Fréjus is the seaside resort that lies furthest to the east in the department of the Var, at the border of the department of the Alpes-Maritimes. Fréjus merges with Saint-Raphael, only separated by the Pédégal river. Fréjus is particularly popular with Dutch, Belgian, German and English tourists, but the French tourists like to come there too. Fréjus has everything to offer to ensure a wonderful holiday, a wonderful climate, beautiful sandy beaches and breathtaking nature, a nice marina and also a lively center full of restaurants, cafes and boutiques. From Fréjus you can easily drive to Cannes or Saint-Tropez, both about 45 km away.
Discover a selection of the most beautiful places and attractions in Fréjus
Mount Vinaigre is part of the Massif de L’Esterel, and is with 618 meters it’s highest point. It is composed of volcanic rocks, mostly Porphyr. The Mount Vinaigre is easily accessible by foot since there is a good path, and by bicycle. The reward will be a beautiful view over Cap d’Antibes, Cannes, the Gulf of La Napoule and the Gulf of Fréjus. With good weather one can see the Italian Alps as well.
Cathédrale Saint-Léonce de Fréjus
Already in the 5th century there was a cathedral in Fréjus, which was the seat of the bishop of Fréjus, but the cathedral Saint-Léonce as a building itself exists since the 13th century, when a number of buildings were built, the cathedral, a parish church and a monastery. At this place was already a baptistery, dating from the 5th century, but it was then covered, and only rediscovered in 1920, and restored in 1930. The cathedral itself contains 2 church ships, one belonging to the bishop and the other belonging to the parish, and these are separated by arches. The monastery, the place where the bishop could retire, has pointy arches on Corinthian columns, which are decorated with both a key, which was the symbol of the bishop, as well as the Fleur-de-lis, the symbol of Charles the first, who became Count of Provence in 1246. The complex is certainly worth a visit.
Pagode Hong Hien
No, you did not suddenly end up in the far east. In Fréjus you will find this unique pagoda Hong Hien, which was built in 1917 by Buddhist Indo-Chinese troops that were stationed in the Galliéni army camp in Fréjus. The pagoda is still actively used during Buddhist holidays, and you can visit it daily. Admission is € 2 per person, and € 1 for children up to 9 years, and contributes to the maintenance of this unique pagoda.
The Villa Aurélienne is located in a park of 24 hectares, where you can also admire the ruins of a Roman aqueduct. The villa was built in 1889 by the architect Lacreusette for the Crossman family, who sold it to the Schweisguth family in 1913. In 1988, the property was transferred to the city of Fréjus, and it was registered as a historic monument. At this moment the villa is used for photo exhibitions, and is only accessible to the public if an exhibition takes place.
The aqueduct in Fréjus was built around the middle of the first century, and has been actively used until the year 500. It had a total length of 42 km, with a height difference of 480 meters. The remains of the aqueduct have been well preserved, including a bridge with a canal over the Gargalon stream.
Fréjus has 5 public beaches, and 5 private beaches. All beaches are sandy beaches. The public beaches are Plage des Sablettes, Plage de la République, Plage du Capitole, Plage de Port-Fréjus and Plage de la Base Nature. At this last beach you will also find a beautiful park with an area of 135 hectares. Dogs are not allowed on all public beaches, but they are on one of the private beaches, Plage L'Alba. The closest public beach on which dogs arre allowed on a leash is the Plage de l'Argens at Saint-Aygulf. There are 2 beaches for people with reduced mobility, the Base Nature François Léotard and the Plage du Capitole.
Around the year 50 BC. Julius Caesar founded a port on the site where Fréjus is today, and called this Forum Julii. There are still remnants of the Roman era, in the form of an amphitheater from the 1st century, an aqueduct, a lighthouse and a theater. Parts of the defense walls that were 3.7 kilometers long at that time can still be seen. In the 4th century the diocese of Fréjus was founded, with the construction of the first church in the year 374 and with the election of a bishop. The first bishop that took up residence in Fréjus however was Saint-Léonce, who was elected bishop in the year 433. He provided the foundation for the cathedral, and also for the establishment of the first cloister in the neighbourhood, on the islands of Lérins. By a plague in the 6th century, most residents left, and in the 10th century Saracen pirates destroyed the coast. After the pirates were expelled, Fréjus came to rest, and was ruled by the Viscount of Frejus together with the bishop, and grew out around the cathedral. Later the sea rushed over the land, and the area became a large swamp, which caused many diseases in the city, causing Fréjus to lose its economic importance. Only around the 20th century did the population increase due to immigration, and later also under the influence of tourism.
