24km (15 miles) SW of St-Raphaël; 61km (38 miles) SW of Cannes

Ste-Maxime is just across the gulf from glitzy St-Tropez, but its atmosphere is much less decadent. Endless Blue Flag (eco-labeled) beaches, kids' play areas, watersports, and affordable accommodations make this mimosa-strewn seaside resort a desirable option for young families. Surrounded by the red cliffs of the Massif des Maures, the town is protected from harsh weather. The wide stretches of sand and calm waters lure travelers to spend their days basking in the sun and dining out along cafe-lined promenades. Sadly, the main coastal route into St-Tropez runs along the seafront in Sainte-Maxime -- avoid this traffic-laden road by opting for the Bâteaux Verts that offer a 15-minute boat service straight into central St-Tropez.