Frejus photo frejus087s.jpg (3 k) Fréjus is a large, sprawling town with some famous Roman ruins. It's also a very popular summertime tourist town, although the center of town is a couple of km from the beaches, which are 2 km long and 100 m wide of fine sand, between Fréjus and St. Raphaël.

Also:  | Floods 2010 Map |

Nearby: | Bargemon 38 km | Brignoles 65 km | Callas 32 km | Cannes 41 km | Castellane 85 km (1h15) | Draguignan 28 km | Garde-Freinet 42 km | Grasse 45 km | Grimaud 31 km | Malpasset Dam | Plan-de-la-Tour 20 km | Roquebrune-sur-Argens 11 km | Saint Raphaël 3 km (adjacent) | Saint Tropez 34 km | Sainte Maxime 19 km |

Hotels near Frejus: | Frejus | 3 km (adjacent) Saint Raphael | 11 km Roquebrune-sur-Argens | 19 km Sainte Maxime | 20 km Plan-de-la-Tour | 28 km Draguignan | 31 km Grimaud |

The center of town is compact, with lots of shops, pedestrian streets and, in the summer, lots and lots of people. The Cathedral (photo), in the very center, is built of lovely old stone and is set in a pretty square. The entrance to the cloisters is inside the Cathedral entrance.

Roman Sites

The Aqueduct
Locations: Along the Ave du Quinzième Corps (at the Aqueduct Park) and along the N7 between the Ave des Aqueducs and the D437 roundabout.
This is a remarkable aqueduct, with very high massive pillars. There's also a section beside the D637 between the N7 and the autoroute exit 38 (photo of the Gargalon aqueduct).
The Theater village photo
Location: Rue du Théâtre Romain (an easy walk from the Office de Tourisme).
The theater is locked behind an iron gate, but still easily visible from the street. It's fairly run-down, but has a peaceful feeling of antiquity, sitting beneath large shade trees (photo, 27 k).
The Amphitheater
Location: Rue Henri Vadon, at the west side of town, beside the main N7 and the railway.
Open Apr-Sept: 9h30-11h45, 14h-18h15
Open Oct-Mar: 9h00-11h45, 14h-16h15
The oval arena, which seated 12,000 people a few centuries ago, is a bit smaller than those at Nîmes and Arles. The arena is in poor shape today. The exterior was probably destroyed deliberately in the Middle Ages to prevent Saracens from using it as a fortress. The flood of 1959 (see above) flushed out the interior, and a succession of rock concerts held here over the years has pretty-much defined its quality as an archeological site.

Parks, Playgrounds

Aqueduct Park village photo
Location: Northeast of the center, out the Ave du Quinzième Corps (to the N7).
A very large grassy park, on both sides of the road, has tall sections of the Roman aqueduct still standing. The expanses of lawns are great for playing, picnicking and strolling, and one area is half forested for shady walks. In one corner there is a small playground area with a few colorful slides and play things for small kids. This photo (21 k) shows the aqueduct pillars crossing one side of the park.
Arena Park
There's a small park in front of the Roman arena, on the west side near the center. It's pretty, green and shady, but quite noisy beside the main road and the railway line.
Naval Base
The old naval base south of the town has acres of grassy fields and long concrete roads closed to traffic. The fields have an open sky, and a nice view of Fréjus, the Massif de l'Esterel to the east and the massif des Maures to the west. The wide spaces, used for kite-flying, are great for walking and playing, and some of the concrete areas are set aside for roller skating and skateboarding. Off-road cycling is done here as well, with circuits of 2700 m, 3900 m and 4380 m.

Zoo - Parc Zoologique

The zoo is about 6 km north of the town, at the autoroute exit 38.
      Open: 10h00 - 17h30 (entry), 18h30 (staying)
      Price: about 10 euros adults; 6 euros children

Flood June 2010

The town suffered severe damage, with several deaths, from a flood on Tuesday 15 June 2010. With a rainstorm of unprecedented size in the Var hills, the worst flood in two centuries crashed through several towns in the local river valleys (Var floods 2010 map).

At least 25 people were killed through the region, with 13 still missing (as of 19 June).

