ferry to the islands of Porquerolles, Port-Cros and Levant. Just off the point are the little islands of Petit Ribaud and Grand Ribaud: pretty, but without access. The fortress is picturesque, sitting on a promotory jutting into the sea. You can clamber up the rocks (a bit dodgy) and walk around the base of the fort, but there's not much point. La Tour-Fondue itself has a pretty little inlet, with a few fishing boats anchored.

The ferry to the Porquerolles leaves roughly every hour, and many passengers take their bicycles for touring the island.

Favorite Sons

In the period of 1880-1887, Robert Lewis Stevenson stayed at the Chalet de Solitude in Hyères. At the time, he was sunning himself here and wintering in the French-Swiss Alps.

Office de Tourisme

Tel (CDT): 04 94 65 18 55; Fax: 04 94 35 85 05

Web: www.hyeres-tourisme.com

Email: info@ot-hyeres.fr


Sat, Sun - Market; at Magic World
Sun - Puces (flea markt), La Capte


Olive Oil Mills

We have 1 olive oil mill listed for Hyères (click).

Museums & Sites


Transportation Hyères





Fun - Amusement - Kids


Mini Golf



IGN (1/25,000) #3446 OT "Hyères, Porquerolles"

Didier Richard (1/50,000) #25 "Maures Haut-Pays Varois"

dot East, south and west of town is very built up. Immediately to the north of town, however, are the forested hills of Les Maurettes. From the hilltop above the town, trails go out into these hills to the north; it's an area only about 5 km from east to west.

dot To the northeast of Hyères, only a few km away, is the start of the Maures: a vast area of beautiful forests and hills, and good hiking. For the Maures you'll need map Didier Richard (1/50,000) #25 "Maures Haut-Pays Varois".


There are plenty of restaurants in Hyères, that we haven't tried. Our one lunch on the Place Massillon included a very good Pates aux Pistou and an interesting Aïoli complet. The Aïoli was served as one deep dish with fresh codfish, green beans, boiled potato, cauliflower, carrots, a whole artichoke, shellfish and a boiled egg, with a dish of Aïoli sauce on the side.

Lodging - Hotels