The Roman town of Fréjus
The town of Frejus sits on an ancient naval base near the city of Saint-Raphael. Frejus is known as a city of art and culture and is home to several museums and galleries that showcase the heritage of the region. The town has also managed to preserve several historical monuments and artifacts which make its appearance rustic and charming. Head to Frejus Old Town, and you'll find the Roman remains of multiple buildings, including a baptistery that dates back to the 5th century!
Frejus is well positioned on the Cote d'Azur as the towns of Cannes, Nice, and Saint Tropez are all accessible by car in under an hour.
Frejus is bursting with historical monuments, and you'll find Roman remains dotted around the Old Town (an entire week should be spent exploring the ruins). An excellent place to start is at the Baptistery; a 5th-century cathedral that is considered one of the oldest in France. Visitors can join a guided tour of the Baptistery or explore at leisure.
Another famous attraction is the Roman amphitheater, which is one of the largest amphitheaters from Gallic times! The ruins sit on the outskirts of the city and are accessible by car in under 10-minutes. The arena is the only Roman amphitheater in the Var and is home to a hidden 17th-century oil mill. Over 5,000 people can fit inside the amphitheater at any one time!
One must-see attraction while in Frejus is the Cocteau Chapel, the last chappel designed by Jean Cocteau. Stained glass windows, mosaics, and elegant frescos make up the decor of this colorful building. Cocteau completed the design work in 1961, and the church became a historical monument in 1989.
Frejus Aqueduct should also be visited as this historical monument dates right back to the first century. The aqueduct remained active for a further 450 years and was functioning right up until the 5th century. The conduit is 26-miles long and stretches from Frejus right up to Lac de Saint Cassien.
Frejus Town Centre
Once you've ticked off a handful of the Roman attractions and historical landmarks, it's time to turn to Frejus' museums. The Musee Archeologique should be at the top of your to-do list. There are four exhibition rooms in the museum covering the 13th and 16th centuries of the Episcopal group of Frejus. Inside each, you'll find a string of objects and artifacts gathered from the region, including pottery, statues, and paintings.
Similarly, the Musee des Troupe's de Marine also provides an insight into Frejus over the decades. The museum explores life in Frejus during the navy years and covers the history of France overseas. There are several collections and exhibitions on warfare, military weapons, and naval engineering.
A Seaside Resort
While Frejus might have the charm and character of an inland hilltop town, it's actually a bustling seaside resort. Head to Port Frejus marina and you’ll find yourself surrounded by a mix of fishing boats and fancy yachts; it's an excellent spot for people-watching. There's also a soft-sand beach at the end of Frejus-Plage for a spot of sunbathing. If you'd prefer to travel further around the hamlet, head to the port of St.Aygulf and follow one of the beach paths to a quieter inlet.
Day Trips from Frejus
Admittedly, it goes without saying that you should visit Cannes, Saint-Tropez, and Nice while staying in Frejus. Along with these towns, consider visiting smaller villages and remote locations in and around the area. Mont Vinaigre is a great place to start if you're a fan of nature. This towering mountain stands at 618 meters above sea level and makes for a great day out. On a clear day from Mont Vinaigre, you can see the coast close to Cannes, and the Esterel massif spans out to the east.
If you'd rather spend your day exploring the shops instead of the mountains, consider visiting the nearby town of Draguignan. Located less than a 30-minute drive north of Frejus, Draguignan is an authentic Provence town that hasn't succumbed to mass tourism. The streets here are relatively quiet, and that makes for great strolling! While the town center is home to many quaint boutiques, you should also consider visiting Draguignan's museums and monuments. The Musee de l'Artillerie (covering the French Army's artillery history), the Musee Municipal d'Art et Histoire, and the Tour de l'Horloge (a square-shaped clock tower) are all worth visiting.
Saint-Raphael is another neighboring town that's worth a visit. The city sits just to the east of Frejus and is renowned for being home to several soft sand beaches and rocky coves. The area is also home to a number of coastal walking trails if you're looking to blow off the cobwebs.
Frejus is a town for history buffs and culture vultures. If you enjoy spending your days hopping from one museum to the next, this is the vacation destination for you. Whatsmore, Frejus offers an insight into an authentic French Rivera community. While Nice, Monaco, and Cannes are great for absorbing a vibrant atmosphere, it's nice to enjoy a little peace and quiet in Frejus.
