Located in the south of France in the Var, 45 minutes from Nice, between Cannes and Saint-Tropez, the city of Saint-Raphaël stretches on 36 km of coast. Boasting sailing, a top scuba diving spot, with 5 ports and a waterfront town center, it also offers 3 golf courses, including the Valescure golf course created in 1895 by Lord Aschcomb.
The jagged coastline, grazing marinas and 27 sandy and pebble beaches, culminates in the coves and creeks of the Massif de l'Esterel. This flaming red porphyry massif covers 32,000 hectares and offers strollers Mediterranean vegetation preserved.
Since antiquity, the coastal territory of Saint-Raphaël was a vacation resort. More than twenty centuries later, in 1863, during the setting up of the historic Paris-Lyon-Marseille (PLM) railway line to Italy, the Saint-Raphaël station built near the old city was put into operation. Quickly followed by large luxury hotels and the Casino. Thus, Saint-Raphaël became a popular resort, attracting many artists coming to enjoy the light and idleness on the Côte d'Azur: Gounod, Georges Sand or Maupassant were among those ...
In the 21st century, under the mild sun of September, the Mediterranean Sea becomes a mirror reflecting the flight of gulls in the clear blue sky. Delicately, she draws the furrow of the traditional “fishermen’s pointu-boats who leave the morning to raise their nets.
The traveler, descending here from the train, will hear the laughter of the Seagulls and will feel the spray promising the great blue. He will be eager to entrust his luggage to the hotel and discover this radiant city in the very south-east of France.
In the heart of the old town, it is good to stroll through the narrow streets, then across the market with flowers and vegetables where colorful stalls offer Provençal products.
Later, buildings such as the 12th-century Romanesque Church, the Museum of Prehistory and Underwater Archeology, and the imposing Neo-Byzantine Basilica "Our Lady of Victory", built more than a century, will reveal their secrets.
When thirst is felt, the terraces by the sea and the harbor will invite you to a stop.
At the aperitif time is earned the rosé Côtes de Provence from a vineyard born in the Esterel, "Terre Destel", whose vines are planted in the heart of the massif.
Unless you prefer the light gold of a local beer brewed in Saint-Raphael: Riviera Beer, blonde, light, sweet and fine in the mouth.
At noon, the patrons of the shaded terraces, will propose local products and some fish of the day with Mediterranean flavors.
After, there will be plenty of choice: discovery of the surroundings, outing in the sea maxi-catamaran, water sports or outdoor activities, lazing on the beach, bowling with the locals ... It does not matter, as long as the we will be on time for supper while admiring in the distance the reflection in the sea of twinkling lights all around the gulf.
For more info visit: Saint-Raphaël's Website