If you are looking for a wonderful little beach town on the French Riviera to relax in, you can’t miss Saint-Cyr-sur-mer. This stretch of the Mediterranean coast counts several popular towns including Bandol, Cassis, La Ciotat, Le Castellet, Sanary-sur-mer, and La Seyne-sur-mer, all right next to each other.
But unlike the others, Saint-Cyr-sur-mer is famous for one thing: it’s golden statue of the Statue of Liberty. It was a gift from a wealthy Saint Cyprian, and has become a landmark along the Mediterranean coastline.
Things to do in St-Cyr-sur-Mer
1. Statue of Liberty
In the place of honor in the center of Saint-Cyr-sur-mer is a miniature golden Statue of Liberty. While the original was given by the French government to the American government in 1886, this miniature version is more recent.
It was offered by Anatole Ducros, a rich landowner in Saint-Cyr, and inaugurated in 1913. It is entirely in cast iron and covered with a fine golden layer.
The square that the statue sits in is surrounded by restaurants, and is the central meeting spot in the town.
2. The town
Saint-Cyr-sur-mer is relatively large for a town with a population of around 12,000. It is a fair distance from the Statue of Liberty to the beaches, so you may want to keep your car to move around.
There are several wonderful restaurants all over town since it is quite a popular village, especially in the summer time. Most of the town’s parking lots are on the town’s outskirts, as the center can get quite gridlocked with one-way streets.
3. Beaches and harbour of Madrague
There are several beautiful beaches along the coast line of Saint-Cyr-sur-Mer, including the always popular Plages des Lecques.
There is also a wonderful boardwalk to stroll along the coast around the port harbour of Madrague.
Further away are the beaches of Plage du Liouquet and the Plage de la Madrague Saint-Cyr-sur-Mer, which may offer more options for parking.
4. Calanque de Port d’Alon
This area of France is famous for its Calanques. The Calanques are a rocky and mountainous coastal region runs along the Mediterranean sea between Marseille, Cassis, La Ciotat and along the coast of Provence.
It is a nature reserve and a popular destination for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts. The closest Calanques to Saint-Cyr-sur-mer is Calanque de Port d’Alon which is about 2 miles (5 km) away.
In the summer months, you can take a boat tour from the main harbor of Saint-Cyr-sur-mer to visit the Calanques.
5. Tauroentum museum
The history of Saint-Cyr-sur-Mer dates back to prehistoric times. Excavations have shown settlements here from the Neolithic period to “intense activity” during Gallo and Roman times. You can see some of the treasures found in Saint-Cyr-sur-mer at the Tauroentum museum which is right next to the Plage des Lecques.
6. Eglise de Saint Cyr-sur-mer
Right behind the Statue of Liberty is the Eglise de Saint-Cyr-sur-mer. It is a more recent church, and the main church in the village.
In 2015, the Church began to hold the first official French branch of of the Conseil de Chevaliers de Colomb, meaning the “Council of Knights of Columbus”.
The Knights of Columbus are widely spread throughout North, Central and South America, and several other other countries around the world.
7. Market days
There is a weekly market in Saint-Cyr-sur-Mer every Sunday, within footsteps of the Place de la Statue de Liberté.
The farmers’ and producers marché is held between 8am and 1pm, selling everything from provencal souvenirs to wine and lavender. It does get crowded in the summer time, so head there early.
8. Bandol AOC Wine
Saint-Cyr-sur-mer is an agricultural town, with several vineyards around it. It is part of the Côtes de Provence region of wines, holding a Côtes de Provence AOC Bandol appellation.
These are usually light white wines and rosés, but you can get some reds from here as well.
These are considered summer wines in France as French people normally only drink rosés chilled in during the warmer months. You can read more about reading French wine labels here.
How to get to Saint-Cyr-sur-Mer?
Saint-Cyr-sur-Mer is about 25 miles (40 km) west of Marseille, which has both a high-speed TGV train service as well as international airport with connections across Europe and the world.
From Marseille, there are TER trains that run from the main train station to Saint-Cyr-sur-Mer several times a day.
How easy is it getting around?
The town of Saint-Cyr-sur-Mer is quite spread out, and it is approximately a 25 minute walk from the Place de la Statue de Liberté to the beaches and coastline.
You may want to visit the Statue of Liberty, and then move your car closer to the beaches area if you are travelling with younger children or people who cannot walk as much.
How many days should you spend?
It takes about a day to visit around Saint-Cyr-sur-Mer, but you may want to stay a few days longer to enjoy the beaches and the provençal way of life on the French Riviera.
Where should you stay?
There are some wonderful gîtes and other accommodation around Saint-Cyr-sur-mer:
- €€€ – Maison d’Hotes Le Boulou
- €€€€ – Lodge entre ciel et mer
If you enjoyed that article, you may like to read more about traveling around Provence. A bientôt!