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Saint-Tropez, France

 
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Saint-Tropez port
Saint-Tropez Port

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Plage des Salins, Saint-Tropez
Plage des Salins

 

Beach-restaurant on Pamplonne
Beach-restaurant on Pampelonne

You don't have to be a movie star to visit St Tropez (or San Troppe, as it's called) but if you are you'll feel right at home. In the summer, Saint-Tropez is the place for the international celeb-set whose pictures regularly grace local papers. Between October and March though, Saint-Tropez reverts to its roots as a Provencal village. It's port is impossibly scenic and impeccably groomed narrow streets lined with cheery pastel houses twist up to the town centre. The shopping is first-class, the restaurants are pricey but good and the nightlife sizzles with chic

What to See

The port of Saint-Tropez is a parade of see-and-be-seens the entire summer. Docks drop anchor and the sleek and slim trip off the boats and into Senequier, the dockside cafe.

Then it's time for the beaches of Saint Tropez. The best and most famous beaches are actually in Ramatuelle about 5km south of town. There, a wide stretch of sand curves luxuriously around the Bay of Pampelonne running for nine kilometres. The best way to go is by bus from Saint Tropez but there is a large parking lot at the beginning of the bay if you decide to go by car. Another spectacular beach is the Plage des Salins which is a long stretch of public beach, unblemished by beach restaurants.

After the beach, how about a nice game of boules? For that, go back to town to the Place des Lices, the rectangular square in the centre of Saint Tropez where a dozen boules games can go on simultaneously.

And, don't forget culture. Saint-Tropez inspired a number of artists, most notably Paul Signac and Henri Matisse. Both artists are represented in Saint-Tropez's Musée de l'Annonciade near the Old Port. (See more on artists on the Cote d'Azur)

Getting to Saint-Tropez

Ah, that's the problem. There's no train to Saint-Tropez so everyone is forced onto a vehicle of some sort. Try to avoid making that vehicle a car because Saint-Tropez traffic jams are the stuff of legend. From April to June there are a few hours on weekdays when you can actually access Saint-Tropez without stewing in a line of immobilized cars. From October to March, you only need to avoid rush hours. The rest of the year the little Provencale village struggles for air in an ocean of cars. Try to come by boat if you possibly can. There are regular boats from Nice in the summer that deposit you in St-Tropez for a day trip. (see more about Saint-Tropez as a day trip from Nice) Another possibility is to park in Sainte-Maxime (thus avoiding the coastal traffic) and take a water taxi to Saint-Tropez. You can also take a train to Saint-Raphaël and then a boat to Saint-Tropez. See more information.

Tourist Information in Saint-Tropez

The Saint-Tropez tourist office (tel 04-94-97-45-21) is conveniently located on the Old Port.

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