History

Name

First record, Cited by Cicero,Strabon, Pline and Tacite. 1st-c BC: Forum Julii; 2nd-c: Forum Julium; 1035: de Frejurio; 1416: Frejus

Prehistoric: There were some scattered Iron Age settlements in the region, usually on walled hilltop sites.

Gallo-Roman: Fréjus was founded in the first century BC. It was an important stop on the Aurelian way. Around 30 BC, at the beginning of the Early Empire, Forum Julii became a colony for veterans of the 8th Legion. About the same time, Octavian brought here the ships he captured from Sextus Pompey at Actium, and began constructing the port. Fréjus became the second largest Roman port after Ostie, and remained a significant naval base until after the fall of Nero, around 69 AD.

Medieval: Fréjus declined gradually until the 10th century, when it came under control of Bishop Riculphe, who founded the beginning of the "modern" town. The town was victim of continuous barbarian raids. In 1536, Charles-Quint invaded. Later in the 16th century, under King Henri II, Fréjus became the seat of the admiralty. Prince Eugène invaded in 1707. The town declined when the port began silting up, with population dropping from 6000 in the 17th century to 2000 in 1800. Napoleon Bonaparte debarked here in 1799 on his return from Egypt. Fifteen years later, in 1814, he passed through again, on his way to exile at Elba.

More Recently: Recent: In December 1959, the Barrage de Malpasset broke. The resulting flood waters ravaged the western quarters of Fréjus, and 500 people died.

Office de Tourisme

Tel (Mairie): 04 94 51 83 83; Fax: 04 94 51 00 26

Web: www.frejus.fr

Email: frejus.tourisme@wanadoo.fr

Open: Mon-Sat 9h-12h, 14h-18h

Dates

Market day: Friday
Fête: 15 Aug
Every Mar - Carnaval des Enfants
Every Apr - Fête des Plantes
Every Easter Apr - Pâques à Saint-Aygulf (Easter)
Every June - Fête de la Musique
Every July - Les Nuits Auréliennes
Every July - Les Nuits de Feu (fireworks)
Every Aug - Fête du Raisin
Every Aug - Les Nuits de Feu (fireworks)
Every Sep - Omelette Géant - giant omelette festival
Every Nov - Festival de l'Air et du Vent (air and wind festival)
Every Dec - Foire aux Santons


Wine

Fréjus is in the region of the Côte de Provence wines.

Transportation Frejus

Bus

Rail

Fun - Amusement - Kids

Aquapark


Sports

Cycling

Hiking

Maps

IGN (1/25,000) #3544 ET "Fréjus, St-Raphaël, Corniche Esterel"

Didier Richard (1/50,000) #26 "Pay d'Azur"

Didier Richard (1/50,000) #25 "Maures Haut-Pays Varois"

The area around Fréjus is very built-up, and not good for hiking directly from town. The Estérel Mountains (Massif de l'Estérel), stretching along the coast between Fréjus and the outskirts of Cannes, are full of good hiking trails, including the GR51 (Balcony of the Cote d'Azur). The nearest trail in the Estérel begins at the Oratoir de Guérin, about 5 km northeast of the town center.

pAbout 5 km to the southwest, the Massif des Maures begin, the forested hills stretching out 50 km towards Hyères and Toulon. The Maures are full of excellent hiking trails, including the GR51 and the GR9.

Dining

L'Amandier

• In the Michelin Bib Gourmand Guide 2010

Location: 19 Rue Marc-Antoine Desaugiers

Closed: Toussaint vacation; 31 Dec-10Jan; Mon-lunch; Wed-lunch; Sun.

Tel: 0494 534 877

Cuisine au goût du jour. Limited places, best to phone ahead.

Les Micocouliers

Location: 34 place Paul-Albert-Fevrier

Closed: mon-tue-wed evenings; 20 dec-10 jan

Tel: 0494 521 652

Across from the Mairie and the cathedral.

Les Potiers

Location: 134 rue des Potiers

Closed: Tue

Tel: 0494 513 374

A cosy little place near the Place agricola.

Lodging - Hotels