The town of Saint-RaphaŽl itself does not have a huge amount of tourist attractions aside from its buildings and the various type of architecture that they show off. There are a number of churches and chapels of which the most famous is the Basilique Notre-Dame de la Victoire, a Romano-Byzantine built at the end of the 19th century whose chancel roof recalls that of the basilica of Saint Sophia in Constantinople. In the old town one can take in the Greek, Roman and Medieval architecture as well as the 18th and 19th century villas and Belle Epoque buildings. The Jardin Bonaparte as well as being the venue for a number of festivals, also commands great views of the bay. The museum of prehistory and underwater archaeology displays the findings of recent excavations both on and offshore.
Most of the activities available in Saint-RaphaŽl are outdoor ones. Of course, being on the coast, there are a number of water-based activities including cruises from the old port, various water sports and diving. There are five marinas around the town where you'll find hundreds of yachts moored and which make a pleasant place for a stroll. Back on land, there are a number of nature trails to cover, including the Sentier Littoral which stretches around 8 miles between Port Saint Lucia and the Pourousset beach. Of medium difficulty, you can find along this path evidence of volcanic activity and discover the range of flora such as lavender that grows in the area. The Massif de l'Estťrel is a protected area which has several cycling and hiking options amongst the stunning scenery of the red rock. There are 30 different beaches around the town and around 25 miles of coastline to discover. Saint-RaphaŽl also boasts a number of markets, a casino and festivals in honour of jazz and European cinema.
To think about
Getting to Saint-RaphaŽl is relatively easy. From Paris there is a TGV (high speed train) which stops there on its way to Nice as does the TER from Marseille. There are local buses between the town and Nice, Aix-en-Provence and Marseille as well as others to Frťjus. It is easy to get to Lyon and Italy on the train. The closest international airport is in Nice while there are smaller ones at Cannes and Saint Tropez.