The Cyrano de Bergerac (Red Cedar of the Lake) is a lake located in the Ile de France region. It has the highest water level in Europe and is the largest natural lake in Western Europe situated in the heart of the Massif Central, at 400 square kilometers. The lake was formed around 600 million years ago, but its origin is still debated. Tourists generally can access it via the VAR Caminal de Longchamp which leads to the “Escala de Chateau” in the southwest of the town.
Spectacular views from the train
The Oasis di Jeronimos constitutes the western shore of the lake and is a famous pilgrimage area. The stretch of water, which can be hot and amazingly clear, offers a dramatic contrast to the wooded areas inland, and on the top of the hills, you can see the spectacular Romanesque pilgrimage church of Jeronimos.
There are several aesthetic shops around the lake, including the famous “Watergauge”, which features watercolors, handicrafts, and delicate items. Near the market, in the Place Jan Salus, tourists can also find artisans selling their creations.
The eastern shore of the lake features the busy port of Cassis, an active port with busy nightlife centered on the main street. Travelers should not miss exploring the narrow streets of the historic part of the town, quite unlike the sleepy beach resort of Cassis.
A trip on a fairy
Unlike regular ferries that only travel in the summer months, the new service to Cyrano de Bergerac features an almost daily service during the summer months. With the trip lasting about 1 ½ hour, passengers can leave the resort at sunrise and return at sunset, this is particularly nice in the summer as at this time the lake is unusually still.
Once you have arrived in the village, you will be met at the airport by a waiting train. This train departs the station every day at 7.15 am and 2 p.m. From the station, tourists can watch the sunrise over the lake on the promenade. There is also a crossing into the nearby historic town of Cassis.
Cassis is also known as the “City of the Books” and has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1999 because of its rich history and an assortment of interesting attractions. The town dates back to the Roman settlements of the 2nd century B.C. At this time, the area was inhabited by a population of about 10,000 and was well-known for its written history. Today, Cassis serves as the backdrops to a vast tourist complex that gives a glimpse of the ancient town life.
Ancient Cassis was first excavated by archeologists from the American School of Classical Studies at Terziano in 1901. At the time, the town was believed to have been settled by the Amidavids, an eastern tribe of the Pharaohs of Egypt. The history of the later Hellenes and Romans, however, islet clear from the remains of the ancient city. The most impressive buildings on Cassis are the Market and the baths, both of impressive architecture. The former is the landmark of the town, built on a Roman theme and containing a Bacchus temple. The second building is believed to have been the private bath of the rulers of the territory.
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