How many cities have a permanent population of around 6,000 people but attract around 5 million people per year? Saint-Tropez is such a city. Originated in 1592 during the construction of the Citadel, Saint-Tropez became known in the early 20th century as a painter's village. It was not until after 1950 that Saint-Tropez became well-known, thanks to Brigitte Bardot, who bought a villa there. Now Saint-Tropez is particularly known for its beautiful and popular beach clubs in the Bay of Pampelonne such as Nikki beach and Club 55, and because of its harbour where the rich and famous of the earth moor their yachts worth millions. What not everyone knows is that many of the authentic houses on the harbour were destroyed during the 2nd World War, and have been restored in their old style. Saint-Tropez has various activities that are worth a visit. There are sailing regattas such as the Giraglia Rolex Cup and the Voiles, the Paradis Porsche day where more than 1000 classic and modern Porsches can be admired, and the market held every Tuesday and Saturday morning.
Discover a selection of the most beautiful places and attractions in Saint-Tropez
Saint Tropez owes its name to Torpes, who was beheaded in the year 68 by the Roman emperor Nero, after which his body was put in a boat in Pisa, to arrive at the place where Saint Tropez is now. In 1436 the king René wanted to populate de Provence again, and founded the barony of Grimaud and asked families from Genoa to go there. By promising them tax exemption he succeeded, and in 1470 these families got the right to wall the city and 2 towers were built for protection, which are still there today. In the beginning of the 20th century, it became popular because Coco Chanel went there regularly, but the great breakthrough of Saint-Tropez only took place after 1956, when Roger Vadim made the film "Et Dieu créa la femme" with the then 21year old Brigitte Bardot in the leading role. Brigitte Bardot still lives in the area.
The number of permanent residents of Saint-Tropez in 2015 was 4,305
Saint-Tropez has a Mediterranean climate, with the following average temperatures per month: January 10 February 10 March 12 April 14 May 17 June 21 July 25 August 25 September 22 October 18 November 14 December 11
With golden beaches fringing the azure waters of the Mediterranean, its old fishing port and cobbled streets of the La Ponchon area, plus its magnetic attraction for drawing the rich and famous, St Trop (as it is affectionately known) promises a holiday to remember. Saint-Tropez is situated in south eastern France on the French Riviera, 100 kilometres west of Nice and has a long history stretching from 599BC when the Phoenicians built a boat mooring there. In 31 BC, the Romans invaded the area and took control of it, naming it Heracleacaccaliera. Even in those ancient times it was popular, and many lavish villas were built there. The town was later renamed after the martyr Saint Torpes. The saint was a Roman soldier who was martyred for his Christian beliefs. He was decapitated in Pisa and his body thrown into a small boat which drifted for many weeks until it beached at Saint-Tropez in AD 68. The spotlight was first swung onto the little fishing village of Saint-Tropez in the late 19th century when it was discovered by the French painter Paul Signac. By the 1920s, it had become a popular haunt with famous people in the fashion world such as Coco Chanel and Elsa Schiaparelli. They loved the pretty little fishing port and the village itself with its narrow-cobbled streets and plenty of sunshine. In the 1940s Saint-Tropez was visited by a steady stream of artists including Juliette Greco, Sartre and Picasso who found it inspirational. The main turning point came in 1956, when Saint-Tropez was chosen as the setting for the film And God Created Women which launched Brigitte Bardot's career as an actress and sex symbol and Saint-Tropez as a destination for the world's glittering jet set.
Suddenly, its fishing harbour was filled by yachts rather than fishing boats and the town was getting known the world over for its topless sunbathing and colourful nightlife. Saint-Tropez gained iconic status as the playground of the rich and famous and ever since then, has regularly featured in the lyrics of pop songs.The town quickly developed as a travel destination. In 1967 the famous Hotel Byblos with its equally famous nightclub Les Caves du Roy opened. The hotel was built for Brigitte Bardot by a Lebanese billionaire who was totally infatuated by her. Although she always said that she did not like luxury, she did attend its glittering grand opening which sealed the future of Saint-Tropez forever. Today, Saint-Tropez is the most famous beach resort in Europe. It is still frequented by the rich and famous. In the past, the rich were from Europe and the United States, but over the years, Saint Trop has gained universal appeal and affluent Russians, Chinese and many other nationalities enjoy time there – as well as numerous ordinary folk! Saint-Tropez has accommodation to suit everyone with beautiful hotels, great self-catering accommodation and a good campsite where you can shave and shower in open-roofed facilities. It is fun to simply stretch out and relax on one of the beautiful beaches. The beaches stretch like a pearl necklace for eight kilometres along the Baie de Pampelonne (just south of the town). In And God Created Woman, Tahiti Beach was shown as one where clothing was definitely optional! Needless to say, the idea quickly caught on – to the horror of the town's Mayor who banned toplessness and ordered the local gendarmerie to patrol the beaches using helicopters! The topless bathers won and today topless is the norm! Some of the beaches are public, others are private – including several such as Cap d'Agde, for naturists.
