Engel & Völkers French Riviera > Real estate in Saint-Raphael-Esterel, heart of the Var department

Real estate in Saint-Raphael-Esterel, heart of the Var department

Whether it is to live there all year long or to just enjoy some holidays in your secondary residence, the Saint-Raphaël area offers a sumptuous setting for luxury real estate with a Provence and Côte d'Azur feel.

The geological treasures of Provence & French Riviera

The Saint-Raphaël area has a total population of around 49,000 inhabitants and offers exceptional coastal beauty and an ideal geographical location on the French Riviera. The Massif de l'Estérel is its closest and inseparable neighbour. Located on the edge of the Mediterranean Sea, this volcanic mountain occupies the south-eastern part of the Var department. Its 112 km2 of peaks are more than 15 km long and 10 km wide. Its highest point, the Pic de l'Ours (562 meters) covers the north-eastern half of Saint-Raphaël town.

It is separated from the massif of the Maures, by the valley of the Argens, opposite the bay of Fréjus and has several promontories of red porphyry which plunge directly into the sea revealing banks of rocks above sea level. The massif, very sparsely populated, is essentially dedicated to hiking. The presence of dolmens, menhirs and collective burials on the Estérel area testify to a human presence from the 3rd millennium BC.

The Var and its real estate stories

We must wait until the Roman Empire to understand how the first sedentary occupation led to a prosperous region that allowed Julius Caesar to reign over the Mediterranean sea. The main evidence of this occupation still remains today in the depths of the sea: shipwrecks. At that time, the Emperor already welcomed wealthy citizens in summer residences in Saint-Raphaël. The barbarian invasions in medieval times precipitated the fall of the Empire and led to the looting of the Estérel cities. 

It is only at the end of the XIXth century that the territory, experiencing an increasing economic and commercial dynamism, became fully developed. Its postcard decor contributed to the real estate development of the Côte d'Azur. This was the era of construction: luxury hotels, casinos, etc. This period is marked by the arrival of populations of various origins, charmed by the tranquility of the Var coastline. Under their multiple influences and cultures emerged an eclectic and atypical architecture, symbolised by the legendary villas of the Belle Epoque.

- Saint Raphael esterel Var Provence Cote Azur - French Riviera - Engel Volkers

The coastal path of the Var, a balcony for luxury real estate in Provence & French Riviera

These exceptional Anglo-Norman, Palladian and Moorish villas can be admired by taking the Corniche d'Or. This mythical route, created in 1903 by the Touring Club de France, links Saint-Raphaël to the Alpes-Maritimes. Its construction is inspired by the Var coast and reveals unique views of the serrated reliefs, carved out of creeks and coves below. Hikers can take the coastal path, walkable over 200 kilometers, between the Mediterranean Sea and the Massif de l'Estérel, and only a few meters above the sea.

This walk reveals the beauty of seascapes where yachts, sailboats and fishing boats invite everyone to discover the splendid seabed. In this remarkable environment, high-end real estate and exceptional properties located in prestigious neighbourhoods can fully satisfy wealthy buyers wishing to invest in the Provence Alpes Côte d'Azur region.

- Saint Raphael esterel Var Provence Cote Azur - French Riviera - Engel Volkers

The real estate market in Saint-Raphaël, heart of Provence & French Riviera

Located between the shore of the Mediterranean Sea and the bottom of the Esterel massif, Saint-Raphaël is built on a relatively wild area east of the Var, between Cannes and Saint-Tropez. The Var town, bordered by Fréjus (only 3 km away) and Théoule-sur-Mer, stretches across thirty-six kilometers of steep coast and borders with the Alpes-Maritimes region. Often presented as the most touristic city of the Var, the small historic fishing village has become a seaside resort of Provence, very popular for its idyllic character. The emblematic city, populated by 35,909 inhabitants, is divided into different neighbourhoods: the old city, the city centre, Boulouris, Dramont, Agay, Anthéor, Trayas, five ports and the heights, Valescure, the famous district of golf courses, consisting of large real estate complexes.

