Home France Top Things to do in Hyères, France – Travel Guide

Top Things to do in Hyères, France – Travel Guide

Last Updated on March 18, 2024 by gregor

In this article, we’ll explore the top activities in Hyeres, a delightful province nestled in the south of France. We'll visit its noteworthy historical landmarks, uncover engaging local legends, and bask in beach highlights and prospects for the future. Along the way, we'll share several handy tips to enrich your journey. Together, we will uncover the most dazzling spots of this alluring location.

Hyères, an incredible province in France, is often overshadowed by its more popular counterparts. Despite its numerous attractions, Hyères frequently goes unnoticed which is why with this post, we endeavour to shed light on its top sites and activities. This comprehensive guide will provide travel enthusiasts with an in-depth insight into the top attractions in Hyères, ranging from tranquil villages to pristine beaches, and remarkable architecture. Let's immerse ourselves into this intriguing journey and explore the hidden gems of Hyères. Remain with me as we delve into the depth of its unique beauty. This is your one-stop guide to the best that Hyères has to offer.

This comprehensive Hyères travel guide will take you on a journey through the charming old town, the historic landmarks and the picturesque coastline. We will also spotlight the town's enriching museums, vibrant cultural activities, as well as the infamous French gastronomy. Discover with me, the beauty of Hyères. Let's embark on this journey together.


Making it the ideal place to see and do. Hyères offers everything from the green mountains to the gorgeous beaches. The province is packed with delights and can leave you confused about what to see first. To help you out we have listed down the ultimate top things to do in Hyères.

Hyères  – Top Things to do and See now


Things to do and two legends about Hyères you should know

Hyeres, France Overview

Located at the southern end of Provence, Hyères makes even the wildest of holiday dreams come true. Fantastically beautiful landscapes merge with the azure water of the Mediterranean Sea and grandiose diving grounds: this mixture inspires. Blessed by the beneficial Mediterranean climate, the urban area includes the 27-hectare Iles d’Or.  The list of Hyères’s attributes reads like a fairy tale come true. The finest sand trickles through your hands along the 100-kilometer-long coast. Massive rocks alternate with mysterious bays. This potpourri is rounded off by an interplay of monuments steeped in history and excellent park landscapes.

Is traveling to Hyères worth it

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 wonderful spots in Hyeres ……


Hyères history and tradition

Hyères was originally founded by the Greeks 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 Kingdom 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.

Castle View

Don’t miss the spectacular view from the castle – one of the largest fortified ones in Provence. It was destroyed in the 16th century under the rule of the French King to control the mightiness of the locals who were under pressure at that time. Today it is labeled a 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 time……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 toward 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 they 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 island’s 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 of Hyeres

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!


Turquoise Water 

The turquoise water still invites visitors to enjoy various water activities like sailing, diving or surfing – perfect for sportive holidays – if you are seeking 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!


Hyeres – 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 finding the exciting visions realized!

In wonderful cooperation with Atout France, the France Tourism Board

More Info on the Provence and Hyères



MAP of Hyeres, France

Frequent Questions asked about Hyeres


How do I travel to Hyeres, France?

Tips for getting to Hyeres

There are several train connections from Germany to Hyères. The journey takes seven to nine hours.

Vacationers take flights from Paris whenever possible. Flights connecting Paris-Orly and Hyéres depart daily from Paris Airport. Alternatively, you can fly to the airports in Nice or Marseille. Once passengers have arrived at these airports, a shuttle service takes them to the city’s train station.

Trains to Hyéres run regularly from this station. From the airport in Nice, operators offer transfers via a direct bus service that reaches the center of Hyères in just under two hours.

If you come by car, you can either take the motorway from Geneva via Grenoble, Manosque, and Toulon to Hyéres. A second variant for a car journey connects the cities of Mulhouse, Lyon, Aix-en-Provence, Toulon and Hyéres.


What are the most beautiful Events in Hyeres?

