The Best 10 Things to Do in Saint Raphael France

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The city and its districts; A Universe of Natural Beauty 

Saint-Raphaël, a scenic coastal town on the French Riviera, boasts over 30 beaches along its extensive 36-kilometer coastline. The city also stands out for its breathtaking red-rock landscapes in the nearby Massif de l'Estérel, contrasting with the deep blue of the Mediterranean. 

 

Originally a Roman settlement, the town has evolved into a popular seaside resort. It's accessible by train from major cities like Nice (55 min) and Cannes (30 min) and by car via the A8 motorway.

 

Saint-Raphaël hosts various festivals, including a summer jazz festival (in July) and a maritime celebration (on the first Sunday of August) in honor of Saint Peter, the patron saint of fishermen—a curious fact: Napoleon Bonaparte landed here upon returning from Elba in 1815. Traditional dishes from the region include bouillabaisse and soupe de poisson.

 

Amazing places to explore and enjoy around Saint-Rapael include the Esterel Massif, Cap Dramont, Ils D’Or (Golden Island), and Agay Bay which we will cover in this blog page. 

 

But let’s get straight to the point, shall we? 

Summary :
1. Sightseeing in St.Raphael 2. Exploring Esterel by hiking 3. Exploring the Esterel’s coastline by boat 4. Enjoy Esterel by kayaking or canoeing 5. Esterel by jet-ski 6. Climbing the Esterel’s rocks facing the sea 7. Horseback riding in Esterel 8. Esterel by bike or vintage moped 9. Wine tasting near Saint-Raphael 10. Buggy ride in Esterel

1. Sightseeing in St.Raphael

Basilica of Notre-Dame de la Victoire: A stunning neo-Byzantine church with intricate mosaics and soaring arches, a must-see landmark in Saint-Raphaël.

 

Plage du Veillat: A wide sandy beach in the heart of Saint-Raphaël, ideal for sunbathing, swimming, and beachside activities.

 

Quartier du Village: The charming old town of Saint-Raphaël, filled with narrow streets, quaint shops, and traditional Provençal architecture.

 

Louis de Funès Museum: A museum dedicated to the famous French comedian Louis de Funès, showcasing his career and memorabilia from his films.

 

Museum of Prehistory and Underwater Archaeology: Located in a former Templar church, this museum displays artifacts from the area's prehistoric past and items recovered from underwater explorations.

 

Saint Rafeu Tower: A historic tower that offers panoramic views of Saint-Raphaël and the surrounding area, providing a glimpse into the town's medieval history.

 

Marché Provençal de Saint-Raphaël: A lively street market where you can find fresh produce, local crafts, and other traditional Provençal goods.

 

Vieux Port: The Old Port is a bustling area with fishing boats, luxury yachts, and a variety of waterfront restaurants and cafes.

 

Jardin Bonaparte: A public garden with well-manicured lawns, walking paths, and a playground, offering beautiful views of the Mediterranean.

 

Port Santa Lucia: A modern marina catering to recreational boating, with a range of shops, restaurants, and stunning harbor views

 

Le Sentier du Littoral: A scenic coastal path that stretches from Port Santa Lucia, offering breathtaking views and leading to a perfect spot overlooking Île d'Or.

 

If you want to add an extra dose of fun while discovering the city, consider visiting St.Raphael and Frejus by electric scooter.

 

And remember; Saint Raphael isn’t just about Saint-Raphael…….. 

Saint Raphaël, town center
Saint Raphaël, town center

Discover Dramont, the Esterel Massif, and Agay Bay; what are they?


Simply put, these are unique scenic places close to Saint-Raphael and soon to become the dreamy setting of several thrilling and memorable experiences you cannot afford to miss out on.  

 

Dramont is a protected natural area on the French Riviera and is a constituent part of the picturesque red mountainous region called Esterel Massif (Esterel). 

 

Located in the southernmost part of the Esterel, Dramont faces the Ils d’Or (The Golden Island) which is the iconic landmark of the Esterel.
 

Now, if you want to put the saying “no pain no gain” into action right away and earn the right to enjoy to the utmost the magic of this stretch of the French Riviera, you might want to consider a wider array of options.  

2. Exploring Esterel by hiking

If you believe in hiking, you can take advantage of The Sentier du Littoral Dramont, a picturesque coastal trail that winds its way along the red rugged cliffs, offering stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea, the Ile d’Or, and the Agay Bay (which is where the trail ends).   

 

The “Sentier” begins from Santa Lucia Port but it would take you more than four hours to complete it. Hence, one alternative (other than stopping at Peguire Beach after a one-hour hike) is to take the train to Boulouris (3 min from Saint Raphael) and begin your hike from a starting point that is closer to the spot facing the magnific Ils d’Or. 

