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World Travel Guide > Guides > Europe > France > St Raphael beaches

About St Raphael beaches

When it comes to glitz and glamour there is no doubting that the French Riviera is one of the world’s most fashionable escapes, a destination that oozes romance, images of sun-kissed holidays and balmy beaches. At its heart the resort of St Raphael does not disappoint with a wide beachfront, a range of facilities, not to mention a liberal dash of history in the adjoining town of Frejus and numerous day-trip options. This is a resort where everyone is welcome, from younger holidaymakers through to families.

Beach:

St Raphael’s main beach is very popular with holidaymakers and has a good sweep of sand fronting the Mediterranean. Various watersports are available as well as cafés and bars, sun loungers and parasols. The stretch of beach continues west into the twin town of Frejus.

Beyond the beach:

St Raphael is something of a haven for scuba divers. As St Raphael was one of the main sites chosen for the Allied landings in WWII there are a number of wartime wrecks that are perfect for supervised diving. Both night and day dives are available through operators based in and around St Raphael. Strolling around the back streets of the resort is also a pleasure as you can take in the grand hotels and faded buildings that were built as St Raphael first became popular.

Family fun:

The beaches that line the waterfront are ideal for families, though there are also boat trips available. These head out to the Iles de Lérins, which makes for a fun day out. Boats also run as far as Port Grimaud and St Tropez for youngsters who enjoy being out on the waves.

Exploring further:

The neighbouring town of Frejus to the west is pretty much a continuation of St Raphael these days. It boasts a number of attractions, the highlight of which are the Roman ruins. The Roman arena still stands and makes for an atmospheric venue for summer concerts. In town there is an 11th-century cathedral to explore, which is also home to an Archaeological Museum (Place Formige).

Splashing out:

Push the boat out literally and hire a boat for the day. Armed with your own skipper you can do the glamorous French Riviera in style by sunbathing on deck, popping overboard for a swim and savouring lunch at sea. As your skipper nicely and they may even take you to their favourite spot where few tourists go. Try Houseboat (www.houseboat-info.com) or Am Catamaran (www.amcazur.com).