Var in Two Days

Start in St-Tropez, mooching around place des Lices with its marvellous jam-packed market (Tuesday and Saturday mornings), followed by a port-side coffee and croissant at Sartre’s old haunt Sénéquier, then a stroll along the coastal path. Devote the afternoon to art and shopping and, come dusk, motor to Plage de Gigaro, where Couleurs Jardin beckons for a beautiful dinner on the sand.

Next morning, stroll around the hilltop market of Ramatuelle, then lunch on grilled fish by the sea at Chez Camille or between vines at Auberge de l’Oumède. Drive inland through the Massif des Maures to visit the otherworldly Monastère de la Verne, taste sweet chestnuts in Collobrières, and dine handsomely at La Petite Fontaine. If it's winter and truffles turn you on, delve instead into Aups' Thursday truffle market and dine at Restaurant des Gourmets or Les Chênes Verts.

Head to Maison des Vins Côtes de Provence in Les Arcs-sur-Argens, for a lesson in all things locally vinous. Then visit Chapelle de Ste-Roseline and the neighbouring winery before forging out into the vineyards to the east, near La Motte. As the sun sinks, dine at Domaine de la Maurette in a humble auberge next to sweeping vines.