Cogolin is a working village strategically placed at the head of the Golfe of St Tropez, providing services to the tourist hotspots of St Tropez, Sainte Maxime, Grimaud, Port Grimaud and Gassin.
Life in Cogolin has developed from its origins as a fortified hilltop village into a feeder village housing many local workers and supplying various crafts and facilities for the tourist trade. Cogolin is very well supplied with shops, supermarkets and all facilities you could wish for.
Les Marines de Cogolin
Les Marines is one of the largest pleasure ports in the region, offering moorings from 50m down. It’s surrounded by quality apartments which overlook the sea and the marina. Berths are available for rental on short or long-term bases.
Place de la République – 04 94 55 01 10 – Open Monday to Friday from 0900 to 1300 and 1400 to 1730 – Open Saturday from 0900 to 1230 – Closed on Sunday
Place de la République – 04 94 56 65 45 – Open Monday to Friday from 0830 to 1700
Pharmacie de la Poste
26 Avenue Georges Clemenceau – 04 94 54 11 19 – Open from Monday to Saturday from 0900 to 1230 and from 1430 to 1930 – Closed on Sunday
Pharmacie Senequier Rouquier
3 Rue Jean Jaurès – 04 94 54 64 49 – Open Monday to Saturday from 0900 to 1230 and from 1430 to 1930 – Closed on Sunday
6 Avenue Sigismond Coulet – 04 94 55 09 20 – Open Monday to Saturday from 0830 to 2030 (summer hours) – Open on Sunday from 0900 to 1230 (summer hours)
Things to Do
Les Pipes de Cogolin
Since the mid-XIXth century briar root (found in the Massif des Maures) has been used to make pipes. This wood is known for its resistance to heat and for the flavours its releases. Of the five workshops which once existed in Cogolin, only Courrieu still carries on this traditional method. The pipes are cut, chiselled, calibrated, sealed, turned and reamed using briar root in this workshop (believed to be one of the oldest in France).
You can visit free of charge all year round.
This unassuming building with green shutters has produced unique pieces which have gone on to adorn the SS Normandie ocean liner, the Grand Trianon in Versailles, the Whitehouse, the Elysée Palace, many ministries and palaces, foreign embassies, yachts and private jets, villas, and function rooms in luxury hotels.
The factory is still in use today, it uses looms (which date from 1880), cylinders and “cartoons” are still used by the weavers to produce carpets of the very highest quality, made exclusively by hand and to order.
This world renown carpet factory is open for visits at various times throughout the year.
Port of Marines de Cogolin
Stroll along the marina, have a meal at one of the port side restaurants and enjoy the adjacent sandy beach. Not to be confused with les Marines de cogolin, the tiny pleasure marina of Port Cogolin several cute restaurants.
Every Wednesday and Saturday, come and discover all the Provençal produce on sale from cheese and meats handmade bags and everything else you can think of. You can visit the markets all year round.
There is also a flea market at the entrance to Cogolin every Thursday morning where you can find all types of antiquities and very good deals on some exclusive artefacts.
Saint Sauveur and Saint-Etienne Church
The church dates from the XVth and XVIth centuries and is dedicated to the Holy Saviour and to St. Etienne. Its construction required the use of basalt (a dark grey lava stone, extracted from quarries located in the vicinity of Cogolin).
Its true originality lies in its atypical architecture. Churches either have one or three naves, whereas this one has two, one being Romanesque and the other Gothic style which presents contemporary works by local artists.
Several remarkable liturgical objects found inside are listed as historic artefacts, including the triptych by Urlupin (1526) which remains one of the finest works in the Gulf of St Tropez. It has a XVIIth-century high altar, made from polychrome marble.
Cogolin’s clock tower and boundary wall constituted a defensive system which enclosed the local houses and the seigniorial château. This gate tower, dating from the late XIIIth to early XIVth centuries, was one of the entrances to the village. Access was gained along a ramp, then over a draw-bridge across a moat. A portcullis, known as a sarrasine, protected the village in the event of danger.
