We flew Melbourne to Dubai, Dubai to Madrid, Madrid to Nice, and then drove the1.5 hours to St Tropez. I wouldn’t recommend this route. I think 2 flights and a car drive is my new upper limit.
I’d been to St Tropez 8 years ago on a whirlwind visit – I only stayed for 48 hours and didn’t really get to experience it (in the daylight) and explore properly. It’s known for being expensive and a hot spot for super yacht owners… but what people don’t talk about so much is how beautiful the town itself is. Yes there are the Bottega Venetta and Louis Vuitton outposts, but there are also sweet little cafés, independent stores and beautiful French boutiques. The town is a lovely one to wander around and explore, and you don’t need to be super rich to visit.
Pampelonne Beach (a short drive from the town) is the main beach of St Tropez. The beach clubs we liked were L’Orangerie and La Reserve – I would recommend going in the morning so you can maximise the value of paying for the day bed. You can also just lie on the sand if you really don’t want to splash out for the day bed. Or if you head further down the beach you’ll find a nudist section, something different!
For something a little more secluded and quiet take a drive up to Ramatuelle, a village balancing on the hillside that’s very quaint and has a lovely vantage point. A walk along to the Eglise de St Tropez is another nice thing to do – go at sunset. My friend Agathe recommends Les Salins at the beach for lunch. One of my favourite things was the Place des Lices market that takes place every Saturday and Tuesday morning. You can stock up on everything from fresh fruit and vegetables to antique mirrors, flowers, truffles, bread and linen at the lively market. Better to go early if you can as it did seem to get busier in the afternoon! Kenny had gastro on the day the market was open, so I wander around solo which was actually lovely – some photographs below
Now there’s no denying it, visiting St Tropez in peak season and finding somewhere inexpensive and nice to stay is impossible. It’s expensive. These are some of the amazing places that are okay price wise, but I would avoid July – August:
ACCOMODATION IN ST TROPEZ
Mid – more exxy:
- Pan Dei Palais
- Hotel Lou Pinet
- Hotel Villa Cosy
- Muse Saint Tropez / Ramatuelle
- Villa Sant-Anna
- Le Pre de la Mer
- Villa Marie Saint Tropez
- Le Yaca
- Maison Fontaine
- Hôtel La Mandarine
It is also worth staying outside St Tropez (and finding some more affordable accomodation) and just spending an afternoon and evening in the town.
FOOD IN ST TROPEZ
- Sit out on the romantic leafy patio of the Strand – book in advance
- Les Caprice des Deux – typical Provençal food in a family-run restaurant, come hungry
- Pine-shaded La Pomme de Pin outside the main town is some of the best-value food in St Tropez (hence why it’s always busy!). Enjoy alfresco Italian and Mediterranean classics.
- Sunset drinks at the famous Sénéquier
- Spend an afternoon in nearby vineyards, such as Domaine de La Rouillère and Château Barbeyrolles, tasting the region’s renowned rosés.
- From March through September, head to La Verdoyante in Gassin. In a grand Provençal setting, this country house restaurant specialises in ‘terroir’ cooking, enjoyed outside on the beautiful terrace.
- Moroccan feast with generous portions at the popular Le Salama restaurant.
- Or visit one of the beautiful hotels that you can afford to stay at for a meal
- If you fancy a further-flung and more peaceful foray, why not head to Porquerolles Island for a day – it’s a beautiful, car-free isle with golden beaches and a pretty timeless village; take the boat from Hyères, a 50-minute drive from St Tropez.