Introduction

Hyères, once a rightly acknowledged gem of the southern Var, has somehow slipped back a little in the travelling consciousness. It has too many attractions to disappear entirely, but there's no doubt it has become under-appreciated in the glamour-seeking mind of today's Provençal sun-chaser. Odd, when you consider Hyères' thriving, compact medieval vieille ville, garden-clad heights above town, and proximity to the further delights of the Presqu'île de Giens, and Îles d’Hyères.

Driving down the busy streets of modern Hyères, lined by stately palm trees and a big casino, you could be forgiven for completely missing the medieval old town above. Make sure you don't.