Maxime, St Tropez and Port Grimaud
St Tropez is best reached by sea, either by the water bus service
that operates frequently from Ste Maxime harbour, directly from
Frejus or from other coastal harbours. Our preference is to drive
to Ste Maxime, but a reasonably early start is reccommended to avoid
the traffic queues between St Aygulf and Ste Maxime. There is a
large (paying) harbour car park at the eastern end of the town,
and several others further on. The water busses (Navaires) leave
from the western side of the jetty that has the Capitainerie and
a few shops on it. Toilets, which are normally open during the day,
can also be found here.
Navaires run from Ste Maxime to St Tropez and from St Tropez to
Port Grimaud but not between Ste Maxime and Port Grimaud (although
a ticket can be bought at Ste Maxime that covers both legs)
attraction of St Tropez lies in the contrast between the old waterfront
with its quaint buildings and streets with the expensive designer
shops and seemingly unaffordable yachts and power boats in the harbour.
For those who appreciate good ice cream, their taste will be fully
satisfied by a visit to the ice cream bar at the westen end of the
to the landing stage at Port Grimaud there is a good south facing
beach, and the centre is a 10 minute walk. The centre and water
fronts are worth a visit, but there is not enough interest to occupy
more than an hour or so.
Corniche from Agay to Cannes
This is a very attractive drive, especially when the afternoon
sun emphasises the contrast between the red rocks of the Esterel
wih the azure blue of the Mediterranean. There are several parking
places in which to stop and admire the veiw, culminating with a
panorama across the bay of Cannes to the town.
train from Frejus and St Raphael passes along the corniche and offers
glimpses of the same spectacular scenery.
and Monte Carlo
An absolute must, especially in the summer if there is a fireworks
display in the evening. If travelling by road, the most direct route
is the A8 , but there are inevitably long queues from the Autoroute
into the Principality. A reasonable alternative avoiding most of
these and offering a spectacular view over the bay is to leave the
A8 and travel via La Turbie, though the turning in La Turbie can
be tricky to find. There is adequate parking in an d around the
Principality, though one of the best car parks is in the rock on
which the Palace is built, approximately under the Hydrographic
museum. Sights to see in Monaco are the Palace, Hydrographic museum,
harbour wit its superyachts and parts of the Formula One Grand Prix
track, especially near the port. In Monte Carlo the opulence of
the Casino, Hotel de Paris and Cafe de Paris is worth appreciating.
The best but most time consuming way to approach the Gorge is
by the winding road from Draginian, which joins the Gorge upstram
and offers spectacular views down into it. On arriving at its mouth
by Lac de Croix there is a large car park on its southern shore,
where pedalos and canoes can be hired to use either on the lake
or more adventurously to explore the Gorge. Two hours is needed
for a fit pedalo crew to reach the upper limit of navigation and
have some time to explore, though, as the flow of water is usually
gentle, the pace is entirely at one's discretion.
the Gorge there is a choice of yet more attractive scenery from
the north side, or a more direct and faster route back to Draguinan
via Les Arcs
There are a number of interesting upland regions close to Frejus.
The best way to explore them is to drive around and discover the
hill villages in such as La Guard Freienet in the Maures