Chris & Kelly provide a laid back look at one of the lesser-known tourist towns on the French Riviera!
Esterel Mountain Range hike
You can book a walking tour at the tourism office of the nearby Esterel Mountain range. Book a tour as soon as you arrive as they fill up fast. We were too late, and ended up going solo, following the guide map provided by the office. The reward of our trek was a breathtaking view of the bay and surrounding mountains, followed by lunch on the beach.
We went paddle boarding up the coast at the Agay Municipal Nautical Base. The bay is a little bit crowded as there are kayaking and sea tours as well, so watch out for the wakes!
The Archeological Museum is located in the 12th century church, and is mainly focused on prehistoric structures from the area and ancient undersea finds. If you can make it up the many, many stairs you will be rewarded with a 360 degree view of the mountains, town, and ocean.
Every night, at least while we were there, there was a night market on the boardwalk stretching down the neighboring town of Fréjus. We got delicious ice cream, rode the ferris wheel, and perused the different stalls .
It is no secret that French food is amazing. Pretty much anywhere we ate was delicious. The only advice I can give on dining is don’t be afraid to try the unusual sounding combinations, like smoked salmon quiche or whole grain salad with sun-dried tomatoes, kumquats, and blue cheese.
Our favorite meal, however, was the one we bought from the local market Spire and assembled ourselves on a daily basis. There is something to be said for the simple luxury of a fresh baguette, paté, strong cheese, and a local bottle of wine, all consumed while lounging on the sand.
We stayed at Hotel Excelsior. If you can, be sure to get a room facing the ocean. The room was pleasant and clean with a balcony, and the staff was very friendly and helpful.
We landed at the Nice airport and after a 15 minute walk to the train station, we took the train down to Saint-Raphaël. The train station in Saint-Raphaël was less than a five minute walk from our hotel. We were able to walk anywhere we needed in the town, and take the train for short excursions.
Saint-Raphaël Travel tips:
Language – The reason we chose Saint-Raphaël as our destination was to dodge the more tourist packed areas. As it turns out, Saint-Raphaël is one of the resort locations the locals visit. That being said, only a handful of people speak English, so best brush up on your French!
Weather – The weather was gorgeous in July! Mid to upper 70s throughout the day, and warm at night. It rained for little bit on a couple of days, but nothing major.
Health – All European countries are warning travelers about the zika virus, so bring bug spray for peace of mind, but we weren’t bothered by any bugs.
Voltage – Definitely bring voltage converters/adapters. We also brought those chargeable phone battery packs.
Other Travel Guides You Might Like:
Paris, France – 3 Days in Paris: Experience Paris City Life
Paris, France – 4 Days in Paris: Discover the Art & Charm of Paris
Paris, France – 5 Days in Paris: Explore All the Iconic Paris Sights
Rome, Tuscany, Naples & Sicily, Italy – 2 Weeks in Italy: Rome, Tuscany, Naples & Sicily
Oia, Santorini, Greece – Guide to Oia: Where to Stay in Santorini
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