From January to March (and especially in February), the Mimosa Route invites you on a discovery of superb landscapes and beautiful villages, where brilliant yellow Mimosas stand out to stunning effect against the vibrant blue sky and sea. The Côte d’Azur is splendid in winter- in fact, it’s the best time to discover or even rediscover it!
The Mimosa Route itinerary takes you on an exploration of eight villages that give pride of place to the luxuriant flowers of the mimosa tree. The route starts in Bormes-les-Mimosas, in the Var and ends in the town of Grasse, in the Alpes-Maritimes.
Stage 1: Bormes-les-Mimosas
This is one of the most beautiful villages to have been awarded the Village Fleuri label in France, and for good reason – it is home to over 700 rares plants. Bormes-les-Mimosas is also famous for the Fort de Brégançon, where, since 1968, France’s presidents come to holiday, 12km of superb beaches and a typical old village that includes narrow lanes, chapels and even a castle.
Stage 2: Rayol-Canadel sur Mer
Rayol-Canadel sur Mer is a quiet village where nature reigns supreme, located 15km from Bormes-les-Mimosas. The Domaine du Rayol is an enormous 20 hectare garden that showcases Mediterranean plants at their very best, but also includes plants from around the world. Of course, you will learn how Mimosas, although good for gardens, are an invasive competitor to native plants.
Stage 3: Sainte-Maxime
Sainte-Maxime is a beautiful town whose tempting pedestrianised roads are ideal for strolls and shopping in its markets (Thursday and Friday morning). You will find Mimosa growing in the Myrtes botanical garden. Visits are tailored to persons with impaired vision.
Sainte-Maxime is also the venue for some great Mimosa festivals: a Miss Mimosa competition, decorated floats, a flower parade, concerts, shows and, of course, the distribution of mimosa!
Stage 4: Saint-Raphaël
Saint-Raphaël is both a new and historic town offering all the pleasures of a small coastal town: beaches, coastal walks, and the mythical Island d’Or. In February, carnaval festivities celebrate the region’s flowers, including mimosas. On 11-12 February why not discover the landscape exhibition/competition in the Jardins Éphémères and on the last weekend in February enjoy the flower festival in Agay?
Stage 5: Mandelieu-la-Napoule
Now we cross over into the Alpes-Maritimes, where we’ll stop in Mandelieu-la-Napoule. This is the starting point for the Route d’Or, which snakes through the middle of the largest Mimosa forest in Europe. It is here that the famous annual Mimosa Festival is hosted in mid-February. Festivities include a Mimosa Queen competition, a flower parade, flower competitions, and so on.
Stage 6: Tanneron
Tanneron is THE Mimosa town: 200 hectares of its territory are covered in Mimosa trees! Here you will discover plantations and hot-houses (available to visit by appointment only), mainly located in the Tanneron mountains. In the beginning of February, Tanneron hosts a Mimosa Festival, once the village square has been decorated with mimosas. Throughout the trees flowering season, you will be able to taste delicious Mimosa products available from the village market: sweets, honeys, etc.
Warning: picking mimosa is strictly forbidden in the commune of Tanneron.
Stage 7: Pégomas
In Pégomas, you will find a mimosa garden, home to many varieties of mimosa. Mimosa celebrations are held here towards the end of January.
Stage 8: Grasse
The Mimosa Route ends in Grasse, the world capital of perfume, naturally. Here, mimosa flowers play a special role in perfume creation. While in Grasse, you must visit the international museum of perfumery and, most of all, its superb Mimosa gardens when they are in flower.