Conquered by the Romans at the end of the 2nd century BC, the real fortunes of Toulon began towards the middle of the 15th century, when the city came under French control. Over the years, the port of Toulon grew more and more, so much so that it became one of the most important military ports of call in the Mediterranean Sea.
Its strategic position was tempting to many, and in particular to the Savoy and the English: the latter, in 1707, subjected the city to naval blockade. The British siege ended in December 1793 thanks to the intervention of a young Corsican officer who achieved his first military success in Toulon: Napoleon Bonaparte.
During the Second World War, the bay where the port of Toulon is located was the scene of a sensational event: in order not to end up in German hands, the French fleet sank . It was November 27, 1942.
Although it is mainly known for the presence of the French Navy base, over the years Toulon has discovered its tourist vocation. The city, in fact, has a lot to offer to those who decide to spend a holiday there.
In addition to the historic center (where the main monuments and places of interest of the city are located), the hinterland is also waiting to be discovered. You cannot say that you have been to Toulon if you have not taken the Téléphérique at least once, or the cable car that will take you to Mount Faron (584 meters), which guards the Tolonese town. However, the evocative panorama is not the only reason why it is worth going so high: on the relief, in fact, there is a zoo and the Memorial of the landing in Provence by the Allies.
But that's not all. In Cours Lafayette, the heart of the historic center, a traditional Provençal market takes place every day (except Mondays). Other noteworthy Tolonese markets are that of the Petit Cours and the one held in Mourillon, the fishing village. And it is in this area that the most famous and popular beaches of the city are concentrated.
Toulon also rhymes with culture. The city, in fact, is home to the Festival de Musique: established in 1951, the event takes place in the summer and annually attracts numerous classical music fans. Another famous festival is Jazz à Toulon, which takes place in July.
Choosing Toulon as half of your holidays does not imply that you have to spend them exclusively in the city. From the port of Toulon, in fact, the ships set sail that will take you to discover other fascinating places on the Côte d'Azur. Among these, we cannot fail to mention the island of Porquerolles, the former seaside village of Le Lavandou, the village of Signes and that of Bormes-les-Mimosas.