On Saturday, we took off for Sanary-sur-Mer. The village is about 35 minutes from our house and is located just east of Bandol. It is a fantastic place for a family to spend the day. The port is lovely and there is a nice walkway with a carousel, children’s park, carnival rides and ice cream shops. There are also boats to rent for the afternoon and sight-seeing boats that will take you around the nearby villages and even the Calanques.
The port walkway winds around the port and leads to another walkway near the sea. It dead ends into stairs leading up to the houses on the bluff giving way to a spectacular view.
We happened upon a very tiny church that was originally built in 1560. It has since been restored and is very lovely inside. Hanging on the wall, in the narthex of the church, is the history of the area and the church over the centuries. Standing in front of the church shows you a magnificent view of the Mediterranean. When continuing down the walkway you will pass by lovely buildings that were once houses of the rich, but have long since been turned into apartments.
Just across from the port is the center of town with all the quaint shops and restaurants. Don’t let it fool you. It is much bigger than it appears and the streets continuously wind around giving you a new view of the town with more to discover. There is plenty to see and do in Sanary to make it an entire days outing. The town remains very provincial in style, but the shops are up-to-date with one of them even being a skateboard shop. I felt like I was back in The States when I was in there! There are consignment clothes stores, candle shops, galleries, and traditional stores selling all things provincial, not to mention the most fabulous restaurants to please everyone’s taste.
Directly across from the port is the village church. It has the loveliest paintings inside. The paintings are done in very bright and vivid colors and are unlike the other churches I have seen in Europe. They also cover nearly every inch of the church. Outside on the bell tower are spectacularly carved gargoyles for keeping away the evil spirits.
The port hosts some of the most colorful little boats I have ever seen. They were all lined up along the port on the day we were there. Of course, the town can be very crowded, especially in the summer, but we found it to be spacious and very inviting.
As always, if you have been to Sanary or plan on going, please let me know how you liked the town and what you found interesting to see and do.
If you want to see a few more photos of Sanary-sur-Mer, they appear on Flickr. To get there just click on the “More Photos” option under Recent Pictures.