Var (83150) Population: 7,431
Bandol is a seaside town (station balenaire) on the Mediterranean coast between Toulon and Cassis, east of Marseille. The town has a harbor shared by yachts and fishing boats, lots of shops, cafés, restaurants and events for visitors. Market day Daily, Tue.
Central & East Beaches
Renécros Beach (Plage Renécros) is a very long beach of white sand circling the lagoon Anse de Renécros, about 500 m southwest of the town center. This is the largest beach, and considered by most as the best beach of Bandol. It's big, has fine white sand, protected well from the winds, and slopes gradually into the water — great for the kiddies. It has all the standard beach amenities, including showers, toilets and lifeguards. [43.134349, 5.751012]
Central Beach (Plage Centrale) is a small bay beside the central parking lot on Quai Charles De Gaulle, between the marina and the Casino, only 400 m from Bandol town hall. It has an excellent sandy beach, and the handy features of showers, toilets and lifeguard. Plage Centrale also has water-sport activities and equipment. [43.136339, 5.759220]
Casino Beach (Plage du Casino) is just beyond Plage Centrale, on the far side of the Bandol Casino. It also has a large, sandy beach, along with showers, toilets and lifeguard. Casino beach has water skiing and a volley ball area. [43.137549, 5.761916].
Grand Vallat Beach (Plage du Grand Vallat) is 1.2 km from Bandol center, another 600 m past Casino Beach. It's a pretty decent sandy beach, also with showers, toilets and lifeguard. The closest of them all to the road, and beside a roundabout where the main road access to the autoroute, so it's probably the noisiest of them all. Street-side parking is available along the seaside. [43.139257, 5.768144]
Eden Roc Beach (Plage Eden Roc) 850 m west of Bandol center, a 10 minute walk. It's a small and cozy pebble beach, with shower and toilets but no lifeguard. The beach is accessable by steps or ramp, and has very limited street-side parking. [43.135160, 5.744264]
Barry Beach (Plage de Barry) 1 km west of Bandol center, a 20 minute walk. Just 150 m past Eden Roc, Barry is also a pebble beach, but is twice as wide, with good ramp access, and with similar very-limited street-side parking. [43.135013, 5.742318]
Capélan Beach (Plage du Capélan) is 1.4 km west of Bandol center, a good 30-minute walk. If you're driving, street-side parking along Ave Georges V is extremely limited. The beach area is hard, flat pebble at the neck of a narrow peninsula, with limited access to the water. It's not great for beach swimming, but is popular with skin divers and snorkelers. There are a couple of beach-side restaurants there, so you don't have to hike in to town for lunch. [43.135600, 5.738040]
Anglaise Beach (Plage de l'Anglaise) 1.8 km west of Bandol center, isn't so much a beach as a rocky coast with a few patches of sand along the seaside. Access is by foot only, past the western end of Ave Georges V, along the famous Chemin de la Douane. This is the old Customs Officers' footpath, now referred to as the Sentier du Littoral, literally the Seaside Footpath. [43.136490, 5.733376]
Engraviers Beach (Plage des Engraviers), 2.5 km west of Bandol center. Another 600 m west of Plage de l'Anglaise, the Plage des Engraviers is a pebble beach in a forested area, out past a large apartment building called Residence Athena. Its isolation makes it a favorite of discreet nudists. [43.136903, 5.726118]
South, Peninsula Beaches
Trou de Madame, or The Lady's Hole, isn't really a beach, but more of a shallow and rocky cove, where some go mostly to sunbathe on the rocks. Its interest is mainly in the history of the name, which to us is pretty vague. [43.132003, 5.748894]
Dog Beach is just that, a beach for dogs. It's a shallow and narrow stretch of pebble beach, past the south end of the marina, past the sports field at the far side of the last parking lot, and just across the narrow gap of water to Bendor Island. Dog Beach is the only Bandol beach where dogs are allowed, at least in principal, and doggie refuse bags are provided. [43.130042, 5.751652]
Bendor Island Beaches
Delos Beach (Plage Delos) is the only real beach on Bendor Island. It's in a small north-facing cove at the east end of the island, adjacent to the island's small port, and beside Paul Ricard's original Hotel Delos. It has a nice, sandy beach, and is very popular, thus crowded. [43.128338, 5.750284]
Soukana Beach (Plage Soukana) is a only beach lounge-chair area attached to the seafood restaurant at the western tip of Bendor Island.
Favorite Sons and Famous Visitors
Aldous Huxley stayed in Bandol's Hotel Beau Rivage when he first arrived on the French Riviera. He stayed in the area for seven years, and during four months of that time he wrote his famous Brave New World. Not long after his arrival in Bandol, though, he moved into his Villa Huxley in nearby Sanary-sur-Mer. During the 1930s, Huxley socialized with other notables, including DH Lawrence, , and Virginia Woolf.
D. H. Lawrence had been staying at Bandol since October 1929 when Dr Andrew Morland, the English lung specialist, examined him and persuaded him that his long-neglected tuberculosis required urgent care. On his advice Lawrence moved on 6 February to a sanatorium in Vence .
Katherine Mansfield first resided in the Beau Rivage hotel, and then moved into the Villa Prélude where she lived from 1919 until 1925.
Some famous French artists of the time also visited or made a home in Bandol. including Fernandel, Raimu, Louis Lumière and singer Mistinguett.
Actor Raimu (Jules Muraire) lived in Bandol freom 1936 to 1944, in the villa La Ker Mocotte.
The leading light of photography and cinema, Louis Lumiere lived here in the villa Lumen, which he created by merging together two other villas, Les Ruins and Le Rêve Bleu. M. Lumiere died in Bandol on 6 June 1946,
• GPS: 43.221161, 5.75437
IGN (1/25,000) #3245 ET "Aubagane, La Ciotat, Ste-Baume"
IGN (1/25,000) #3346 OT "Toulon, Le Gro Cerveau, Mont Faron"
Department 83, Var Buses
- See Beyond's Var Department Bus Schedules for downloading the Var bus-lines map [Plan du Reseau] and bus-line schedules [Horaires] (link for PDF files).
- Schedules for the Var bus lines are on the VarLib Horaires-Ligne page (http://www.varlib.fr/horaires_ligne/?rub_code=6") - type the line number in the Numéro ... ligne box to access the bus schedule PDF link. (Type a couple of digits in the box to get a list of route numbers.)