First is the island of Saint Honorat and its monastery, the abbey of Lerins that has survived for 16 centuries in a beautiful setting. Hidden behind the larger island of St Marguerite visible from Cannes and just 15 minutes by ferry from the old port, you will discover a totally preserved island. Welcoming the visitor in the peaceful shade of pine trees, is the monastery, a single restaurant and vines tendered by the small community of Benedictine monks. If you book ahead, you can actually stay in the monastery, but you will need to respect the rules, such as not talking during meals.
Another more recent and active pilgrimage site for families is Cotignac, in the haut Var close to the lake of Sainte Croix. Perched on a hill near the village is the church of Notre Dame des Graces with an incredible 360 degree view overlooking the countryside for 50 miles. It was built after the apparition of Virgin Mary in 1519, and in 1660 a few miles away on the mount Bessillon is the only reported apparition of St Joseph in the world.
Not far from Cotignac is the “jewel” of Cistercian abbeys, Le Thoronet built in the 12th century. Still today you can assist to masses sung in Gregorian, with the unique acoustics provided by the beautiful pure and simple stone architecture.
We wish future house buyers to this region a very happy Christmas, and for the New Year, many more discoveries in the region.