Only the other day we found ourselves in Theoule sur Mer, a lovely little seaside village along the French Riviera, what hits you as you drive away from the hustle and bustle of Cannes with all its wealth, glitz and glamour, is that the scenery and landscape start to change, the road winds along the coast ascending and descending alongside beautiful small coves and bays with yachts and little pleasure boats bobbing about in the sunshine on the azur blue mediterranean.
The brilliant blue of the sea seems even more intense, set off by the red rocks of the Littoral.
Driving down into Theoule you can almost catch a glimpse of a time now gone by and what life and holidays here must have been like before mass tourism changed the landscape further along the coast forever.
Theoule has a little horseshoe bay (quite shallow waters) circled by a number of busy fish restaurants and colourful cafés and bars.
The backdrop to this being the steep green hillside scattered with its belle epoque villas and palazzos of another era.
This is a captivating place which on arrival takes your breath away, as you seem to be able to take in the full beauty of it all in one sweep of the head, the boats in the bay, the sunlit crescent of the town all enclosed by the natural splendour of the hillside behind.
There are even more treats in store as you drive out of Theoule along the coastal road of the Estorel on your way to St. Raphael. At the top of the long fairly steep hill just out of the town you can look back towards Cannes and Nice across the bay, it is one of the most magnificent views you will see on the French Riviera.
Could it be that Theoule has kept its charm because it is a little inaccessible? Possibly, but like all hidden gems they are worth the effort to get there.