The commune of Grimaud is divided into two : the old village built on a hill, the waterside village of Port Grimaud designed by François Spoerry down in the plain by the sea.
Grimaud - (Photo : L. Caille)
The village is charming : perched on a hill in the midst of beautiful countryside. Its flowering winding paved streets will take you past sumptuous dwellings superbly renovated. The Romanesque church and the Castle are living witnesses to Grimaud's Medieval past.
In the waterside village it 's as if you were really living on the water : you can have your boat berthed in front of your living room. Port Grimaud was built in 1966 and is a living witness to harmony between sea and architecture. This unique master piece is one of the Var's most visited sites.
Port-Grimaud - (Photo : L. Caille)
The village exudes its "joie de vivre" typical of Provence with its alleyways, squares, cafés and restaurants. But if you stroll to the neighbouring streets you will discover peaceful pedestrian quarters where children can play safely. Port Grimaud is a private village, it can only be visited on foot.
. A touch of history : click here
Where does the name of "Grimaud" originate from? Could there be a connection to the famous Grimaldi family of Monaco ?
On a ancient charter dating back to 1058 the village is already named "Grimaldo" and the first traces of the Grimaldi family appear only in the 12th century in Genoa and then in Provence. It is therefore unlikely that there is a connection.
Going back even further none of the "Seigneurs" owning the castle of Grimaud were thus named. The historians agree that the origin of the name dates back to Ancient Greece or the early Middel Ages.
. The "Château de Grimaud" (Castle) :
Listed monument dating back to the 11th century... click here
... The late 13th century fortified walls encircled part of the village and castle. Reworked in the 15th century, the castle was then destroyed during the Religious Wars. Rebuilt in the17th century, it was abandoned after the French Revolution.
Comprising a main building flagged by four circular towers, whose ruins reveal the three inner floors, this highly-fortified castle was protected by three walls, the largest of which was seven metres high. Today, just one more-or-less intact vaulted room remains. From the castle unbeatable panorama over the village, across the plain to Port Grimaud and the Bay of Saint-Tropez.
Le Château de Grimaud - (Photo : golfe-infos)
. Windmills : ... click here
The " moulin de Grimaud" (Windmill) : Unbeatable view over the Maures hills and the coastline.
The Saint-Roch Windmill : Built in the 17th century, the flour mill was formerly called the "Moulin de la Gardiole". It was fully restored and returned to full working order in 1990 by the architect Hubert Lemonier and the "Compagnons du Tour de France". Access : from the castle car park.
The "Moulin à huile de l'Hôpital" : Built in the 17th century, this was the village's largest oil mill. Its remains can now be seen at the "Musée des Arts et Traditions Populaires" (folk museum).
Moulin de Grimaud - (Photos : L. Caille)
. Folk museum : the building was originally an ancient olive oil mill and cork manufacture. Discover on three levels the history of the village and its region through every-day-life objects and a reconstitution of a late 19th century village apartment.
Temporary exhibitions. Monday to Saturday (Sundays during school holidays). May to September from 2.30 pm to 6.00 pm and from October to April from 2.00 pm to 5.30 pm. Admisssion free
. "La maison dite des Templiers" : Characterized by its three Gothic arcades (declared listed monuments in 1926). The repairs made to the building have not spoiled its 16th century Renaissance style. The façade and cellar are also listed monuments. The inner staircase twists around a column bearing two coats of arms carved in two different types of stone. Don't forget to take a look at the tiled windows.
. Church & Chapels : ... click here
The Church Saint-François at Port-Grimaud : You can climb to the top of the church to enjoy fine views over the waterside village, the Bay of Saint-Tropez and the Maures Hills.
. Port-Grimaud, a waterside village :
The "Chapelle des Pénitents Blancs". Also called "Notre Dame des Sept Douleurs" (1482). Houses the shrines of Saint Théodore and Saint-Lambert. A vault has been annexed as the burial place for the Penitent brothers. On the left-hand side, a 16th century inscription written in Provençal dialect and only deciphered in 1966 bears the words: "Monseigneur de Fréjus granted 40 days of forgiveness".
