The magical Mimosa festivals of the south of France

Written by on January 16, 2017 in Festivals and Carnivals, Provence-Alpes

mimosa

Mimosa is a vibrant symbol of winter in the south of France and a sure sign that spring is on its way.

The bright yellow flower of this scented plant grows prolifically in southern France in the Var region where the Cote d’Azur and Provence meet. The route du Mimosa is 130km long and runs from Bormes les mimosa to the perfume capital Grasse and you’ll see it at its best from January to March.

British visitors introduced Mimosa to the French Riviera in the late 19th century. The area was popular with those craving the sunshine of the Med and Victorians flocked to this area including Queen Victoria who spent several months at a time here. The plant loved the climate and the soil and mimosa growers proliferated. Used in the perfume industry (Givenchy, Yves Saint Laurent and Guerlain are all fans) for its scent and in bouquets for its exquisite beauty and gorgeous colour.

Its other main use is in the fabulous Mimosa festivals that take place in the Riviera, heralding the arrival of spring. And, you’ll also find it in syrups and some locally produced specialities.

The Route du Mimosa – the best towns to visit

Bormes-les-Mimosa

One of the prettiest floral villages in France. This ancient town is home to 90 different species of mimosa and celebrates with an annual festival.

Mandelieu La Napoule

mimosa-growing-Mandelieu

The principal area of mimosa production on the Riviera, famous for its annual mimosa festival. La Tarte Mimosée was created by François Raimbault, pastry chef at the Oasis de Mandelieu restaurant.

Grasse

Internationally famous for its place in the world’s perfume industry. The town boasts gorgeous architecture including a cathedral with artwork by leading painters including Rubens. The Perfume Museum reveals the part mimosa has played in the success of Grasse’s perfume industry.

Rayol Canadel

Take the staircase from the centre of the village down to the sea and enjoy the spectacular views over the mimosa forests.

Sainte-Maxime

Beautiful botanical gardens, elegant seaside resort and a laid back vibe make this town well worth a visit.  Chocolatier Jean-Louis Vaissaud has created mimosa flavour chocolates to honour the famous flower.

mimosa-festival

Saint-Raphael

The reddish coloured volcanic rock contrasts stunningly with the yellow mimosa, a sight you’ll cherish. Famous chocolate maker, Didier Carrie, created a unique recipe called “Le Mimosa d’Agay”, a white truffle chocolate, flavoured with plant liquors and lemons, covered with mimosa powder. Yum.

Tanneron

Gardeners will love this place which has the largest concentration of mimosa in the whole of France, forests of mimosa glow in winter.

Pégomas

Mimosa, olive trees and vines grow in abundance here. While you’re here, try La mimosette, a brioche specialty from Pégomas, decorated with mimosa seeds and stuffed with a cream that remains the secret of the baker. It is only prepared during the mimosa festival.

mimosa-festival-parade

www.visitvar.fr
www.cotedazurtourism

Related Articles

Christmas Traditions Provence style

Provence shares many Christmas traditions with the rest of France, like sapins de Noël (Christmas trees) and Pére Noël (Father Christmas.) But it also has some unique ones of its own. Thirteen Desserts? Oh My! Perhaps the most famous Provence Christmas tradition is the treize (thirteen) desserts. Wait, thirteen? Yes! These are eaten after midnight […]

Continue Reading

The ultimate tour of the best of Provence

What happens when you take two tour guides who are passionate about Provence and put them together – the ultimate tour of the best of Provence is what! Expats Emily from America and Carolyne from Canada, have both been in Provence for many years and discovered each other’s blogs about Provence a few years ago. […]

Continue Reading

Hotel Belles Rives Antibes southern France

The frivolous lyrics from Cole Porter’s Let’s Misbehave might very well have epitomized the mood on the Côte d’Azur when the song was published in 1927. “There’s something wild about you child, That’s so contagious. Let’s be outrageous, Let’s misbehave!!!” Not only was he penning the song, but quite possibly Porter was working through it while he hung […]

Continue Reading

Visiting Provence the slow way is best

Provence is the perfect antidote to stress. Renowned not only for the startling luminosity that lured artists like Paul Cézanne, Renoir, Picasso, Mistral, Camus, Pétrarque and Vincent van Gogh, as much for its tranquillity and lavender scented hinterland that has a very calming effect. The scorched limestone blast of 30°C has a happy knack of […]

Continue Reading

The best culture and gastronomy tour of Provence

June is when the lavender begins to bloom in Provence, the sunflowers start to awaken and the last of the poppies are still nodding their heads in the warm summer breeze. It’s also the perfect time to take a gastronomic tour of Provence and experience the beautiful sights before the crowds of high summer arrive. […]

Continue Reading

Subscribe

If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Subscribe via RSS Feed

Comments are closed.

Top