Getaways for nature lovers
National nature reserve of the Plaine des Maures
Our Domaine des Féraud is situated in the middle of the national nature reserve of the Plaine des Maures. The nature reserve was created in 2009 and covers an area of 5,276 ha. A territory of exceptional biodiversity in the Mediterranean region. The mosaic and the diversity of natural habitats present (oak groves, pine forests, lawns, temporary ponds, maquis, sandstone slabs, meadows ...) constitute favorable environments for a large number of remarkable and endangered species. The nature reserve is the most important habitat for turtles in Provencal.
L'Abbaye du Thoronet - Cistercian Abbey
Located just 20km from our Domaine, l’abbay du Thoronet is the "jewel" of Cistercian abbeys. Built between 1160 and 1230, Thoronet Abbey, together with Silvacane and Sénanque, is one of three Cistercian abbeys in Provence. In danger of falling into disrepair after the French Revolution, restoration work began on this masterpiece in 1841. An example for contemporary architecture. Generations of architects were inspired by the purity and simplicity of the internal space, dictated mainly by the organization of community life. Le Corbusier visited the site in 1953 and wrote: "In these days of ‘raw concrete’, however fêted, welcome and blessed it may be, this was such a marvelous encounter along the way."
20 km or 20 minutes drive from Domaine de Féraud
La Garde-Freinet and the chestnut festival
In the days when the cork industry boomed, la Garde Freinet was one of the centres of production. Cork oak trees still line the streets today, but this village at the end of the pass of the “Massive des Maures” with its flowering gardens and steep alley ways now lives from its vineyards and chestnuts. The highlight of the autumn is the “Fête de la Chateigne”, the chestnut festival, on the 3rd and 4th Sundays in October.
16 km or 20 minutes drive from Domaine des Féraud
Tortoise village in Carnoules
On the border of the nature reserve of the Maures plain, the turtle village is a refuge for the survival and protection of France's only endemic turtle species, the Hermann's tortoise*. The Turtle Village of Carnoules Coeur-du-Var is a unique educational and conservation centre for the protection of turtles. It houses scientific and conservation activities.
Come and discover - alone or with your family - this new village, about ten kilometres from Gonfaron: 2 hectares to learn all about more than 50 species from all over the world. When you visit the Turtle Village, you will learn how to better protect the turtles and contribute to their conservation.
*tortue de terre grecque Testudo hermanni
Village des tortues, quartiers des Plaines, 1065, Route du Luc D97 83660 Carnoules
Tél : 04 89 29 14 10
Opening times : 15th March - 15th October, daily from 10 am to 6pm;
October 16th March - 14th October all Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays 10 am - 5 pm
30 km or 30 minutes drive from Domaine des Féraud.
Tourtour - "Village in the sky"
There are lots of beautiful and romantic little village in Provence. Tourtour is certainly one of the most impressive. A dominant position has earned Tourtour the nickname "Village in the Sky" and offers the visitor an exceptional view of the Maures, Sainte-Baume and Sainte-Victoire massifs and on a clear day as far as Mont Ventoux.
The setting is fantastic, a green village up in the sky with numerous springs, picturesque streets and the omnipresent medieval history.
Gorges du Verdon
The Gorges du Verdon or Grand canyon du Verdon is often considered to be one of Europe's most beautiful canyon. 30 kilometers long and formed by the Verdon River, the canyon is named for its startling turquoise-green color, one of the location's distinguishing characteristics. The most impressive part lies between the towns of Castellane and Moustiers-Sainte-Marie, where the river has cut a ravine to a depth of 700 meters through the limestone mass. At the end of the canyon, the Verdon River flows into the artificial lake of Sainte-Croix-du-Verdon. The Gorges du Verdon is just an hour drive (approx.70 km) north of Vidauban. Because of its proximity to the French Riviera, the canyon is very popular with tourists, who can drive around its rim, rent kayaks to travel on the river, or hike. The limestone walls, which are several hundreds of meters high, attract many rock climbers.
You can visit the Verdon Gorge all year round. April to June and September/October are probably the most pleasant months to visit.
70 km or 60 minutes drive from Domaine de Féraud
Butterfly house in Saint Tropez
More than 4500 butterflies and beetles are exhibited in the “Maison des Papillons” which have been collected by Dany Lartigue in France over the last few decades.
The variety and the presentation of the collection are impressive: many of the butterflies are exhibited on painted or artistically designed backgrounds showing their camouflage in their natural surroundings. Thus each exhibit becomes are piece of art in its own right, created with love and passion.
Maison des papillons, 9 rue Etienne Berny, Saint-Tropez. Tel : 04 94 97 63 45
Opening times: daily from 10 am to midday and from 2.30 pm to 7 pm, except on Sundays
38 km or 50 minutes drive from Domaine des Féraud.
Botany Gardens in Rayol-Canadel
The large botanical gardens are beautifully situated on the coast just to the south east of Rayol-Canadel-sur-Mer. A walk through the area – known as the “Domaine du Rayol” or “Le Jardin de la Méditerranée” leads through various gardens divided into different botanical regions of the world and featuring different vegetation from the Mediterranean Basin. It takes about one and a half hours to follow a 2km marked itinerary. Guided tours can be reserved or audio guides are available. A small open-air restaurant – “ Le Café des Jardiniers” - offers meals inspired by the gardens. A bookshop is available for botanical literature and gift items.
Domaine du Rayol, avenue des Belges, 83820 Rayol-Canadel-sur-Mer.
Tel : 04 98 04 44 00
Opening times: February to 15th November every day, except Sundays, from 9.30am to 6.30pm
50 km or one hour drive from Domaine des Féraud.
Lavander Festival in Valensole
A somewhat longer excursion leads us to the Plateau de Valensole, located in the middle of a valley in the hilly Provence, surrounded by lavender fields, wheat fields and almond trees. When in flower these combine to become a unique sea of lilac and yellow colours. The highlight of the summer is the lavender festival on the third weekend in July. The buzzing of the bees in the middle of the lavender fields is also impressive as they collect their daily nectar. The lavender honey from Valonsole is most famous: a visit of the Museum of apiculture “Musée Vivant de l’Abeille” with its 50 bee colonies is highly recommended. A lavender distillery can also be visited on Jean-Paul Angelvin’s domaine.
95 km or 1 hour 40 minutes drive from Domaine des Féraud
La fête du champignon de Saint-Trinit
Once a year, this sleepy village of Provence at the foot of Mont Ventoux turns into the capital of the mushroom with its mushroom experts and collectors. Every October a big mushroom festival takes place here with an exhibition of over 100 species of mushroom and an extensive programme for both children and adults.
Nearby you will find Sault – one of six French places declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Here you can admire nature in all its beauty, particularly in summer, when the wheat and lavender are in blossom.
185 km ou 2 hours 40 drive from Domaine des Féraud.
More about wine tourism: