Côte d’Azur – a short guide to Saint-Tropez and the surrounding area.
Every summer, images of movie stars, oligarchs and models enjoying champagne on yachts and dancing in nightclubs adorn the pages of celebrity magazines with the same “spotted in Saint-Tropez” caption. It’s easy to see the appeal of this once tiny fishing village with its beautiful beaches, luxury yachts, exclusive boutiques, cafes and bars offering a millionaire lifestyle with a twist of the French Riviera.
Embankment of Saint-Tropez near the port near the old town. Boats and yachts off the coast.
There are many restaurants and cafes on the beach. The most famous:
– Le Quai (“Promenade”) – located next to the Tourist Office of Saint-Tropez,
– Le Girelier – not far from the fish market
– Le Petite Plage (small beach) – Jean-Jore embankment, Mediterranean restaurant.
There are also pancake shops, pizzerias and even a Chinese restaurant.
At night, the embankment is transformed. Music, dancing, nightlife.
However, Saint-Tropez has managed to maintain a quiet charm with its narrow streets, traditional restaurants shaded by vines, and beautiful harbor with wooden masts. Picturesque white sand beaches surround the bay of the same name, while the Provencal countryside rises beyond the city with medieval villages, vineyards and lavender fields stretching over the hills.
Saint-Tropez combines this old-fashioned charm with its status as the preferred destination for the rich and famous. A beautiful Provencal village with an immaculate maze of cobbled streets filled with shops and lovely shuttered cottages, the town is also known for its designer boutiques, glitzy art galleries, world-renowned beachfront and exclusive nightclubs.
But outside of the fashion and pop culture we see today, Saint Tropez has a long and interesting history.
The name Saint-Tropez comes from the name of the Holy Great Martyr Torpes, who was beheaded in the time of Nerō in the year 68 of the 1st century in the area of \bmodern Pisa. According to ancient legend, his body was placed in a small boat along with a rooster and a dog, which left him untouched. The current brought the boat to the shores of Saint-Tropez. The red and white colors of the city’s flag belong to the former Republic of Genoa.
After the fall of the Roman Empire, like many Mediterranean coastal regions, Saint-Tropez was attacked and sacked by pirates and privateers. This went on for a century until the neighboring village of La Garde-Freinet was created, and Saint-Tropez and the surrounding villages became an Arab-Muslim colony for almost 100 years, until it was again attacked in 976.
This was followed by several centuries of French political maneuvers aimed at securing the right of one family or another. In 1470, Baron Grimaud Jean de Cossa and the Genoese lord Raphael de Garezzio signed an agreement allowing 21 families from Genoa (Gênes) to settle in the village, which was destroyed and repopulated after several invasions. They rebuilt the fortifications and assumed responsibility for the security of the region. In return, they were exempted from paying taxes. The city became a small republic with its own navy and army, governed by two consuls and twelve elected councillors. A deep connection with the sea is another character trait of the locals. The glorious military past of the city is particularly illustrated by Pierre André de Suffren de Saint-Tropez, a 13th-century vice-admiral of the royal armies, whose statue stands proudly in the port.
In September 1615, a delegation led by the Japanese samurai Hasekura Tsunenaga (Hasekura Rokuemon Tsunenaga) visited Saint-Tropez, who was heading to Rome, but was forced to stop at this place due to the weather. This may have been the first contact between the French and the Japanese.
The local nobles were responsible for creating an army that repulsed the fleet of Spanish galleons on June 15, 1637. Les Bravades des Espagnols, a local religious and military celebration in honor of the victory of the militia, is still celebrated by locals today. Count René’s promise in 1436 not to tax the citizens of Saint-Tropez was kept until 1672, when Louis XIV Le Roi Soleil revoked it, establishing French control.
During the 19th century, the village was centered on shipbuilding and fishing. At the same time, the village was discovered by artists, intellectuals, such famous as the pointillist Paul Signac. In the 1920s, Saint-Tropez began to attract famous fashion figures such as Coco Chanel and Elsa Schiaparelli.
World War II and Saint-Tropez
During World War II, the Allied landings on 15 August 1944 began with the invasion of southern France by Operation Dragoon.
