Three Things to do and two legends about Hyères you should know
Traveling to Hyères – also called Les Palmiers is worth it for many reasons …. the combination of an ancient town full of history and historic buildings located on a hill and giving an exciting view and endless golden sandy beaches and turquoise water is unique…. follow us on exploring more……
Hyères history and tradition
Hyères was originally founded by the Greek in the fourth century when sailors coming from Marseille established the commercial outpost of the shores and named it Olbia. In the middle ages, it was part of the Kingdome of the Provence and a stronghold of the Order of the Knights Templar – don’t miss the ancient Templar tower on the main square of Hyeres – also called Saint Blaise Tower. It was built by the Knights Templar in the 12th century for military and religious purposes.
Don’t miss the spectacular view from the castle – one of the largest fortified ones in the Provence. It was destroyed in the 16th century under the rule of the French King to control the mightiness of the locals which was under pressure at that time. Today it is labeled historical Monument for its important architectural remnants!
Countless ancient buildings and places around the city give you an idea of the city as it was in this times……take your time to explore!
The legend about the wealthy shoemaker
Decades later – in the 19th century – there was a wealthy cobbler named Godillot, a true visionary. Godillot was born and raised in a very poor family – but he was clever, smart and opportunistic, and he succeeded in selling his shoes to the French army and could make a fortune out of it. In the second half of his life, he falls in love with Hyères after visiting it. He decides to use his money to build magnificent villas and boulevards that are heading towards the sea and are surrounded by palm trees…. voila…. Hyères Les Palmiers was born!
The legend of the golden isles
Hyères faces 3 beautiful islands and a peninsula – let me share the legend about the formation of those islands – the `Stoechades´ – the aligned ones……
Decades ago there was a Prince named Olbianus who had four daughters he deeply loved. Their beauty and skills were famous all around. The four sisters were excellent swimmers and the often swam along the coast together. One day they took a bath away from the shore when a pirate ship appeared on the horizon. Their father, the Prince, saw the ship nearing fast and called for them to come back. He was desperate and fell on his knees to pray to the Gods to save his daughters. The Gods felt touched by his prayer and just as the pirates were about to catch the sisters the four of them suddenly felt their legs stiffen and their bodies turned to stone. The three of them who were farther away from the shore became the islands archipelago nowadays known as the Golden Isles. The youngest daughter was closer to the coast – she turned to stone just as she tried to reach her father’s arms and that’s how Giens, the beautiful peninsula, was formatted!
Countless miles of golden beaches
In the 18th century, Hyères was one of the most sparkling and desired places everyone wanted to go to find a winter retreat – celebrities, politicians, and writers came here to enjoy the mild climate and 25 km of golden beaches that the town and three islands Porquerolles, Port-Cros and L’ile du Levant offer!
The turquoise water still invites visitors to enjoy various water activities like sailing, diving or surfing – perfect for sportive holidays – if you are seeking for relaxing times – you may enjoy the warm golden sand of the beaches – the ideal place for everyone – families, couples seeking romantic hideaways or groups – you can find anything here in Hyères!
A vision for the 21st century
Hyères has a lot to offer for its visitors – still, there are many visions and plans to enhance the attractivity of the town and its magnificent shores even more…. Major renovations and revitalizations of buildings and places are part of the vision to make Hyères Les Palmier the sparkling ‘place to be’ it once was – we are looking forward to coming back and find the exciting visions realized!
In wonderful cooperation with Atout France, France Tourism board
More Info on the Provence and Hyères
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