Sainte Maxime

Sainte Maxime is a city on the Mediterranean coast in the south of France. It is situated between the coast of the Gulf of Saint-Tropez and the Massif des Maures mountain range, creating a year-round comfortable climate, protected from cold winds from the north. Sainte Maxime is across the bay from the popular Côte d'Azur destination of Saint-Tropez, only 56 miles from Nice. During much of the 20th century, Sainte Maxime was a refuge for poets and artists. The old town of Sainte Maxime is across from the harbor, offering a local market, shopping, and dining. The pier offers the town’s best restaurants. There is a beachfront promenade that extends along Sainte Maxime’s many beaches and attractions, including a park and a casino. Above the town, there are many hiking and walking trails through the forested hills of the mountains. There is also a popular family water park and no less than eight golf courses within a short drive from Sainte Maxime.

Saint maxime, France
Saint maxime, France

Sainte Maxime’s history can still be found throughout the town, which was originally founded as a monastery near the year 1000. La Tour Carrée, the defense tower built by the monks in the 16th century, still stands today as a museum. As the town grew, industry included fishing, logging, and the production of wine and olive oil. During World War II, the Allies fought to free the south of France from German occupation on the beach of Sainte Maxime. Those who lost their lives during that battle are still commemorated there today.

Sainte Maxime Beaches

Sainte Maxime Beaches
Sainte Maxime Beaches

Many of the visitors to Sainte Maxime come to experience one of the town’s 87 beaches extending along its three-mile-long Mediterranean coastline. The main beach near the town, called Sainte Maxime Beach, offers safe swimming and many nearby cafes, restaurants, and shops. The most popular beaches, however, are located a short drive outside of town. La Nartelle Beach offers several beach clubs and gourmet restaurants. La Plage des Eléphants is named after Babar, the beloved children’s story character. La Plage de Garonette is known for excellent water sports, such as water skiing, jet skiing, and snorkeling. There is a sailing school at The Croisette and several diving centers along the coastline of Sainte Maxime.

Sainte Maxime Hotels

Sainte Maxime Hotels
Sainte Maxime Hotels

Hotels in Sainte Maxime are plentiful and many retain the French charm so quintessential of the Côte d'Azur. One such option is the Hotel Royal Bon Repos (pictured), providing excellent service, a tranquil atmosphere, and fully remodeled grounds. Another popular hotel is Hotel Montfleuri, offering guests stunning sea views, a terraced restaurant, and complimentary wireless internet. Those who prefer to stay closer to the beach should consider La Vierge Noire or Hotel La Belle Aurore, comfortable hotels situated steps from the waves. Bed and breakfasts abound in Sainte Maxime, including Villa Les Rosiers and Villa Bellocchio, both offering stunning views and their own pools. Rental villas, such as Residence de Vacances Univac le Capet, are plentiful all along the French Riviera and ideal for families or large groups. Private vacation rentals are also available, ranging from smaller condos in town to large villas overlooking the water.

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