Saint Raphael

Photo of Saint Raphael

About Saint Raphael

A beautiful seaside resort, Saint Raphael is one of the quieter, less touristy towns on the Cote d'Azur. With a small picturesque harbour dotted with colourful fishing boats, a colourful Old Town with charming cobbled streets lined with regency-era hotels and cute little cafes, a fascinating archaeology museum and some of the best beaches in the region, our collection of the best places to stay in Saint Raphael make the ideal destination for a chic seaside holiday.

The region has been inhabited since prehistoric times, as the artefacts in the Marine Archaeological Museum show well: there is evidence that wealthy Romans, keen for sun, sand and the Good Life, holidayed here!

Originally a quaint fishing village, at the turn of the 19th century, spurred on by the creation of the Provencal railway, Palladian-style villas started popping up along the coastline, built and inhabited by the wealthy of the time.

Nestling on a 36km stretch of sand and shingle beaches, staring out longingly at the Golden Isles, St Raphael sits in the shadow of the volcanic Massif de l'Esterel. There are few places more beautiful in the Cote d'Azur.

At the Jardin Bonaparte, full of blooming exotic flowers, photo exhibitions are regularly held in the open-air and it is the perfect place to sit in shade and do a spot of people-watching. At the heart of the town is the Church of St. Raphael, a marvellous 12th century concoction of Romanesque and Gothic styles, boasting a watchtower allowing for gorgeous panoramic views of the town and its surroundings.

Not to miss

  • The beach - there are at least 30 to choose from in the surrounding area.
  • Visit the Church of St. Raphael, a 12th century beauty with watchtower boasting perfect panoramic views.
  • Stroll through the Jardin Bonaparte and see the photo exhibitions on display!
  • Immerse yourself in local history at the Maritime Archaeological Museum.
  • Walk along the coastal path to Baumette lighthouse, passing the beaches where the Allies landed during WWII - a 12km journey that takes roughly 4 hours 30 minutes.
  • Stroll through the picturesque cobbled streets of the Old Town, visit its fruit and veg market, and drink in the quiet, peaceful scenery.

The best places to stay in Saint Raphael get booked up months in advance during the peak summer months, so be sure to do your homework and plan well ahead.

The best places to stay in Saint Raphael

For luxury

  • Les Roches Rouges: a splendid 5* stay a few miles outside of town nestling by a rocky shoreline, offering light and airy contemporary rooms, two restaurants and two swimming pools. A dreamlike haven of tranquility.

For seaside chic

  • La Villa Mauresque: a stunning neo-Moorish hotel offering chic and airy rooms decorated in unique styles. With free use of kayaks and small boats, delicious Provencal cuisine and your own private beach, you cannot go wrong with this.

For an apartment or villa

  • Our partner has a wide range of villas and apartments in the nearby area.

Travel information

  • Fly to Toulon-Hyeres Airport or Nice International. Both are about 45 minutes by car from St Raphael
  • If you want to rent a car, contact our partner Rentalcars.
  • The summer months are the best time to visit the Cote d'Azur, with average highs around 24 degrees celsius. But the sun is still warm in May, June, September and October, and the crowds should have gone!

Still not sure?

  • Expand your search to include nearby Frejus,
  • or all our picks on the Cote d'Azur.
  • Alternatively, contact one of our Gurus for advice.

Best Hotels in Saint Raphael

  • Les Roches Rouges Saint Raphael (Saint-Raphaël) 44 rooms from £162

    Swimming Pool  -  Two pools - one natural salt water pool right by the sea, and one heated fresh water lap pool.
    Sights nearby  -  The historic Lérins Abbey is a lovely spot to wander around
    Cooking classes  -  Head chef Jose Bailly offers complimentary cookery classes.
    Great walks  -  Head off hiking through the Esterel Massif mountain range
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith, Tablet

    Located right on the coast a few miles outside Saint-Raphaël, Les Roches Rouges is a splendid 5* stay. Light, airy understated accommodation features pale palettes and wooden furniture. Two restaurants (beach or gourmet) for Provencal delights, plus two pools to choose from. Truly dreamy! See More

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  • La Villa Mauresque Saint Raphael (Boulouris) 17 rooms from £169

    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Sailing  -  Can be booked nearby.
    Seaside  -  Ideal for a seaside holiday.

    A unique and beautiful Neo-Moorish villa on the Cote d'Azur blessed with dazzling panoramic views. The rooms all have their own character, some with private jacuzzis. Neutral tones with lashings of vibrant colour - spacious, airy and light. Soak up the Mediterranean air: a perfect beach beak. See More

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