Famous for its picturesque harbour, designer boutiques and beautiful sandy beaches, St Tropez is one of Europe’s glitziest summer resorts.
About 70 miles from Nice, St Tropez has an idyllic setting on the French Riviera, with sparkling azure waters on one side and rolling hills peppered with pretty medieval villages on the other.
Originally popular with the bohemian artistic set, this charming coastal town became a playground for the wealthy and famous in the ’50s, when Brigitte Bardot came to film “And God Created Woman” on its sun-kissed beaches. Nowadays, socialites and well-heeled fashionistas flock to the sunny seaside town, drawn to its Michelin-starred restaurants, exclusive beach clubs and champagne-fuelled yacht parties. Meanwhile, Hollywood celebrities looking for the ultimate Provençal hideaway fill the luxury villas of St Tropez.
However, St Tropez has far more to offer than just extravagant A-listers. For example, if historic charms are what you’re after, the town delivers in spades, with delightful open-air markets and an alluring old town of pastel-coloured façades and shady squares. On the narrow streets of historic fishing village La Ponche, Mediterranean glamour meets Provençal chic as timeless boulangeries and patisseries compete for pavement space with hip cafes and luxurious boutiques. In the characterful Vieux Port nearby, multi-million dollar yachts wait to be admired and local artists sell eye-catching illustrations of the harbour. At the heart of the village lies the famous Place des Lices, an atmospheric tree-lined square which hosts one of the best Provençal markets on the French Riviera.
With its heady mix of glitz and glamour and historic charm, St Tropez is the ideal spot to soak up the sun, wander the ancient streets, indulge in the delicious cuisine and relax on one of it’s beautiful sandy beaches.
“Flavours of Provence still greatly influence the city's sophisticated gastronomic scene, which buzzes with famed chefs and see-and-be-seen restaurants.”
La Vague d’Or
Three-star Michelin chef Arnaud Donckele conjures up a modern, refined take on traditionally inspired dishes at Vague d’Or, one of the finest and most exclusive restaurants in St Tropez.
www.residencepinede.fr / +33 4 94 55 91 00
Le Bistrot à la Truffe
Indulge in a truffle feast at this cosy eatery where Bruno Clément, Provence’s fêted truffle chef, ennobles all his dishes with the earthy flavour of fresh truffles.
www.bistrot-la-truffe.com / +33 4 94 43 95 18
L’Auberge des Maures
At Auberge des Maures, it’s all about Provence, from the decor to the dishes. Located steps away from Place des Lices, this is the oldest dining venue in town and serves up memorable local delicacies such as daube beef stew and leg lamb confit with rosemary.
www.aubergedesmaures.fr / +33 4 94 97 01 50
Au Caprice des Deux
Renowned for its excellent service and rustic French fare of supreme quality, Au Caprice des Deux offers an authentic fine dining experience in an intimate setting, just off the waterfront.
www.aucapricedesdeux.com / +33 4 94 97 76 78
“A playground for the rich and famous, St Tropez boasts an eclectic cocktail of chic cafes, upscale beach hangouts and swanky nightclubs.”
True to its name, VIP Room attracts the crème de la crème of society and is known as one of the top nightclubs on the coast. It doubles as a restaurant, serving modern Mediterranean cuisine throughout the night.
www.viproom.com/saint-tropez / +33 1 58 36 46 00
Bar du Port
With its late-night DJ events and futuristic designer interiors, year-round Bar du Port is the hippest waterfront lounge bar in St Tropez. Expect hi-tech lighting, funky house music and a beautiful, mixed crowd of locals and visitors.
www.facebook.com/bar.du.port / +33 4 94 97 00 54
Brasserie des Arts
Brasserie des Arts is a sophisticated restaurant and nightlife destination right beside Place des Lices. The glitterati come here to eat, party and bask in the glamour of St Tropez.
www.brasseriedesarts.com / +33 4 94 40 27 37
Nestled on the sands of Pampelonne Beach, about 5km southwest of St Tropez, Club 55 is the oldest, chicest and most famous of the area’s beach hangouts. Here you’ll find the beautiful, the rich and famous having lunch and sipping chilled rose on a typical summer day.
www.club55.fr / +33 4 94 55 55 55
“One of the joys of St Tropez is soaking up the sun's rays in style on its beautiful sandy beaches, which vary from rustic to glamorous.”
Although situated in neighboring Ramatuelle, about 5km from the center of town, Pampelonne is considered the most famous beach in St Tropez. Home to the best beach clubs in the area, the three-mile stretch of white sand and turquoise blue waters attracts a fashionable clientele of celebrities, models and international billionaires.
Plage de Tahiti
On the northern tip of Pampelonne, Plage de Tahiti is St Tropez’s legendary nudist beach. While it caters to a more hedonistic crowd, this lovely beach gets its fair share of celebrities and boasts a great selection of bars and restaurants.
Plage Port Grimaud
A short drive from St Tropez toward Sainte-Maxime, the charming Venice-like town of Port Grimaud has a long stretch of golden sand with shallow waters and wonderful facilities. This is probably the best beach you will find in the area.
Plage des Graniers
Plage des Graniers is a charming little cove surrounded by timbered hills. The convenient location just below the town’s 16th-century Citadel makes it an excellent option for families
“Whether you prefer to spend your time on land, up in the air or at sea, Europe’s capital of chic is packed with activities that will impress even the most discerning holidaymaker.”
Polo Club Saint-Tropez
Situated in Gassin, one of France’s most beautiful villages, the prestigious Polo Club Saint-Tropez provides a truly unique experience. The venues newest addition is a fabulous 1400m2 clubhouse which has its own restaurant, hammam and sauna. There is also a gorgeous terrace for visitors to enjoy matches from in unparalleled comfort. Tournament season runs from May to September.
There’s nothing quite like cruising the dazzling waters of the French Riviera on a hot summer day. If you don’t have your own yacht there are a good selection for hire as well as instruction for different license classifications.