Pedal-Powered Wine Tasting
From La Londe, follow the main street south, and at the traffic lights turn onto av Général de Gaulle. Continue for 400m, cross the roundabout, and carry on for 700m to Syril Bike Azur, where you can pick up wheels and La Londe’s pea-green cycling track. Soon after, scenic views of perfectly kempt, symmetrical rows of vines – vibrant green against the arid red soil – kick in. At the next roundabout, detour 1km to Plage d’Argentière for a dip in the sea and snorkel along an aquatic nature trail, or continue east along the D42a following signs for Fort de Brégançon.
You’re now plump on the Route des Vins de la Londe, with pretty Château des Bormettes framed by nine sky-high palm trees. The oldest of the 70 hectares of vines at this lumbering château, owned by the Faré family, were planted in 1929. Pedal 2km down the silky-smooth lane and you come to another dreamy château with sage-green shutters, where Clos Mireille, one of the region’s most highly regarded wines, has been produced since 1896.
At the next junction, bear right towards the fort and Bormes-les-Mimosas. Two needle pines mark the entrance to Domaine de la Sanglière, where you can nibble tasty wild boar and hazelnut terrine alongside your wine. Some 200m further east is the entrance to Plage du Pellegrin, the private beach of the vast Château de Léoube, 1.7km further down the road. Stock up on fresh seasonal fruit at the fruit stall 700m east of the château and carry on 200m to Parc de l’Esagnot for a picnic on its white sandy beach. Lunch done, jump back on the saddle and pedal 500m to Château de Brégançon, a shabby old château with 40-year-old vines facing the sea. Its Reserve du Château white makes a brilliant marriage with shellfish.
Don’t confuse the château with 16th- to 18th-century Fort de Brégançon, signposted 500m further east down the road along the D42d on the western side of Cap de Brégançon. Once you're in front of the heavily guarded entrance to the fort, where the president of France summers (he’s done so since 1968), park up and flop out on the rocky cape’s gorgeous beach, sandy Plage de Cabasson.