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French Riviera - but busy and buzzy all year round

Unlike many French coastal towns, which seem to fall asleep in the winter months, St RaphaŽl is lively all year round, with many of the attractions and facilities remaining open throughout the off season months. This is either a blessing or a curse, depending on how you look at it. But if you are looking for a sleepy bolt hole then perhaps you would be mistaken in considering St RaphaŽl. If, however, your idea of heaven is a busy, buzzy and very attractive seaside town with lots going on and some of the best beaches in the Med, then come on in, the water's lovely!

A town of restaurants

If you enjoy eating out then the plethora of restaurants which await you in St RaphaŽl will be a delightful surprise. Stretched all along the sea front, and dotted throughout the town, there is something here to suit all tastes and pockets. The most expensive and not necessarily the best, are on the sea front. So if you are on a budget and wishing to make your money stretch a little further, try looking in the side streets, a little off the more obvious tourist trails. It goes without saying that the seafood is particularly good.

All year round fun

St RaphaŽl is a town for all seasons, and there is always something to do. The night life is lively and varied, with bars, discos and clubs ever present. The town has some excellent, safe, sandy beaches, making them ideal for families with young children. There is plenty of fun and games for the children away from the water too, with play parks and carousels. Golfers, (who can never bear to leave their sport behind when travelling) can get their fix at an excellent course right on the doorstep!

Nearby Frťjus

Water sports enthusiasts can access the best the French Riviera has to offer at Frťjus, just along the coast from St RaphaŽl, where the water is a little deeper. Try your hand at jet skiing, windsurfing, water skiing or scuba diving, with instruction available if you are a dťbutante!

St RaphaŽl's culture

St RaphaŽl has its share of cultural activities, and you can spend an interesting time at the Marine Archaeological Museum. There is also a 12th century church, which is said to have links to the mysterious Knights Templar. The region around St RaphaŽl is full of possibilities, and you can easily access famous places such as Saint Tropez and Aix-en-Provence.

Popular with the literati

St RaphaŽl has long been popular not just with the wealthier tourists in society, but also with the great and good of French literature. Alphonse Kerr, one time editor of Le Figaro, is credited with setting off this trend. It is known that Guy de Maupassant, Alexandre Dumas and Gunoud frequented the town, and FranÁoise Sagan famously set her novel "Bonjour Tristesse" here.

How to get there

To get to St RaphaŽl from the UK you can fly to Nice, which is served by a good selection of airlines including British Airways, easyJet, bmibaby, bmi, Aer Lingus, Jet2, flybe and Air France. Toulon, served by Ryanair, is also within reach. Rail travel can get you to the town itself. Take Eurostar to Paris or Lille, link to a TGV for Montpellier or Marseille, and link to local trains for St RaphaŽl. Meanwhile driving is a long but enjoyable process, ending up on the A8 auto route from which St RaphaŽl is signed.

Property prices and availability in and around St RaphaŽl

St RaphaŽl occupies a prime piece of French territory, so don't expect property here to come cheap! It isn't the place to look if you are working on a shoestring budget, but if you want a prime location, on the best stretch of the Med with plenty of life and entertainment, then St RaphaŽl could push the right buttons. Lookout for apartments on the outer edges of town, which offer better value than those with a sea view... unless, of course, money is no object.

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St RaphaŽl AT A GLANCE

WHERE IS St RaphaŽl?

St RaphaŽl is located in the south-east of France, on the CŰte-d'Azur part of the Mediterranean coast. It lies in the east of the Var department.

St RaphaŽl Property Map

IN THE REGION OF PROVENCE-ALPES-C‘TE D'AZUR

Provence-Alpes-CŰte d'Azur Guide

Provence-Alpes-CŰte d'Azur Property Map

IN THE DEPARTMENT OF VAR

Var Guide

  Var Map


Population: 30,500


Access: By air: Fly to Toulon or Nice. By rail: The town has a station making rail travel straightforward. By road: The A8 auto route will take you to St RaphaŽl.


Economy: The predominant industry is tourism.


Interesting fact: The Romans set the precedent for building exclusive and expensive villas on St RaphaŽl's sea front!

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