After the Second World War, thanks to outstanding visitors from the world of music, cinema and literature, the popularity of the resort is constantly growing. But it was in the 1960s that Saint-Tropez gained its current status and world fame. The 1956 film “Et Dieu.crea la Femme” (“And God Created Woman”) brought worldwide fame to Brigitte Bardot and the village itself. Since then, Saint-Tropez has become so associated with tanned supermodels that there is even a St. Tropez promoted by “Kate Moss” and the beaches and harbor are regularly spotted by international celebrities such as Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford, Penelope Cruz. Now Saint-Tropez is one of the most famous villages in the world. Saint-Tropez has a wealth of places to visit, from top-notch art museums to the remains of ancient chapels and famous vineyards.
Saint-Tropez Travel Guide
Port in Saint-Tropez. Yachts and boats have been the favorite vacation of millionaires for many decades.
In the foreground of the photo is the boat “Lezard II” under the American flag. Behind you can see a large yacht flying the British flag (?). On the shore there are small cafes and restaurants where you can have a bite to eat, but the prices are high.
Old Port of Saint-Tropez. The old port (Vieux Port) is the heart of Saint-Tropez, where the old fishing village first came to life. Visitors are captivated by the idyllic scene of small fishing boats and trendy yachts moored in the harbour, which is surrounded by pastel Mediterranean houses and lively cafes with outdoor terraces. On the wide sidewalk at the water’s edge, artists sell colorful paintings depicting Saint Tropez. One notable establishment along the harbor is the Café Senequier, featuring a bright red façade and awnings.
Old city.The old town of Saint-Tropez, known as “La Ponche”, borders the harbor basin of the port and lies below the Citadel (La Citadelle). La Ponche is the historic center of the fishing village and is the most picturesque area of Saint-Tropez. Part of it is a pedestrian zone with narrow, quaint cobbled streets teeming with small shops, upscale boutiques, cafes and restaurants. Tourists can start exploring this lively neighborhood on Rue de la Citadelle, which leads into the center of the Old Town. Turning left onto Rue du Portail-Neuf, you can walk to the 18th century cathedral Eglise de Notre-Dame de l’Assomption (26, Rue Gambetta). This is a temple with a beautiful Italian baroque bell tower.
The main attractions include one of the most impressive structures in Saint-Tropez, which is the Citadelle (Fortress).
Beach holidays, swimming
In Saint-Tropez itself and its environs there are a large number of the most diverse beaches, among which the most famous are Pampelonne, de Tahiti, Bon-Terrassa, Bouillabaisse, Canebier, de Granier and others. See below Application, list, description and testimonials.
In the evening, Saint-Tropez, like all seaside cities, is transformed. Multi-colored lights are turned on, music, festivities, dances are everywhere. Evening Saint-Tropez looks especially beautiful during national holidays and festivals. The main places of festivities are the old port, the embankment and the streets adjacent to it.
Personal travel experience, reviews
Vladislav S. (employee of the antique gallery “Military Thought”). What he liked. Shops: fish and wine, cafes and restaurants ..
Reviews, what you liked, what you didn’t, photo gallery. Vladislav S., member of the travel club, yachtsman. Director of the Antiquarian Gallery of the WW1 / WW2 militaria).
I really liked the fish shop / bar / restaurant “Le Vivier de Cepoun” – fresh fish, seafood of various kinds (T31). Vladislav is a specialist in historical antique weapons, so he could not resist taking a photo as a keepsake with “a fish knife for cutting winged varieties of Mediterranean fish.” This knife is somewhat reminiscent of a Russian cleaver of the period of the Crimean War or an army bebut for the last reign. The kind owners of the store gladly allowed me to take such “selfies”. This shop is very popular among yacht club members. Located in the old town, next to the port. Vladislav is a member of the crew of a large yacht (60 feet, pre-war France with mahogany – a piece of antiques and history). T32 Saint-Tropez is a seaside town. Fishing has flourished here for centuries. Fishermen are an old main profession. Therefore, in fish stores there is always a large selection of fresh and varied fish. T33 Fish shops in Saint-Tropez. Seafood.
Le Vivier du Cepoun Restaurant and brand shop
A favorite place for lovers of outdoor activities on yachts. Mediterranean cuisine is always fresh fish. How to get there: 14 Place aux Herbes – Saint-Tropez
– Shrimps “Cuites Groves” (? cooked groves) – 32 euros per kilogram. Great appetizer for white wine.
– Shrimp “Obsiblue” (? Whether blue shrimps, or crayfish, raw) – 39 euros per kilo
– Spanish shrimp “Camaromes” – 39 euros per kg. and 45 Euro per kilo, two types
A series of snacks (Bar de ligne) – fresh fish at 38 euros per kg., Royal food … Oysters …
Here are some more reviews, already from Italian visitors:
“Oysters, raw fish, lobster, tartare, kebabs, simple and tasty cooked meals… a fish shop that sells an excellent aperitif with rosé wine and champagne on request in the evening. Not particularly cheap, but very good!” T34 Swordfish (Espadon peche) caught in Saint-Tropez. The price is 35 euros per kilogram, prepared in a restaurant or takeaway.
