This sanctuary protects one of France’s most endangered species, the Hermann tortoise (Testudo hermanni) today found only in the Massif des Maures and on Corsica. In summer, the best time to see the tortoises is in the morning and late afternoon. Watch them hatch from mid-May to the end of June; they hibernate from November to early March. Guided tours at 10.30am and 2pm are enlightening.
The Station d’Observation et de Protection des Tortues des Maures (SOPTOM; Maures Tortoise Observation and Protection Station) runs the tortoise clinic, where wounded tortoises are treated and then released into the Maures. Young tortoises also spend the first three of their 60 to 100 years in SOPTOM's hatcheries and nurseries, safe from the predations of magpies, rats, foxes and wild boars. Check the website for many other events and educational opportunities.