Standing in the shadows of the craggy Massif de l’Esterel, with its more famous neighbours St Tropez and Cannes positioned in between, St Raphael epitomises the glamour of the French Riviera. This stunningly beautiful destination is a glorious Mediterranean port of call and provides an exclusive, luxurious ambience in which to spend the day. With its clean, small harbour and beaches to either side, the tranquil bliss of St Raphael’s warm climate and colourful old town make it the perfect cruise port.
Close by to the port area you will find an array of sublime shops to choose from, including both luxury brand names and local boutique stores. Find a great range of local bars, cafes and restaurants dotted along the fabulous promenade, which sits directly below the 1,500 feet rugged Massif d l’Esterel, where you can enjoy a refreshing drink as you take respite from the Mediterranean heat. Situated in the north of the town, the Church of Saint-Raphael is one of the oldest buildings in the town and here you can climb the watchtower for lovely views across the town. Elsewhere, to the south of the harbour, you’ll find the large public garden of Jardin Bonaparte where you can spend a leisurely hour or two strolling the gardens before heading somewhere else.
St Raphael is a great place to explore but one of the most attractive features of this port of call is the ability to head along the famous Corniche towards the lavish French Riviera resorts of Cannes, Nice, Monte-Carlo and St Tropez. Most cruise lines offer excursions to these glittering enclaves, making for the ideal opportunity for you to discover these famous resorts.
St Raphael boasts a highly impressive museum of underwater archaeology but the real sightseeing here is at the nearby area of Fréjus. With almost no division, it’s hard to see where Fréjus starts and where St Raphael ends apart from a few ruins that lie within Fréjus. History lovers will thoroughly enjoy exploring this location with its incredible array of Roman ruins. The ruins here comprise of an amphitheatre, aqueduct and an intriguing smaller, more intimate theatre. These attractions all lay within a mile from the seafront so if you are travelling in a group and some of you prefer to spend the day at the seafront then you will never be too far apart.
Another site well worth exploring in Fréjus is 12th century Gothic cathedral which stands proudly on the site of a Roman temple. Right next to this you will witness the majestic sight of the 5th century Baptistery, a popular attraction to see when visiting here. Not only will you discover these two experiences on your travels but here you also have the chance to take in Fréjus’ own archaeological museum, this one however, is a little more conventional to that of the one situated in St Raphael.