The Esterel campsite at St Raphaël lets you experience the pleasure of living on the Riviera or Cote d'Azur. With a pool onsite that is better than most of the pools in the millionaire's villas along the coast, why not put on your suntan cream and sunglasses and enjoy !
The campsite has a lovely location inland from the coast yet not too far from some of the main resorts you might like to visit such as St Raphael and Cannes. It is set amidst the pine forests. The buildings are ochre coloured and the caravans are well laid out in terraces and are shaded and hidden by the trees so that they all blend into the hillside and you do not get the feeling that you are at a large site.
There are fantastic walks in the Esterel hills from gentle strolls to more energetic hikes. On the site itself you will find an excellent restaurant and a disco. There is a nght club and golf courses nearby. The beach is 3 km away and the town of Agay with its shops and restaurants is only a 4km drive away through the forest.
The paths within the site can be quite steep so please bear this in mind if taking anyone on holiday who might find this a problem. Another thing that we found was that there was an abundance of wildlife such as lizards on the site but some people online have reported wild boars roaming at night - so just a warning to watch out for this if you have young children - thought we better warn you ! One tip seemed to be to not leave any rubbish out in your bins as this attracts them !
Another tip is to watch out for the traffic in high season in Provence as the roads can get very congested so plan ahead and find out as much as you can from traffic websites.
Booking Your Holiday
St Raphaël is situated on the Mediterranean south coast of France between Cannes and Saint Tropez. You may want to get there by flying to Nice or Marseilles then hiring a car. Alternatively if you wish to drive, the journey from the Channel Ports is a long one but you could break it with an overnight stop.
- • Calais: 1167 km
- • Caen: 1106 km
- • Le Havre: 1068 km
- • Marseilles: 154 km
- • Nice: 66 km
- • Toulon: 105 km
- • The T.G.V. MEDITERRANEE stops at Saint Raphaël. The journey from Paris is only 4 hrs 45 mins.
- • Local Railway: Agay, 4 Km
Things to Do in the Area
This resort offers a great beach as well as restaurants and shops. Saint Raphaël is also known for its water activities: boating, fishing, scuba diving, canoeing and sea kayaking. For thrill seekers, Saint Raphaël offers water skiing and parasailing. Saint Raphaël also has 3 golf courses, including a one hundred year old course at golf Valescure. If you enjoy walking you might like to spend a day exploring the coastal path where you will discover all sorts of hidden gems such as little creeks and coves. There is an archaological museum where you can discover some of the history of St Raphaël, which stretches right back to Roman times. You will enjoy visiting the old town area of St Raphaël and you will also enjoy the markets where you will be able to buy all sorts of things that are typical of Provence. Boat trips are available from St Raphaël to St Tropez, Port Grimaud and the beautiful islands of Lérins.
A more secluded beach to visit.
La Baie d'Agay Saint-Raphaël is one of the most beautiful bays of the Riviera. You will find in shops in the small town of Agay as well as a small church near the port. A market is held every Wednesday morning right next to the beach.
Just off Saint Raphaël is a private island which is composed of red rock and is topped by a medieval tower. This island is called Ile d'Or and it is the inspiration for the Black Isle in Hergé's famous books about Tintin.
Cannes (33 kms away)
Cannes divides into two distinct parts - the atmospheric old town with its bustling fish restaurants and old port to the West and the new town to the East with the Marina and the promenade called La Croisette. Cannes is famous for its film festival in May when the filmstars descend on the town. All through the year you can visit the handprints of the film stars on the pavement. There is also an Annual Fireworks display at Cannes on July 14th.
The marina is famous and you can stroll along looking at the large private yachts. There are numerous beaches. For the ones along La Croisette, you will mostly have to pay to use them and you may get a sunlounger and parasol for this price. Some beaches are owned by hotels but it can be possible to pay for a day on some of these beaches. Or if you lunch at the hotel you may be able to use the beach for free ! Cannes is also famous for its night life and it has no fewer than three casinos - the most of any French town!
Aqualand, Frejus (10 kms)
You may have noticed that the Esterel campsite does not have any large water slides or flumes etc. If you have younger children or teenagers with you who would like to have a day in a water park then the excellent Aqualand at Frejus is well worth a visit. There are other water parks in the area as well including another Aqualand at Sainte Maxime. Website
Saint Tropez (43kms)
Well worth a visit. You can stroll along the Promenade des Anglais, look at the famous Hotel Negresco and visit the lovely flower market in the old town. There are numerous restaurants.
Grasse (43 kms away)
The provencal town famed for its perfume production. You can visit the Parfumerie Fragonard.
Fréjus (10 kms away)
This is a roman town which has a Roman amphitheatre where rock and classical music concerts are held.
Seaworld at Antibes
The number one European sea world attraction with Aquariums and Shows
Gorges du Verdon or French Grand Canyon
The Verdon Gorge (Gorges du Verdon or Grand canyon du Verdon), is a river canyon that is often considered to be one of Europe's most beautiful and with spectacular views. It is about 25 kilometers long and up to 700 meters deep. It was formed by the Verdon River which has cut a ravine through the limestone rocks. It is named after its startling turquoise-green colour, one of the canyon's most distinguishing characteristics. The most impressive part lies between the towns of Castellane and Moustiers-Sainte-Marie. At the end of the canyon, the Verdon river flows into the artificial lake of Sainte-Croix-du-Verdon (Lac de Sainte-Croix). It is popular with climbers. White water rafting here should only be done by experienced rafters.
Disclaimer: The reviews published on the site are intended solely for the purpose of providing general information and comment and are purely our opinions. We cannot guarantee that reviews of descriptions on this site are accurate, up to date or free from error. We have found that the campsites described are very good but we find that it is difficult to find a campsite which has 100% of what you are looking for. Also one person may love a busy campsite with lots of activities while someone else may love a quiet campsite with a small swimming pool. Actually we tend to be the latter ! So what we have done is highlight the good points of the sites and maybe point out a few of what we have found as slightly negative points. However we strongly recommend that you make full use of as many internet sources as possible before deciding about your holiday, including Google maps etc.