Domaine de Rayol, Le Jardin des Méditerranées

In a protected natural area on the Var coast 25km from St-Tropez, the beautiful, 20-hectare Domaine du Rayol (External link) overhangs the sea and is a listed ‘jardin remarquable’ and ‘grand site de France’, thanks to its exceptional collection and layout of Mediterranean plants cultivated by botanist Gilles Clément. The garden was first created in 1910 by Parisian businessman Alfred Theodore Courmes, when he built his retirement home on a promontory overlooking the Baie du Figuier, before being acquired by the Conservatoire du Littoral in 1989. It’s a multi sensory experience as you wander through the gardens, past arbutus, heather, laurel and eucalyptus and flowers in a multitude of colours. As well as Mediterranean plants, the garden contains examples from the Canary Islands, South Australia and New Zealand, the coasts of California and Chile, South Africa, Argentina, Mexico and Asia.