T35 Located in the heart of Saint-Tropez, near the old port on the Place “La place aux Herbes” opposite the fish market (see on the map),
the brand store “La Cave du Golf” (Bay cellar) offers a huge selection of the best French wines and champagnes. This “cellar” or “wine cellar” offers white wine, red… Local production.
– Gran Cru “Pommery”,
— “Minuty” “M” prestige, pink
– champagne “Collette”,
– champagne “Louis de Roederer” – brut extract 2006 (see photo)
– there is also a real French cognac X.O.
By the way, if you want to learn more about champagne, visit the Champagne Museum, the best Houses and wineries, an English-speaking taxi offers guided tours from Paris to Epernay. And for those who want to learn more about Cognac, the city and the signature drink – that is, unusual “Cognac Tours” with a visit to this famous area that gave the name to the drink, factories and museums … T36 to “progust” it here. On the square in the city center there are stylish “tables” in the form of barrels, where you can sit comfortably and taste the wine. You can champagne or good French cognac. “Drinking alcohol in a public place” is not only welcome here, but also protected by the police :-). It also sells wine in bottling, by the glass. Chilled in special containers with ice, French wine tastes very well, especially in hot weather. The square is located in the old town, next to the old port and the fish market. T37 Reviews of Saint-Tropez. Vladislav S. Wine tasting is also very pleasant in the company of good friends, Regatta participants from all over the world and local athletes. The warm friendly atmosphere only enhances the taste of locally produced wine. Next to the Cave du Golfe liquor store, there is also a great fish market where you can buy seafood for a light “cold and hot” French wine. Come to Saint-Tropez, you won’t regret it! The best city of French Riviera.
Wine tasting in Saint Tropez. Personal experience and reviews (T38).
On the small and cozy area “La Place aux Herbes”, which can rather be called a “heel”, there is not only a branded wine and champagne store, but also a whole “Fish Market”, where you can buy seafood for every taste for “tasting” drinks and food. Oysters poured with squeezed lemon (or lime) juice are considered a classic snack. Suitable for white wine, you can also for rose. Snails served with shells are also considered a delicacy. Some prefer lobster (lobster). Well, with red wine, as well as with pink wine, you can also have classic kebabs. Here they also know how to cook them, offering them special sauce. There is also a branded cheese shop (Fromagerie du Marche) nearby. The square is located in the old town, next to the port, at the intersection of rue du Marche (Market) and rue du Cepoun San Martin. You can get from it from the Tourist Office of Saint-Tropez through the arch in the house, just a few meters.
Fish market “Poissonnerie Bruno Alain”
Seafood shop. Diner and restaurant. Great place for food tours. The freshest fish caught in Saint-Tropez. Oysters, shrimps of all types, including Italian ones. Lobsters.
The best restaurants in Saint-Tropez and surroundings.
Club 55 restaurant
Simplicity and reliability. This place is completely different from the rest of the Pamplona beach, and since its creation in 1955, it has had its own philosophy: “The client is not king here … because he is a friend.” Club 55 has a long and exciting history. There is even a documentary called “Le Club 55, un légende”, which tells about the origin of the club and the unusual character of its founders, Geneviève and Bernard de Colmont. Veronica and Patrice, their children, tell the story of the family of this place.
Club 55 Boutique is an exclusive Boutique. In this rather quirky boutique, you’ll find a variety of beachwear, accessories and clothing that changes every season. These are towels, T-shirts, baseball caps, cups and even branded wine.
All Club 55 ® products are exclusive to the boutique. They are not available anywhere else in France or abroad. Club 55 is a registered trademark and may not be reproduced without the express consent of the company, SOGAT and Mrs Véronique and Mr Patrice de Colmont.
French cuisine restaurant. Beach, open veranda. A venue for performances by artists and corporate events.
