Village de vacances le Graffionier CCE Air France

Holiday villages 3*** étoiles
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3 stars
Private balcony
Play area
Stadium / Sports ground
Air conditioning
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Air conditioned restaurant
Boules area
Paddling pool
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Sustainable development
Swimming pool
Entertainments room
Games room
Private parking
Waste management
Open air swimming pool
Baby club
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Club for teenagers
Club for children
Tourist brochures
Day nursery
Beds made on arrival
Children's entertainment
Entertainment evenings

Opened in the early 1970s in the hills of Gassin, the Air France club welcomes you a few kilometers from the village of Gassin, the beaches of La Croix-Valmer, in one of its hamlets, at the campsite in a 33 hectare park .

Le Graffionier (sometimes spelled Le Graffionnier or Grafionnier) is a holiday village created and owned by the central works council (CCE) of Air France, reserved primarily for members of the works council.

It was produced by two architects from the Urban Planning and Architecture Workshop (AUA) in the early 1970s. It has been the subject of controversy relating to its modern architecture of the Brutalist tendency, the main ones of which are traits were erased during a restructuring in the 1980s.

Le Graffionier is located in the Maures forest, on 33 hectares of land, in the heart of the Saint-Tropez peninsula.

It is less than ten kilometers from the villages of Gassin and Ramatuelle, the beaches of Cavalaire-sur-Mer and La Croix-Valmer. The top of the village is less than a kilometer from the 51 long hiking trail.

Road access is via boulevard Frédéric Mistral in La Croix-Valmer via the RD 559, which joins the motorway exits 36 from Le Muy on the A8 and 13 from Cannet des Maures on the A57 as well as the RD 98 to the north , and Toulon and Hyères to the west. Several coach and bus lines of the Varlib departmental service serve the area.

The closest airports are those of La Môle-Saint-Tropez, Toulon-Hyères, Nice-Côte d´Azur and Marseille-Provence.

The nearest TGV stations are those of Arcs-Draguignan, Saint-Raphaël and Toulon.

Coastal shipping lines allow boarding at Cavalaire or Cogolin as closely as possible.

Regarding accommodation, the village is structured around a main building which houses the hotel Le Mas, with 21 rooms, which was created during the restructuring of 1988. The four hamlets at the top of the village accommodate 135 apartments. The village also has "nature lodges" and, since 1971, a campsite with 100 pitches. It has a total capacity of 682 beds.

Tourists have two on-site restaurants plus a seaside snack bar, and various facilities: an auditorium, a nightclub, a bar, three tennis courts, several swimming pools, a multi-sports ground and a playground. for kids.

The name of Graffionier comes from the Provencal graffiounier, which designates the sour cherry, a domesticated form of the wild cherry tree.
That of La Vernatelle, which gave its name to the village campsite, is also a name from Provençal. Vernatello means "small alder grove", derived from the Provencal verno, "alder".

The name of the village center, La Bastide, marks the desire of the site's creators to offer innovative modern architecture that integrates and renews with regional tradition. Other place names given to the hamlets of the village include the writer Saint-Exupéry and the painter Jean Lurçat. The hotel is named after another Provencal name, Le Mas.


When the Air France CCE decided to set up its future holiday village in Gassin, the town was already known to the organization.
In 1962, he opened one of his three family holiday centers, L’Oasis, in Gassin. Located on the edge of the RD 559, between Cogolin and La Croix-Valmer, it is less than five kilometers from the future village of Graffionier.
The need for a holiday village is mentioned soon after. The architect initially chosen withdraws in view of the steep slopes of the site. The project was discussed at a CCE session at the end of 1965; a model was presented in 1966. A building permit was filed in August and work was planned for the following year.

The choices of the architects were strongly debated and the building permit was not validated until 1968.

