Archaeological secrets

The story of Cavalaire sur Mer

The bay of Cavalaire has been inhabited since ancient times. The first inhabitants were the Ligurians (or Celto-Ligurians) who occupied several hamlets: Pardigon, Pierrugues, Collières (oppidum of Montjean between 575 and 350 B.C.) and Le Dattier, among others.

After founding the trading post of Massila (or Massalia) in 600 AD, the Greeks established trading posts in Olbia and Heraclea Caccabaria around 325 AD. Heraclea Caccabaria continued under Roman rule until around 400 AD. Land was allocated to deserving legionaries who built ‘villas’ (ruins of Pardigon 2). With the fall of the Roman Empire, invasions began all along the Var coast: Visigoths (end of the 5th century), Ostrogoths (6th and 7th centuries), and Saracens (several times from the 8th century), then Turks from the sea, creating a permanent insecurity (“maritime terror”) which forced the inhabitants to retreat for almost 900 years to higher ground (Bormes, Gassin, Ramatuelle, Cogolin, Grimaud, etc.) or further inland (Thoronet Abbey, 12th-13th centuries).

Nevertheless, the bay of Cavalaire remained a haven for boats and a small market town (Cavalaira) continued to exist as a staging post for maritime trade. After the foundation of a port and fortress in Saint-Tropez in 1470 (with the help of 50 Genoese families), trade moved to Saint-Tropez at the expense of Cavalaira.


Cavalaire was part of the Marquisate of Grimaud until 1790, when the French départements were created: Cavalaire became a “écart” attached to Gassin. After long administrative struggles, the bay’s inhabitants gained their autonomy in 1929. Cavalaire thus became a commune in its own right (decision of the 1st municipal council).

Archistoire: an app that lets you delve into the past

Cavalaire may be a young town, but it has a wealth of natural and architectural treasures Archistoire is the new app that allows you to discover all the stories that abound in its streets, hills and coastline.

This digital interface gives you the opportunity to visit various unusual places in Cavalaire and the surrounding area, either locally or remotely. You can also look back on its history through sepia photos, panoramas and detailed explanations.

Archistoire is the perfect companion for discovering all the secrets of our seaside town and it promises an unforgettable journey back in time.


Download the free application at IOSorAndroid.

Explore Living History at Espace Archéologique de Cavalaire

Welcome to Cavalaire’s Espace Archéologique, an open window on our region’s rich and fascinating past. Nestled between golden beaches and verdant hills, this captivating space invites you on a journey through the ages, revealing relics that tell the vibrant story of Cavalaire.


A buried treasure

Explore ruins that have stood the test of time. Architectural remains, delicate pottery and carefully preserved artefacts take you on a visual journey through history Every stone tells a story, every artefact is a piece of the jigsaw puzzle of our past.

The ruins of a bygone era

Explore ruins that have stood the test of time Architectural remains, delicate pottery and carefully preserved artefacts take you on a visual journey through history. Each stone tells a story, each artefact a piece of the puzzle that pieces together our past..

A window to antiquity

The Espace Archeologique is a fascinating window on antiquity, revealing the influence of the Mediterranean civilisations that have left their mark on Cavalaire. From everyday objects to ritual elements, each discovery sheds new light on our understanding of life in days gone by.

Whether you’re a history buff, a curious scholar or a lover of culture, Géraldine will immerse you in this archaeological adventure with fascinating anecdotes and answers to all your questions.

Come and discover Cavalaire’s wealth of archaeological treasures

The Espace Archéologique bears witness to the town’s long-buried and often little-known history.oigne de l’histoire lointaine enfouie et souvent méconnue de la commune.


Adress : 355, Rue du Port
The Espace archéologique is open :

  • Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday from 9am to 12 am and from 14 pm to 18 pm
  • Thursdays from 9 am to 12 pm and afternoons by appointment for schools and groups.
  • Saturdays 9 am to 13 pm


Informations :

04 94 01 92 18