Ramatuelle is a village apart, cradled by nature. Its characteristic spiral shape seems to have been protecting it forever from the chaos of the outside world. As you enter the medieval heart of the village, the cobbled streets curve round as if to imitate the stronghold of a bygone era coiled around its chateau. Jasmine, bougainvillea and honeysuckle are nearly everywhere in this village, where the view stretches away to the sea or up to the hills and windmills of the Paillas mill. On Thursdays and Sundays Place de l’Ormeau and its charmingly authentic café comes alive with a colourful Provencal market. The attractive stone houses open their pastel shutters onto covered stalls of local crafts, produce and fine art galleries - enough to survive should the Barbary pirates return !
An incomparable coastline
It is hard to imagine so many wonderful sights so close together! First a real gem, just 20 minutes on the coastal path from the picturesque Escalet coves, Cap Taillat which is a listed site protected by the Conservatoire du Littoral. Then a little detour of 100m via the Briande dolmen, proof that humans were here in Neolithic times, before the path to the Camarat lighthouse opposite bird island, home to colonies of gulls and cormorants. Then we have Bonne Terrasse bay, the final rampart before the legendary four-kilometres of sand that is Pampelonne. And what a beach! Forget the movie images with Brigitte Bardot or Louis de Funes, this nature area is one of the most beautiful beaches in Europe: a paradise for those who just want to laze on the sand or in the water. It is an economic force for the town with 25 beach establishments, all with the same history yet each with their own identity. And finally, how can we describe the infinite blue horizons that fulfil our dreams of the sea.