Situated in the Var, one of the most popular departments for tourists to France (2nd after Paris) but also one of the greenest (2nd most wooded department in France), the towns of Fréjus, Roquebrune-sur-Argens, Saint Raphaël and Sainte-Maxime form a fabulous, varied site, favourable to playing host to one of the most highly recognised events on the mountain bike planet. Indeed the courses follow the trails of Southern France, the beaches and the sunny, Mediterranean creeks.
The variety of its landforms and its landscapes, from the sea to the mountain, make it a privileged site. Its Mediterranean climate and its exceptional annual hours of sunshine go part way to explaining the gentleness of the way of life there...
A former military port and Roman town, Fréjus overhangs the rich alluvial plains which separate the Estérel from the Maures massif. Midway between Cannes and Saint Tropez, this centre for art and culture has formed a rich, historic and architectural heritage. Fréjus is also a seaside resort where the sea and the town come together on the Port-Fréjus site, in the district of Fréjus-Plage.
In a few months, these two towns will vibrate to the rhythm of the Roc d’Azur. So for those who don’t yet know this fabulous region, don’t hesitate to blend enthusiasm and green tourism.
Savour the essentials
Located where the vivacious French Riviera meets the authentic Provence, the town of Roquebrune-sur-Argens is a source of inspiration for a family holiday, a romantic getaway or a break with friends at any time of the year.
Roquebrune-sur-Argens is one of the biggest municipalities in Provence, with an area comparable to that of Paris proper, but with a forest cover of 85%.
Its three neighbourhoods are an ideal holiday destination at the intersection of land and sea, nature and Provence, village life and sandy beaches. The town stretches for 28 km from its northern reaches in the Blavet gorges, a majestic natural site on the doorstep of the Esterel Massif, and its seafront in Les Issambres, a charming and intimate spa resort on the Gulf of Saint-Tropez.
The heart of this destination tells a centuries-old tale under the gaze of the famous Rocher de Roquebrune. Its narrow alleys and picture-postcard little squares are an irresistible invitation to wander around and succumb to the distinctive charm of villages in Provence. At the foot of the imposing Rocher de Roquebrune lie the Argens River and Lac Arena, a paradise for water sports!
A destination made for families
Its peaceful yet lively atmosphere makes Roquebrune-sur-Argens a real favourite among families. Visitors to Roquebrune-sur-Argens are spoilt for choice, with activities such as soaking up the sun on the beach in Les Issambres, paying a historical and cultural visit to Roquebrune or taking part in the treasure hunt that the Tourist Office organises in the village and on the river. Dedicated operators run a range of activities as diverse as the surrounding landscapes.
A destination made for sports and nature lovers
The development of outdoor activities and recreational rides and hikes makes Roquebrune-sur-Argens a destination for every season. Hiking trails for all levels, mountain biking, golf, the great outdoors… The town has composed its natural assets into a marvellous symphony. A winter adorned with mimosas, a spring in full bloom with mild temperatures, a summer for stocking up on sunlight and an action-packed autumn with the Roc d'Azur, one of the highlights of the year.
A destination made for foodies
Roquebrune boasts a well-rounded agricultural landscape spanning every sector, from viticulture to husbandry, from market gardens to beekeeping and from horticulture to olive cultivation, Roquebrune is a destination with plenty of rural flavour. Its agronomic tradition and unique microclimate make the 2,000-hectare lower Argens Valley the second most fertile area in Europe. Counting 20 or so fruit and vegetable producers, local foods are a pleasure for the senses!
Saint-Raphaël, a seaside town
Half-way between Cannes and Saint-Tropez, Saint-Raphaël is ideally positioned geographically and offers an exceptional way of life. With its seafront stretching over 30 kilometres, Saint Raphaël’s distinguishing features are its extensive coastline, its natural heritage and its biodiversity.
A dynamic town with an exceptional way of life
The town is the administrative centre of the canton and extends over 90km². The Massif de l’Estérel accounts for 73% of its surface area and boasts 32,000 hectares which have been awarded the natural site label by the “Natura 2000” European network. Saint Raphaël is the leading tourist town in Var with 10 million room nights per year. It has been ranked as a French “Station tourisme” (tourist resort), awarded the “France Station Nautique” (French water sport resort) label and the “Pavillon Bleu” (Blue Flag) certification. The quality of the water of its 10 beaches has been awarded the “Qualité eau de baignade” certification. Its unique environment boasts 5 ports (2,350 mooring rings) providing all the services related to yachting and sailing, including Santa Lucia, the French Riviera’s third leading port.
The town’s plant heritage covers 12 hectares, including 6 landscaped areas, and it has been awarded the 3 fleurs (3 flowers) label by the French Concours des villes et villages fleuris (towns and villages in bloom competition) since 1999. Its TGV (high speed train) station is located in the town centre and is frequented by 1 million commuters annually. Saint Raphaël is attentive to the expectations and needs of all of its inhabitants (35,155 residents, source: Insee 2017), and has one of the lowest tax rates in France.
The town is at the centre of social, economic and educative developments, has 400 associations and boasts top-level facilities and services. Its network of cultural and sporting facilities plays host to a wide range of top-quality and festive events, as well as national and international competitions which contribute to its appeal all year long. In 2019 a museum dedicated to Louis de Funès opened.
7 business parks representing almost 400 companies specialising in the industry, service, trade and high technology sectors, increase its attractiveness. There as many high-performance venues and places where intergenerational activities can be carried out, as there are economic and tourist development solutions.
The town centre boasts more than 900 shops and 7 secure, covered car parks (2,065 parking spaces). Its dynamic growth generates jobs, solidarity and social links within the community. It is one of the 13 very select French towns that has been awarded the “4 sourires” label!