Hyères’ city centre remains little known by visitors who tend to prefer its beaches and islands. However, the old town – perched upon a hill and dominated by the ruins of a medieval castle that used to belong to the Knights of Fos – deserves a proper visit.
A vividly coloured town
An Air of Provence
As you venture into its medieval narrow streets, the essence of Provencal life permeates everything around you: from the street displays of fruits and vegetables, the cheese shop and its neighbour, the second-hand book store to the olive specialist waiting for you at the threshold of his boutique. You will stumble upon the locals chatting in the shade of the city walls: take a break and order a coffee or a local pastis, comment the latest news of Var Matin– the local newspaper in the company of your table neighbours. A colourful array of freshly washed linen dries out the windows, perfumed by the surrounding fragrances of Bougainvillea, freshly baked bread and aniseed biscuits.
From one street to the next
Behind its village airs, Hyères is buzzing with small designers, artists, painters and decoration boutiques. And that is just a glimpse of the old town. You might have to save for another visit the Temple Knight Tower, the rue des Porches, the vaulted passages under the old city walls, the Saint Paul Collegiate church as well as the windy paved streets climbing upward to the castle.
The princes' Gate