Bandol is a lively and attractive little town with harbour and palm tree-lined seafront. The town has many restaurants, along the water and in the back streets. A key attraction are the sandy beaches that start right in town and stretch out around the bay.

In town you can rent stand-up paddle boards, bodyboards, even surfboards (sometimes conditions allow reasonable surfing). On Fridays and Sundays there is a colourful market on the front.

A short ferry ride from the harbour is the tiny island of Bendor, which is just off the mainland. Bendor was the creation of pastis magnate Paul Ricard (you may have seen his name on the bottles), and has some quirky shops, a wine and spirits museum, a small hotel and beaches.

Beach at Bandol
Bandol beach

Just outside Bandol heading east on the coast road is the semi-circular bay of Bandol with sandy beach all along the east side. This culminates in the Plage Doree, with a restaurant of the same name. You can eat there or just rent sunbeds and parasols for the day. This is a great way to spend a day, especially outside of July and August when it is busy. Build up to a good lunch and then recover from it, all at the sea's edge. Parking is along the road and therefore limited.

Bandol is noted for its wine, the pink and white are good but unexpectedly it is the red that shines. You can visit the wineries of Bandol in the hills behind the town if you get bored of the beaches.