Т40 Seafood, French wine, including own production. The photo shows a classic appetizer (entre). Salads from fresh vegetables with spices. Tomatoes, sweet red peppers, radishes, herbs. T41 Long tables allow you to arrange corporate parties and various festive events. A light snack is visible on the table: red sweet pepper, radish, broccoli, greens. T42 In addition to seafood, the restaurant also offers traditional meat dishes. Meat, poultry with original side dishes and seasonings. French wine: white, rosé, red. Champagne. Wine of own production brand “Club 55”. T43 The restaurant has a large summer terrace with a stage where artists perform or which can be used for corporate events (leisure, presentations, etc.) T44 Concert and entertainment program, guitar songs, performances by artists. The guests love everything. T45 There is not only seafood with wine, but also a cultural and entertainment program. This is certainly not a striptease, but …. Fun and provocatively, dancing in a restaurant. T46 Music and songs with a guitar, applause from visitors.
Saint-Tropez beaches, list and reviews
Pampelonne Beach, (Plage de Pampelonne)
The longest, most famous and most popular beach in Saint-Tropez. Here are the famous beach clubs and yachts resting in the bay.
This busiest beach is located in a beautiful sheltered bay. It stretches for five kilometers in length, with white sand and sparkling turquoise seas. The beach has areas where you can leave your towels and things, and various beach clubs offering sun loungers and umbrellas for rent.
In fact, this beach belongs to the nearest village of Ramatuelle, and not to the city of Saint-Tropez itself, which is about six kilometers away. In July and August, the beach becomes especially lively and crowded. For those who prefer a more peaceful and secluded holiday, it is recommended to visit the beach in the low season, by the end of September, when the sun is still warm, but there are already half as many vacationers, and nothing prevents you from fully enjoying all the delights of a beach holiday.
The beach is equipped with all necessary amenities: there are public toilets, showers, several first aid stations, where lifeguards are on duty from mid-June to mid-September. How to get there:
The center of Saint-Tropez can be reached by bus from the village of Ramatuelle in 15 minutes. Parking is paid, from 4€ to 5€. A taxi from the city center to Pampelonne will cost about 30€.
Beach de Tahiti (Plage de Tahiti),
Tahiti – part of the famous resort of Pampelonne, is one of the most famous beaches in Saint-Tropez. Pampelonne Beach is actually five kilometers south of the city itself. It belongs half to Saint-Tropez and half to the neighboring village of Ramatuelle. It is a beautiful, wide, sandy beach where Allied troops landed in 1944 and whose fame has only increased since then. It was here that the famous 1956 film And God Created Woman (Et Dieu Créa La Femme) starring Brigitte Bardot was filmed. Since the 1950s, this beach has become one of the most popular in the area. Every summer, about 30,000 people visit it every day. This puts a huge strain on the local beach ecosystem, which includes gentle sand dunes. A few years ago, one of the most famous beach clubs, La Voile Rouge, was demolished by local authorities after a decade-long legal battle due to the damage caused to the beach by a constant stream of visitors. It is a difficult balance between local livelihoods and the protection of natural resources, a struggle that is still ongoing. Tahiti Beach is in the northern part of the Pampelonne recreation area, recognizable for its beautiful pontoon and many visiting celebrities and rock stars. It is surrounded by pine trees, which can be reached on foot via a dirt road. In the 1960s, nudist sunbathing became more common in France. It was seen as a way of empowering women, allowing them to choose what they like (or not) and allowing women and men to dress alike on the beach.
Tahiti beach has become known as a place where it is not necessary to follow the generally accepted beach dress code, and, in connection with this, there was a large number of fights between the police and visitors. Today, it’s still a place where people are allowed to be in the nude, but most naturists prefer the more formal naturist colonies nearby.
Cafes and restaurants. There are many great places to eat right on the beach. For example, Tahiti Beach is a beachfront hotel with a lovely pool and an excellent restaurant. It is open from 12:00 to 17:30. The hotel was opened in 1946 – it is the most of all the local beach establishments.
The Plage Tropézina restaurant is another option for a delicious lunch in a beautiful setting. Regardless of the choice of club or restaurant, the price tag here is high. This is Saint Tropez, lunch at a restaurant on the most famous beach in the region will definitely not cost less than €50 in any of the restaurants. Sun loungers and umbrellas will cost €30. This is the price you pay for super chic. However, you can take a towel, picnics enjoy the same space as everyone else, for free.
Bonne Terrasse Beach (Plage de Bonne Terrasse).
Bon Terra is a beach in the southern part of the resort of Pampelonne, located in a sheltered bay that in the past provided a safe harbor for local fishing boats. Today, the beach is surrounded by residential buildings and famous restaurants. Guests can rent sun loungers and umbrellas, as well as use the facilities (public toilets, showers and a first aid station with lifeguards on duty). Dogs are allowed on the beach but must be kept on a leash at all times.
