Along the Côte d’Azur in Provence, from January to March, there is a parade of color lining most roads, extending up into the hillside villages, bordering the sea: mimosas are in bloom. Today, mimosa trees are a symbol of the Côte d’Azur; however, they are native to Australia and were brought ornamentally to Provence in the late 1800s. Along a route of 130 kilometers, called the Route du Mimosa, one can behold the spectacle of the blooming mimosas and take in the charming sea-side villages decorated with the dazzling yellow flowering plant.
It is lovely to start the journey in Bormes-les-Mimosas, a village whose very name is a tribute to the plant. During the month of February, the village has a mimosa festival and many celebrations: workshops for kids, guided visits, even a road race. (While in Bormes-les-Mimosas, it is also worth stopping at some very beautiful beaches: Plage de Bréganćon, Plage de Cabasson). In the village, visit the Le Parc Gonzalez, which has a range of beautiful varieties of mimosa trees.
Make your way toward Grasse, but by the smaller D559, a lovely road that snakes along the coast. Here, the yellow blooming trees are ubiquitous. You can let your eyes or your nose guide you…a blooming mimosa tree has a divine smell - fresh and dewey, fruit-like and deliciously potent.
Your stops will be in/near Rayol-Canadel-Sur-Mer (stop to see the gardens at Domaine du Rayol), Sainte-Maxime (here is the Jardin Botanique des Myrtes), Saint-Raphaël, Mandelieu-La-Napoule, Tanneron (where there is a forest of mimosa trees), Pégomas and Grasse (definitely make a stop for the gardens at the Musée International de la Parfumerie).
Even if your trip allows for only one or two stops or driving just a stretch of the Route du Mimosa, the spectacle is divine. Weather here in January, February and March is temperate and the sun seems to share the spirit of the mimosa - it blesses the coast with sunny vibrance all winter.
For more information on the Route du Mimosa and a good place to consult for trip planning, visit: https://routedumimosa.com/