Sanary-sur-Mer with the Provencal pointus

Sanary is a beautiful tourist destination on the Mediterranean coast. It is compared to Saint Tropez. Sanary is less known and thus also less commercial compared to Saint Tropez, but other than that the cities seem very alike. Sanary is known and famous for her port. It is one of the most authentic ports in the French Mediterranean.

Sanary-sur-Mer, popular place in the South of France

Sanary is the Provencal name of Saint Nazaire. Saint Nazaire was a 1st century AD Roman martyr. In the Middle Ages there was a sanctuary which honoured Saint Nazaire on the ground of the now village of Sanary.
Sanary is an old fishing village and the boats, still to this day, go out daily to catch fish. The fresh fish is sold daily in the harbour.
West of Sanary are the towns of Bandol, St. Cyr-sur-Mer, La Ciotat, Cassis and Marseille. Towards the east there are the towns of Toulon and Hyères. Sanary is ideally located between all these famous places.
Sanary is located on the Côte d´Azur which is known for its beautiful sand beaches. The beaches in Sanary are stunning, with waves constantly crashing onto the shore. Plage Portissol, Plage du Levant and the beaches at Six-Four-Les-Plages are very popular among both tourists and locals.

Visit Sanary-sur-Mer during the holidays

It is worth visiting Sanary in all seasons of the year due to the amount of variating activities which can be done in the village. The cosy seaside resort has a lot to offer. In the village there are shops, boutiques and galleries. It is also calming and enjoyable to stroll along and view the beautiful windows of the authentic houses. A Provencal market is regularly held on the squares. Vegetables, fruit, dairy, fish, flowers, wine, olive oil and other regional products are sold here. Tired of wandering around? Go to a terrace and enjoy a cup of coffee or glass of wine. For lunchtime you must try local dishes which are served at almost all terraces. Bouillabaisse is one of these famous local dishes: a delicious soup with various types of fish, vegetables and Provencal herbs.

Port of Sanary-sur-Mer

The port of Sanary is located in the heart of the city. It is an old harbour which was created by nature and is always full of boats. The harbour provides the opportunity for a magnificent picture of the colourful sailing boats which were, in the past, used by fishermen to catch the fish. They give the port a striking and unique feature and ensure that there are always tourists on the quays watching. The oldest boat in the port dates from 1895. These Provencal (sailing) boats in the harbour, also referred to as "pointus", are now classified as historical monuments.

Sights of Sanary-sur-Mer

In the village there are several sights that you should definitely visit:

  • Tour Romane on Place de la Tour: On the Place de la Tour you can find the old fortified tower, the Tour Romane. The tower is around 21 metres tall and was built in the year 1300. Back in the day, the tower was built to protect the village from enemies. These days the tower provides the tourists and locals with a magnificent view of the city and its surrounding area.
  • Eglise Saint Nazaire: this church was originally built in the year 1570. The church was named after the martyr, Saint Nazaire, who the inhabitants honoured for centuries. Later, in the 19th century, the current church was built on the same site. The church has beautiful walls and ceiling paintings.
  • Lavoir: The city gardens are located on the edge of the village. You are free to wander around these gardens. You will also see the 19th century lavoir where clothes were washed until 1855.
  • Guided tours: During the summer season, guided tours are provided by the local Office du Tourisme. A guide walks with you and shows you the most beautiful places in the village and tells you the associated history. One of the most notable stories of this village is that it was a well-known meeting place for famous writers and artists who fled the Nazirégime between 1933 and 1944.

Rosé festival Just’Rosé

Every spring Sanary hosts the famous festival “Just’Rosé”. The entire village transforms into a pink wonderland. Hundreds of pink umbrellas and streamers are hung in the narrow streets. There are numerous stalls where rosé is served. Everyone is in an exuberant mood. During the festival, which lasts several days, all kinds of musicians and dance groups perform. Every year many tourists, who are in the South of France in the spring, go to this festival. If you are in the area in May, it is definitely worth visiting Sanary-sur-Mer!

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