This tower was constructed with basalt, a porous, dark grey lava stone, and the rock on which the village of Cogolin was founded.
In the second half of the XVIth century, a clock was installed at the top of this tower. One person, usually a locksmith, was appointed and paid by the local community to “run the clock”. This fragile mechanism operated with a balance weight and required regular repairs. The hours were sounded by a bell dating from 1587.
During the French Revolution, this bell was saved because it was part of a civil building, and therefore was not melted down to make weapons for the Republic. It can be found today in the bell tower of the parish church. Its Latin dedication Sancta Maria ora pro nobis, means ‘Saint Mary, pray for us’. In 1911, the municipal council decided to buy a new clock, which was eventually installed on the pediment of the town hall in 1930.
Food & Drink
Cogolin offers an abundance of restaurants offering all shapes and sizes and every possible type of cuisine. Ranging from :
L’un des sens
9 Rue Carnot – 06 19 84 28 80 – Open from Tuesday to Saturday from 1200 to 1330 and from 1915 to 2100 – Closed Sunday and Monday
12 Rue Pasteur – 04 94 52 15 13 – Open from Thursday to Monday from 1200 to 1400 and from 1900 to 2230 – Open Tuesday from 1200 to 1400 – Closed on Wednesday
Les Granges des Agapes
7 Rue du 11 Novembre – 04 94 54 60 97 – Open from Tuesday to Saturday from 1200 to 1400 and from 1900 to 2200 – Closed Sunday and Monday
La Petite Maison
34 Boulevard du Maréchal de Lattre de Tassigny – 04 94 54 58 49 – Open from Tuesday to Saturday from 1200 to 1330 and from 1900 to 2130 – Closed Sunday and Monday
Braise & Cow
24 Boulevard du Maréchal de Lattre de Tassigny – 04 94 54 47 70 – Open every day from 1900 to 2230
1 Rue Gambetta – 04 94 54 10 36
La table de Fès
21 Rue Nationale – 04 94 54 47 71 – Open every day from 1200 to 1400 and from 1800 to 0000
There is a plethora of all types of restaurants in both Marines and Port Cogolin catering to every possible taste and for all pockets.
According to legend, it all began in Pisa in 68 BC. Torpes, chief steward of Emperor Nero’s palace, was decapitated for refusing to renounce his Christian faith. His body was placed in a boat, along with a cock and a dog.
The boat drifted on the Ligurian current before running aground on the shore of what is now Saint-Tropez (which in fact takes its name from Torpes). The dog left the boat and made its way to Grimaud, while the cock found refuge in the countryside at the far end of the Golf, right in the middle of a flax field, where a village grew up. “Coq au lin” (cock in the flax) then became COGOLIN.
The reality is less poetic, Cogolin having in fact developed on a promontory extending onto a plain; this type of hill, (or ‘colline’ in French) is known in Provençal as a ‘cuquihon’ or ‘couquihoun’, and the area thus became known as Cougoulin, then Cogolin!
The first human traces uncovered are shards of flint dating from the Paleolithic period (30,000 to 10,000 BC).
In common with all settlements in the area, the village was a victim of Saracen raids, before passing in turn under the authority of the monks of Saint Victor Abbey in Marseille, then the Templars and Knights of Malta. Cogolin was sacked in 1578, during the Wars of Religion, by men from Carcès opposed to the future king Henry IV.
The intervention of Grimaud, Ramatuelle and Saint-Tropez brought an end to attacks by the Ligurians. Cogolin became established as an agricultural town from the 19th century onwards.
The life of Cogolin has developed around its fortifications located in the upper part of the village which is still dominated by its clock tower, the remnants of an entire walled defense system which included residential houses and stately homes.
Cogolin is watered by the river Giscle and La Môle and in history enjoyed the wealth of its natural environment introducing cork, sugar cane, vineyards and its pipe and carpet making businesses attract many a tourist.