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Sainte-Maxime travel guide

Photo of Sainte-Maxime in Cote d'Azur (Provence region)
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Visit Sainte-Maxime (Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, France)

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The resort of Sainte-Maxime is on the Mediterranean, on the north coast of the Gulf of Saint-Tropez which it faces across the water, and 15 kilometres from Frejus. The south-facing town is backed by hills, so has almost the perfect Mediterranean climate - sunny and also sheltered from northerly winds.

Explore Sainte-Maxime

Sainte-Maxime itself has few things of great interest although the small old town is pretty, and a visit will pass a pleasant hour or so. The small town centre is also very busy and lively in the summer and there are numerous restaurants.

Sainte-Maxime town centre

Although Sainte-Maxime is a pleasant town and makes an enjoyable break from the beach, and the walk around the port is very attractive, people don't visit Sainte-Maxime for the town, they come for the coast and sunshine!

Among the attractions you will see the church and the Tour Carré with a small museum commemorating folk traditions in the area, the two monuments close together behind the port. This tower was at one time key to the region's defences as cannon fire from this tower and also cannon fire from the top of ‘Portalet’ in Saint-Tropez on the opposite side of the bay acted as warnings for attacks by pirates in the Saint-Tropez bay area.

The tourist office for Sainte-Maxime is close to the tower, at the eastern end of the Plage du Centre Ville.

The main beach in the centre of Sainte-Maxime is nice and sandy and quality certified and there are lots of water sports to keep you amused, and many visitors will not feel the need to venture further when staying in the town. Close to the beach there are plenty of cafes and restaurants to relax in.

There are several other beaches close by, including the Plage de la Croisette a short distance south-west of the town centre and several beaches as you follow the coast towards Saint-Raphael including the Plage de la Mardrague, the Plage de la Nartelle and the Plage des Eléphants. All the beaches are sandy, it is just a question of how far you want to go to avoid the crowds!

If you are staying in the area Sainte-Maxime is the largest of the towns on the bay of Saint Tropez and has a reasonable selection of bars, restaurants and hotels, as well as other shops and businesses. There is even an 18 hole golf-course complete with sea-views close by.

Those of you with youth and stamina will have no problem finding clubs and bars that will keep you amused until very late into the early hours, while for children Sainte-Maxime is home to Aqualand, a large water park with swimming pools and slides.

The town does boast a Botanic Garden although really it is just a park area - but it is just across the road from part of the beach and is a good shady spot to shelter from the sun.

Market day in Sainte-Maxime is Thursday morning and there is a covered market on Rue Fernand Bessy every morning.

Sainte-Maxime beach

Attractions nearby

The resort of Saint-Tropez and the harbour town at Port-Grimaud are pleasant places to explore, while on the hills behind Sainte-Maxime a visit to the picturesque villages at Gassin and Ramatuelle are highly recommended. You can get a boat across to Saint-Tropez from Sainte-Maxime which is much more pleasant than facing the summer traffic along this part of the riviera!

Sainte-Maxime is also one of the towns along the popular Route du Mimosa.

You can find more travel ideas in the Var guide and the Provence guide.

See also: 

Photos of Sainte-Maxime

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Map of Sainte-Maxime and places nearby

Visit near Sainte-Maxime with France This Way reviews

Saint-Tropez

Saint-Tropez

As well as its very famous harbour, town centre and beach Saint-Tropez also has a charming medieval village centre to explore

Saint-Tropez guide
Port Grimaud

Port Grimaud

The port at Port Grimaud, and the colourful houses along the waterfront, is mostly quite new and very beautifully maintained

Port Grimaud guide
Gassin

Gassin

Gassin, listed as a 'most beautiful village in France' is high on a hill above Saint-Tropez

Gassin guide
Ramatuelle

Ramatuelle

A small village just a short distance inland from Saint-Tropez, Ramatuelle can become rather busy - but is also very recommended...

Ramatuelle guide
Grimaud

Grimaud

The scenic village of Grimaud is made even more charming by the many gardens and flowers in the village

Grimaud guide
La Croix-Valmer

La Croix-Valmer

It is the wide choice of beaches that attracts most visitors to La Croix-Valmer

La Croix-Valmer guide

... or see ALL recommended places to visit in Var

Address: Sainte-Maxime, Grimaud, Draguignan, Provence, 83120, France || GPS coordinates: latitude 43.307, longitude 6.64155

Plan your visit to Sainte-Maxime, Var

Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby

  • Gassin: most beautiful village (10 km)
  • Jardin Germaine l’Hardy-Denonain: remarkable garden (10 km)
  • Grimaud: recommended detour (10 km)
  • Frejus: town of art and history (16 km)
  • Frejus Cathedral cloisters: national monument (16 km)
  • Cathédrale Saint Léonce (Frejus): religious monument (16 km)
  • Eglise de St Raphaël (Saint-Raphael): religious monument (17 km)
  • Parc zoologique de Fréjus: zoo or wildlife park (20 km)
  • Massif des Maures: site of natural beauty (21 km)
  • Domaine du Rayol: remarkable garden (21 km)
  • Bormes-les-Mimosas: ville fleurie 4* (30 km)
  • Abbaye du Thoronet (Le Thoronet): religious monument (31 km)

The French version of this page is at Sainte-Maxime (Francais)

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