Nestled along the stunning coastline of the Mediterranean Sea, the picturesque village of Sanary-sur-Mer in the South of France comes alive with enchanting Christmas magic during the holiday season. This idyllic setting, with its charming streets, vibrant markets, and rich cultural heritage, transforms into a winter wonderland that captivates both locals and visitors alike. The main attraction of this enchanted celebration is undoubtedly its marina and the hundreds of ‘Pointus’ sparkling in a breathtaking light show!
As we explore the unique Christmas atmosphere in Sanary, let’s delve into the origins of these traditions and discover the festive events that make this village a must-visit destination during the most wonderful time of the year.
Traditions Rooted in History
Sanary-sur-Mer’s Christmas traditions are deeply rooted in its rich history and cultural tapestry. The village, with its pastel-colored houses and cobblestone streets, exudes a timeless charm that blends seamlessly with the holiday spirit. The origins of Christmas celebrations in Sanary can be traced back to the medieval era, where the villagers would come together to celebrate the winter solstice and mark the end of the harvest season.
Over the centuries, these celebrations evolved, incorporating elements of Christianity as the village embraced the Christmas story. Today, Sanary’s Christmas festivities reflect a harmonious blend of historical traditions and religious customs, creating a unique and heartwarming atmosphere that draws people from far and wide.
Lights, like you’ve never seen before!
As dusk falls over Sanary-sur-Mer, the village comes alive with a dazzling display of Christmas lights and decorations. The streets, adorned with sparkling garlands and festive ornaments, create a magical ambiance that transports visitors to a winter wonderland. The village’s iconic harbor, with its fishing boats and waterfront restaurants, transforms into a mesmerizing scene with reflections of twinkling lights dancing on the water.
A dreamful scene that’s made possible by the hard work and symbiosis between the local “Pointus” owners and the marina management. When discussing with Jean-Michel, Sanary’s harbor master, he explained how such a project took place and the minutious organization that lies behind.
Since the idea was implemented in 2018, the City Hall office, Marina and local fisherman association all worked hand in hand to accomplish the vision they developed. The idea was to decorate the hundreds of Pointus (antique French fishing boats from South of France) moored along the coastal avenue.
Starting with customizing led lights to fit the Pointus’ hull and mast and keep a low level of consumption. The marina, backed by the City Hall, provides the custom lights to every Pointu owner who every year, meticulously decorate their boat. This process starts early in November with the owners working together with the marina team, making sure they have everything ready for the beginning of the celebrations on December 02, 2023.
The marina then lights up in the most fabulous spectacle of glowing lights, reflections and colors, captivating the souls that came to enjoy the scene!
A unique drill that can only be accomplished by the symbiotic relationship between a town and its marina and local fishermen. Sanary-sur-mer is not just a beautiful light show, it’s also a heartwarming association that works hand in hand to build this beautiful, ephemeral painting.
Festive Markets, Local Delights and street performances
One of the highlights of Sanary’s Christmas celebration is its lively Christmas market, where the air is filled with the sweet scent of mulled wine, roasted chestnuts, and festive treats. The market, adorned with twinkling lights and colorful decorations, becomes a hub of activity as locals and tourists alike browse through stalls selling handmade crafts, artisanal gifts, and traditional Provençal delicacies.
The market is a feast for the senses, offering visitors the chance to immerse themselves in the local culture and indulge in the flavors of the season. From local wines and cheeses to handcrafted ornaments and unique souvenirs, the market showcases the best of Sanary’s offerings, making it the perfect place to find one-of-a-kind gifts for loved ones.
Throughout the holiday season, Sanary hosts a series of enchanting street performances and festive events that add to the merriment. Carolers sing traditional Provençal songs, while street artists entertain the crowds with their talents. The joyous atmosphere is contagious, and locals and visitors alike join in the celebration, creating a sense of community and togetherness that defines the spirit of Christmas in Sanary.
Take the trip, book a berth at Sanary-sur-Mer Marina
In the heart of these celebrations right from a Christmas Tale, Sanary-sur-Mer marina welcomes you with open arms for the holidays.
Book a berth on Navily now to live a unique experience for the holidays. We won’t force you to decorate your boat, but you can peacefully enjoy the spectacle of the city lights and the masts of the traditional Pointus dancing on the calm waters of this picturesque marina. With over 500 berths and the capacity to accommodate boats up to 26 meters, it offers all the services to ensure a pleasant and hassle-free stopover. Renowned for its service in addition to its unique location, the port welcomes you in a warm and peaceful atmosphere!
So, if you happen to be on the Var coast this end of the year, be sure not to miss a detour to Sanary-sur-Mer.