Now a centre of international stays, the Centre Azur of Sanary-sur-Mer was created in 1959 under the name of “Camp Azur” at the initiative of Charles Guillon, international Secretary of the UCJG (now YMCA France).
The UCJG then became owners of the Centre Azur and started to organized youth camps during the summer with very little means but in a splendid setting and with great conviviality. It was a plot of 2ha, less than 1 km from the sea with an old farmhouse, a hangar and some pines.
The Camp Azur already organized 6.000 campers-days and this number will continue to increase. The management team understood this and began building the first construction between 1963 and 1965. Therefore, was born the Inn with room dormitory and common sanitary, a kitchen and two large common rooms.
At the beginning of the 70s, the Center radically changes, especially under the leadership of Bernard Charles. Becoming “Center Azur” and now open all year. The center is expanding with a new building with fully equipped rooms, three multipurpose rooms and a house. The management is given to a team of permanent employees, who will bring to life the project conceived by the leaders, then innovating in pedagogy and animation stays. The success continues with 13,000 overnight stays in 1972.
In 1976, the Azur Center is now independant by becoming an association (1901 law), member of the National Alliance of YMCA (formerly UCJG).
A huge program of building compliance and expansion of some buildings will be carried out in the early 2000s, subsidized largely by local authorities. Cultural and sports activities are developed thanks to the “University for All Forum”. The local aspect is strengthened through the opening of the restaurant and the set up of many formations. The Centre Azur thus becomes a truly international center of residence, focusing mainly on social and solidarity tourism (14,000 overnight stays in 2014).