Natural sites

L'île d'Or (The Golden Island)

The Golden Island (L'île d'Or) is one of the most beautiful symbols of the Estérel Côte d'Azur destination. Visible from the Dramont beach, it intrigues with its high tower. It has inspired the world of comics and cinema. Here, the mysteries of this small island off the coast of Saint-Raphaël are revealed.

Its History

At the foot of the majestic Dramont massif, the Île d'Or is one of the sixty most beautiful sites in France ! In the 19th century, the Île d'Or was still just a rocky islet similar to so many others on the coast. It was only in 1897 that the destiny of this small island was revealed. Indeed, that year, an architect from the Dramont named "Sergent" became the owner for only 280 francs (a derisory sum for the time !).

It changed ownership a few years later, at the beginning of the 20th century, and became the property of Doctor Auguste Lutaud, who would have acquired it during a card game ! He then proclaimed himself "Auguste 1er", sovereign of the Island. He had a square, crenellated tower built at great expense in red Esterel stone, according to a Saracen architecture uncommon in the region. The Île d'Or has been the scene of sumptuous receptions attracting worldly circles from the Côte d'Azur. Today, it is still a private property: one cannot approach it.

© Tintin et L'ile Noire - Hergé

Art and the Golden Island

The Golden Island strangely reminds us of a famous story about a detective with a blonde puffy coat. Wait and see, an island where it's forbidden to dock with a big tower in the middle... You guessed it, it is of course "l'île noire", the 7th album of the adventures of Tintin d'Hergé.

Tintin will have to face Doctor Müller who organizes a traffic of counterfeit money through Europe. After a chase and many adventures, Tintin finds the trace of doctor Müller on the black island where he will have to face a gorilla named Ranko.

Do you think the Ranko gorilla is just a legend ?
Yet when you approach from the sea, from the east, you'd swear to see a gorilla on this island, wouldn't you ?

Illustration ©Monsieur Z

L'île d'Or as seen by Mr. Z

Mister Z, French illustrator and graphic designer known for his numerous illustrations of the French Riviera, has also fallen under the spell of the Ile d'Or. Do you like the result ?

Activities around the Golden Island

L'île d'Or in video 

Share your photos #VisitEsterel

Post your most beautiful pictures of the Golden Island with the hashtag #VisitEsterel and follow our account @esterecotedazur to be posted !

Estérel Côte d'Azur depending on your mood
Sea side
-- °C Wind : -- km/h
-- °C Wind : -- km/h
After tomorrow
-- °C Wind : -- km/h
-- °C Wind : -- km/h
-- °C Wind : -- km/h
After tomorrow
-- °C Wind : -- km/h
Water temperature
Fréjus -- °C
Saint-Raphaël -- °C
Les Issambres -- °C

Clic on areas to zoom in

Clear map
Dark map
Map zone 1
Map zone 2
Map zone 3
Map zone 4
Map zone 5
Map zone 7
Map zone 6
Map zone 8
pays de fayence - nord

Fayence area

The Pays de Fayence (Fayence district) has many great provencal villages. All of them have a particularity such as the view from Mons or the artistic streets of Tourrettes. Do no forget to stop in Seillans that has the label of "Most beautiful village in France"

Go back to map
pays de fayence - sud

Fayence area

North of the A8 motorway, you will find the Pays de Fayence. Saint-Cassien lake, a real oasis of freshness in the Var, awaits you! Take a break at the Lake House before visiting the villages of Bagnols-en-Forêt, St-Paul-en-Forêt or Tanneron.

Go back to map
roquebrune sur argens - la bouverie


The city of Roquebrune-sur-Argens is the most westerly of the destination. It includes three districts: La Bouverie, at the foot of Gorges du Blavet; The village, overlooked by its magnificent rock, and Les Issambres, with its nautical activities by the sea.

Go back to map
les adrets de l'esterel

Les Adrets de l'Estérel

Les Adrets de l'Estérel is a small town located at the extreme southeastern Var. Bordering the Maritimes Alpes, it is composed of large green forests. The town overlooks the bay of Cannes and has an exceptional view on the Lérins Islands and the Corniche de l'Estérel.

Go back to map
village de puget sur argens

Puget sur Argens

Puget sur Argens is a small village located in the middle of many wineries. Its commercial area, near the village, includes many shopping center. North of the village, the Bois du Defens give rise to several walks.

Go back to map
roquebrune-sur-argens - les issambres

Les Issambres

Welcome to Les Issambres, the district of Roquebrune-sur-Argens located on the coast. True paradise with its 8 km of beaches and creeks, this family seaside resort, already frequented at the time by the Romans, is located between the Gulf of Saint-Tropez and Fréjus-Saint Raphaël.

Go back to map
ville de frejus - saint-aygulf


Frejus, located halfway between Cannes and Saint-Tropez, is at the heart of the Côte d'Azur. Based on a sandstone buttress of the Esterel massif, the town dominates the valleys of Argens and Reyran. Frejus has the appearance of a small Provencal town whose new districts extend to the sea.

Go back to map
saint-raphael - massif de l'esterel


65km from Nice Côte d'Azur International Airport, Saint-Raphaël is located between Cannes and Saint-Tropez. This seaside resort on the Mediterranean coast is at the bottom of the great Esterel mountains. Saint Raphael, whose city center is by the sea, is divided into different neighborhoods that have all their characteristics and their personalities.

Go back to map
Fayence areaFayence areaRoquebrune-sur-ArgensLes Adrets de l'EstérelPuget sur ArgensLes IssambresFréjusSaint-Raphaël
Subscribe to our newsletter