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Agay: The “ruby ​​of the Côte d'Azur"

With the districts of Anthéor and Dramont, Agay forms a real estate grouping that embraces the harbour and large high-end private housing estates. The harbour of Agay (currently closed) was famous for hosting the most beautiful panoramas of the Mediterranean sea. Its shores of fine sand attracted, at all times, artists and erudites. It borders the Estérel forest and the vast green areas that occupy the rest of the town. 

This exceptional place in Provence Alpes Côte d'Azur, rich with particular biodiversity, is classified as a landscape and belongs to the European Network Natura 2000. It offers a breathtaking visual spectacle and is unique in France, marrying in a striking contrast the bright red of volcanic rocks, the deep dark green of the forest and the blue of the luminous Mediterranean sea. The harbour of Agay is a natural gateway to the Massif de l'Esterel.

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Anthéor: the paradise of sensations

Bordered by vertiginous cliffs and overlooked by a viaduct that bears witness to the past, Anthéor is a recognisable seafront district. Located at the junction point between the Massif de l'Estérel and the Mediterranean sea, it stands out in an exceptional panorama between sea and land. Located 15 km from Saint-Raphaël, the Riviera is crossed by the Corniche d'Or, allowing a passage through the monumental railway bridge, a starting point for many hikers wanting to discover one of the most beautiful sites of the Esterel, the peak of Cap Roux (453 meters above sea level). 

Its sandy beach extends for 80 meters at the foot of the viaduct and the Estérel offers a dazzling decor that seems endless with successive pebbles and fine sand beaches. Artists, painters and musicians: many have settled here, seduced by the wild splendour of this exceptional district.

Frejus: a two thousand year old history

A seaside resort with a population of 53,734 inhabitants, Fréjus enjoys a privileged location in the heart of the French Riviera. Camped at the foot of a vast bay lined with beaches, the town covers 11,000 hectares, between the massifs of the Moors and Estérel, halfway between Cannes and Saint-Tropez. Founded in 49 BC in a natural environment, the city is a carrier of civilisations that colonised it, with over 2,000 years of history. It holds the greatest number of Roman remains in France, including an aqueduct and the famous bullring of Frejus. 

Its historic heart, where narrow alleys follow small coloured houses and fountains, has an authentic charm, typically Provencal. Bordered by huge beaches that extend for seven kilometers, it also has a marina in the harbour basin Port-Fréjus, which is a district offering luxury residences, with the possibility of docking at their foot.

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Saint-Aygulf: the most beautiful beaches of the French Riviera

Saint-Aygulf is a neighbourhood of character with contrasting landscapes, backed by the Massif des Maures and located 5 km south of downtown Frejus. It has a peaceful small Provencal village feel, where life is sweet and easy-going. The bay of Fréjus-Saint-Raphaël offers spectacular views to its sumptuous properties located at altitude. The beaches follow one another with their fine sand alternating with coves, hidden like treasures. 

The beach of Saint-Aygulf, one of the largest wild beaches of the Esterel, is the perfect place to swim with family. The place also offers a piece of heaven ideally located for wind and kitesurfing enthusiasts. The ponds of Villepey, remarkable for the diversity and specificity of the fauna and flora, complete this picture of a natural and protected Provence.

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Théoule-sur-Mer, prestige at the doors of the Var

This anchorage is nestled in a small cove of the Esterel massif and borders St. Raphael to the north-east. Théoule-sur-Mer was already present in ancient times and continues to attract boaters. Coves, sandy beaches and turquoise water, palm trees, walking trails... everything in this old fishing port is enchanting and tranquil, and provides a high quality of life. Would this resort have all the assets that make the Côte d'Azur a perfect place for a real estate investment? 

The beautiful mansions nestled in paradisiac gardens, can undoubtedly provide the answer to this question. Nature lovers will particularly appreciate the Pointe de l'Aiguille Forest Park and will be rewarded by the extraordinary spectacle of the red rocks of the Esterel diving into the sea.

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