Saint Tropez, France: 14 Best Things to Do
One of the most glamorous tourist destinations in the world, Saint Tropez, France is an ancient fishing village that the rich and famous discovered and made their own. Its magnificent beaches range from the famous celebrity-spotting Pampelonne to the small, quaint, and secluded Plages la Glaye or la Ponche. The beautiful Mediterranean invites visitors to explore its depths with the European Diving School or by kayak or paddleboard with Adventure Sports. Photo: photosainttropez/Fotolia
By far the most famous beach in Saint Tropez is Pampelonne beach. This is the beach in all the movies and photos of the rich and famous, movie stars, and celebrities of all sorts. The notoriety is what makes it extremely crowded, the price to pay for hoping to spot somebody famous in a bikini. This long stretch of fine golden sand is surrounded by large sand dunes covered bars, restaurants, and beach clubs renting out chairs and umbrellas. Some of the less popular, but also much less crowded, beaches in Saint Tropez and quite close to the village are Plages La Glaye, la Ponche, and de la Fontanette. Plage de la Bouillabaisse is on the way to the village with a lovely view of the Massif des Maures mountains and a few nice beach club restaurants and bars.
Photo: Igor V. Podkopaev/Fotolia
»La Citadelle - Museum of Maritime History, St Tropez, France
The Museum of Maritime History is located in the former dungeon of the picturesque Citadel of Saint Tropez, featuring exhibits that illustrate 500 years of history of Saint Tropez and its strong links to the sea. Exhibits illustrate various voyages of Saint Tropez seamen across many different world seas, fishing trips along the coast of Provence, long voyages around the Cape Horn on large sailing boats, or expeditions to India on large steamship liners belonging to the famous Far East Company. The museum celebrates the lives of town heroes such as Bailli de Suffren, Hippolyte Bouchard, and General Allard, but also those of the many anonymous sailors who served aboard the navy’s vessels or fought stormy seas while working on merchant ships. Through the town’s maritime history, the museum also shows daily life over centuries.
Contact: 1 Montée de la Citadelle, 83990 Saint-Tropez, France, Phone: +33-4-94-97-59-43
»La Maison des Papillons - Musee Dany Lartigue
La Maison des Papillons or the Butterfly Museum, is located in the heart of Saint Tropez in the former home of artist Dany Lartigue, his father photographer Jacques-Henri Lartigue, and grandfather André Messager, a member of the French Academy and a manager of the Paris Opera. Dany Lartigue created the museum with an exceptional collection of French diurnal species of butterflies presented against the background of Dany’s colorful paintings. It took him decades to collect over 35,000 butterflies, some of them extinct or protected and others rare or unusual, such as the black Apollo collected in the Mercantour region. The museum also contains an important collection of exotic butterflies from the Solomon Islands and Amazonia. Not all specimen have been sorted and displayed. Those shown in the museum are displayed in an unique way, with their natural environment painted as a background for the specimen. While the collection is recognized for its scientific contribution, it is their breathtaking beauty that fascinates visitors.
Contact: 17 Rue Etienne Berny, 83990 Saint-Tropez, France, Phone: +33-94-97-63-45
Photo: La Maison des Papillons - Musee Dany Lartigue
»Le Musee de l’Annonciade
Located in the beautifully converted 1510 chapel Notre-Dame de l'Annonciade, the Museum of Annonciade is an exquisite small museum that features 56 art pieces from the collection of Georges Grammont. The collection consists of 19th and early 20th century paintings of Saint Tropez. Famous pointillist Paul Signac was the first to discover the small quaint fishing village, quickly bringing other artists who immortalized the old village, its people, and the sea. The museum collection includes some of his more significant pieces. Members of the Nabis group Vuillard, Maurice Denis, and Bonnard have their own gallery. There are also paintings by Fauvist painters Matisse and Derain and Cubists Picasso and Braque.
Contact: 2 Rue de l'Annonciade, Place Georges Grammont, 83990 Saint-Tropez, France, Phone: +33-4-94-17-84-10
»Moulin de Paillas, St Tropez, France
The five windmills Moulin de Paillas were built between the 16th and 19th centuries on the hill above the quaint picturesque village of Ramatuelle near Saint Tropez. Today in ruins, only one of them has been renovated and can be visited after a short, pleasant walk up the hill. The village tourist office organizes guided tours of the mill every Tuesday morning. The mills were all decommissioned in the 19th century when new technology made them obsolete. When they were fully operational, they were made completely of wood, with a few parts reinforced by iron. Like typical Provencal mills, Moullins de Paillas had their upper parts mobile in order to pivot to catch the best wind. The view from the windmill of the village, Cavalaire Bay, La Croix Valmer, and Pampelonne Beach is breathtaking.
