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About Toulon

French Riviera, France

With a population of just over 170,000 people, Toulon is the home to the French Mediterranean naval Fleet and is predominantly involved in naval construction as well as armaments and aeronautical equipment manufacturing, though paper, printing and maps are also part of the industrial scene. Toulon is reputed to be the sunniest city in France, having averaged 2,865 hours of sunshine per year between 1999 and 2008, but it may also be one of the windiest, being exposed to the Tramontane, Mistral, Marin Sirocco and Levant winds during various times of the year. Though Toulon lies on the Côte d’Azur, it is not as heavily promoted as a tourist destination as other parts of the region, which does the city a disservice as historically and architecturally, it is one of the most interesting cities in France.

A short history of Toulon

While archeology shows that the area around Toulon was inhabited as far back as the Paleolithic age, it was not until the Romans created a settlement at what was then known as TeloMartius around the 2nd century BC that Toulon as we know it today began to take shape. With its sheltered location from the main part of the Mediterranean Toulon soon became a popular port, but this also led to its downfall in the early to middle ages when it was forever being attacked either by the Saracens or pirates. It was Louis XIV who decided France should become a major sea power, thereafter fortifying Toulon with the construction of a new battery and substantial arsenal. At the beginning of the eighteenth century the town’s population had halved after suffering from the black plague which had spread along the coast from Marseille, while at the end of the century and after the French Revolution, the town’s Royalists welcomed the arrival of the British fleet, only to see them defeated at the Battle of Toulon by a young French captain, Napoleon Bonaparte.

tourist attractions in Toulon

Mount Faron, at a height of 584 metres dominates the backdrop to the city. There are two ways to access the top, either tranquilly by cable car, or more scarily by one of the most precipitous and narrow roads in France! With a wealth of history, the city has plenty of museums, including the Museum of Asian Arts, which is housed in the former home to the son of the author, Jules Verne and which is filled with artifacts brought back to Toulon by French sailors who had visited the Orient. Toulon is also home to the Memorial Museum of the Landings in Provence which retells the story of the allied invasion of the area in 1944.

festivals and events in Toulon

The Hôtel des Arts was first opened in 1998 and now holds five separate exhibitions every year to celebrate some of France’s finest modern painters. There couldn’t be more diversity within the city as far as events are concerned with a Festival du Country from June to July celebrating all that is good about American Country Music, together with an Estival de Musique de Toulon, which concentrates on music slightly closer to home. From July to August there is a Jazz festival which runs throughout the city at a number of indoor and outdoor venues, while September is the month for Voiles de Legend which sees Toulon being visited by some of the oldest and most stunning three masted schooners in the world.

gastronomy in Toulon

With such a multicultured city, restaurants range from traditional French to Asian and also African. As with most of the resorts on the Riviera, seafood and fish play a great part in local cuisine, but not to the exclusion of some local Toulon dishes including the ‘cade Toulonnaise’ which is a pancake made from chickpea flour and ‘chichi frégi’ which is a type of Provençale donut. Alternatively, there is always fine dining, and Le GrosVentre (which sounds better than the English translation – ‘The fat stomach!) together with Le Pointilliste are two of the finest in Toulon.

recommended restaurants in Toulon
La Promesse 250 r. Jean-Jaurès F - 83000, Toulon
Phone: +33 4 94 98 79 39
Au Sourd 10 r. Molière F - 83000, Toulon
Phone: +33 4 94 92 28 52
Carré 2 Vigne 14 r. du Pomet F - 83000, Toulon
Phone: +33 4 94 92 98 21
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The Frogs House

Looking for an unforgettable experience in a typical French village, 15km from Nice and the French Riviera ? Come to enjoy our 7 cosy bedrooms with views to the sea and over the surrounding hills.

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