French Riviera Secrets

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St. Raphael and Frejus

St. Raphael is a popular tourist destination, at about 1 hour's drive from Nice. It has got some reasonable beaches, and a number of attractions of architectural and historical interest.
Just like its twin town, Frejus, St. Raphael is built on an ancient Roman settlement, and there are plenty of reminders of this around, especially in Fréjus.
Its western location means the Mistral can be felt here, and when this (in)famous wind is blowing, it can be a bit uncomfortable. It is a strange experience to have a strong, dry wind blowing, giving you a chilly feeling at times, especially after dark, even with temperatures around 30 degrees Celcius (86 degrees F). Interesting and challenging too, for restaurants, trying to keep the table cloths from disappearing from their terraces...

St. Raphaël St. Raphaël
Casino St Raphaël Casino St Raphaël

Discover the town after having parked your car in Parking Bonaparte, right on the seafront. When you walk out of the parking, you'll notice the Casino to your left, and turning right you'll be on the beach after just a few steps.

Worth a visit, at just 2 minutes walk away from the parking area, is the Notre Dame de la Victoire de Lépante church, built with pink coloured sandstone from the Esterel mountains.

Notre Dame de la Victoire de Lépante Notre Dame de la Victoire de Lépante

The Musée Archéologique contains a rich collection of artefacts dating back to pre-historical and Roman times.

Just west of St. Raphaël, and south of Fréjus, is a popular beach.
There's even a night club ("La Playa") right on the beach! From St. Raphaël port there are regular boat trips to St. Tropez and Iles des Lérins, as well as excursions to the Estérel (see also www.bateauxsaintraphael.com).

Fréjus / St. Raphael beach Fréjus / St. Raphael beach

Just west of Fréjus is a big entertainment park, with swimming pool complete with waves, large slides and miniature golf course; my children loved it!

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