French Riviera Best Beach: Plage du Val-Fleuri

Best French Riviera Beach on AzurAlive.com: Plage du Val Fleuri

Best Beaches of the Western French Riviera

Continuing on our week-long review of the best of Saint-Raphael on the Western side of the French Riviera, we reveal another lovely little beach...

The jagged coastline between Agay and Saint-Raphael hosts a large number of small, intimate beaches where families love to go for their generally shallow waters and protected coves. When the offer the best protection against wind and rougher seas too (depending on their orientation).

We have a howling wind today.  Our little gem of a beach has relatively quiet waters.

It's called La Plage du Val-Fleuri and it sits in Boulouris, to the east of Saint-Raphael.

Favorite French Riviera Beach on AzurAlive.com: Plage du Val Fleuri

Why we like it?

It isn't overly crowded (though I may have ruined it!). It's petite like a jewel with clear transluscent waters and with open views to the Med. It's very clean.

To the east, you can see a rocky island with its doll-sized tower plopped in its center, all adding to the mystery of the place. You can easily drift into thinking you have landed in pirate's remote paradise.

What's my favorite may not be yours... Val Fleuri has plenty of rocks, and not just sand. I highly recommend you get yourself a pair of plastic water shoes (sold at the local beach market across the street - in 2015 around 15 euros) before getting in the rocky side of the beach. 

It's small, but so charming... No lifeguard is on duty.

Boulouris offers a small grocery store called Casion across the main street and a handful of shops and bakery inside the village. Plage de La Tortue beach is right next door with its restaurant on the beach. However, there's nothing on the beach itself.

Some folks prefer long wide beaches with lots of people around, a few restaurants, restrooms, that sort of thing. If this is what you are after, try Plage du Veillat in Saint-Raphael for its very central location.

Where is it?

You can easily access this beach by car from Saint-Raphael, following the coastline road heading to Agay. Look for a parking spot when you reach the stop light in Boulouris, with L'Olympe restaurant on the left-hand corner. 

By bus from Saint-Raphael, look for AggloBus 5, 8 or 10 from Saint-Raphael's main "Gare Routiere" bus station and stop at the "Mairie Annexe de Boulouris" stop on Boulevard des Mimosas. You will walk up a few steps on Boulevard des Mimosas and turn right at the roundabout to Rue Valrose heading down slightly towards the sea. Cross the seaside road or Route de la Corniche and you will see a sign on a little street that points to the sea and to Plage du Val Fleuri. 

Discover the Western French Riviera on foot with the best hiking guide to the area:


Ferry Boat Advisor: Les Bateaux de Saint-Raphael

French Riviera, FERRY BOAT Advisor

Les Bateaux de Saint-Rapahel, which serve a number of local ports with their ferry boats, currently recommend that  travelers book their ferry tickets 48 hours in advance during this busy summer season.

For more information on the Bateaux de Saint-Raphael, see our previous posts under "Around Saint-Raphael" and visit Les Bateaux de Saint-Raphael's main website.

If you're heading to St Tropez from the eastern side of the French Riviera (Nice, Antibes, Cannes, Agay, etc), taking the train to Saint-Raphael and then the ferry to Saint-Tropez is a great way to travel during the busy season.

We are around Saint-Raphael this week (July 22nd-August 1st). Ask us any question here in the comments section, on TripAdvisor in the French Riviera forum, or on our Amazon forum.

Also, for a feel of what the ferry boat looks like, take a peek at our YouTube video about getting to St Tropez by sea.


Non-Secluded Beaches on the French Riviera

French Riviera Beaches: Plage du Veillat, Saint-Raphael

Photo: Plage du Veillat, Saint-Raphael, French Riviera, France

I hesitate to place the Plage du Veillat beach on our list of Best Beaches for the French Riviera, as it is anything but secluded and I like more secluded beaches.

That's my bias, and you may not agree with me so...

Here's the scoop on the Plage du Veillat. It's sandy, fairly deep and long and smack in at the tip edge of Saint-Raphael's main high street. It is watched over by a number of lifeguards during the summer, and is large enough not to feel cramped and packed and horrible. It does get busy in the middle of summer, especially with families. Ice cream shops, restaurants, restrooms and showers are not too far away so all is convenient. There's even a swimming instructor by the beach corner - you can hire him to teach your budding swimmers that stylish front crawl motion.

