3km (2 miles) W of St-Raphaël; 14km (8 3/4 miles) NE of St-Tropez
Halfway between St-Tropez and Cannes, Fréjus is popular with families due to its numerous sandy beaches and its dramatic backdrop of the red-hued Esterel mountain range. This, much like its neighboring town Saint-Raphaël, is a laid-back, affordable seaside resort.
Gaul's oldest Roman city, Fréjus is chockablock with impressive ancient remains. Fréjus was founded by Julius Caesar in 49 B.C. as Forum Julii; later, under Augustus's rule, it became a key naval base. The warships with which Augustus defeated Antony and Cleopatra at the battle at Actium were built here in 31 B.C. Remnants from Roman times still stand in the Vieille Ville, including Roman gateways and ramparts, as well as parts of an aqueduct, an amphitheater, and a theater. You can spot a double-headed Hermes (now the emblem of Fréjus) at the Musée Archéologique and visit some of France's oldest ecclesiastical buildings in the Cité Episcopale.
The pretty old town is also home to various well-priced art galleries, following a successful local government makeover that replaced dodgy bars with subsidized artists' studios. Today it's a thriving art community.