From Nice Cote d'Azur Airport, Frejus is a 45-minute drive or a short boat rides away, and FranceRent can take care of all your luxury transfers needs in advance of your trip. If you want to touch down in Frejus in style, consider chartering a yacht or arriving by private helicopter. Both forms of transport offer spectacular views of the Cote d'Azur.
Best restaurants on Cote d'Azur - France
Famous for its designer fashion brands, rolling vineyards, and historic monuments, France is a country with a lot to offer but it’s the nation’s gourmet cuisine that draws millions of visitors year after year. French dishes, which are usually full of flavor, made using simple ingredients, and boasting great finesse, have been replicated around the globe by passionate chefs aiming to try their hand at traditional dishes and haute cuisine. Below we’ve looked at some of the best restaurants in the south of France. Whether you’re looking for fine dining at a Michelin-starred restaurant (France is home to the highest number of Michelin-starred restaurants in the world) or hearty French cuisine at an authentic bistro, we’ve covered all dining options to suit every taste in this restaurant guide.
Events and festivals on French Riviera
The Cote d’Azur is abuzz with glitz and glamour all year round but it’s the summer months that really get the party started on France’s sought-after south coast. Events and festivals are held every month and range from theatre performances and music festivals to cinematography celebrations and yacht races. A-listers, millionaires, and outright party people flock to the shores of the Mediterranean for a summer to remember as seaside towns and secluded beaches become the stomping ground for a summer of fun. Below we take a look at some of the best events and festivals on the Côte d’Azur and provide a handy event guide to help you plan your dream trip.
South of France by car
With 71 miles of winding corniche roads, numerous quaint Provincial villages to visit, and endless soft sand beaches to stop at and enjoy some sun-soaking, France’s Cote d’Azur is one of Europe’s dreamiest road trip destinations. Rent a car on the French Riviera and the Mediterranean Sea and the charm of southern France is at your fingertips! On your Riviera road trip, you’ll wind your way around a variety of landscapes, soak up a diverse range of cultures, and enjoy spectacular views of the surrounding coastline. After all, there’s no better way to navigate the coast than to do so with the comfort and freedom of your own vehicle.
Shopping on Cote d’Azur
It’s no secret that the South of France is an area well known for its acquired taste in luxury living, and when it comes to shopping this affluent region has a real flair for fashion and a lot to offer for shopaholics. Dare to drag yourself away from the alluring arrondissements of Paris’s fashion district and you’ll be rewarded with a sunsoaked shopping haven on Cote d’Azur and when it comes to shopping, the French Riviera does not disappoint. From upmarket department stores like Galeries Lafayette (whose flagship store you’ll find in Paris) to independent art galleries including the Sheun Gallery in Nice, the array of shopping available on Cote d’Azur covers a variety of tastes and, believe it or not, can be tailored to suit all budgets.
Boat activities on Cote d'Azur - France
The French Riviera, also known as the Cote d'Azur, is found on France's south-east coast and overlooks the glistening Mediterranean Sea. Known for its dazzling sand beaches, upmarket resort towns, and glamorous casinos, the Cote d'Azur has been a popular holiday destination with some of the world's wealthiest travelers since the 18th century. While boutique shops and Michelin-starred restaurants are certainly points of interest on the coast, one of the biggest draws is the array of water-based activities available. From yacht rentals, private boat tours, parasailing excursions, water sport rentals, and jet ski hire, the list of aqua-excursions is endless! Our simple guide to boat rental on the French Riviera takes a look at the different watersports available along the coast and the range of yacht and boat rentals available. After all, no visit to the Cote d'Azur can pass by without a day at sea.
Top activities on Cote d'Azur
The scenic stretch of coastline known as the Cote d’Azur winds its way along France’s south coast from Saint Tropez to Menton, encompassing the chic towns of Cannes, Nice, and Monaco along the way. The area is known as a playground for the rich and famous, and a glamorous holiday destination for those looking to soak up the very best of the French Riviera. When it comes to Cote d’Azur attractions, there are plenty of things to do and places to visit along the coast to keep all character types entertained. Whether you’re exploring Nice’s charming Old Town on a free walking tour, people-watching at Monte Carlo Harbor, or admiring 19th-century art in Cannes, the Cote d’Azur doesn’t disappoint.