The number of permanent residents of the city of Fréjus was 53.000 in 2015
Fréjus has a Mediterranean climate, with the following average temperatures per month: January 10 February 10 March 12 April 14 May 17 June 21 July 25 August 25 September 22 October 18 November 14 December 11
Fréjus is a lovely port town on the Côte d'Azur in south-eastern France. Situated midway between Saint Tropez and Cannes, Fréjus really is a fun place to have a holiday as it has something for everyone being rich in history, culture, art and family activities.... The history of Frejus can be traced back to when it was part of the Roman city of Forum Julii that was founded by Julius Caesar in 49BC and the first Roman military port in the Mediterranean. Its position was carefully chosen as it stands on rich alluvial soils between the mountain chains of Esterel and Maures. There is a wealth of archaeological treasures from this period including an amphitheatre, theatre and aqueduct as well as the numerous contents of the Archaeological Museum! The 13th century Cathedral of Saint Léonce is part of a complex of buildings that encircled the Gothic Bishop's Palace. The Cathedral was built on the site of an older 5th century church and is interesting to visit as it has two naves of different periods that are linked by an archway. The cathedral tower is a distinctive square shape and judging by its design was built with defence in mind. Just north of the cathedral is a beautiful cloister, the Cloitre de la Cathedrale de Fréjus that also date from the 13th century. On it’s capital there are two distinct symbols; the first is the fleur de lys – badge of the king, Charles of Anjou and the second is a symbol of keys which were the emblem of the Bishop of Fréjus. If you look up at the wooden ceiling of the galleries you will see carved and painted images that were completed in the 14th century and depict mythological characters, animals and well-known personalities of the time.
The cloister is listed as a French National Monument. The jewel in the complex is the octagonally shaped Frankish Baptistery which dates from the 5th century - making it one of the oldest Christian sites in France. The Baptistery was covered over in the 14th century and was not rediscovered until 1925. Archaeologists carefully excavated the area, uncovering a 1,600 year old marble floor and two terracotta pools - a smaller one for feet and the larger octagonal pool for when baptism meant total immersion. The granite columns that surround the Baptistery are Roman in origin. Interestingly, the entrance door into the Baptistery is very low and everyone entering is forced to bow low. The exit door is full height so that those who had been baptised could leave with their head held high! The Archaeological Museum has a fascinating collection of exhibits that give an insight into daily life in Roman times as well as their ceremonies and rituals and such things as funeral rites. There is a handsome bust of Hermes which has become the symbol of Fréjus as well as a superb mosaic of a panther. The Roman aqueduct is certainly impressive and for enthusiastic buffs there is the opportunity to follow its 40 kilometres course with plenty of archaeological evidence along the way including a bridge with water channel over the Gargalon Stream. The water was collected from the Foux and Siagnole rivers and then fed by a series of underground conduits and tall sections of aqueducts to Forum Julii. In Parc de la Villa Aurélienne four tall stone aqueduct columns stand proudly in the lawn.
Until recently, the town's marvellous Roman amphitheatre was nothing more than an impressive ruin with large parts of its seating terraces either missing or broken. The amphitheatre has been carefully restored to its former glory but as a precaution against further damage, the soft golden sandstone has been covered with a layer of cement. The amphitheatre has been carefully restored to its former glory but as a precaution against further damage, the soft golden sandstone has been covered with a layer of cement. The amphitheatre is now used for many public events and whilst it has lost its ancient character, the filled amphitheatre is as atmospheric as ever! Likewise, the smaller Roman theatre is also used during the summer months as the venue for drama and musical performances. By Medieval times, Fréjus was a thriving port and important trade centre. It also became an important centre for the French Navy and military ships still regularly drop anchor offshore. A wanderer around the town on foot soon sees it’s pretty houses painted in different pastel colours. In the heart of the town is the Place Formagé with the cathedral and the Town Hall. The Town Hall is recognisable by its pale golden colour and this building used to be the Bishop's palace. Since the 1930s, like many other towns in this sunny corner of France, Fréjus became a popular holiday resort and today has a great selection of self-catering accommodations for couples, friends and families. There is a myriad of places to enjoy coffee sitting in the warm sunshine and there are plenty of places to eat too. Don't forget to look out for the lunchtime 'Plat du Jour' set menus which are always good value for money.
