I had the chance to visit St-Tropez during one of my cruise holiday. The city always reminded me of Brigitte Bardot, she kick-started the rush in the early 60’s. People still flock to St-Tropez for the sun, the sea and the celebrities. You can encounter a few celebs walking down the streets if you’re lucky.
If you take an early-morning stroll around the pretty port or down the narrow medieval streets with their candied-almond hues, you’ll see just how charming St-Tropez can be.
Coming from a cruise ship
The port of St-Tropez is too small to accept commercial cruise ships, so passengers are tendered to a landing dock, which is about five minutes’ walk from town. There are no port facilities portside. Taxis and tour buses are not allowed into the staging area which means you will have to walk from the landing stage to transport connections is unavoidable.
Don’t panic! You can find car-rental offices in town, expect to pay 75 euros. Taxis are available at the port entrance and can provide tourist itineraries or transfers to the beaches. For single journeys, prices are 3 euros.
Be aware, it happened to me, especially during the summer, traffic heading into town increases and you can spend more than an hour travelling the two or three last miles.
Musée de l’Annonciade
You can find in the extraordinary Annunciation Museum the legacy of the artists who loved St-Tropez. It has been lovingly preserved. This 14th century chapel, converted to an art museum, alone merits a visit to the city. It also host temporary exhibitions every summer, from local talent to up and coming temporary exhibitions.
I’ve picked the best bits, so here there are:
Stroll around the port, this is the place to see and be seen, to dress and strut whether you’re 17 or 70. Yes, the celebrities flock here but so do Europe’s fashion peacocks.
Sip an aperitif in the Place des Lices, sit in the shade of an ancient plane tree, soak in the Provencal atmosphere, and watch the southern French joie-de-vivre!
Browse the boutiques, this is the stylish shopping at its best, with myriad small and exclusive and upscale shops.
Where to eat
La Table du marché
This is a charming bistro from celebrity chef Christophe Leroy which offers up a mouth-watering spread of regional specialties in a surprisingly casual atmosphere. Sink into one of the overstuffed armchairs in the upstairs dining room to enjoy the beautiful view St-Tropez has to offer. For a light snack, you should definitely try the tomato pistou tart. Lunch menus are reasonably prices between 18/26 euros.
This place is a great way to skink to the local culture, it’s an even bigger that the food is as good as the setting. Try the Provencal beef stew and traditional soup fish. I’ve been there twice and it always been busy so I advise you to make a reservation to secure a table!
The famous beaches of St-Tropez lie southeast of the town on a small peninsula.
If you have the opportunity to go to Pampelonne, go! The long stretch of fine sand is now divided into a number of sections, each served by a trendy restaurant and beach club. Rent a beach bed and soak in the sun for a few hours. Be aware that topless sunbathing is accepted practice here, so there will be bare breasts views! [laughs]
La Tarte Tropézienne, this is the place to buy the famous cakes. They are delicious, French patisserie to its best!
Rondini is a local handmade shop where they make the famous Tropéziennes. Head to this family-run store where the owners have been hand-crafting sandals since 1927. I bought myself a pair to be in French trend. They come in a wide of range colours to suit every personality.
For those addicted to their mobile phones, tri-band GSM phones work in france. You can buy prepaid phone cards at telecom shops, new vendors, and tobacconists in all towns and cities. Phone cards can be used for local and international calls.