Sanary-Sur-Mer (Photo:Christian Musat/Shutterstock)
4.5 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating

By Cruise Critic
Cruise Critic Staff

Port of Sanary-Sur-Mer

Sanary-sur-Mer -- located in the Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur region of southeastern France -- has just about everything you'd expect of a seaside village in the French Riviera. It's got its fair share of historic buildings to explore, including a medieval Romanesque watchtower, a 16th-century chapel and Eglise Saint Nazaire, a 19th-century church in the style of the Gothic Revival. It's still an active fishing village with fishermen selling their catch on the wharf each morning and quaint wooden boats bobbing in the marina throughout the day. There's a traditional open-air market at Kennedy Square, just a few steps from the tender point at Quai du Levant, where you can buy French baguettes, a dizzying number of cheeses (some of them pretty stinky), fruit and pastries, perfect for an impromptu picnic aboard your ship later in the day. Sanary's coastline is also dotted with a number of small but worthy beaches for sunbathing, swimming and snorkeling when the weather cooperates. Locals told us that their town is the "sunniest place in all of France" and the data backs up the claim with an annual average of only 61 days of rain -- mostly during wintertime.

The only thing to note is that Sanary-sur-Mer is known for being windswept -- especially in the winter and spring -- due to the mistral, a wind current that blows in from the Rhone Valley. Swells can make tendering to and from this port a bit bumpy.

The modern-day diving industry was born in Sanary-sur-Mer, and oceanographer Jacques Cousteau owned a home here for most of his life. The surrounding area is internationally renowned for vineyards and olive groves so it's no wonder you can book a ship-sponsored, wine-tasting tour to nearby Le Castellet or Bandol.

About Sanary-Sur-Mer


Pro

This quaint fishing village has a traditional open-air market mere steps from the tender port

Con

Sanary-Sur-Mer can be quite windy during some months, which can make for a bumpy arrival and departure

Bottom Line

This charming port will give you a taste of authentic seaside French living


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Currency & Best Way to Get Money

The official currency is the euro. There are several banks with ATMs within walking distance of the tender point, including Societe Generale, which is across from Kennedy Square just steps from Quai du Levant along Boulevard d'Estienne d'Orves. For up-to-date currency exchange rates, visit www.xe.com.

Language

French is the official language of Sanary-sur-Mer, and trying to speak a few words goes a long way with the locals. Say bonjour to greet someone. Table pour deux means table for two and merci means thank you. Since this is a tourist town, most shopkeepers and waiters do understand enough English to help you get by.