The most important events in the region

The events season in Hyères is particularly popular with athletes. For more than 40 years it has been a tradition in the city that the ISAF Sailing World Cup is held in April or May. The world elite duels at this regatta event. Athletes from over 50 countries take part in the event.

The Design Parade, held in June or July, is all about good taste. The venue of the international festival is the Villa Noailles – the location could not have been chosen more appropriately than this stylish environment.

The Grand Prix of Almanarre, which is performed in October or November, promises the perfect end to the year. This sporting event is a classic among endurance races, bringing together the who’s who of the surfing elite at one of the best spots in Europe.

Then the contemplative Christmas season is heralded.


What are the top cultural sights of Hyeres, France

Cultural sights

Hyères has a long history. Evidence of this is the archaeological site in Olbia, where visitors can still see the remains of a Greek trading post from the 4th century BC. can admire. To this day, the cityscape is unimaginable without the remains of fortifications from an 11th-century castle.

A visit to the Saint-Paul collegiate church reveals a vast collection of ex-votos. Magnificent buildings such as the Villa Noailles or several grand hotels from the 19th century bear witness to the attention to detail with which architects once designed the houses.

Located on the Gien peninsula, the city of Hyères is an El Dorado for nature lovers.

The Iles d’Or or the National Park of Port Cros unfolds in the most beautiful splendor. Over 250 species of native and migratory birds have found a new home in the bird sanctuary – the former salt marshes. Each park is even more beautiful than the next. The variety of exotic plants is enormous. Hikers can convince themselves of this splendor on walks through nature.


What makes Hyeres so special?

Why is Hyères so special?

A city like Hyères is full of secrets. It almost seems as if the city is the origin of sporting motivation. Car racers and cyclists like Stéphane Ortelli or Benoit Vétu saw the light of day in Hyères.

A city is a place of inspiration. World-famous writers such as Robert Louis Stevenson and Edith Wharton wrote novels and other works throughout their lives that moved the world. And the stays in Hyéres certainly made an important contribution to this.


When is the best time to travel to Hyeres, France?

Summer is the high season in Hyères. The weather is perfect, there is hardly any rain and both the air and the water are over 20 degrees. However, the city is also best visited then.

If you like it lonely, it is best to travel in autumn. It’s usually still warm, but not as crowded.


How long do I need to travel to Hyeres?

A trip to the south of France does not take long and Hyères itself is also of a manageable size.

The city is therefore also suitable for a shorter trip of three or four days. If you want to travel directly to the whole of the Côte d’Azur or the hinterland of Provence, you should of course bring a lot more time with you.


What are the Food Specialities in Hyeres?

French cuisine is one of the best-known and most recognized in the world. Within this, the cuisine of the south-east once again occupies a special position.

If you want to get to know the food culture of Provence and especially the Côte d’Azur, you should have tried at least one of the following specialties:

  • Socca: a hearty flatbread made from open-oven chickpeas
  • Soupe au Pistou: a cold soup based on basil
  • Pastis: a traditional spirit made from aniseed, fennel, sugar, and licorice


Are there enough Hotels and Accommodations in Hyeres?

As a holiday resort with a long tradition, Hyères naturally has a large number of hotels and guesthouses. These are concentrated in the city center, where you will find some good mid-range hotels.

There are also numerous accommodations on the Giens peninsula. For a particular maritime experience, one of the hotels on the offshore islands is recommended.


What are the best day trips from Hyeres?

Day trip to Nice or Marseille

Some travelers do not limit themselves to one city on the Côte d’Azur but spend each night in a different city. If you don’t do that, you should at least make a day trip to Nice and/or Marseille from Hyères.

Both cities are a little more than two hours drive from Hyères. The bustle of a true European metropolis awaits you in Marseille, along with the cultural amenities that this entails. Nice, on the other hand, is smaller, but is considered the cultural metropolis of the Côte d’Azur and has a particularly sophisticated elegance.