Hyères

casino hyeresPoised elegantly on the Provence coast 20 km / 12 miles east of Toulon, Hyères is a town - almost a city, really - of two faces.

Pointing out to sea, the long finger of its Giens peninsula presents miles of glorious sandy beaches made for water sports, bird spotting, supper at sunset, a trip to one of the secluded "Golden Islands" and more.

Now turn inland to explore the maze of steep, flowery cobbled streets in Hyères' Old Town and its exotic gardens.

And step back in time to when Hyères was the winter playground of Europe's rich and famous and stroll along graceful 19th century boulevards fringed with palm and orange trees, palaces and grand hotels (pictured: Hyères' Belle Epoque casino). Several days here are needed to explore fully the town's treasures.

Below we present our full guide to the centre of Hyères and the island of Porquerolles. Click here for our guide to Toulon-Hyères airport and a review of the city's H Hotel. And come back soon to read about the beaches.

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wallace fountain hyeres smallHyères sits on the cusp between rustic Western Provence and the cosmopolitan Côte d'Azur. There's a lot to see here, from the gorgeous coastline and islands to its many layers of history.

porquerolles beaches bikes smallIts picture postcard beaches, peaceful woods and vineyards and proximity to the mainland lure over a million visitors a year to the island of Porquerolles.

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