10 things to do while staying at La Réserve Ramatuelle
“There is nothing more beautiful than a key, as long as you don’t know what it opens.” Those of Philippe Chauve, head concierge of the La Réserve Ramatuelle, are a precious “open sesame” for discovering the treasures of the region. Member of the Clefs d’Or association, guardian of history, ambassador of artisanship and artistic crafts, he is dedicated to satisfying guests’ every desire, deftly demonstrating both know-how and a talent for how to make things known. An overview of the must-sees this season according to the precious guide…
01. Cabotage around the Islands
Set sail and discover the splendid beauties of the Lerins Islands. On the Mediterranean archipelago, the island of Sainte-Marguerite shines in the north, well known for its fort which is thought to have held the “Man in the Iron Mask”. To the south, Saint-Honorat invites you to serenity and meditation in a place where the Cistercian monks have been passionately cultivating their vineyards since the Middle Ages. Before setting sail again, enjoy lunch in one of the beautiful restaurants of the Islands, facing unspoiled nature, revealing its finest charms and telling mysterious tales.
02. Seabob Diving
Experience an exciting marine adventure aboard a Seabob. Halfway between a water sled and an underwater jet, this hybrid machine driven by an electric motor propels you out of the water and under the surface. Glide like a fish in the water in a protected area and accompanied by a diving instructor to discover all the splendors of the Mediterranean Sea or simply flash across the waves at high speed. Thrills guaranteed!
03. Electric bike tour around the Three Capes
A pleasant coastal outing on the wild paths between the Three Capes: Camarat, Taillat and Lardier, zigzagging along the legendary peninsula between stunning sun-drenched panoramas, vineyards and the mistral. Not to mention its fabulous groves, clover-shaped flowers called “Jupiter’s beards” and the crystal-clear waters below where you can enjoy your picnic prepared by our Chef. Let’s go!
04. Horseback riding on the beach
With a knack for not neighing just anywhere, these horses await you for a majestic outing along the white sandy beaches of Cavalaire, elegantly saddled for a walk, trot or gallop supervised by qualified equestrian tourism guides. The must-experience moment is a chance to reconnect with the elements and appreciate the charm of the sun setting on the horizon.
05. Saint-Tropez: at the heart of the myth
Once a fishing village that became a haven for 1970s filmmakers and icons, Saint-Tropez remains imbued with the suave aura of its golden past. Nothing or almost nothing has changed here. From La Réserve Ramatuelle, enjoy a ride to the village on an electric Mehari with your hair blowing in the wind. Then take a delightful stroll through its cobbled streets, between stalls and small shops, to hunt for local produce on Tuesdays and Saturdays, which are market days. On the Place des Lices, you can play pétanque to your heart’s content with a rosé within reach.
06. Photo session in the lavender fields
Many will remember the fashion show by Simon Porte Jacquemus and his spring-summer 2020 collection evoking “Le Coup de soleil “ (the sunstroke). A fashion encounter starring the fields of this emblematic plant as a catwalk, on the Valensole plateaus and sunny hillsides, it brings a luminous purplish-blue blush to the soil. The flowering period lasts all summer* and provides a highly desirable spot for a photo shoot with a professional photographer. Author Jean Giono was not mistaken when he wrote that: “Lavender is the soul of Haute Provence”.
*From June to July
07. A breath of art at the Carmignac Foundation
On the small paradise island of Porquerolles, you can stop by boat or helicopter in this place dedicated to contemporary art. A farmhouse blended into the landscape, with 2,000 square meters of exhibition space lit by a water ceiling, surrounded by a garden filled with works of art. This year’s program features “The Inner Island” exhibition curated by Jean-Marie Gallais. An island mise en abîme that questions the distancing of reality to reveal interiority.
*From April 29 to November 5, 2023
08. Along the coastal path
The beautiful coastline stretches out before you in the early morning. Aboard a jet ski, you can ride the waves to the wild Escalet beach. Afternoon brings time for contemplation with the discovery of the Mediterranean Garden at the Domaine du Rayol, between Le Lavandou and Saint-Tropez. Landscapers and botanists invite young and old to lose themselves in a collection of southern and subtropical landscapes designed to enable better understanding and appreciation of the plant world. A moment suspended in time.
09. The gems of the Verdon
Looking for a change of scene? The region famous for the Gorges du Verdon – Europe’s largest canyon – offers breathtaking landscapes. The most adventurous will discover the crystal-clear waters flirting with the rocks aboard a canoe or a raft. The others will take time to stop in Moustiers-Sainte-Marie, acknowledged as one of the most beautiful French villages. Its earthenware museum exhibits the most beautiful pieces from the 17th century to the present day.
10. Sacred heritage
From soil to plate is a quest representing the ultimate goal of great gourmet restaurants. In Provence, truffles adored by discerning gourmet palates can be savored with all kinds of sauces. After exploring the mysteries of this ‘black gold’, it’s time for a sacred excursion. Thoronet Abbey is a Cistercian jewel featuring architecture that has inspired great names such as Le Corbusier. For centuries, the stones have rung out with the chants of the monks, while the divine proportions provide magical acoustics for artists who come to perform here, creating one of the world’s longest resonance times, just like the Taj-Mahal.
Chef Concierge, La Réserve Ramatuelle
This article is an excerpt from La Réserve Magazine N° 29 by Michel Reybier Hospitality, which you can consult online here.