St Raphael is a seaside town with creeks and coves located in the Var department in the Provence Cote d’Azur area. It dates back to the prehistory and had been extended during the Roman period. Nowadays, St Raphael is a bathing resort prized by artists and athletes which was developed in the nineteen century with the train station and casino constructions. Moreover, St Raphael is an historical town with vestiges and it is legendary because Napoleon Bonaparte has landed there after his Egyptian campaign.
St Raphael is located near the Alpes Maritines border, 20 kms to St Tropez and 25 kms to Cannes. You can travel by TGV to reach St Raphael or come by plane to Nice and Cannes airport.
St Raphael is especially a bathing resort famous for its casino, its 4 mains sand beaches (Le Veillat, Boularris, Dramont and Agay) and its islands (Le Lion de Terre, Le Lion de Mer, L’ile des Vieilles and L’ile d’Or which was win in 1913 by the doctor August Lutaud at poker and which inspires Herge to write the Tintin comic book about the Black Island).
There are important natural areas with the Esterel Massif. You could walk in the botanical garden (in the Magali villa park) and in the signposted track and the GR49 (pedestrial road).
There are lots of traditional festivals in St Raphael such as the Mimosa festival in February with a night parade and a procession of floral floats, the pilgrimages on 29 April, the water sports festival in May. There are also some cultural festivals like the Jazz festival during the first week of July, the Templar musical festival the 3rd week of July, the laugh festival the last week of September, the European cinema week in October and lots Christmas activities (light festival, street theatre, light parade, Christmas market with an ice rink).
Through the year, several exhibitions are organised. You could acquire the PACA gastronomy with the Palais Gourmant test kitchen in November and with the vineyards exposition in April and Mai.
St Raphael has an important historical past with is reflected by a lot of Antiquity vestiges. You could find Neolithic camp relics, menhirs, a necropolis, an aqueduct, villa rustica foundations, galley flotsam and a quarry. Dating back to the Middle-age, there is the old city with Middle-Age houses and archways, the rampart with a 30m high watchtower and the St Raphael church.
St Raphael is a dynamic town with sports facilities (water sports stadium…) and cultural activities such as an archaeological museum, a cultural centre, cinemas and an orchestra. Moreover there are 3 golf courses, a casino, 6 nightclubs and a lively old port with restaurants and bars. It is possible to sail from the 5 St Raphael marinas and to discover the marine life with organised diving cruises from the old harbour.
Food and drinks
There are several gastronomy specialities in St Raphael. The most famous meals are cooked with olive such as the Aioli (with fish, potatoes and vegetables), the Anchoiade (with anchovy), the Pan-Bagnat (sandwich), Pissaladiere (pie), the Socca (round flat biscuit), the Tapenade (finely chopped olives, capers, anchovies and olive oil). There are also some seafood specialities with fresh fish, shellfish and moulds such as the Estocaficada. You could appreciate cheese (the Brousse de la Vesuvie) and fritters (the Barbajouans, the Ganses…) as well. The Provence Alpes Cote d’Azur is especially renowned for its wine, muscats and the famous Pastis. To enjoy differents taste of French Pastis you can mix it with mint syrup (a “perroquet”), with grenadine syrup (a “tomate”) and with Orgeat syrup (a “mauresque”).
- La Saga , Port Santa Lucia, +33 (0)4 04 82 37 22, from €15
- L’arbousier, 4 Av de Valescure, +33 (0)4 94 95 25 00, gastro restaurant
For those who fall for the charms of the St Raphael area, Sextant properties have bi-lingual agents in the area who known the available properties and will be able to accompany you on visits, answer your queries and generally make finding and choosing your ideal property a pleasure – all of which will speed the day you walk into your new home in St Raphael.