What's not to like about it?

Well, if you enjoy a bit more space and if you don't necessarily want to hear about the lives of your beach-towel neighbors, you might walk on a bit further to our list of Best Beaches. 

French Riviera Beaches: Plage du Veillat Panoramic View, Saint-Raphael

 

See its location on the below Google Map:


Discover the Best Hiking Guidebook to the Western French Riviera: 26 Gorgeous Hikes on the Western Cote D'Azur


Bastille Day on the French Riviera

AzurAlive: Bastille Day on the French Riviera

July 14th marks the anniversary of the taking of the "Bastille" prison in Paris by hungry & disillusioned parisians in 1789. They stormed the Bastille and set in motion the wheels of the French Revolution that brought down the monarchy.

Each year "Le Quatorze Juillet" or Bastille Day in English is celebrated as the country's most important national day. In Paris, the celebration  center around military displays of tanks, planes, troops marching down the Champs Elysees.

How is Le Quatorze Juillet celebrated on the French Riviera?

Fireworks. Lots of fireworks or "Feux d'Artifice". Fireworks with the entire population poured onto the streets, the piers, the beachside promenade to watch. 

Every single town will have its fireworks tomorrow. 

Where there's the sea, they usually take place over the bay. On the French Riviera, this is the case in Nice, in Cannes, in Saint-Raphael, in Sainte-Maxime, in Saint-Tropez.

Watch out for the time.

You might expect the fireworks at midnight, but they're usually around 10PM or 10:30PM.

Before then, you might be treated to some festive music along the promenades such as in Nice.

Nice's Prom Party begins at 9:30PM on July 14th this year around the Palais de la Méditérannée. Valbonne with also host  music at the Place des Arcades at 9PM. In Saint-Tropez, you will be able to dance at the local bal  starting around 10:30PM while the fireworks will start at 10:45PM.

Enjoy!

Fireworks AzurAlive: Bastille Day on the French Riviera border=


Summer Hiking in the Var: Fire Risks

Hiking in the Esterel Mountains, French Riviera
Going on a hike on the Western Cote d'Azur in South Eastern France? Check out the weather forecast and check out the fire risks before you go.

Each day from June 21st to September 30th, the local government of the Var releases a map that shows the level of fire risk for  forested areas in the Var.

This map depends on Meteo France’s weather forecast and is updated every day at 7 pm.

Look for it here: http://www.var.gouv.fr/access-rules-for-the-forested-areas-in-var-a2118.html


St Tropez: Armani's Provençal Home

Armani's Home in StTropez

The June 2015's edition of Architectural Digest offers a peek into Giorgio Armani's little St Tropez abode. 

Contrary to what you might expect, it isn't a palazzo of gigantic proportions, but a cosy provençal house of human proportions. Armani has designed his St Tropez house interior mostly himself, and it is impressive.

A shame I am not invited for a sip by the pool.  You can taste the beauty of its recent renovations through the AD article.


Barrios Sculptures Add Dimension to St Tropez

AzurAlive.com: Rafael Barrios in StTropez
On the French Riviera's St Tropez this summer, large scale sculptures by Venezuelan-American artist Rafael Barrios challenge the laws of physics and our sense of perception.

Standing three meters high in bright laquered blue in front of café Senequier, blocks of hand-shaped steel hang out in space. Captured on photo, the blue structure jumps out of the picture to grab you.

AzurAlive.com: Rafael Barrios in StTropez
At the Place de la Garonne, another grand sculpture by Rafael Barrios appears more discreet in pale grey, only to better strike from its unlikely posture.

AzurAlive.com: Rafael Barrios in StTropez
Walk by the port to St Tropez' Annonciade Museum and an assembly of pink elements climb toward the blue of the sky. Folks sit around it as if it had always been there, but beware. It may move.

All of Barrios' large structures will disappear from St Tropez on September 15, 2014, to be beamed elsewhere.

Saint-Tropez is such as multi-faceted place. It is not what it seems to be. The town made a perfect backdrop for Rafael Barrios' wonderful trickery for the senses.

Thanks to the Galerie des Lices and Bel Air Fine Art Gallery for their help bringing this artistic treat to town.