With both palm trees and vineyards flanking the stunning French Provencal countryside, Bandol is the Riviera’s first stop for local wine. A coastal resort known for its rosés – pale in colour and fruity in taste, as well as wearing the crown of being France’s first recipient of the coveted AOC label in 1941, Bandol wine is exported to world-wide recognition. The success of this is responsible for the chic little village centre, filled with independent boutiques and lively seafront restaurants . Long ribbons of sandy beaches greet the traveller arriving from the sea and the port is a happy, eclectic mix of fishing boats, super yachts and small-scale cruise ship. Loved by the great French author Marcel Pagnol, Bandol is the young writer played in the long summer months, prior to spending the rest of his childhood in the hills above Marseille, as documented in his autobiographical novels, “La Gloire de mon Pere” and “Le Chateau de ma Mere”. Nestled next to the equally charming Sanary-sur-Mer but being close to Marseille, a traditional fish-soup Bouillabaisse, washed down by a glass of the famous local wine would be a must for any serious gourmet.