Nestling in the Gulf of Saint Tropez, Sainte Maxime boasts nature, heritage and leisure, all of which have built its reputation as an elegant seaside resort.
Sainte Maxime has one foot firmly on the ground in earthy Provence and the other in the blue waters of the Mediterranean, giving visitors the best of both worlds. Over the course of the last century, this fishing town has turned itself into a popular holiday destination that is easily capable of quenching your thirst for culture, nature, sport and relaxation.
Spread along more than five miles of coastline, Sainte Maxime has numerous public and private beaches. Depending on your choice of beach, you will be able to get away from it all and laze around on the warm sand, enjoy the attractions a stone’s throw from the town centre with your family, or get to grips with whichever water sports take your fancy.
Or, until you get your sea legs, you can set off on foot, horseback or bike for an exploration of Provence. While you walk through the Massif des Maures mountains, listen to the humming of the cicadas, breathe in the exquisite scents along the Mimosa Route and take in the sights of the local plant life, which encompasses olive trees, cork oaks and parasol pines with their edible pine nuts. Back in town, Myrtes Botanical Garden is another place you can go to see the local flora.
Provence’s natural bounty is very visible even in the town itself, notably through its markets. Depending on what day it is and what takes your fancy, you will be able to fill your basket with local produce from both the land and sea, flowers, bric-a-brac and handcrafted goods, with the added bonus of discovering the town’s varied architecture at the same time, taking in Provençal, modern and Art Deco styles.
Let yourself get carried away by the one-metre-gauge petit-train des Pignes which winds through little streets all the way up to the top of Sainte Maxime, where you can enjoy unimpeded views of the gulf. On the way up, inside the Museum of Local Traditions in the Tour Carrée (Square Tower) will teach you more about the customs of yesteryear, with displays of Provençal clothing, craftsmanship and fishing.
You can get to Sainte Maxime by plane, landing at Nice, Toulon or Marseille Airport, or by high-speed train on the TGV from Paris arriving at Saint-Raphaël-Valescure or Arcs - Draguignan station. The town is also linked to the A8 motorway via the D25. Once there, you can get around on the green buses.
Offering heritage, nature, ancestral traditions and modern leisure activities, Sainte Maxime really lives up to its name, giving you the maximum!