Peak Weeks to see the Mimosa Forest

L'atelier au mimosa, Pierre Bonnard, 1935

L’atelier au mimosa, Pierre Bonnard, 1935

It’s the perfect moment: the sun is finally out, the Mimosa forest is at its peak bloom, and between Carnival, the Fete du Citron and the flower festivals, you really do want to get out of town.  Just 24 km from Cannes lies The Tanneron, a forest that suddenly bursts bright yellow every February.   A cousin to the Acacia flower, the Mimosa plant was brought over from Australia by an English Lord for use in the Grasse perfume industry, and the fragrant flower not only thrived, it completely took over.   Now the Tanneron is the largest Mimosa forest in Europe.

mimosa flowers


You can experience the forest with an easy scenic drive: take the A8, get off at Mandelieu-centre, then from town take the RD 92 towards Tanneron.  The 12km drive starts with panoramic coastal views and finishes at the tiny perched village of Tanneron where you can have lunch then head back …or continue on the D38 to Lake St. Cassien where you can then catch the A8 for the return.

champagne mimosaBut better yet, hike the forest and take a picnic!  Four km after you leave Mandelieu there’s a small parking lot at the trail head.  A large map at the picnic area details all your possibilities, and there are little painted markings along the trail to guide you.

On your picnic, pack a split of Champagne and a little OJ: A kir made with Champagne and orange juice called a Mimosa is a staple of Sunday brunches in America… It wasn’t until coming here and seeing this pétillant flower that I understood the name…  Cheers!

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Artwork from WikiPaintingsposted under Fair Use

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