Peaches and bullfights
Famous for peaches and summer-season bullfights, Fréjus derives its name from the Roman naval base of Forum Julii, founded by Julius Caesar in 50 BC. Veteran legionnaires were billeted here for a well-earned spot of R&R, and a map of the Roman sites (available from the tourist office) will help you track down the farflung remains of the bath complex, theatre and amphitheatre (venue for the bullfights). Two of the original city gates, the Porte Doree and Porte des Gaules, are still standing, as are uprights belonging to an aquaduct. To get around more easily you can hire bikes from www.freewheelingfrance.com.
The Cathédrale de Saint-Etienne faces place Formigé, at the heart of the attractive Old Town. Largely rebuilt in the 13thC, it boasts a rare 5thC baptistry behind an elaborate iron grille in the porch. A graceful cloister with a painted ceiling gives onto the Musée Archéologique displaying numerous Gallo-Roman finds, the wonderful Leopard Mosaic and sculpted heads of Jupiter and Hermes.
Fréjus harbour silted up after the Romans departed, so Fréjus-Plage is now 2 km S of the town centre, bordering Saint-Raphaël. It is hard to tell where you leave one town and enter the other, but Saint-Raphaël’s higher prices may give it away. There is a greater choice of accommodation here, but Fréjus is cheaper and far more attractive.
There are two family excursions nearby: the Aqualand water park (off the N98) with slides, artificial wave pools and pedallos; and the Parc Zoologique de Frejus (5 km N via the D4), roamed by elephants zebras and more.
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