Rayol-Canadel-sur-Mer photo rayolcanadel0040s.jpg (9 k) Rayol-Canadel is a pair of tiny villages, co-joined in a single commune, nestled in the pine forests against the edge of the Mediterranean. Each part has a nice sandy beach, and many fine residences hidden in the trees, but there's no real village here for exploring. In fact, driving along the coastal D599 road between Bormes-les-Mimosas/Le Lavandou and Saint-Tropez, you could easily miss Rayol-Canadel if you weren't paying attention.

location map for Rayol-Canadel-sur-Mer area map
Dept: Var (83)

Also:  | Route de Mimosa |

Nearby: | Bormes-les-Mimosas 20 km | Cavalaire-sur-Mer 7 km | Cavalière 7 km | Cogolin 20 km | Grimaud 23 km | Hyères 35 km | Le Lavandou 13 km | La Mole 14 km | Saint Tropez 25 km | Sainte Maxime 30 km | Toulon 56 km |

Le Rayol, the eastern part of this village pair, does have a small commercial collection straddling the main road, including an Office de Tourisme with convient parking area. Commerce includes a small grocery store (Alimentation), butcher, boulangerie-patisserie, hair dresser, a largish Casino grocery store and a pharmacy. Adding to its identity as a real village is a post office, a tabac-librarie, and an excellent bar-restaurant.

Beaches

Both "villages" have lovely sandy beaches tucked into the rocky cliffs of the Corniche des Maures, both protected from westerly winds by the jutting Cap Nègre.

Canadel-sur-Mer's Plage du Canadel is the easiest to walk to from the main road, but parking isn't easy. It's even difficult to get off the main coast road here.

At Le Rayol, the Plage du Rayol is a 10-15 minute walk down from the main road. There is a parking area right at the beach, but it's likely to be full in the summer unless you get there bright and early.

Domaine du Rayol

The Domaine du Rayol is a large botanical garden located beside the Mediterranean just to the southeast of Rayol-Canadel-sur-Mer. This beautiful area of trees, bushes and flowers is divided into different botanical regions of the world, including of course Le Jardin de la Méditerranée.

It takes about one and a half hours to follow the marked, 2 km itinerary, but you should plan on a half-day for a leisurley tour, exploration and photography. It's just a couple minutes drive down from Le Rayol, and there's parking at the entrance.

Entry is 8 € adults, 5 € kids.
www.domainedurayol.org

Route de Mimosas

Rayol-Canadel is on the Route de Mimosas, a January itinerary you can follow to see the finest of the region's colorful yellow mimosa in bloom. The route is a 130-km drive beginning in Bormes-les-Mimosas, passing through Rayol Canadel, Sainte-Maxime, Saint-Raphaël, Mandelieu-La Napoule, Tanneron, Pégomas and finishing in Grasse.

History

Rayol-Canadel-sur-Mer was part of the commune of La Môle until 1949.

More Recently: At midnight, 14 August 1944, French commandos of Colonel Bouvet's African Army, landed at the the Canadel beach, part of the U.S. 7th Army invasion of Provence.

Office de Tourisme

Place Michel Goy, on the D559 at Le Rayol.

Tel : 0494 056 569

Open all year; closed Sunday in the winter.

Transportation Rayol-Canadel-sur-Mer

Bus

Road

Taxi

Hiking

Maps

IGN (1/25,000) #3545 OT "St. Tropez, Ste. Maxime, Massif des Maures"

The coast is not great for hiking; the area is very built-up and the seaside cliffs are steep.

In the hills just to the north, though, on the tiny road up to the Col du Canadel, you'll join the GR51 (Balcony of the Cote d'Azur). From the "col", the GR51 goes west through the forest all the way past Bormes-les-Mimosas before hitting civilization. To the northeast, you'll have 10-15 km of lovely hiking before arriving at the busy area around Cogolin - Port-Grimaud.

Dining

There's at least one restaurant at each tiny center, Le Canadel and Le Rayol, with the one at Le Rayol including a good café.

Lodging - Hotels