A fabulous French city on the Cote d’Azur
Toulon is located on the Cote d'Azur, better known as the French Riviera. It is a large harbour city, which is a major naval base for the French Mediterranean fleet, including the famous aircraft carrier, the Charles de Gaulle. The attractive old town of Toulon is a charming place with narrow streets and numerous small squares, each with unique, ornate fountains. The imposing Mount Faron provides a stunning natural backdrop. A highly cultured city, Toulon has a number of museums and art galleries, as well as a local flair for cultural gastronomy, with traditional Mediterranean cuisine a delectable speciality. There is much to enjoy in a city that is still finding its feet with regard to tourism, certainly compared with some of its coastal neighbours.
Toulon has long been known as the base for the French naval fleet in the Mediterranean, but with recent investment, the city has come to represent more than just military might. A flourishing café culture and improved tourist infrastructure complements Toulon’s wealth of culture, with museums and art galleries galore!
When to Go?
Toulon is blessed with a Mediterranean climate characterised by hot summers and very mild winters. Between June and September the average temperatures get well into the high 20s and rainfall is rare, although when it rains, it really rains! October is warm but can sometimes be a bit wet. April and May are pleasant times to visit, with fewer crowds and off-peak prices.
How to get there?
You can pick up cheap flights to Toulon from the UK with low cost carrier Ryanair. Indirect flights to Toulon from the UK are available from regional airports with Air France. Alternatively you can book flights to Marseille (an hour west of Toulon) from Bristol Airport and Gatwick with Easyjet, or from Edinburgh with Ryanair. Nice Airport (two hours from Toulon) is well-served by low cost airlines from regional airports across the UK.
Among the many museums in Toulon, the Museum of the French Navy has some interesting exhibitions tracing the history of the city's connection with maritime tradition. The Museum of Art contains interesting collections spanning the last 300 years. Toulon's Museum of Natural History contains exhibitions and displays focusing on local birds and animals as well as fossils of dinosaurs that would once have lived in the region. The municipal Botanical Garden is a very pleasant place to spend some time relaxing in a fresh open space.