There is a small car park next to the beach. The sea here is blue and clean, the sand is soft and white. There are several restaurants and beach clubs here. Despite the secluded nature, this place is quite popular during the season.
The beach clubs of the neighboring and crowded Pampellon are in close proximity!
A delightful beautiful sandy beach is located near the city of Saint-Tropez. There are several restaurants and beach clubs on the beach with sun loungers and umbrellas for rent. Two small free parking lots nearby.
The water here is clean and shallow, perfect for swimming and paddling. The sand is soft, clean, white, suitable for beach games. The facilities are excellent, with public toilets, showers and a first aid station with lifeguards from mid-June to mid-September.
Canebiers Beach (Plage des Canebiers).
A wide sandy beach, about 200 meters long, with white sand, known as a favorite place for locals. This beach is located near the main Route des Salins, so getting there from Saint-Tropez is not difficult. This sandy beach is home to a sailing school; and several other maritime and yachting services. The sea here is mostly calm and suitable for rowing. Locals love this beach due to its convenient location and shaded areas under pine trees that cover the back of the sandy area. There are showers, toilets and a lifeguard on duty in the summer.
This beach also became famous thanks to the French television series “Under the Sun” (“Sous le Soleil”). A lifeguard is on duty at the beach during the summer months.
Beach de Graniers (Plage des Graniers).
The beach de Granier stretches in a small picturesque bay, surrounded by greenery and several villas in the Provencal style. It is a quiet and peaceful beach, with sun loungers and umbrellas available for rent.
Located behind the Saint-Tropez Tower and very close to anywhere in the city (only 5 minutes walk from the center of Saint-Tropez).
Relatively small, this beach is very busy during the summer.
A local restaurant called Les Graniers, overlooking the harbor of Saint-Tropez, serves fresh grilled fish and a wide selection of fresh seafood, salads and other local delicacies.
This beach is one of the hidden gems of the Saint-Tropez region. The coastline between Cape Taillat and Cape Camarat is a succession of charming little beaches, bays and rocky bays, with clear waters and glittering rocks or golden sands. Located on the south side of the cape, the beach has all the necessary amenities (toilets, showers). There are also several eateries where you can buy food and drinks. There is paid parking near the beach and there are also paid parking spaces along the road.
The first section of the bay is a mixture of pebbles and sand, but if you go further for another 5-10 minutes, you can get to the next section, where there is perfect white sand and very clear water.
De La Ponche Beach
De La Ponch and its neighbor De la Fontanette are two lovely little beach getaways that are easily accessible right from the center of Saint-Tropez.
These recreation areas are located in the vicinity of the entry point of yachts to the port, therefore they are intended not for swimming, but for relaxing on the shore. Here you can have a good time with a book or take beautiful photos. It is also the starting point for hiking along the coastal path, the Sentier Littoral. Being close to the old town, this urban beach is quite secluded nonetheless. Despite the fact that there is not sand, but small pebbles mixed with sand, the coast is quite comfortable for walking and relaxing.
Beach de Salin (Plage des Salin).
Beautiful and pebbly, nestled in the shade of huge pine trees Located 7 km from the city of Saint-Tropez, the beach des Salines is a small piece of wild nature. Covered with pebbles and shell rock, it is a small bay.
Surrounded by pine trees, this 600m long beach is slightly less windy than Pampelonne, but less crowded even during high season. It is popular with families with children and is relatively calm and quiet. It has two access roads with two free parking lots. This recreation area has a first-aid post with a shower and a lifeguard on duty (from June to September). The only club Les Salins offers sun loungers and umbrellas for rent.
La Moutte beach
La Moutte is the wildest in Saint-Tropez, but getting there is not easy. To do this, you need to go through the private sector, and this can only be done on foot, since only local residents are allowed to enter cars outside private areas. A path leads to the sea with appropriate beach signs. Quite long, it stretches over 300 m. The best place to stay is not far from the cape, towards the end of the beach. Even though it is difficult to get to, it is worth a visit as it is one of the best beaches in Saint Tropez.
to be continued…
Applications, notes*, reviews.
*Admiral Pierre André de Suffren
Admiral Comte Pierre André de Suffren of Saint-Tropez, bailiff of Suffren (July 17, 1729 – December 8, 1788), French admiral. He was best known for his Indian Ocean campaign in which he fought a series of intense and even controversial battles for supremacy against the established British authority led by Vice Admiral Sir Edward Hughes.