Saint-Raphael, France is a very popular vacation area set in the exclusive French Rivera. Nestled along the coast, this seaside resort is located just south and east of Frejus, France. A much quieter place than some of the other seaside resorts you’ll find in the French Riviera, Saint-Raphael is extremely clean and well maintained. The small harbor has beaches on either side where most vacationers spend their time enjoying many of the water sports available.
The resort city has the history of being visited by Napoleon Bonaparte. Bonapart visited Saint Raphael when he was coming back from Egypt and before his coup d'état and eventual exile from Paris. At the time of Bonaparte's arrival, this small fishing village was only a commune of Saint-Raphael. The resort town was bombed heavily during World War II and part of the Allied invasion, Operation Dragoon, in August 1944.
This beautiful spot has inspired many great works of art. Romeo and Juliet was composed here by Gounod in the 1860s. F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote Tender is the Night here. The painter Felix Ziem also worked here.
Just south of Saint-Raphael's harbor rests a public garden that often sees photo exhibitions, but this garden mainly attracts kids because it also has a huge children's play area. After trekking down to the public garden, travel back to the harbor to find the many cafes and shops.
Sitting just behind the harbor is the old town, with its daily market of vegetables and fruit. One 19th century Byzantine basilica style structure sticks out in this part of Saint-Raphael's center square that must be seen, because of its grand architecture.
One attractions that stands out from the rest is the archeological museum. Many of the artifacts are from the prehistoric occupation of Greek and Roman empires. The items displayed at the museum are priceless, but if archeology is an interest, this is the place to be.
The most popular attractions are found down by the beaches. Deep-sea diving, scuba diving and walking the coastal pass are enjoyed by almost everyone that visits Saint-Raphael. Just two kilometers from Saint-Raphael is the Aqualand water park, which has Europe's biggest wave pool and Twin-Twister water slide.
Saint-Raphael has plenty of hotels along the coastline to house all the visitors it gets each year. This clean, quiet resort is family friendly and enjoyed by thousands of visitors looking for a calm place to sun bathe, swim or enjoy a drink at one of the many cafes.