The "Chapelle Saint Roch" : (17th century). The style of the façade was changed in the late 19th century. Large collection of ex-votos.
The Church of Saint-Michel : (late 12th - early 13th centuries). Restored in 1964, the austerity and Medieval style of the chapel's central nave have now been restored. The inside of the chapel is shaped like a Latin cross. In the side chapel, the 12th century Carrara marble font bearing the inscription "Presbit Monachus de Grimaldi", is said to have been offered by King René. The stained-glass windows are by Jacques Gautier (1975). Square bell tower, topped by an arrow and a lightning conductor (lightning has already fallen here twice...). Today's bell dates back to 1866.
The "Chapelle Notre Dame de la Queste" : Quartier Bagatin. Place of pilgrimage in August, this chapel, first mentioned in an early 11th-century charter, is home to a fine Louis XVI altar. The gold-leafed altarpiece and articulated statue of the Virgin have now been relocated to the parish church. The stolen statue was found in a well in 1900 - horses, donkeys and mules were traditionally blessed at the site on August 16th.
which emerged from the marshes in 1966. Port-Grimaud is a genuine architectural tour de force, signed by the famous 20th century architect François Spoerry. This Neo-Provençal style complex, ... click here
...with its Mediterranean atmosphere, stretches over 220 acres and includes about 2 000 houses.
Visitors must leave their car at one of the fortified gates at the villages entrances and explore on foot or by boat. The village's tiny islands are linked by Venetian-style bridges, decorated with columns, old-fashioned lamp posts, trompe-l'œil and a maze of arcades - especially around the more recent Place du Sud. A real esthetic success which has since been reproduced in the United States.
Port-Grimaud - (Photos : L. Caille)
. "Helicopter" : flight baptism, airport transfer, the company Hélisécurité Hélicoptère Airlines dipose its heliport at Grimaud. click here
Heliport at Grimaud - Hélisécurité - Airport Transfer - (Photos : Hélisécurité ››)
. Windsurfing and surfing : between Port Grimaud and Sainte Maxime at Beauvallon, super spot for waves when the east wind is blowing. In winter at "La Tour", the waves can reach up to 3,5 meters (body board and surf). Care should be taken when landing due to narrow beach and breakwaters.
. Provençal markets :
Village of Grimaud : every Thursday morning, place neuve.
Port Grimaud : Thursday and Sunday mornings, place du Marché.
. Horse riding : Lessons, treks, board, breeding, dressage and jumping - Access by the Cogolin to Grimaud road.
Horse riding in Grimaud - (Photo : L. Caille)
. Take a walk : click here
. Bowling : 8 computerized alleys, bar, pool, video games room and big screen. At Saint Pons les Mûres (Direction Ste Maxime, 2 km from La Foux roundabout). Open all year round, every day.
. Le Petit Train (tourist train) : offering rides from Port-Grimaud (main entrance) to Grimaud (Place Neuve). One hour approx. April-October.
. The "Coches d'eau" : Barge itinerary taking you round the canals and most picturesque areas of the waterside village. Possibility of hiring individual electric-driven barges next to church. Just the thing to get you in a real holiday mood! Open all year round except Nov. 15-Dec. 15.
. Music Bar : "Le Monroe's" - open every day, live music and friendly atmosphere from Thursday to Saturday. On the cross road from the RN98 to Port Grimaud, 200 m on the left
. LEADING EVENTS : click here
Les Grimaldines (Mid July to Mid August) : Les Grimaldines : a series of concerts and street processions : discover the musical atmosphere of different countries of the world...
Fête du Moulin et patrimoine (windmill fair - In May) : traditional event with bread making, various activities and visits of local historical and cultural buildings and sites