L'Entrée des Artistes is one such restaurant with a typically Provençal lunchtime menu with a lovely terrace for enjoying a meal as the world goes by! The Ardent Merou and Les Palmiers are two restaurants that are really good for fish and seafood – and the Ardent caters for vegetarians too. L’Amandier and Le Bastide Clos des Roses have particularly creative and contemporary chefs that love to work with fresh local produce and herbs. For cheese fans, there is Mon Fromager, an artisan cheesemaker who also has a small restaurant where he cooks some great dishes using his cheese. If you are planning a picnic, Maison de la Tarte is perfect as there are delicious sweet tarts of every kind and these are sold by the slice. There are various quiches also sold by the slice as well. The market is held twice a week on Wednesdays and Saturdays in the centre of the town. The stalls start business at about 07.00 in the morning and are piled high with local fruit and vegetables. There are charcuterie and cheese stalls and several selling wine too. Others sell shoes, clothing and household goods and there is always plenty of bustle! On Sundays, there is a popular market held on the beach front between Fréjus and Saint- Raphael. In complete contrast to the wonderful old ecclesiastical architecture found in the town's cathedral complex, a very modern and truly beautiful chapel can be seen nestling among pine trees in the hills behind the town. Chapelle-Notre-Dame-de-Jérusalem was designed by the poet and film-maker Jean Cocteau in the 1960s. Sadly he died in 1963 before the chapel had been completed.
His adopted son the actor Edouard Dermit completed the wall frescoes and mosaics according to his father's notes and sketches and the finished chapel is a very special place. The Massif de L'Esterel is a chain of mountains that run from Fréjus to Cannes and the highest summit is Mont Vinaigre (just over 600 metres). It is a comfortable 30-minute walk to follow the staidly climbing path through the maquis with its wild lavender, rosemary and numerous wild herbs to the top, but the effort is well worth it as there is a grand panoramic view of Saint Tropez, Cannes and the beautiful blue Mediterranean. In the past, this was the hideout of the Robin-Hood like local outlaw, Gaspard de Besse. Many visitors to Fréjus visit the Malpasset Dam on the outskirts of the town. The dam was built in 1952 and was left badly damaged after a bad storm seven years later when 421 people lost their lives. There is a huge breach to be seen in the dam wall and large pieces of reinforced concrete can be seen scattered across the valley floor below. It is a poignant place to visit with the clear message that nature is mightier than man. The Hông Hiên Tu Pagoda is another more unusual place to visit in the town. During the First World War, Senegalese and Vietnamese soldiers were stationed in the town whilst they waited to be deployed on the Western Front. The Buddhist Pagoda was built by Indochinese soldiers in 1917 and was much used by all the Buddhist soldiers. It fell into disrepair after the war but during the 1950s work began on restoring it. It is an impressive building, decorated with statues of Buddha, dragon and elephants and all the Buddhist festivals are commemorated there.
After all this culture, it is definitely time to hit the beach! To the west of the town is the lovely Plage du Pacha and to the east – just before Saint-Raphâel – is Plage des Sablettes. In between, there is a lovely sandy beach with shallow water called Nature François Léotard that has a car park really close by and facilities, making it perfect for families with young children, the elderly and visitors with special needs. Another fun place for the family is Aqualand which has 18 different slides and pools including the award-winning King Cobra which is perfect for teenagers. Fréjus is a popular place to stay all year through as the winter is both mild and short-lived. There are a variety of events to enjoy too including the April Flower Festival in Aurélienne Park, the International Festival of Petanque in June and the Theatre Festival in July. There is a colourful night market down by the beach every evening in July and August and there are nightly firework displays too. As summer turns to Autumn, a popular event is the Festival International de l’Air (International Air Festival) held in October and in December, there is a fun Christmas market to enjoy too. If you are looking for a holiday that is rich in culture, with great food, wine and beaches for relaxing....look no further than Fréjus...
647 BOULEVARD D'ALGER, 83600 FRÉJUS
+ 33 (0) 4 94 51 66 32
49 place Paul-Albert février 83600 Fréjus
+033 (0) 6 13 59 71 47
145 Rue du Général de Gaulle, Fréjus
+33 (0) 4 94 17 09 40