The Cork Oak Tree (Quercus suber)
Grasse: International Marble Sculpture Symposium

Best Beach: La Plage de La Tortue


If you're looking for a tad of sandy seclusion around St Raphael, I'll let you in on a secret spot.

It's a stretch of golden sand next to a popular resort town where you can actually lay down your double-sized towel. As if painted as a backdrop to the beach, you see the reddish Cap du Dramont peninsula, its white semaphore and its crazy little island with a square tower. The beach is sheltered from the waves thanks to a reef of red lava flow that runs parallel to the beach and cordons off a shallow pool.

It's Plage de la Tortue by Boulouris.

To reach it, hop on the Route de La Corniche or N98, and stop between Saint-Raphael and Agay at the intersection with Boulevard de la Mer in Boulouris. On foot, head on down the path in front of the seafood restaurant l'Olympe and take 40 steps to the sea. You can also get there by train, stopping at the Boulouris station and heading straight down Blvd de la Mer to the beach.

The beach is all sand, of easy access even if not right into town, and yet not too crowded not even on a pipping hot day in late June.

The La Tortue Restaurant that's by the beach is well-known of those who enjoy a splurge of seafood while practically dipping their feet in the sea. Beach mattresses line up prettily on the restaurant's private beach. The private sand appears a little whiter than the one next door on the public beach. I'm not a fan of fenced out beaches with plush mattresses, but some folks prefer when the beach is watched over by a life guard - the private one here is and the public one isn't. Your choice. Either way, this turtle beach makes an excellent spot for slowing down.

La Tortue Restaurant: 04 94 83 60 50


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