How about a bit of freshness in the heart of the Provencal summer? To take advantage of 420 hectares of crystal clear water far from the crowds of the Mediterranean coast, you need to go to Lake Saint-Cassien in the Fayence region, 40 minutes by car from Nice airport, 35 kilometres from the Croisette and 30 minutes from Fréjus and St Raphaël. Follow the guide to take a breath of fresh air and nature.
Saint-Cassien, a remarkable landscape
Classified as the largest body of water in the Estérel region, the Saint-Cassien dam was built in 1966 to meet the electricity needs of the inhabitants of the Var and western Alpes-Maritimes departments. A remarkable natural landscape, the lake is bordered mainly by conifers, cork oaks and maritime pines and is classified as a natural biological reserve thanks to an infinite number of rare plant species, including reeds, rushes and Provence cane.
As proof, this exceptional site has allowed the discovery of a rare tree in France, a false cork or Quercus crenata, a hybrid variety between the cork oak and the hairy oak. Its slender form, particularly thick bark and serrated leaves make it one of the most prominent species in our most beautiful French forests.
A hike to marvel at with your family
In its protected area called the Fondurane biotope, a paradise for flora and fauna, many species of birds can be observed, including the red swallow, grebes, water rails and grey herons. The family-friendly walk takes you along paths with information panels about the wildlife on and around the lake for 2 hours. Don’t forget to bring binoculars to enjoy the waterfowl show from the bird observatory.
If you want a more interactive way of discovering the site, simply take your mobile phone and download the Pistes et Trésors application, then launch the Cap Nature tour at Fondurane. Twelve thematic stations with visual and audio content will reveal the site in a different way.
As this magnificent place is classified as a nature reserve, it is important to respect it. Everyone is asked not to throw away any paper or rubbish and not to leave the marked paths to avoid frightening batrachians and other cistudes.
By bike and even on horseback
If you are interested in the idea of an electric bike ride, the Saint-Cassien lake is for you. You can cycle along the peaceful banks of the lake, where the tracks are free of stones. The mountain bike or VTC rental company will give you a helmet, a backpack, a bottle of water, a map of the route and a GPS for a 2-3 hour ride. For experienced cyclists, there are many routes to choose from, but they require excellent physical condition.
Finally, horse riding enthusiasts will find something to suit them. The Montauroux equestrian centre offers a 2-hour ride, accessible from the age of 7 and accompanied by a professional guide with a riding diploma.
Water sports and adventure activities for an immersion in nature
As for water sports activities, everything is provided. As the lake is a leisure centre, you can hire anything that will allow you to walk on the water: a kayak, a canoe to explore the area freely, a paddle to swim in the most peaceful corners and even a pedalo. Safe inflatables are available for the little ones.
Apart from the water activities, the Saint-Cassien base offers adventure games for all ages, treasure hunts, adventure rallies, various treasure hunts and even escape games in the middle of nature.
What about cultural activities?
The Pays de Fayence offers an exceptional panorama and the opportunity to visit 9 typical Provencal villages: Bagnols-en-Forêt, Callian, Fayence, Mons, Tourrettes, Saint-Paul-en-Forêt, Seillans, Tanneron and Montauroux.
The latter, very close to the lake, surrounded by hornbeam and olive trees, is a surprising village whose old houses are grouped around the ruins of its medieval fortress. In Bagnols-en-Forêt, the municipal archaeological museum presents a collection of pottery, ancient pieces and an exhibition on the history of cork and olive growing. Don’t miss Tourrettes and its picturesque narrow streets, Fayence and its belfry-tower topped by a campanile or Seillans classified among the most beautiful villages of France with its vaulted passages, its porches and its fountains. Finally, stop at the local producers to discover the delights of the region: figs, honey, olive oil and truffles.
Mini Van hire for the whole family
To allow you to experience this day to the fullest and without constraints, we offer a chauffeur-driven Mini Van rental service for the whole family. Our professional drivers are specially trained to take you to your destination and wait for you in complete safety. All these beauties are only a short distance away from the French Riviera.