Contact: 83350 Ramatuelle, France
Photo: Thierry Hoarau/Fotolia
»Musée de la gendarmerie et du cinema de Saint-Tropez
Everyone who has seen the famous movies about the gendarmes of Saint Tropez with the hilarious Luis de Funes will instantly recognize the building that today hosts the Gendarmerie and Cinema Museum of Saint Tropez. The building that was made famous by movies stopped operating as a real gendarmerie in 1934 and since then has been used by the city of Saint Tropez as a museum. The museum’s permanent exhibition has two main themes: The history of the Saint Tropez gendarmerie corps and their building and the myth and reality of the famed Saint Tropez through movies that portrayed it. It starts with the interest caused by the international popularity of the hilarious movies. The city also attempts, through the exhibits in the museum, to highlight the rich and diverse history of cinema in Saint Tropez, not only about Saint Tropez. Many movies are still being created in Saint Tropez and its beautiful surrounds. The museum also hold occasional temporary exhibits on different themes linked to the town.
Contact: Place Blanqui, 83990 Saint-Tropez, France, Phone: +33-4-94-55-90-00
»Peps Spirit, St Tropez, France
At Peps Spirit, they know Saint Tropez and its peninsula “like their own pockets.” They know all the hidden single-track mountain bike trails, paths rarely travelled, and small clear brooks surrounded by lush greenery where your kayak can explore. Their main concern is the protection of their beautiful nature and their every tour is an eco-tour. With their mountain bikes, kayaks, or paddleboards and together with English-speaking experienced guides, you will discover a different Saint Tropez, the one not shown in the glittering fashion magazines. While you are learning about this hidden Saint Tropez peninsula and the surroundings, they promise you a perfect trip: A combination of action, freedom to explore, and total relaxation.
Contact: N°56 Quartier Rine, 83310 Grimaud, France, Phone: +33-4-94-96-88-04
»Place des Lices
Place des Lices is a delightful square shaded by 12 magnificent 100-year old plane trees that paint the square with dappled light. Twice a week, on Tuesday and Saturday morning, the square hosts an open-air market and gets buzzing with activity as vendors line up their wares. Fresh produce goes around the tree trunks on the main square, then around them are stalls selling specialty foods such as olives, cheeses, sausages, fruits, flowers, and pastries. After that are the sellers of high-quality souvenirs, t-shirts and other touristy items. Locals come early in the morning before the tourists wake up and descend in large numbers. When the market clears off, boule players take over the square and play long into the night.
Contact: Place des Lices, Saint-Tropez, France
»Adventure Sports, St Tropez, France
Adventure Sports is a small British team that specializes in holidays and weekends filled with water sports activities. Whether you are a family, a group of friends coming for a hen weekend, or on a singles’ holiday, you will have the time of your life in Saint Tropez, the most glamorous beach town in the world. You will be learning to jet ski, dive, snorkel, kneeboard, mono ski, waterski, kayak, or paddleboard. You can explore the Côte d’Azur in a kayak, on a bike, or by foot, and they will take you to the best local bars and restaurants and the most popular beaches as well as weekend markets, boutiques, and cheese shops. Everything will be taken care of, all you have to do is enjoy yourself. Phone: 0-79-73-75-63-72
Photo: Adventure Sports
»Sentier du Littoral
Along the cape’s expensive luxury hotels and magnificent villas winds one of the most beautiful hiking trails in the world. It stretches for about 3 miles all the way to the tip of the peninsula. The Sentier du Littoral starts at the lovely Plage de la Garoupe as a paved walkway with spectacular views of the Baie de la Garoupe and the distant Alps. As you round the end of the tip of the peninsula, the paved trail changes into a rough boulder-studded path that runs along massive cliffs and breathtaking switchbacks, with the background sound of thundering breakers. This path can be dangerous in bad weather; there are warning signs. The walk will take you about 2 hours, but these may be the most unforgettable hours of the entire trip.
