Sainte-Maxime – a family resort

Sainte-Maxime (Fr. Sainte-Maxime) is a commune and city in the Var department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region in south-eastern France 90 km west from Nice and 130 km east from Marseille. It is the most important city of the Gulf of Saint-Tropez. Part of French Riviera.

The economy of Sainte-Maxime is mainly based on tourism. On 11 March 1922, the town of Sainte-Maxime was classified as a “health resort.” Since then, the resort has continued to improve its tourist offer. The beach received the blue flag in 2005.

Being a family resort, the town of Sainte-Maxime pays particular attention to children. The “Famille Plus” label was obtained in 2010. This national label aims to optimally meet the expectations of families by improving amenities and services since February 2015, the tourist office has been classified as Category 1.

Tourism and attractions

The port is bordered by the Place du Commandant-Bietti.

War memorial.

The church has a beautiful eighteenth century marble altar and a bell.

Opposite the church is the Square Tower. This tower now houses the Sainte-Maxime museum, the top floor also allows you to see a beautiful view of the Gulf of Saint-Tropez and the port, you will find a temporary exhibition room. It was listed on the supplementary inventory of historical monuments by decree of 29 August 1977 and in the 1930s housed the town hall of Sainte-Maxime.

The Tour Carrée des Dames, erected in the sixteenth century by monks, was subsequently used for court hearings and today houses the Tour Carrée museum: a museum devoted to local folklore and traditions, which presents temporary or permanent exhibitions of costumes and various objects relating to Provençal history, crafts and fishing

The Semaphore, 127 meters high.

The Museum of the Phonograph and Mechanical Music presents a unique collection in Europe of more than 300 devices, from its origins to the present day.

The Château des Tourelles (Château Gaumont or Château Meissonier), built in 1883 by Jules Antoine Meissonier. Léon Gaumont bought the estate in 1912. This castle served him on several occasions as a setting for the shooting of films, notably Judex and Le Penseur. In 1930, Léon Gaumont retired there and died there in 1946.

Le Meinier site of the Iron Age, which belonged to the writer Victor Margueritte.

The Bellevue villa, built in 1926, has been listed as a historical monument since 2004.

Vivier des Sardinaux, from the Roman period, excavated in 2002 by the Aristide Fabre Archaeological Association.

Beaches and activities

In addition to the city beaches, there are the Blue Flag-certified supervised ones. On the west side, The Croisette has a sailing school. On the east side of the town are La Nartelle, La Plage des Eléphants and La Garonnette (also called Val D’Esquieres), which all provide water-skiing and jet-skiing activities. In addition, there are several smaller beaches that are unsupervised, for a total of 10 km of publicly accessible shoreline. There are eight golf courses within a 30-minute radius by car.

Best sandy beaches (all available for kids): Nartelle Beach, Plage de la Garonnette, Plage de la Madrague, Plage de Champfleuri, beach Saudan, Plage de la Croisette.

Transport and how to get to?

Road network: Sainte-Maxime is accessible by the departmental road RD 559 (ex-RN 98), which runs along the seaside from Fréjus to the east or Grimaud to the west. The RD 25 takes you to the A8 motorway (Exit 36 Le Muy) and the Var hinterland, via the Col de Gratteloup.

Public transport: the green buses (simplicity/green and blue circuit) provide all year round shuttles in the territory of Sainte-Maxime, seven days a week during the summer period and from Monday to Saturday in low season.

Maritime transport: a maritime shuttle operates, ten months a year, a link between the port of Sainte-Maxime and that of Saint-Tropez.

Rail transport: the nearest TGV stations are those of Saint-Raphaël-Valescure and Les Arcs – Draguignan. Bus connections connect each of the stations to Sainte-Maxime.

The closest major international airport is Nice-Côte d’Azur Airport, 91 kilometres away. National connections can be made at Toulon – Hyères airport 44 kilometres away, but prestigious customers prefer La Môle – Saint-Tropez airport 15 kilometres away, Cannes – Mandelieu airport 40 kilometres away or Grimaud heliport.

