DISCOVERY OF THE DRACÉNIE
Discover the Dracénie and come and recharge your batteries in the heart of the Var during your next stay at Domaine des Naiades!
Tired of the sun and the beach, need a change of scenery? Discover another face of our beautiful region. Woods, waterfalls, medieval cities await you in the Dracenois region - so much so that there is something for everyone.
Set off to discover the Dracénie and discover the centre of Draguignan, the gateway to the Verdon and a historic county town. Halfway between the sea and the mountains, you will find a variety of landscapes, picturesque villages and natural curiosities in the surrounding area. It is the perfect opportunity to refresh yourself and discover the most enchanting places.
Draguignan in the heart of the Var:
The main town of the Dracénie, Draguignan owes its name to the terrible dragon, a legendary and emblematic creature slain by Saint Hermentaire. The city is recognizable by the different parts of the medieval city: the famous clock tower, the ramparts of the old city and the chapel of the observance, all overlooked by the imposing Malmont. From the orientation table, you can admire the Var countryside as far as the sea, then walk along the botanical path and enjoy the scents of thyme and rosemary. Please note that the massif is often closed in summer due to the risk of fire.
For those interested in culture in Draguignan :
- The Museum of Popular Arts and Traditions of Middle Provence, whose ethnographic collection presents the traditional way of life of the Provencal people.
- The Hôtel Département des Expositions du Var (HDE Var) offers visitors an annual thematic exhibition from June to September, with collections from around the world.
- The Artillery Museum for lovers of military history.
For Wine lovers :
As the region has a rich wine-growing area, you can buy local vintages in the various cellars in Draguignan: Le dit vin cellar, the Cellier des trois collines (between Flayosc and Draguignan, where you can also stock up on local produce), Cavavin, or directly at the many estates in the area, starting with the Domaine du Dragon, which is just outside the town in the direction of Ampus.
Finally, the town has a few curiosities, starting with the Pierre de la Fée (the largest dolmen in the Var), the executioner's house converted into a museum of torture, or the Himalayan footbridges of Trans-en-Provence (just outside Draguignan).
Well worth a visit:
Here is our selection of places to discover, which will take you to the four corners of the Dracénie area.
- Sillans-la-Cascade: Need shade and freshness? Go and admire its emblematic waterfall, whose subtle colours you can admire from the belvedere, which is reached by a path lined with oaks and pines, whose shade you will appreciate in summer. You can then have your picnic on the banks of the Bresque at the landscaped area of the Plagette. Or if you just want to have a drink on the terrace, just go to the charming village and wander through the narrow streets and squares.
- Villecroze: In a similar vein, and not far from here, is this pretty village, a jewel nestled between small hills, where you can admire the waterfall and the so-called tuff concretions from a pleasant green park. Right next to the waterfall is the troglodyte castle, which can be visited with a guide.
- The Gorges de Pennafort: To the east of the Dracenois region, it is possible to go there for a walk in the middle of nature, made of the red rock so characteristic of this part of the Var. Lovers of gastronomic cuisine can dine not far from there at the starred restaurant of the Hostellerie des Gorges de Pennafort, and taste the cuisine of chef Anthony Salliège, both indoors and on the large outdoor terrace covered by a pergola.
Discover the medieval Dracénie :
- The old town Draguignan.
- The famous Thoronet Abbey.
- The abbey of La Celle.
- The Saracen tower of Taradel in Taradeau.
- The towers of Cotignac and their troglodytic hiding places.
- The ruined medieval hamlets of Reynier and Encastel. The church of Lorgues.
- The collegiate church of Saint-Martin.
- The charming perched villages of Tourtour, Bargèmes and Châteaudouble, and even Trigance, whose castle has been converted into a sumptuous café/restaurant/hotel.
Ideas for family outings:
Do your children dream of being knighted? At the end of a quest that will take you to nine villages in the Var, it will be possible to obtain this heroic distinction in one of the tourist offices of the Dracénie in exchange for the completed parchment and the solved riddles. You will find more information in the family guide, to be found in the tourist offices of the region or on the internet (https://tourisme.dracenie.com/la-route-des-chevaliers/). This is the perfect opportunity to discover the region!But if you just want to sit back and find the perfect place to have lunch outdoors with your family, we can recommend the following equally enjoyable destinations:
- The Aille waterfall in Vidauban
- The Sauveclare waterfall in Lorgues
- The river of Endre in Le Muy
- The valley of Saint Barthélémy in Salernes
- The Pierrepont waterfalls at Montferrat
- The Caramy waterfalls at Carcès
To the delight of cycling enthusiasts, the department is criss-crossed by a number of cycle paths: come and take on the Euro Vélo 8, part of the "Mediterranean by bike" project (still being developed), which currently covers seventy kilometres between Sillans-la-Cascade and Draguignan, passing through Salernes and Flayosc. Part of the itinerary runs along the old railway line, so that you can ride in complete peace and quiet and admire the landscape of the hinterland.
In Draguignan you will also find the cycle path known as "la trouée verte" or "la vigne à vélo", which now goes as far as Les Arcs-en-Provence.
Otherwise, there are many walks on marked paths. A non-exhaustive list of walks can be found on the website of the tourist office: WALKS | Tourism of Dracénie Provence Verdon (dracenie.com).
Some good addresses for gourmets:
- The caves in Trans en Provence (eating in a cave).
- La Pinède (and their wood-fired pizza) between Taradeau and Le Muy.
- La Morette near La Motte and the famous giant hamburger (offered if eaten in its entirety... good luck! 😋).
- Chez Bruno near Salernes €€€ for truffle lovers.
- L'Hostellerie des Gorges de Pennafort €€€.