THE CITY OF SAINT-RAPHAËL IN THE VAR, ON THE FRENCH RIVIERA
A flagship seaside resort on the French Riviera, the city of Saint-Raphaël offers everyone something to spend unforgettable holidays in the Var. The city is worth a visit, with several different neighbourhoods where to stroll. Between outdoor activities, museums and relaxation, you will always find something to do, whether you are alone, with friends or with family. To help you prepare for your stay, here are 10 essential activities to do during your camping holiday in Saint-Raphaël.
Saint Raphaël, a must-see coastal city in the Var
Nestled at the foot of the Estérel mountains, Saint-Raphaël is a renowned seaside resort on the French Riviera, halfway between Cannes and Saint-Tropez.
With 36 kilometres of coastline stretching to the limit of the Alpes-Maritimes, passing by the Corniche d’Or, Saint-Raphaël has 28 beaches: large sandy beaches, pebble beaches, coves, secret creeks …
If you are more of a lazy Sunday or nautical activity type, you will always find what you are looking for in the Var.
Classified as a “nautical resort”, Saint-Raphaël has 5 ports, each with its unique charm, from yachts to fishing boats: the old port, Santa-Lucia (the largest with 1600 moorings), Boulouris, Poussaï and Agay.
What to see & do in Saint-Raphaël ?
Visit the Archaeological Museum
Take some time to visit the Saint-Raphaël Archaeological Museum, housed in the old presbytery of San Rafeù Church. It brings together pieces from local, regional and underwater excavations. You will see, for example, amphorae, coins, engraved menhirs… So many testimonies of the ancient past of the city.
In the garden, you can also observe the ruins of the “castrum” with the remains of its ramparts and, from the tower (16th century), you will admire a beautiful panoramic view of the bay of Saint-Raphaël.
Delve into the Markets
If Saint-Raphaël has become an important seaside resort on the French Riviera, the pearl of the East Var. However, she has not forgotten her Provençal soul. Saint-Raphaël thus bears witness to a unique art of living with its colourful markets that converge to bring Provence to life: fruit and vegetable markets, flower markets and night markets …
French and international tourists indeed come to admire, touch and smell the Provence that emerges, thanks to the artisanal and typically Provençal productions available from the stalls on market days. Whether it’s at the fruit & veg markets, the flower markets, the fish markets or the coveted seasonal night markets, you will always find traditional Provençal products available to take home as a lovely souvenir of your trip.
Stroll along the Beach & the Old Port
Stroll through the shopping streets before lazing around on Veillat beach, along the promenade, while admiring the boats docked in the Old Port of Saint-Raphaël.
Taste the Mediterranean Specialities
Saint-Raphaël also has a wide range of restaurants where you can taste regional cuisine from the Mediterranean and where you can find fish & other seafood products in the spotlight.
Take a Hike through the Esterel Mountains
With its red rocks, jagged coast, immense forests and fine rivers, the Estérel mountains are one of the most beautiful natural sites in the Var. It has dozens of kilometres of trails that can be followed on foot or by mountain bike. Among the mountain hikes, the Blavet gorges and the tour of Mont Vinaigre are essential. By staying at Estérel Caravaning, you can easily walk around the mountains whenever you want.
Explore the Esterel Creeks by Boat
The Esterel mountains have a rocky coast made up of small coves and inlets that can also be explored from the water. Less known than those of Marseille, the Estérel creeks are no less beautiful. It must be said that this unique red colour gives the impression of being on another planet! Departing from Saint-Raphaël, you can easily find boat trips along the coast of the massif with a swimming break. You will see the Ile d’Or, the Cap du Dramont, the Maubois cove or the cove of the Ile des Vales. It is also possible to explore the creeks of Esterel independently by canoe, kayak or stand-up paddle.
Visit the History, Prehistory and Underwater Archeology Museum
This archaeological museum plunges visitors into the region’s past. Part of the museum is dedicated to underwater archaeology and several remains have been found during underwater excavations, such as a collection of Roman amphorae. Another part of the museum is dedicated to the medieval church and its crypts. The Museum of History, Prehistory and Underwater Archeology is located in the old presbytery of the medieval church. Free entry.
Stroll along the coastal path
From Saint-Cyr to Saint-Raphaël, the coastal path stretches along the Var coast over 187 km. From Saint-Raphaël, hiking enthusiasts will be able to do a bit of it and discover pretty little beaches and seaside villages, such as the 12 km stretch between the port of Santa-Lucia and Agay. In a day’s walk, the bravest will push as far as Sainte-Maxime, or even Saint-Tropez.
Rediscover the works of France’s greatest comedian at the Louis de Funès museum
The city of Saint-Raphaël received the honour of hosting the Louis de Funès museum, despite the actor not being from the region. This museum is dedicated to the famous comedian & retraces his career and his life through a collection of objects and documents. Photographs, posters, film extracts, awards, letters and drawings are presented in an original museography. Whether you are a long-time fan or want to learn more about this extraordinary personality, visiting the Louis de Funès museum is not to be missed during your stay in Saint-Raphaël.
Relax in the Bonaparte Garden
After exploring the city and its surroundings on foot, you might want to take a break. In which case, enjoy yourself at the Bonaparte garden near the city’s old port. This pleasant space by the water offers a lovely view of the bay. There are palm trees and other plants typical of the Mediterranean coast. The play areas will be appreciated by families with children.
This is just a taste of the joys and delights of the city of Saint-Raphaël … the rest is up to you to discover and enjoy yourself!