Shortest distance by car:

From Menton (tolls): 1 h 39 min (116 km) via A8

From Monaco (tolls): 1 h 33 min (107 km) via A8

From Beaulieu-sur-Mer (tolls): 1 h 36 min (94.2 km) via A8

From Villefranche-sur-Mer (tolls): 1 h 35 min (92.0 km) via A8

From Nice (tolls): 1 h 20 min (85.1 km) via A8

From Cagnes-sur-Mer (tolls): 1 h 6 min (73.4 km) via A8

From Antibes (tolls): 1 h 9 min (70.8 km) via A8

From Cannes (tolls): 1 h 4 min (58.4 km) via A8

From Mandelieu-La Napoule (tolls): 47 min (49.1 km) via A8 and D8

From Fréjus (tolls): 42 min (39.4 km) via A8 and D25

From Saint-Raphaël: 35 min (24.2 km) via D8

From Saint-Tropez: 24 min (15.3 km) via Route du Littoral/D559

From Cavalaire-sur-Mer: 31 min (21.5 km) via D559

From Toulon (tolls): 1 h 9 min (95.2 km) via A57

From Aix-en-Provence (tolls): 1 h 26 min (121 km) via A8

From Nîmes (tolls): 2 h 29 min (226 km) via A8

From Marseille (tolls): 1 h 43 min (145 km) via A8

From Avignon (tolls): 2 h 10 min (206 km) via A7 and A8

From Montpellier (tolls): 2 h 55 min (272 km) via A8

From Sète (tolls): 3 h 5 min (301 km) via A8

From Agde (tolls): 3 h 20 min (325 km) via A9 and A8

From Pézenas (tolls): 3 h 21 min (327 km) via A9 and A8

From Béziers (tolls): 3 h 28 min (337 km) via A9 and A8

From Perpignan (tolls): 4 h 5 min (421 km) via A9 and A8

From Argelès-sur-Mer (tolls): 4 h 26 min (448 km) via A9 and A8

From Collioure (tolls): 4 h 30 min (455 km) via A9 and A8

From Narbonne (tolls): 3 h 38 min (360 km) via A9 and A8

From La Baule-Escoublac (tolls): 10 h 36 min (1,165 km) via A7

From Saint-Nazaire (tolls): 10 h 33 min (1,150 km) via A7

From Nantes (tolls): 9 h 47 min (1,088 km) via A62

From Saumur (tolls): 8 h 50 min (960 km) via A7

From Les Sables-d’Olonne (tolls): 9 h 53 min (1,078 km) via A62

From Cognac (tolls): 8 h 10 min (865 km) via A62

From Angoulême (tolls): 8 h 6 min (863 km) via A62

From Eauze (tolls): 6 h 29 min (637 km) via A9

From La Rochelle (tolls): 8 h 33 min (926 km) via A62

From Rochefort (tolls): 8 h 14 min (898 km) via A62

From Saintes (tolls): 7 h 56 min (862 km) via A62

From Arcachon (tolls): 7 h 28 min (801 km) via A62

From Royan (tolls): 8 h 17 min (866 km) via A62

From Biarritz (tolls): 7 h 33 min (809 km) via A64

From Saint-Jean-de-Luz (tolls): 7 h 36 min (815 km) via A64

From Bayonne (tolls): 7 h 24 min (796 km) via A64

From Dax (tolls): 7 h 23 min (776 km) via A64

From Lourdes (tolls): 6 h 26 min (675 km) via A64

From Pau (tolls): 6 h 39 min (692 km) via A64

From Périgueux (tolls): 7 h 22 min (783 km) via A20

From Bordeaux (tolls): 7 h 4 min (749 km) via A62

From Toulouse (tolls): 4 h 58 min (507 km) via A61 and A9

From Carcassonne (tolls): 4 h 7 min (416 km) via A9 and A8

From Andorra (tolls): 6 h 41 min (597 km) via A9


Shopping is not priority of the tourist program. See here Saint – Tropez shopping

Cuisine and restaurants

The cuisine is mainly Mediterranean. Best restaurants are located in the seafront.

Main information

Area: 81.6 sq. km

Population: 14 100

Languages: French

Currency: euro

Visa: Schengen

Time: Central European UTC +1

Coordinates: 43°18′32″N 6°38′06″E

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