Welcome to Saint-Raphaël! A town of many facets, water sports, hiking, cultural visits… This famous seaside resort on the Côte d’Azur nestled at the foot of the superb Esterel Massif, has lots of surprises in store! The best things about it are the sea, its mild climate, the sun, the extent and richness of its natural heritage and the possibilities for activities all year round! Here is our selection of 7 things to see and do in Saint-Raphaël!
1. Stroll through the alleyways in the old town
Head to the historic centre that was once called the “Quartier du Village”…
The “Quartier du Village” in Saint-Raphaël was once inhabited by the local peasants! A daily flower and vegetable market is held there. Take the opportunity during your stroll to visit the Romanesque church of San Raféu, dating from the 12th century and enlarged in the 18th century. Its presbytery now houses the archaeology museum. Climb the 129 steps up the tower, and a superb 360° panorama awaits you: from the summits of the Esterel to the tip of Saint-Tropez via the Villepey ponds, the Roquebrune rock, giving you a breathtaking view of the emblematic Notre-Dame de la Victoire basilica and its Byzantine domes.
2 – Lay your towel on one of Saint-Raphaël’s beaches!
36 km of coastline and some thirty beaches and wild coves…
Saint-Raphaël has nearly thirty beaches that are accessible via both the coastal path and the famous Corniche d’Or. You will therefore have a wide choice during your next stay: fine sandy or pebble beaches, wild creeks or magnificent small coves… all you have to do is choose! From Veillat to Trayas, you will fall under the spell of Saint-Raphaël’s beaches. Are you looking for a beach that is supervised during the summer? Go to one of these: Veillat, Beaurivage, Péguière, Dramont, Lido or Agay.
3 – Go hiking in the Massif de L’Estérel
45 km hiking trails and more than 100 km of marked trails for mountain biking and horseriding…
The Massif de l’Estérel offers walkers fragrant, unspoilt and colourful vegetation. It is a magnificent place for a wide range of sporting and leisure activities such as hiking, trail running, horseriding, mountain biking and even climbing. A breath of fresh air in the heart of the Côte d’Azur, admiring the amazing red colour of the Esterel, which plunges into the azure blue of the Mediterranean. Our favourite spots: Rastel d’Agay, Cap Dramont, Pic de l’Ours and Mont-Vinaigre.
4 – Sail, paddleboard and dive in the Estérel’s creeks!
Diving, water sports, sea trips… plenty of ideas for having fun in Saint-Raphaël!
What if the Mediterranean were your own open-air playground? Saint-Raphaël awaits you – the possibilities for water sport activities are endless: go at your own pace in a kayak or on a paddleboard, explore the Roman wrecks and discover the underwater world with a guided dive, sail as close as possible to the red rocks during a sea trip, slide over the water aboard a towed buoy, give in to the temptation of a fishing trip, or take the opportunity to pass your boat licence in 48 hours and then sail the Mediterranean at your leisure.
5 – Improve your swing on one of Saint-Raphaël’s golf courses!
Saint-Raphaël, a golfer’s paradise…
In Saint-Raphaël, you’ll have the choice between four golf courses. First of all, the Golf de Valescure, created at the end of the 19th century – the oldest in the Var and one of the oldest in France. The course set in a forest of umbrella pines is not short of charm. Close by, a change of scenery with the Golf de l’Esterel. The course is an excellent American-style target golf course. Less than 500 metres from these two splendid 18-hole courses, Saint-Raphaël has a compact 9-hole golf course: “l’Académie” – ideal for beginners. Finally, you can also test your swing on the 9-hole Golf de Cap Esterel course, which overlooks the Baie d’Agay.
6 – Walking by the sea along the coastal path!
A very beautiful 12 km walk accessible to everyone…
The coastal path stretches from Port Santa Lucia to Agay following the former customs path. As you walk along the trail, you’ll discover the beauty of this coast with its steep coves and fine sandy beaches. And it couldn’t be easier to get there! Head for the eastern end of Port Santa-Lucia where the path is marked. From there, just follow the yellow markers. After 6 km, you leave the coast to return to the road. You can turn around here for a 12 km route or continue 800 m further on from the Plage du Débarquement for another 4 km path to Camp Long.
7 – Relax in the Jardin Bonaparte!
Opposite the casino, take a contemplative break from this viewpoint overlooking the sea…
The Jardin Bonaparte is a public park with an exceptional view of the bay and the old port in Saint-Raphaël. Like a liner anchored to the quay, the 20,000 m² car park roof has been transformed into a pleasant contemporary landscaped area planted with palm trees and other Mediterranean species. And all its playgrounds make it a delight for children. Admission is free.