The Graffionier holiday village is a project that began in 1965 and opened in 1970, at a time when projects of this type were multiplying on the French Riviera. The principle of launching the work was confirmed by the CCE at the beginning of 1968. The first stone was laid in 1969, in the first weeks of the year.
After the withdrawal of the first architect, the project was carried by the Paris Urban Planning and Architecture Workshop with two of its main members: Paul Chemetov and Jean Deroche. Other members of the AUA are participating in the project including Annie Tribel for the interior fittings, Miroslav Kostanjevac and J. Venturelli for the structure, Michel Corrajoud for the landscape, Max Soumagnac for the polychromy as well as Rémi Deroche and Louis Deroche.

The project is presented as innovative and social by its craftsmen, close to the Communist Party. The two architects are inspired by the Roq and Rob projects of Le Corbusier, as well as that of Djenan el Hassan by Roland Simounet and brutalist architecture.

Its promoters wanted to reconcile the need for privacy and meetings, by setting up common spaces (restaurant, laundry room). They put the spotlight on raw concrete, which is considered a noble material on par with wood or steel.

The driving license commission refused the project, considered too brutalist, and introduced many adaptations to make the project more suited to the regional character.

The choices made by the AUA team to favor concrete and to put roof terraces at the heart of the project, non-Provencal architectural features, provoked the anger of some of the inhabitants and a major controversy in the urban planning world. .

"We made terraces, yes terraces are not bad, but what we are looking for in Provence is Provence, it is not the Kasbah of Algeria or Morocco: we want sponge cakes and the round tile ",
denounced the mayor of Gassin René Chapelle in 1970 in a subject of the program Vivre aujourd’hui. The television devoted half of its program to the case of the holiday village of Gassin, which welcomed its first visitors since its inauguration on April 3, 1970.

The ORTF gave the floor to various protagonists in the controversy over the architectural choice. According to its main architect, Jean Deroche, "under architectural pretexts, we were mainly criticized for making a holiday village for a works council. I believe that this is the root of the problem ".

Two visions clashed: the actors of the AUA clearly claimed their opposition to the project led, for example, by François Spoerry in Port-Grimaud. The two projects, that of the AUA and that of François Spoerry - who will build the new village of Gassin 25 years later - are presented as two irreconcilable extremes. The authorities, present en masse during the laying of the first stone (the prefect of Var is present as well as the mayors of Gassin and La Croix-Valmer), are absent during the inauguration a year later.

Entrance to the center is from the bottom of the hill. A road leads to parking lots before arriving at the main building of the village. The "Bastide" is "quite monolithic and abrupt", treated "in a very monumental way, freely reinterpreting the expression of the fortified farms of Provence". It houses the reception, a library and a restaurant, as well as the administration of the center.

The village has 180 accommodation units and bungalows for 675 beds. A 60-place campsite opened a year later, in 1971.

After less than twenty years of existence, the village is undergoing a major overhaul. The idea that led the initial project, initially defended by the CCE, is abandoned, and it is towards a more regionalist style that the works council decides to go.

In a document drafting the building permit, the CCE now wants an architecture corresponding to "the public's aspirations to find a Provençal climate". Beyond the desire to alleviate the dilapidated problems in particular, modern architecture is revoked, both its forms and the organization of space and the use of concrete: the public does not recognize it as being “noble”. as Jean Deroche wished.

The architects chosen to reconfigure the center, Jacques Péronne and Hugues Bosc, are responsible for improving the comfort of the accommodation, creating an additional hamlet and giving the whole a Provencal style. The changes are significant; few elements of the original village are preserved. Jacques Péronne wanted to preserve an example of the Jean Deroche style by keeping an original type cell, which had not been retained by the CCE.

Tiles are added to the housing of the hamlets, which are enlarged; the concrete is covered with pink plaster despite protests from the architects who created the village. The project for a fifth hamlet was finally abandoned.

The rehabilitation of the village is assimilated to a new construction.


Tax not included.

Booking Direct
Village de vacances le Graffionier CCE Air France
Route du Graffionier
Rue Frédéric Mistral à La Croix-Valmer
83580 Gassin
+33(0)4 94 55 19 81
+33(0)4 94 55 19 98