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1st October, 2016


You will not find Sanary-Sur-Mer in the travel guides. One of its attractions.

I did not know what to expect from this place at first. This morning when we first got there, it was still a mystery. Arriving just before the dawn, we dropped the anchor and waited for the sun to rise. The daylight started to reveal the real beauty –a delightful town on the Côte d'Azur.

Sanary-sur-Mer is set on a sprawling coastline dotted with small beaches and secluded coves. The small harbour retains the charm of a traditional fishing village, and a number of traditional wooden boats, known locally as ‘pointus’, are based here. However, sailors must have already discovered this place as the local marina was tightly packed.

Once the sun got through the clouds, our tenders ferried our guests across to the marina, where they could step ashore and wander along the picturesque seafront.

Our only French port this cruise attracted quite a few passengers wishing to explore the region beyond the local community by going on one of our organised excursions.

One called ‘Scenic Le Lavandou’took our guests along the coastal road that stretches south-east from Hyères to Le Lavandou. They could see the small mountain range known as the Massif des Maures, and the scenic coastline, with the islands of the Gulf of Hyères and the lush vegetation of this area before reaching the seaside resort of Le Lavandou.

Le Lavandou is the little town where the songwriter Eric Maschwitz and composer Manning Sherwin wrote and first performed the popular song 'A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square' in 1939. The inhabitants of this delightful place claim to have found the secret of eternal life. In the year 2000 the Mayor, unable to obtain planning permission for an extension to the local cemetery, passed a by-law stating that henceforth it was illegal to die in the town!

We stayed as long as we could in this charming place, but there were quite a few sad faces when we had to leave to get to our next port - Livorno in Italy.

Captain Krzysztof Majdzinski

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