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March 2010
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May 2010

Exotic Birds of the French Riviera

Perruche2

Birds can be pink (think flamingoes by Hyères or ), obnoxious (think seagulls) or lovely on the Côte d'Azur. In La Londe Les Maures, they're outright exotic.

The ornithological and botanical garden in La Londe (Jardin d'Oiseaux Tropicaux) doesn't look like much from the entrance. Step in and you'll find hundreds of colorful birds from Africa, South America, Australia, Papua New Guinea.

The most striking may be the hornbills with their enormous beaks worn like bright yellow hammers and casque on the upper mandible.

Calao2

CalaoTropBeau 


Also at the park you'll find yellow, blue or pink parrots, red and blue para keets. 

The park is definitely worth a visit after a morning at the beach or strolling around Le Lavandou, Bormes or Hyères. Plus right next door you'll find one of La Londe Les Maures' oldest winery, the Chateau Maravenne, winery estate. It opens for visits Monday to Saturday 8h00 to 12h00 and 14h00 to 19h00, Sunday: 9h00 to 12h00; during Winter, Monday to Saturday until 18h00.

Jardin D'Oiseaix Tropicaux Opening Hours:

June 1 to September 30: 9AM to 7PM.
October 1 to October 31 & February 1 to May 31: 2PM to 6PM
November 1 to January 31: 2PM to 5PM

Web site:

Jardin d'Oiseaux Tropicaux.

Jardin d'Oiseaux Tropicaux
Route de Valcros. 83250 La Londe Les Maures
Phone: 04 94 35 02 15

Interested in half-day hikes close to La Londe, Hyères but also St Tropez, Fréjus and Agay?
Check out our highly-acclaimed hiking guide below on Amazon.co.uk (and Amazon.fr, Amazon.de, Amazon.jp, Amazon.com too!)


French Riviera & the Printemps des Musées

MaisonDesPapillons
Over 1,000 museums across 27 countries open their doors for free visits on a spring day each year. This year, the Printemps des musées day is Sunday, May 2, 2010.

Note, there's also Internation Museum Day. That's different. It's on May 18 this year, and organized by ICOM

And which museums participate on the French Riviera? Many of them. We've picked a few tasty morcels:

  • The Musée d'Art et d'Histoire in Bormes-Les-Mimosas.
  • In Grasse, lots of nicely fragranced museums: the Musée Fragonard, the Musée International de la Parfumerie, the Musée d'Art et d'Histoire de Provence.
  • In Tourtour, the small Musée des Fossiles with its fossilised dinosaur eggs
  • Musée Picasso, Musée de la ceramique in Vallauris.
  • Musée d'Art et d'Histoire in Villefranche-sur-Mer, with some fencing animation.
  • Dany Lartigues' colorful butterfly museum, the Musée des Papillons in St Tropez.
  • Many museums in Nice, including MAMAC, with a guided visit there (in French) that begins at 10h30.

You'll find the complete list of participating museums on the web site: http://printempsdesmusees.culture.fr/


Agay: 21st Triathlon of Saint-Raphael

CoursealamerToday April 25, 2010 runs the 21st triathlon of St Raphael in and around the bay of Agay on the French Riviera.

TriathlonAgay2010The Agay competition hosts a couple of events: the short distance (courte distance) triathlon which counts for qualification of the French championships in this category. Expect all elite triathletes at this event. It starts at 9:30AM.

What's the parcourse?

  • 1500 meters swim in the bay of Agay (max time is 50 minutes)
  • 43 km bike in the Esterel
  • 10K run

The second individual sprint triathlon begins at 3PM and includes:

  • 750 meters swim in the bay of Agay (max time is 25 minutes)
  • 18 km bike in the Esterel
  • 5K run

It's a gorgeous sunny day in Agay today so if you're around, drop by. By all means, don't go near by car or risk being blocked. The event awaits 500 contestants, 200 volunteers and mounts of spectators.

For more info, visit the St Raphael Triathlon home page.

 


The Lucioles Night Hike

Lucioles

What is this night hike?

Every year in May, the village of Roquebrune-sur-Argens with the volunteer association ASCS organize a night hike around its town and into the  Maures Mountains. This year (2010), the night hike takes place during the night of Saturday, May 1st.

Last year, over 1700 happy hikers explored the village and its surroundings by night.

How's the hike?

Lots of fun! Three hikes circle around Roquebrune-sur-Argens: 6 km, 14 km or 20 km. Children under 12 can only sign-uup for the 6 km hike and must be accompanied by an adult.  There's also a timed race, for the more competitive ones.

 It begins at place Germain Ollier in Roquebrune-sur-Argens at 9PM for the first round of hikers. Be there earlier to pick up your number and T-Shirt.

What to bring?

A head lamp or flash light, warm clothes, cell phone, a safety blanket and whistle are recommended. Not that the hike is dangerous with the number of people hiking and the number of volunteers keeping an eye out for safety, but it is dark. Hike it with a group of friends or family - don't do it alone.

Where do I sign up?

You have to sign up before the race & hike - no sign-ups allowed on hike day. Cost is 10 € and you get a T-Shirt and breakfast at the end of the loop, free for kids under 12. Sign-up online at http://www.as-cs.fr/lucioles/ or at the Roquebrune-sur-Argens tourism office (phone: 04.94.19.89.89).

LuciolesPhotoByASCS