 

If you're new to the area and want to make the most of your hiking experience or simply learn more about this enchanting location, consider visiting with a guide. For more details, browse  our catalog:

 

Book your nature guided walk

3. Exploring the Esterel’s coastline by boat

View of the Estérel' Calanques at Saint Raphaël, Var

This is a form of sightseeing if you will but from a different angle and with the additional benefit of an enhanced thrilling vibe. 

 

The coastline between Saint-Raphaël and Agay Bay is renowned for its stunning red rock formations and crystal-clear waters. A boat trip is the perfect chance to explore this part of the coast from a unique perspective. 

 

A STRING OF PICTURES HERE SHOWING THE ACTIVITIES BELOW

 

Below are our recommendations. For more information about boat trips departing from Saint-Raphaël to selected nearby destinations, feel free to browse our catalog or give us a call.

Discover our boat trips from Saint Raphaël :

4. Enjoy Esterel by kayaking or canoeing

This is when sport and exploration combine to give you exclusive access to some of the best spots of the French Riviera coastline; the Esterel creeks. 

 

You’ll be paddling along red-rock formations immersing themselves in pure transparent water and once you have spotted the perfect notch you won’t resist the urge to deep dive into the Mediterranean Sea surrounded by a literally unique background.  

Kayak, Esterel creeks

Our selected experiences in kayak

Should you prefer sea scooters for your leisurely excursion, consider the following solutions :

Should you prefer sea scooters for your leisurely excursion, consider the following solutions :

Specials offers

AGAY - Sea Water scooter rental

Starting from
-17% 25
PVC : 30€

Specials offers

Seascooter rental in Agay

Starting from
-8% 23
PVC : 25€

5. Esterel by jet-ski

Scream and enjoy! Ride the sea, carve through waves, and feel the spray on your skin. Magic view for magic sensations, no explanation needed. 

Jet ski Esterel creeks
Book your jet-ski experience

6. Climbing the Esterel’s rocks facing the sea

What a thrilling adventure! The steep ascents and rugged terrain challenge your skills and strength, rewarding you with stunning panoramic views of the Mediterranean below from an impossible perspective.  

 

As you conquer the breathtaking landscape, you’ll feel a mix of excitement and self-confidence; powerful experiences for long-lasting memories!

6. Climbing the Esterel’s rocks facing the sea
via cordata

7. Horseback riding in Esterel

Some parts of the Esterel are simply perfect to be explored by horse. You’ll be carried through landscapes of unspoiled beauty. A visit to the lake is included. 

7. Horseback riding in Esterel

Specials offers

(9)

|
1 h
| Fréjus

1h horseback riding in the Esterel massif

Starting from
-12% 22
PVC : 25€
Family outings Family outings

Specials offers

(9)

|
2 h
| Fréjus

Two hours horse riding in the Esterel massif

Starting from
-7% 42
PVC : 45€

8. Esterel by bike or vintage moped

Sure, you can cruise the scenic Corniche d’Or on a vintage motorbike—a once-in-a-lifetime experience—or cycle through the Estérel for a thrilling adventure.

9. Wine tasting near Saint-Raphael

Understanding the wine produced in a specific region offers an enriching experience that goes beyond merely enjoying a glass. It allows you to connect with the history, culture, and traditions that shape each bottle. 

 

Les Clos de Roses opens the door of their characteristic French vineyard to you and lets you gain insight into the unique climate, soil, and techniques that contribute to a wine's distinctive character (their wine rosé is simply amazing!) 

Our offers specifically designed for you

10. Buggy ride in Esterel

If you are up to an out-of-the-ordinary experience here in Esterel, join us for a buggy ride at the feet of the Esterel massif. The ultimate way to bring your journey to a memorable close. 

Buckle up! 

I book my buggy tour !

Foire aux questions

Can I come without a car?

Can I come without a car?
You can get around Saint Raphaël on foot in the town centre. Otherwise, there are buses or the train that runs along the coast.

Unfortunately, many of the hiking trails and certain activities cannot be accessed without a car.

It's best to have your own means of transport to get around the Esterel massif or to the meeting points for leisure activities.

What are the most popular activities in Saint Raphaël?

Among the 600 activities, we find the most popular:
- Buggy rides along the Corniche d'Or and Estérel
- Boat hire without a licence to discover the Mediterranean coastline in total peace and quiet
-  boat trips to discover the Esterel creeks and secret coves
- the via cordata at Le Dramont in Saint Raphaël to take in the sights
- towed buoys at sea for a thrill-packed experience
- cross the most beautiful summits of l'estérel on an electric mountain bike in an afternoon (with a guide)
- the swimming and discovery trail, a combination of hiking and swimming along the coastal path of Raphaël

 

Where is Saint Raphaël in France?

Saint Raphaël is a seaside town in south-east France between Cannes and Saint Tropez.
Saint Raphaël is famous for its beaches, the Estérel massif and its red rocks, as well as the many activities it offers all year round.