An idyllic resort town on the banks of the enticing Meditteranean Sea, Saint Raphael is a must-see destination when traveling to France’s posh French Riviera. This seaside locale is one of the earliest resort areas on the coastline and offers lovely beaches, bustling cafes, charming boutiques, and interesting shops. Aside from the usual fun tourist spots, Saint Raphael boasts the extraordinary Musee Archeologique, Saint Raphael. If you’re keen on fascinating prehistoric finds, compelling Roman excavations, and beautiful medieval churches then this is a tourist site you won’t want to miss. To enjoy your visit to the fullest, we have put together a guide to Musee Archeologique, Saint Raphael. Check it out.
Things to do / Highlights
The largest number of ancient shipwrecks in France can be found in this area of the Mediterranean and a big draw to Musee Archeologique, Saint Raphael is the captivating treasures that have been found in the Roman shipwrecks among the sparkling Saint Raphael reefs. Visitors can marvel at splendid amphorae - tall ancient Roman jars consisting of a pair of handles and a narrow neck - that date as far back as the first century!
This museum also showcases Saint Raphael’s rich maritime history and displays age-old ship’s anchors, a well-preserved 1928 scuba system, expert 1940s underwater equipment developed by famed sea explorer Jacques Costeau, and so much more.
The wonderful medieval Romanesque church lies alongside the museum and is easy access to visitors. Many will thrill at the sight of exciting archaeological crypts dating back 2,000 years and discover the burial chambers’ compelling secrets. Architectural and history buffs will be eager to examine the antiquated and interesting structural design. Climb to the top of the church’s bell tower and you’re rewarded with immense panoramic views over the crystal-blue Mediterranean waters, Saint Raphael’s port, the Massif de l'Estereland mountain range, and beyond.
The first humans of the prehistoric era are believed to have inhabited the mountain range of Massif de l'Estereland and there are two floors at Musee Archeologique, Saint Raphael dedicated to tracing this history. From the Paleolithic to the Neolithic, you’ll see exhibits of geometrically adorned ceramics, ornaments made of fine pearls, polished axes, and more. To get full knowledge of man’s early beginnings, make sure you don’t pass up this section of the museum.
Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing
With stair climbing and cobblestone walkways, Musee Archeologique, Saint Raphael could be difficult for those with limited mobility and wheelchair-bound visitors.
Expert-guided tours by professional docents are provided every Thursday from 2pm to 4pm at a cost of 3 USD (2 EUR). This is by reservation only so call +33 04 94 19 25 75 to make arrangements. This guided tour includes the entire museum along with the Romanesque medieval church and tower and the museum’s archaeological crypts.
The videos, interactive media, and signs throughout the museum are in French but a brochure is provided in English and Italian. Luckily, if you’ve packed your smartphone then pull it out. Using the i-nigma app, you can scan the QR codes displayed at the museum to discover a wonderful digital guidebook that will only enhance your visit. Languages provided are French and English and a complimentary WiFi connection is available at the museum’s reception area. The museum will even loan guests iPod and iPad equipment if needed by the end of February 2020.
How to get there
For tourists driving a car to drive to Musee Archeologique, Saint Raphael, the attraction is located along Rue de la Vieille Eglise.
If you want to do a day trip or overnight stay from Paris, France’s TGV train takes about five hours and the TGV station of Saint-Raphael / Valescure - located in the downtown area - is only 0.68 miles (1.1 kilometers) from the museum.
Agglobus is the bus network serving Saint Raphael and the surrounding coastal towns. There’s also a convenient electric shuttle that connects the two town centers of Saint-Raphael and Frejus: Line 4 and 14. If you arrive by bus to the Saint-Raphael bus station - located at 100 Rue Victor Hugo, 83700 Saint-Raphael, France - you’re only 0.31 miles (0.5 kilometers) from the museum.
If you are staying in town, the easiest way to get to the museum is by hailing a taxi off the street. If you want to arrange a taxi pick up you can dial +33 04 94 83 24 24.
Because Musee Archeologique, Saint Raphael is located in the compact Old Town area, museum parking can be difficult. There are a few car parks available within the museum neighborhood such as Parking Cagnat: a parking garage located at 199 Avenue de Valescure, 83700 Saint-Raphaël, France and just 0.49 miles (0.8 kilometers) away. There is also an underground car park called Parking Victor Hugo at 90 Avenue Victor Hugo, 83700 Saint-Raphaël, France and is only 0.43 miles (0.7 kilometers) away.
Musee Archeologique information
Address: Rue de la Vieille Eglise, 83700 Saint-Raphael, France
Opening hours: Tue - Fri: 10am - 12:30pm, 2pm - 5pm; Sat: 10am - 12:30pm (closed on Sun & Mon)
Official website: Musee Archeologique, Saint Raphael
Department of tourism: Visit Saint Raphael
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