Feel Bormes-les-Mimosas with our top 5 sensory experiences…

See paintings and sculpture from the 19th and 20th centuries in the Musée Arts & Histoire

Hear speedboats gliding to and fro across the turquoise bay

Smell the fragrant golden clouds of mimosa adorning the town in the winter months. Drive or hike a section of the 130km Route du Mimosa for the best experience

Taste a rich Provençal tapenade (olive dip) with your evening glass of rosé

Touch underwater treasures on a dive or snorkel organised by the Aquabormes aquatic centre.

This 12th-century village in Var, sitting between the Massif des Maures and the Provençal coast, takes its name from the fragrant yellow flowers that adorn it during the winter months. From December to March the landscape is awash with colour and scent – hikers and drivers can take a section of the 130km Route du Mimosa to experience it in all its glory, winding up inland from the sea towards the perfume capital of Grasse. The Julien Cavatore nursery, not far outside Bormes, is the best place to get up close and personal with 200 varieties of mimosa and learn about how to grow it. Bormes is a riot of colour for its Ville Fleurie status: the winter flourish of mimosa is replaced in the summer months by swathes of flaming fuschia bougainvillea, which clamber across houses and tumble down walls. In the surrounding woods and scrubland are rockrose, arbutus and juniper, thyme and rosemary, plus robust oak and olive trees – all contributing to the intoxicating scent in the air around Bormes.

The village itself is a romantic tangle of old cobbled streets lined with artists’ galleries and boutiques selling traditional Provençal products. Particularly worth a visit is the Musée Arts & Histoire with its collection of 19th- and 20th-century paintings and sculptures. But the sea, of course, plays a major part in life here. Wander around the lovely La Favière quarter, admire the marina and sunbathe on the large sandy beaches. Explore the famous Bregançon fort, perched on a rocky peninsula in the neighbouring fishing hamlet of Cabasson (connected to the mainland by a causeway), which served as the official summer residence for the French President between 1968 and 2013 and is now open to the public. For adrenaline hunters, the Aquabormes aquatic centre is the place to arrange scuba diving and snorkelling, boat trips and a whole host of exciting watersports.

bormes les mimosas