The red-hued Calanques of Estérel and the deep blue Mediterranean Sea meet in Saint-Raphaël, a sublime seaside resort with a rich history.
Situated on the Côte d'Azur, a stone's throw from Fréjus, this former fishing village now attracts tourists with the captivating, colourful beauty of its scenery, ancient monuments, numerous outdoor activities and lively festivals.
On arrival in the town centre, you'll immediately love the charming Vieux-Port and the huge jardin Bonaparte, where it's lovely to take a stroll. Nearby, the old town contains majestic buildings, such as the Neo-Byzantine Notre-Dame de la Victoire basilica, and the 12-century Église San Rafeu, the presbytery of which is home to an archaeological museum. The museum is full of objects recovered off the coast, sometimes millennia-old artefacts from the many shipwrecks that have happened in the choppy waters. Outside, the church tower offers a great view from a height of 25 metres.
You can then explore the 15 miles of breathtaking coastline, covered with vast beaches, coves and calanques, behind which stand the red-hued peaks of the Estérel massif and its dense national forest. The perfect place for swimming, scuba diving, cruises, hiking and mountain biking. As you explore, you'll discover the Cap du Dramont and its picturesque little port, or the superb Mont Vinaigre, which stands at 618 metres.
When you get back to the town centre, you can relax in a spa, try your luck in the casino or try a Provençal speciality in one of the charming restaurants. Festivals are also held all year round, including the jazz festival in early July, or the festival of lights in December, when certain iconic sites are lit up.
Saint-Raphaël can be reached by motorway, high-speed train (direct links to Paris) or by air, the nearest airport being Cannes-Mandelieu, just over 12 miles away. Once you're there, the best way to get around is by car, including driving along the Corniche d'Or, which stretches along the coastline.
Happy holidays in Saint-Raphaël!