Bienvenue a Bandol. You might be beginning to gather that I was keen to explore as many villages of the Côte d’Azur as possible and whilst Cannes and St Tropez lay a little out of reach (and perhaps did not hold as much pull for me personally) there were plenty of sweet coastal towns and villages within easy striking distance of our base in La Ciotat. Forever in search of authentic France, Bandol promised to be a gentle seaside resort in a sheltered bay…
Whilst Bandol is indeed beautiful, I struggle to agree with the ‘gentle’ claim – it was busy and, with the main road running adjacent to the promenade and sea, for us it felt a little overwhelming. The car parks are big and set right on the water’s edge (unlike pretty Cassis where they are hidden uphill and in fact underground). We began our morning with an iced coffee (forever the source of much confusion in France I found the best solution was to order two drinks – a glass of iced cold milk and an espresso. God help you if you want a scoop of ice cream in there…) at Palm B on the rather charming decked terrace directly on the sand of the bay and from here we took a stroll along the front. If boats are your thing then this is the place for you but for me, with ample boat porn in our own charming La Ciotat, I suppose I might have been a little bit ‘over it’.
There are many restaurants and bars set around the main square of Le Mairie, Place de la Liberté, and this square, with its old fountain, al fresco tables shaded by trees and beautiful pink buildings, feels like the most tranquil choice for a relaxed lunch. Our trip however happened to coincide with the last Tuesday morning market of the season which meant the atmosphere was a little on the frantic side… We settled here in L’Auberge Du Port but, honestly, I would not recommend it – the service was unhelpful and the food a little overpriced.
It’s funny because, looking back at these photos, I find it a little odd that I don’t have kinder things to say about Bandol – it was certainly beautiful in parts but somehow the general vibe just was not the right fit for me. Perhaps it is down to the fact that Cassis and Le Castellet were just a step above or perhaps it is because, by now, our base, La Ciotat, had stolen my heart…
*Denotes affiliate links
playsuit – Zimmermann
sandals – Next* (gift 2018)
sunglasses – Tommy Hilfiger
DKNY bag – Zalando (gift 2016)
rings – Astley Clarke (gift 2016) & Peggy Li
nura bracelet – Monica Vinader* (gift 2018)