Contact: 8 Chemin des Graniers, 83990, Saint-Tropez, France
Photo: philippe asseray/Fotolia
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Vignobles de Saint-Tropez is a vineyard and wine maker who has been producing remarkable wines since 1908. Located on 395 acres on the hills overlooking famed Saint Tropez and the Mediterranean, they make and bottle their wines in one of the most beautiful parts of France. "Chevalier Torpez" is their premium brand of wine that pays respect to the brave Roman officer whose name has been immortalized as the name of the village Saint Tropez. "Chevalier Torpez” has a unique terroir, rich heritage, and exceptional quality. It is the signature wine of this beautiful garden vineyard that is surrounded by ancient country houses and modern luxury villas, in a dry and warm climate of bright sunshine, surrounded by landscapes of exceptional beauty.
Contact: Avenue Paul Roussel, 83990 Saint-Tropez, France, Phone: +33-4-94-97-01-60
Photo: Chevalier Torpez
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»Domaine La Tourraque, St Tropez, France
Located in the heart of the Saint Tropez peninsula, Domaine La Tourraque is a family vineyard that has been cultivated since 1805 in the protected Three Capes site. What is today 40 hectares of vineyards and 370 olive trees used to be a farm involved in hunting, fishing, fruit and vegetables growing, and producing olive oil and wine. Today, La Tourraque produces AOC Côtes de Provence wines and high-quality olive oil. Grapes are grown organically. The southern exposure of the vineyard slopes and clay shale soil are responsible for the vineyard’s exceptional quality. Guided tours of the vineyard take 1 hour and the guests are invited to see the winemaking process in the cellar and taste the final product.
Contact: 2444 Chemin de la Bastide Blanche, 83350 Ramatuelle, France, Phone: +33-4-94-79-25-95
Photo: Domaine La Tourraque
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»European Diving School
The European Diving School is an award-winning scuba dive center in the heart of Saint Tropez with multilingual instructors and superb dive boats that will take you to some of the most fascinating dive sites or wrecks in the area. You will dive at Rouceau Grotto, Sardinaux, La Grande Que'rolle, Rabiou l'Arche and La Gabinière to see spectacular rock formations, cliffs, gorges, and swim-throughs with rich underwater flora, sea fans, and soft corals that provide home to large schools of fish such as barracudas, groupers, morays, and sunfish. There are fascinating wrecks to dive and even some airplanes. You can get PADI or CMAS certified or, to find out if you like diving, take an introductory Discover Scuba course. The European Diving School offers diving courses to divers as young as eight years old.
Contact: Route des Plages, 83350 Ramatuelle, France, Phone: +33-6-07-51-15-56
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»Le Brigantin II, St Tropez, France
As often with coastal towns, you can see much more from the sea and get a very different picture. A great way to truly see the beauty of Saint Tropez is aboard the luxury sailboat Brigantin II. For one hour, you can pretend to be a jet-setter and enjoy the opulent boat, a magnificent view of the coast and the fun, knowledgeable narrative from your host. Sailing very close to the coast, you will be able to see all the beaches, large and small, the old village, the “millionaires’ bay,” and fabulous villas of celebrities snuggled on the hill above the sea while hearing stories, legends, a bit of gossip, and a lot of history.
Contact: 7 Boulevard Louis Blanc, 83990 Saint-Tropez, France, Phone: +33-6-07-09-21-27
Photo: Le Brigantin II
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Saint Tropez, France: 14 Best Things to Do
- Beaches, Photo: Courtesy of Igor V. Podkopaev - Fotolia.com
- La Citadelle - Museum of Maritime History, St Tropez, France, Photo: Courtesy of aro49 - Fotolia.com
- La Maison des Papillons - Musee Dany Lartigue, Photo: La Maison des Papillons - Musee Dany Lartigue
- Le Musee de l’Annonciade, Photo: Courtesy of thampapon1 - Fotolia.com
- Moulin de Paillas, St Tropez, France, Photo: Courtesy of Thierry Hoarau - Fotolia.com
- Musée de la gendarmerie et du cinema de Saint-Tropez, Photo: Courtesy of elophotos - Fotolia.com
- Peps Spirit, St Tropez, France, Photo: Courtesy of luisa10 - Fotolia.com
- Place des Lices, Photo: Courtesy of Mysmasken - Fotolia.com
- Adventure Sports, St Tropez, France, Photo: Adventure Sports
- Sentier du Littoral, Photo: Courtesy of philippe asseray - Fotolia.com
- Chevalier Torpez, Photo: Chevalier Torpez
- Domaine La Tourraque, St Tropez, France, Photo: Domaine La Tourraque
- European Diving School, Photo: Courtesy of yossarian6 - Fotolia.com
- Le Brigantin II, St Tropez, France, Photo: Le Brigantin II
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of photosainttropez - Fotolia.com
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