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The Rayol

The Rayol, also called the Mediterranean Gardens, is an exceptional landscaped park facing the Golden Islands, at the foot of the Maures. Invitation to travel, this Var garden recreates ecosystems of the Mediterranean coast and distant destinations to arid or subtropical climates.

First garden of a villa art deco, the park area of ​​Rayol is redesigned in the early 90s by landscape architect Gilles Clément and botanist on the concept of "global garden". It occupies 20 hectares of land in the municipality of Rayol-Canadel-sur-Mer. It is now owned by the Conservatoire du Littoral and website refuge LPO (bird protection league).

Website to explore as many new countries joined the Rayol has 11 themed gardens surrounded by unspoilt bush. Next Hotel de la Mer, the first garden is the Canarian planted with euphorbia, large dragon and Canarian pine. A little earlier, the California Garden has species flourishing in more arid climates, such as cypress, cacti, yuccas and opuntias. In the Garden of South Africa, heather and mimosas color the scene alongside Iris and Amaryllis. The Australian garden evokes several landscapes Oceania, the thorny bush with green moors. Unusual and exotic, subtropical Asia the garden is shaded by bamboo and gingko biloba. The landscapes of New Zealand are represented through a lush valley planted with ferns and a typical grass prairie. The southwestern United States and northern Mexico are evoked in a cactus garden and succulent. The subtropical America garden requires watering. Each season is marked by a particular flowering. The garden Chile has an altitude flora, with the typical thorny species of heath puyas, lily meadows and mimosas of spinal. The Mediterranean garden finally gathers the endemic species of the Mediterranean region, in their diversity: there admires pines, palms of Crete laurels, arbutus Cyprus, the Algiers iris, or tree euphorbia.

In addition to its 20 landscaped hectares land, the site of Rayol includes a marine garden, on which no human intervenes: an ecosystem to discover during a family activity "feet in water", ideal for young children, or through a trail to go snorkeling, accessible from the age of 8 years. The marine garden also includes different landscapes own habitats: sandy bottoms, the Posidonia meadow, rocky bottoms and open water. Each seascape has a rich fauna and a different flora.

Part of the area of ​​Rayol is also devoted to particular plants that are the cists. The site presents a collection of 35 different species of rock roses, which bloom simultaneously in spring and then provide a spectacular sight.

Location of wealthy families in the early 20th century, the current site of the Mediterranean garden includes some of the buildings of these ancient areas: the hotel from the sea and the villa Rayolet.

The field of Rayol-Mediterranean Gardens offers several tours of formulas, free, guided or thematic. Nocturnal walks are for example regularly. The site also houses permanent exhibitions about the marine environment, history places and botany. Activities are finally living in the family domain: gardening, exploring the marine garden, or watching insects.