The most popular beach of them all is the Bagatelle which is the favourite haunt of some of the world's wealthiest people. Enjoying the beautiful coastline is the perfect way to spend the day and as well as simply doing nothing but soaking up the warmth of the sun, there is a myriad of water sports to enjoy including windsurfing, canoeing and scuba diving. Motorised water sports are available in several locations and these include power boats, jet skis and water skiing. If you are exploring the old town, there is the chance to head through the Quai Mistral to the Portalet Tower to discover La Glaye – the first of three lovely smaller beaches that have the backdrop of traditional Tropezian houses. These are the only beaches in the town itself. If you are feeling energetic, there is a lovely coastal path that leads to the little-known beach of Les Graniers. Le Sentier du Littoral is a 12-kilometre coastal walk that is not for the faint-hearted but is truly fabulous as it takes walkers around the headlands leading to the Pampelonne beaches. It takes about four hours to complete and follows a well-maintained and clearly signed pathway. The best news is that at the end of the walk, a plunge in the sea will be so rewarding! For a change of tempo, it is fun to take a stroll around Quai Jean Jaures. There is a colourful mixture of restaurants and bars overlooking the huge sleek yachts that have a daily mooring fee of up to €1,500! The best known of the restaurants is Sénéquier with its triangular tables and large red director's chair. It is a popular spot for 'people watching' and was a family run restaurant (in its fourth generation) until it was sold recently for an offer that could not be refused! The old part of Saint-Tropez is perfect for a wander as it is so fascinating!
There are little supermarkets and boulangeries (bakeries) rubbing shoulders with snazzy yacht charter companies, designer boutiques and restaurants with wonderful menu’s! Residents go about their daily lives, the woman heading off to the morning market or poissonerie (fish market) with wicker shopping baskets and the men congregating in the large Place des Lices for a game of boules under the plane trees. The ochre coloured buildings cluster around the parish church which contains a bust of the martyr St Torpes – his skull is displayed in a chapel in Pisa! The 16th century citadel that overlooks the old town is a 'must see'. There is a steady climb up the wooded hill to this well fortified citadel that used to protect the coast. The views from the top are spectacular; both over the town and sea with La Maures Mountains in the distance. Inside the citadel, there is an interesting museum of maritime history. For museum buffs, Saint-Tropez also has a really excellent art museum – Musée de l'Annonciade. This is one of the oldest art galleries in France and is situated in a 16th century former chapel. It contains wonderful works by a number of artists who have a connection with Saint-Tropez including Matisse, Utrillo, Seurat and Duffy. There is fascinating pointillist work by Signac – the first artist to spend much time in the area- and some sculptures by Henri Lauren. Food is always an important aspect of a good holiday and Saint-Tropez has some fantastic restaurants with menus to suit different budgets. The most acclaimed is the Résidence La Pinède which has the dynamic three Michelin starred Chef Arnaud Donckele at its helm, creating amazing dishes using the best of Mediterranean produce.
The town's oldest restaurant is Auberges de Maures which is situated in a Provençal house in a tiny side street near Place des Lices. Over the years, this 80-year-old favourite has regularly welcomed the rich and the famous. There are a number of more modestly priced restaurants to be found too and most of these are café brasseries that are basically furnished, popular with local residents (always a good sign!) and serve authentic local cuisine. Les Sporting is one such restaurant and its 'Dish of the Day' is always popular and very tasty- especially accompanied by a glass or two of the house red! Whilst many enjoy a leisurely evening meal with a stroll along the shore or in the old town afterwards, many more visit St Trop for its electric nightlife! Saint-Tropez is the most famous night spot in Europe! Les Caves du Roy at the Byblos Hotel is THE nightclub and has been for more than 50 years! This glitzy nightclub is a 'must see' and the DJ, Jackie-E, will soon have you dancing the night away! There is free entrance, but the drink prices start at 30 euros. Other popular night clubs include the VIP Room in Le Giola which is a lovely Italian Mediterranean restaurant till late when the music temp changes dramatically. Gaio is another popular restaurant/club serving Japanese Peruvian fusion cuisine (known as 'nikkei’) followed by lashings of great music. You may well find yourself dancing next to Sylvester Stallone, Leonardo di Caprio or other A listers! Whilst these are 'the big three' there are many other good clubs but be warned, they all have long entrance queues unless you happen to be an A lister yourself of course! St Tropez is fun to visit all year through and there are a variety of popular events held each month including art exhibitions and film festivals.
Hoewel dit 'de grote drie' zijn, zijn er veel andere goede clubs, maar wees gewaarschuwd, ze hebben allemaal lange toegangsrijen tenzij je toevallig zelf een A-lister bent! Christmas is also becoming popular with a chocolate market, skating rink, mulled wine and fireworks. There are key events each year that do draw many extra visitors. The various sailing regattas are always popular and include Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez which is the late summer regatta and attracts 300 yachts of all sizes and ages. Le Voiles d' Automne in November is the closing regatta of the year and follows the October Dragon Boat Championship. Other popular events include the Porsche Rally in October which attracts scores of Porsche owners from all over Europe (who want to see and be seen) and Festival d'Automne which is a classical music festival. The late October Braderie meaning 'sale' which is when all the high-end boutique owners reduce the prices of their stock to make way for the new season's range. The boutiques are situated in the shopping triangle of Place des Lices, Rue Gambetta and Rue Allard and these streets are filled with iconic brands such as Louis Vuitton and Dolce & Gabbana. Saint-Tropez is fun to visit as it is has been iconic for so many years and is full of contrasts with moonlight walks for two or disco dancing till late, the cobbled old streets and old fashioned bakeries or snazzy restaurants and rubbing shoulders with celebrities. Saint-Tropez promises a little magic sparkle for everyone...
Haute cuisine gastronomique
Résidence de la Pinède Plage de la Bouillabaisse 83990 Saint-Tropez
+33 (0) 4 94 55 91 00
4 Rue Dr Boutin, 83990 Saint-Tropez
+ 33 (0)4 94 97 01 50
Quai Jean Jaures | 83990 Saint-Tropez
+33 4 94 97 03 87