Why St Tropez has something for everyone
« Back to Articles - Date Posted: 03/09/2019 1:43pm by Alison Cummings
In the old times, St. Tropez was just a former fishermen's village, but over the years it has become an alluring and exquisite destination. Today it is a world-renowned seaside resort that attracts many famous and wealthy visitors every year. Yet it’s not all about celebrity. St. Tropez still boasts a Provençal charm and it has beautiful architecture, years of history, great traditions and a rich culture. Let’s explore the best things you can do and see in St. Tropez:
1. Relax on the beach
St. Tropez is well-known for its shimmering turquoise waters and marvellous beaches. By far the most famous and loved beach is Pampelonne, that stretches over 5km in length. This is the beach used as a backdrop to many movies, but widely popular ever since Brigitte Bardot was here to film ‘And God created woman’. Tourists also love to spend time on the Tahiti Beach (the most northern beach in the Pampelonne Bay) or Nikki beach (to the south of Pampelonne, in the same bay). There are also a number of less crowded beaches such as Plages La Glaye, la Ponche, or de la Fontanette and right outside the harbour, you can find the Plage de la Bouillabaisse, which boasts beautiful views of the Massif des Maures mountains. All these and many more are a true heaven for sun worshipers and a lively atmosphere is guaranteed by great beach clubs, luxurious sailboats and yachts, cafes, bars and restaurants.
2. Take a stroll around the Vieux Port (Old Port)
The picturesque Old Port is the heart of St. Tropez and one of the most popular spots for sightseeing. Although in the past, the harbour was filled by old and classic fishing boats, now the tourists are envelopped by the beauty of the most luxurious yachts and houseboats that are docked in the port. This remarkable seafront setting is completed by pastel-coloured houses, bustling cafes and bars and a wave of painters trying to capture this scenery. If renting a boat or a yacht is not in the plan, walking around the port can be one of the most lovely experiences you could have in St. Tropez, alongside the exceptional views from the Môle Jean-Réveille. Also, many fashion shops can be found along the harbour and are worth visiting and the quaint little streets behind the port are fascinating.
3. Get lost in the Old Town’s narrow streets
Between the Vieux Port and the Citadelle lies The Old Quarter of La Ponche, an historic fishing village that has been able to maintain its old charm. The tourists can discover and explore this district walking through the Rue de la Citadelle, which leads right to the centre of the old town. You should take the time to wander around on the narrow cobbled streets, full of tiny boutiques, traditional cafes and restaurants. The Old Town also attracts with its beautiful old buildings and with one of the most distinctive and recognizable sights, the bell-tower of the 18th-century church Église de St. Tropez. It’s pretty easy to spend a wonderful time in this picturesque area, that’s why many visitors simply relax and get lost in its charm.
4. Get to know the history of the Citadelle (Musée d'histoire maritime)
If you want to discover the city’s maritime history, the Citadelle is for sure a place to visit. Built in 1602 as a major military stronghold, it now houses the Museum of Maritime History which is set in the former dungeons. Exhibits illustrate the expeditions of the sailors and fishermen who traveled across the seas, from short fishing voyages along the coast of Provence, to longer expeditions on merchant sailing boats. Located on a hillside beyond the fishing quarter, offers breathtaking views over the town and the sea, the golf course and the Massif des Maures mountain range.
5. Visit the Musée de l’Annonciade
A few steps away from the port, you can find this impressive 16th-century chapel (the old Chapelle Notre-Dame de l’Annonciade) converted into an exquisite museum, that boasts a rich collection of modern art paintings dating from the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century. Some of the most notable artists represented are Paul Signac, Henri Matisse, Pierre Bonnard, and many others. If you are an art lover, this remarkable gallery will surely surprise you.
6. Find the best places to eat and drink
As expected, St. Tropez has an excellent choice of cafes, bars and high class restaurants, hard to choose between. This region is well known for its Mediterranean cuisine and its local desserts, meeting sophisticated tastes. Club 55 is still one of the most famous places on Pampelonne Beach, where tourists love to come and are really spoiled. Whether you are looking for a café to spend some time (Senequier) or a cosy restaurant serving Provencal specialities (La Ramade), the choices are endless. Within a short walk of the harbour and the Annonciade Museum, can be found the most famous and delightful square - Place des Lices. Twice a week (Tuesday and Saturday) there is an open-air market, where tourists can buy local products (fresh fruits and vegetables, specialty foods, souvenirs, flowers and many more). The traditional dessert is The Tarte Tropézienne, that is basically a French cream-filled brioche created in the 1950s and named by the actress Brigitte Bardot. You must definitely taste it and why not try it next to a glass of local wine. St. Tropez is renowned for its large selection of rosé wines.
Other highlights in St. Tropez:
Maison des Papillons (Butterfly Museum) - with an exceptional collection of more than 35000 species of butterflies.
Musée de la Gendarmerie et du Cinéma - with a rich cinema history due to numerous movies that were filmed here.
Chapelle Sainte-Anne (on the hill of Mont Pécoulet) - with stunning panoramic views of the city and the Mediterranean Sea.
Sentier du Littoral (Scenic Seaside Path) - a natural beauty of one of the most beautiful hiking trails in the world.
Places to see near St. Tropez:
For those who want to discover more places in the French Riviera, exploring the surrounding area of St. Tropez can be a good idea for a day trip. Among the places we recommend are: Port-Grimaud (the ‘Little Venice’ of the South of France), the medieval hilltop village of Gassin (listed among the most beautiful villages of France), Ramatuelle (a typically Provençal village) or Sainte-Maxime (ideally situated in the heart of the Gulf of St. Tropez). Further, Cannes or Nice are must-see destinations that you don’t want to miss.
Considering all this, St. Tropez has something for everyone. It has always been an exclusive destination that you should visit at least once.
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